I made my first venison sweet Lebanon bologna this week end. Not exactly what I wanted but still edible, and I learned a few things.
Started by grinding some fairly clean venison trimmings last week end, mostly from hind quarters.
Mixed with seasonings on Tuessday night, from the Len Poli recipe used in a thread by Nepas. Let rest 24 hours. Started the fermentation process on Wednesday night even though I had to work all day Thursday, and knew I couldn't babysit the smoker. My wife tried because she knew I was having trouble keeping the temps stable and as low as they needed to be.
Thursday night it rained all night and I really had problems with the temps fluctuating but did the best I could, which was by propping the smoker door open.
Didn't do much better with the smoking step and for most of the time the temps were too high, going around 117 to 134 and for the last two hours I even raised it to around 150 because I was afraid it wouldn't be cooked or fermented enough and had read that the process can be dangerous to your health. But I finished it and let it hang for two days to dry more before cutting and tasting.
It's edible but like I said earlier not exactly what I wanted. For all the problems, overall not a total loss.
In the future I believe I will get a hot plate to use as a heat source instead of the built in smoker's (1500 watt) element, maybe something like a 750 watt one to start.
I'll test to see if I can hold the 85 degrees I need for fermentation and then the 90 degrees for smoking.
I did use the amnps 6X8 with pellets(Apple) with some dust (also Apple) on top, and was happy with the amount of smoke at least.
The best I can describe the taste is sweet with a hint of one of the spices being prominent, maybe cloves but not 100% sure. t's a tad drier than I wanted which is probably from the higher temp.
The casings I used I did not like as I bought the wrong ones and used them anyway due to a lack of patience. They were fibrous red and huge something like 4 1/2 inches diameter and 24 inches long. I only stuffed the about halfway.
I really wanted to use the muslin ones and about 2 1/4 inches around but even fibrous of that diameter would have been better I think.
Maybe I'll try natural ones next like the beef middles.
I'm still alive and didn't get sick... yet. Here's some pics they'll probably end up on top again because I don't know how to do that right either.
BTW: I know, the finished product looks like dinosaur droppings to me too.