End of Summer Sausage

2008.Apr.19 Saturday · 1 comment

in Food & Recipes

 Summer sausage is the general term for any sausage that can be kept without the need of refrigeration. Summer sausage is usually a mixture of pork and other meat such as beef and venison. Summer sausage can be either dried or smoked, and curing ingredients can vary significantly, although some sort of curing salt is almost always used. Seasonings may include mustard seeds, black pepper, garlic salt, or sugar. In spite of its name, summer sausage actually tends to be made in the autumn, during traditional hunting seasons in North America and Europe. Summer sausage, like all sausages, makes use of leftover scrap meat and organ meat that would otherwise be wasted.

– Wikipedia

Buenos Aires – An interesting definition, and pretty much the same as other sites I found, for summer sausage – my personal experience was always that a summer sausage was near the opposite of this – it isn’t made with curing salts, or a very minimal amount of a curing agent, instead, it’s cooked – actually, oven dried, and then refrigerated, and generally consumed within a few days of making it. But such is the difference between official definitions and common practice, no?

I had some leftover rib-eye steaks from a recent dinner that I’ve been keeping in the freezer – and thought it was time to use them for something – and why not a nice, all-beef sausage?

Rib-eye steaks, cut in cubes

I had roughly a kilo of steak, or 2½ pounds, which I thawed, not completely, but just to the point where it’s sliceable – meat grinds much better when it’s really cold.

Ground Rib-eye

I then mixed the ground meat with:

2 tablespoons aji-no-moto (msg)
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper flakes
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 finely minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1½ teaspoons powdered mustard
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
1 teaspoon “sal nitro” – saltpeter or sodium nitrate

Sausage meat mixed with spices

I left the mixture to sit in the refrigerator overnight – about 12 hours, covered, and then filled beef sausage casings and tied them off into roughly 4-5″ lengths

Beef summer sausages, just stuffed

I pricked them with a needle to get the air out and allow some of the juices to drip out and hung them to dry and slightly cure for 24 hours, and then put them in the refrigerator for another 24.

Summer sausages cured for a day

And, separated them and cooked them up to go with some eggs – delicious!

Cooked beef summer sausages and eggs

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