Summer Sausage – Winter Isn’t Coming

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Traditionally, summer sausage is made, and cured in the
winter, so that it’s ready to enjoy during the summer, but unless you have some
sort of time machine, we’re going to have to settle on this easy, and much
faster, shortcut method. Despite only taking a few days, this really is very
close in taste and texture to everybody’s favorite gift-basket sausage.

The method is very simple, but just be sure to test for
doneness with a thermometer, ideally a probe thermometer, which will alert you
when the center of your sausage has reached your target temperature of 150 F. This
will ensure we achieve a smooth, salami-like texture.

As far as the taste goes, feel free to spice this anyway you
want. With just a little bit of research you could use this simple technique to
make many similarly styled sausages, like your own personalized pepperoni, or signature
salami. No matter how you flavor this, it will help if you do include a pinch
of pink curing salt (aka Insta Cure #1), which you hopefully have leftover from
our homemade ham recipe.  

If not, it’s easy to find online, but for the record, the
recipe will work without it, just not maybe quite as spectacularly. By the way,
if you’re not sure about using nitrites, check out this great article by Michael Ruhlman. Curing salts aside, I really do hope you give this great summer
sausage recipe a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for One 2-pound Summer Sausage:

1/4 cup diced celery, minced or smashed into juicy bits

2 pounds freshly ground beef

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 rounded tablespoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds

20 grams kosher salt (2 tablespoons if you use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt.
This is best done by weight.)

1 teaspoon freshly, coarsely ground black pepper

pinch of cayenne

1/4 teaspoon pink curing salt (Insta Cure #1)

1 tablespoon white sugar

For the “smoking” wash:

1 tablespoon liquid smoke mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

– Cook at 275 F. for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or to an
internal temp of 150 F.

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