Here's a great summer sausage recipe that you can make right in the kitchen without resorting to a smoker (or a meat grinder, if you so choose).
I usually make this recipe with 85% lean ground beef that I buy on sale at the mega-mart. That way there's no need to even pull out the sausage grinder.
You can grind lean cuts of beef if you have a "beef windfall" or just want to control the whole process yourself.
This is one of those recipes that my friends and family ask for a lot. It will freeze nicely, but the 5 pound batches I make go so quickly that my freezer seldom sees any at all.
Once your sausage is cooled and firm you can slice it for sandwiches or snacking. If you plan to keep it more than a few days it is best to freeze it.
Here is a picture of the last batch of summer sausage that I made. The cured meat has been formed into 5 logs about 1 lb each, and is ready to be wrapped in foil.
The sausage logs have been wrapped in foil (shiny side in, remember) and are ready to be cooked. If you look closely you can see the drain holes that I have poked into the foil wrapping with a fork.
Be sure to place the foil-wrapped sausage on the rack with the holes down so any excess fat/moisture can drain easily.
Here are the five summer sausage rolls on a rack over a drip pan, ready for the oven.
Cook them at 350 degrees F for 90 minutes, take them out and let them cool, and you have some really good eating. I like the sausage best after it has had a few hours in the refrigerator.
Try this summer sausage recipe on your friends and family, and I promise it won't stick around long.