It may seem impossible, but you can make a delicious deer summer sausage at home. It is always a better choice to prepare it yourself than to buy one. And It is not that difficult as it may sound. Making it properly takes a little effort and time but with the electric digital smoker, a meat grinder and this recipe, cooking it will be a lot easier. You will become a pro in no time!
Great sausage is a good balance of meat, salt, herbs, and spices. That is why we have chosen this recipe for you. It is delicious and not difficult to make. Feel free to add or remove some ingredients, whatever you prefer. The choice is all yours.
Smoked meat is always a good idea, especially if it’s made from venison, a first-rate meat choice. It’s an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is rich in iron and full of B vitamins. The deer meat is both delicious and healthy.
If your family is a meat lover, then deer summer sausage is a perfect choice for you. Conserving it you will have a delicious meal all year long. It is an appetizing type of dry cured sausage that you don’t have to refrigerate. So, you could also use it for a travel, backpack adventures or road trips. Just make sure to follow every step of the recipe to make the best possible sausage. So, prepare everything you need for cooking it and let’s start!
- 6 lbs coarse ground venison
- 4 lbs course ground fatty pork butt/shoulder
- 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon low-fat cultured buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons non-fat dry milk, for binder and additional lactose for fermenting
- 2 (0.40 oz) of Prague Powder #1
- 4 tablespoons + 2 tsp kosher salt, can substitute 4 tablespoons of pickling salt
- 2 tablespoons whole mustard seed
- 3 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
- 4 tsp sugar, for fermenting to get tang
- 1 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground marjoram
- 1/4 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/4 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (optional)
Note: Select high-quality and fresh meat only. Use 6 pounds of deer and 4 pounds of pork or beef. It is always better to mix the deer with another meat, so the sausage wouldn’t taste too dry and unappetizing. Make sure that your venison is free of connective tissue and lean before you grind it.
Place the meat into the freezer while you are preparing the marinade. Set up your grinder; use the one with 3/16 inch holes. It is important that the meat is lightly frozen so you can slice it easier. Remove the meat from the freezer. Cut it into the small cubes and grind it into the large bowl.
For a better mixture, on every three pieces of deer, grind one piece of pork or beef.
Mix all the ingredients in one larger bowl with a cup of ice cold water. Combine it with the ground meat and blend it well with a mixer or hands. Make sure that it’s all evenly mixed. This is important because if it’s not mixed properly your sausage will have one bite that tastes great and one that has no flavor.
Wrap the meat in the butcher paper, and let it cool in the fridge. You can also vacuum it. Whatever you prefer.
After it is cured in the fridge, take it out and grind it with a coarse plate to make the desired texture. If it didn’t create a proper mix, you need to freeze the meat again overnight and repeat slicing and grinding process. While stuffing the sausage into fibrous or synthetic casings, make sure to keep the meat cold below 40 degrees F. The casings should be from 2 to 3 inches long. It will weigh about 3 lbs.
Store the sausages into the fridge and refrigerate overnight. You can keep it in the fridge for about three days before you cook it, or at least overnight. The longer you let it cool the better the taste will be. In the buttermilk that you added, there are active bacteria that will ferment lactose and sugar to lactic acid. This way it will give the meat that characteristic tangy taste. Do not let the temperature get below 35 degrees F. This is crucial for a proper fermentation.
Smoke It: Smoke the Sausage in The Electric Smoker
The next step is to smoke the sausage in the electric smoker. Preheat it to 120 degrees F. Lay down the meat or hang it in the smoker, making sure that they are separated well enough from each other. Put the temperature probe into the middle of the smoker. Let the damper wide open and dry it for about an hour. Put the wood chips (hickory is the best choice) to the wood pan. Increase the temperature and close the damper to ¼ open, and let the sausages dry for another four hours.
For the final hour add some water to the water pan and raise the temperature to the 170 degrees F to finish smoking the sausages. It is recommendable for the first time to cook it for about 4 or 5 hours. It depends on how smoky you want it to taste.
Continue to cook for about half an hour without the smoke, or until the temperature reaches 155 degrees F.
When the internal temperature of the sausage reaches 155 degrees F, put it in the ice cold water. This way the temperature will drop to 100 degrees F. It should probably take about half an hour or less to cool down.
Use the paper towels to dry the outside of the sausages. Hang it for a few hours to air dry at the room temperature. When it gains a proper color, store it in a freezer or a cooler. Put it in the aluminum foil and airtight bag so it can last for a several months up to a year.