Today we’re kicking off 12 Days of Gifts brought to you by MeatEater and Weston Brands. This is our way of giving back to our amazing community. Steven, Janis, and the MeatEaters-At-Large came together to create 12 how-to videos that cover some of our favorite wild game preparations. Check back throughout the month of December for more exciting wild game recipes.
Everybody likes summer sausage: from packing it into the backcountry to sharing it with guests at a fancy dinner party, this stuff is versatile. Watch as Steven Rinella demonstrates how to make cased summer sausage.
Cased Summer Sausage Recipe
8 pounds game meat (diced into 1-inch cubes)
2 pounds pork back fat (diced into 1-inch cubes)
3 ounces kosher salt (about 1/2 cup)
2 ounces dextrose (about 6 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons pink salt #1
1 1/2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
1 tablespoon ground dry mustard
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup Fermento
1 cup water
Four 2 ½” by 18” collagen casings
Weston Meat Grinder
Large bowl or standing mixer
While keeping everything ice cold, combine game meat, pork fat, and all other ingredients (except for the Fermento and water) into a large bowl.
Mix to combine with your hands. Work in small batches if you need to (don’t be afraid to throw the meat back in the fridge or freezer, or into a cooler with ice to get chilled again.)
Using the large die on your grinder, grind the meat mixture into the bowl set over ice. Change out the grinder die to the small die and pass the mixture through the grinder again.
Meanwhile, dissolve the Fermento in the water and stir with a spoon. Add to the ground meat mixture and again mix with your hands (or throw in your standing mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment) until it’s all incorporated.
Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing down on the surface to remove any air bubbles. Wrap again with plastic wrap and set it in the fridge for 2 days to ferment.
Make a little test patty and cook it up in a saute pan to be sure you got the seasonings right. Adjust them if you didn’t.
Then, using a sausage stuffer, stuff the sausage into 2 ½-inch collagen casings (an 18” casing will hold about 2.5 pounds of sausage mixture), which make these sausages easy to transport on a hunt.
Let rest in the fridge to dry out for 1-2 hours while you soak your wood chips and preheat your smoker. Soak a pan of apple wood chips for 20 minutes.
Preheat the smoker to 112-130 degrees.
Set the pan of chips in the smoker.
Lay (or hang) the sausages in the smoker. Smoke for about 60 minutes at this temperature, then raise the temperature to 180 degrees.
Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees, which will take about 2-3 hours or more depending on your particular smoker and the ambient temperature. Keep filling your pan of apple wood chips if they get low.
When the sausages are done, let them hang at room temperature for one hour to cool, then wrap well and refrigerate.
I always make a ton and give some away to friends. If necessary, they can be wrapped and frozen for several months.
You can find all the special equipment used for this recipe at Weston
Cooking Game: Cased Summer Sausage brought to you by Weston