Homemade Summer Sausage
I have been pretty busy this summer, I’ve just learned how to can (thanks to Autumn’s Ball Canning House Party in June), and I am taking full advantage of all the fruits that are plentiful up here in Washington this time of year. I have made all kinds of jams (Spicy Peach, Kiwi), jellies (pepper jelly, jalepeno jelly), and apple butter. I’ve also put up several pints of peaches and pears. Not to mention all the berries that I’ve put up in the freezer. My goal this year is to have Christmas baskets full of homemade goodies. (I went to the Goodwill yesterday and bought about 15 really cute baskets for just that reason). That being said, my mother says to me the other day, “You should make that summer sausage that I used to make, and put some of that in your baskets”. Now, I am wondering why in the world I had never heard of this. She makes summer sausage!!? She said that it tastes just like the stuff you buy from Hickory Farms. “But does it LOOK like it?” I asked. Ok, so I had to get right on this one!
5 lbs hamburger (fattest cut)
5 rounded tsps Tender Quick Salt (curing salt)
2 ½ tsps mustard seed (I like more, but that’s me)
1 tsp hickory smoke season salt ~ or~ 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp liquid smoke (not both)
3 ½ tsp garlic salt
2 tsp ground pepper
Red or jalepeno pepper flakes
A dash more liquid smoke
Day 1: mix all ingredients, knead 5 minutes, cover and put in refrigerator
Day 2: Knead 5 minutes, cover and return to refrigerator
Day 3: Knead 5 minutes, cover and return to refrigerator
Day 4: Knead, form into 5 rolls, place on broiler pan, bake in 170 degree oven for 8 hours. Freeze or refrigerate wrapped in foil.
When I went to the store, I asked the gal there if they had Tender Quick Curing Salt. She had no idea. She brought a guy over, who came back with Kosher Salt. He said the lady in the deli said it was the same thing. WRONG! Not the same thing. I called my mom, and asked her where I’d find this, since I had never heard of it. She told me that it was right on the same row as all the salts. So I looked, and low and behold, there it was!!
You have to be patient on this one. It takes 4-5 days to finish this, depending on what time you actually put it in the oven. I had to work on the 4th day, so I opted to put it in at 10 pm, so that it would come out of the oven at 6am just before I left for work.
Anyway, after you knead it several days, it turns sort of a brownish color (the curing is doing it’s job)