Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Summer Sausage – Winter Isn’t Coming

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 (85/15 lean to fat ratio)
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 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.


Unknown said...

Just curious, how long will this keep given the lack of preservatives.

Azi said...

Great idea!
After trying this your way, i’m Going to do a sous-vide version (@150Fx3hrs), and, figure out a way to hot smoke it outside.

Unknown said...

Does this have to be kept in the fridge so it will keep?

Bud said...

Thanks for the video Chef John. I have Tenderquick instead of pink curing salt. Any ideas for substituting it?

Duane said...

80/20 meat?

BWJ21 said...

If using pork with this method, would you want to cook to the same internal temperature?

Mark said...

Chef John, could you be more specific about what kind of freshly ground beef we're looking for? Something on the lean end, or something with more fat?

Thanks! This looks fantastic, and I can't wait to try it out.

Ricky P said...

What type of ground beef should be used? Medium? Lean? Extra lean? Would I get a better flavour if I used ground veal?

Unknown said...

Please do some moussaka, chef John! Grant my food wish.

JBN said...

Is the meat fully cooked? I am immunosuppressed due to a transplant so have to be a little careful of what I eat. Thanks!

cleverpiggy said...

So what would be the seasonings for a pepperoni? Asking for a friend.

nachumj said...

how is this stored?

Andrew said...

What type of ground beef is best? I would guess something lean like 93/7 based on the technique but wanted to ask to be sure.

Unknown said...

How long will it last?

Unknown said...

can you let them dry for a couble of day or weeks instead of putting it in the ofen?

Unknown said...

Hi Chef John

Long time viewer, first time caller.

Watching this video was giving me ideas. Ideas that lead to questions. Questions you answered at the end of the video by suggesting that I play around with meats and flavours.

I'm still left with three questions.

1) If I were to follow the tecnique as shown in the video until the sausage is wrapped in foil and pierced to let excess moisture escape, would putting that in a vacuum bag and sous vide-ing for an hour or two at 170F be a viable alternative? Not having a probe thermometer, and an oven that tends to be very inconsistent, I feel like this would be a safer alternative for me.

2) Are there any issues with using fresh/wet ingredients for flavour? Like fresh garlic, chilli, etc? I noticed that outside of the celery and meat, all your ingredients were dry.

3) Should I be using different temperatures for different meats, or would 170F be a suitable temp for everything? I'm mainly thinking beef, chicken, and pork. I assume those three would have reached a safe temp by 170F.

Thanks for all your great videos. You've been a great inspiration to me in the kitchen over the last few years, and I always love seeing a new upload by you. The Thai Basil Chicken was one of the first I saw, and I make that almost monthly now.


Unknown said...

How would I go ahead with this recipe if I wanted to smoke it for real instead of using liquid smoke? Thanks!

Jaydoggy said...

This is a pretty hefty portion. How long will this keep in the fridge? I don't think we'd be able to finish this in a week.

Māris said...

This looks awesome, but if i do want to smoke it, how would i go about doing it?

James Valvis said...

Chef, why can you not use packaged meat? Is it just because of freshness-- or is there another reason?

Juan Perro said...

Excellent. This is the type of fun kitchen project that defines delayed gratification. I think my only problem would be resisting eating all of the sausage knowing it was waiting there, calling from the fridge.
Perhaps vacuum sealing and freezing half for later?

As always, thank you for the recipes, Chef John!