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August 10, 2021

Summer Sausage Recipe

Meant for eating cold or room temperature, Summer Sausage is a perfect cold cut and can be made with any meat.
By Chef Jesse Griffiths

Cooking with Chef Jesse


I like to make and smoke a big batch and then freeze into smaller 6–8 ounce packages to take hunting or fishing. It's also great with cheese and crackers, or cut into batons and fried with garlic, then tossed with just-cooked green beans.

Find collagen casings online. The yogurt adds in the classic fermented tanginess of a cured sausage without the additional steps.

Makes 5 pounds

What you need

  • 5 pounds lean wild game trim and 1 pound pork fatback
  • 1½ ounces salt
  • 1 teaspoon Instacure #1
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, cracked
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed, ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 2-inch collagen casings, soaked in lukewarm water

Toss the meat with the salt, Instacure, peppercorns, sugar, garlic, coriander and ginger and freeze on a baking tray for 20 minutes or until partially frozen.


Grind the meat through the medium plate of the meat grinder onto a baking tray and return to the freezer for 15 more minutes. Grind the meat again through the medium plate.


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the meat at medium speed for about 2 minutes. Slowly add in the red wine and then the yogurt. Once incorporated, add the dry milk and beat until well mixed.


Case the sausage tightly into the collagen casings, filling it as much as you can. Securely tie off the end, leaving no air pockets. Chill the sausages for 2 days in the refrigerator.


Preheat the smoker to 140°F. Smoke the sausage for 2 hours, then turn the smoker up to about 160°F or stoke the fire a bit. Once the sausage has reached 160°F according to a thermometer inserted into the thickest part, remove the summer sausages and plunge them into an ice bath for about 30 minutes. Remove from the ice bath and refrigerate or package.