Summer Sausage – easy version

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We have been getting lots of requests for an easy recipe for summer sausage. This is that version. This recipe will deliver those classic summer sausage flavors in only 1 day

Traditionally summer sausage was made in the winter using European preservations techniques. Salting, fermenting, smoking, then drying. The end result was a shelf stable product that did not require refrigeration. This made it possible to have preserved meat during the summer when storing meat wasn’t possible. Hence the name Summer Sausage.

This sausage was smoky, tangy, and loaded with very subtle aged meat flavors. Today we are going to achieve those sourly notes and those umami notes in our summer sausage by using a couple really cool products. The first one is called encapsulated citric acid. This is a great way to get that traditional old fashion tangy flavor with out having to ferment our sausage.

Here’s how it works. The citric acid is coated with hydrogenated cotton seed oil. That cotton seed oil melts between 135F – 150F. So as soon as you start cooking your ECA filled sausage and it reaches an internal temperature of 150F the oil coating will have melted and the citric acid will be released into the meat, lowering the ph. TANGY!!

Encapsulated citric acid is very easy to use and works great if you follow the package directions. ECA (encapsulated citric acid) must be the very last ingredient you add to your meat as you are mixing. If you add it too soon the encapsulation could break, releasing the citric acid into your meat messing up the bind and texture. The other thing to remember about ECA is that it must be cooked the day it’s prepared.

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I know that some of you may saying, ” wait a minute. Don’t we have to let the sausage rest in the fridge overnight to allow the cure to work?”. Under normal circumstances you are correct, but encapsulated citric acid also works as a cure accelerator so when you use ECA you can cook immediately after stuffing! Matter of fact, it is recommended that you cook your sausage the same day that you add this to your meat mixture. If you don’t you risk the encapsulation breaking and the citric acid will get released too early (this will ruin your sausage texture)

The other ingredient we will be using is Nutritional Yeast. This is such a neat product to add into sausage because it serves a dual function. Firstly, it will give us these really great umami rich (slightly cheesy) flavors and it will act as a binder for our sausage. Win Win!

Together we will be able to mimic the authentic flavors of that classic summer sausage in only 1 day (rather than 10 days). The only draw back here is that our Summer sausage will require refrigeration.

When it comes to cooking your summer sausage there are lots of different options. Traditionally it was smoked, not for the flavor but for the preservation and anti fungal properties that smoke had on food. It also tasted delicious.

If you don’t have a smoker be sure to check out the recipe where I list several cooking options that might work out for you

Follow basic sausage preparation practices when making this summer sausage.
  1. Clean and Sanitize all of your equipment.
  2. Keep your meat and grinder parts super cold (below 34F)
  3. Any liquid that is added to the mince needs to be ice cold
  4. Mix your very chilled meat till the mince becomes very tacky
  5. Stuff the mince into sausage casings and prick out any air pockets
  6. After stuffing, smoke and cook your sausage low and slow:Start at 100F for 1 hour, 135F for 2 hour, 155F for 2 hour, 180F till the internal temp reaches 150F (smoke is being applied lightly through the entire cooking process)
  7. After they finish smoking submerge the summer sausage in ice cold water to cool them off completely
  8. Finally let them bloom/age at room temperature for 6 – 12 hours.
  9. Refrigerate and enjoy!!
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Here are a few things you might find useful when making sausage

  • High Quality Natural Casings (AA Grade)
  • Iodophor Sanitizer
  • MK4 Thermapen (Accurate Thermometer)
  • Chef Knife – KOTAI (For 15% off use discount code – 2guys )
  • Iwatani Professional Chef Torch
  • Small accurate Scale for spices
  • Insta Cure #1
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Encapsulated Citric Acid
  • Sausage Stuffers
  • Meat Grinder
  • Smokers
  • Bella’s Cold Smoke Generator
  • Butchers Twine & Dispenser
  • 3″ Summer Sausage Casing
  • Stuffing Horn Cleaners for your sausage stuffer
  • Stainless Steel hooks
  • Extra Large Engraved Cutting Board
  • Sausage Pricker
  • Heavy Duty Vacuum Sealer
  • Apera Instruments pH meter

If you want to see the different things that we use in operation our be sure to check out our new Amazon Store.

2 Guys & A Cooler Amazon Storefront

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>