Summer Sausage – Food Wishes

hello this is chef john from food wishes
comm with summer sausage that’s right it takes months to make a proper summer
sausage but as i’m just about to show you we can make an improper one in just
a few days and despite taking some massive shortcuts the results really are
impressive and above and beyond the wonderful taste and texture it’s always
kind of nice eating a sausage where we know exactly what is in it I mean I like
a little mystery in my life but not that kind so with that let’s go ahead and get
started by smashing up some diced celery with a
little bit of salt in this mortar and by the way if you want you can just mince
this really fine with a knife but by smashing it I think we’re gonna end up
with something a little juicier and in case you’re wondering we’re not just
doing this for the flavor but also because celery contains nitrates which
is actually gonna help cure our sausage but anyway if we’re using this method
we’ll go ahead and work that over until it looks a little something like this at
which point we will add that to two pounds of freshly ground beef which does
not have to be freshly ground by us but you should actually go to the butcher
counter and have them grind this for you or at least make sure they freshly
ground the one in the case what we want to try to avoid is buying the stuff
that’s already packaged and then to this we will also add some garlic powder
which is not garlic salt it’s just dehydrated garlic that’s been
ground we will also add in a whole bunch of smoked paprika as well as a generous
amount of whole mustard seeds followed by copious amounts of freshly ground
black pepper and kosher salt not to mention exactly three shakes of
cayenne and then we will finish up with two technically optional ingredients a
little bit of pink curing salt which I will discuss in detail in the blog I
know it is not the same thing as pink Himalayan salt and then last but not
least I’m gonna add in a little bit of sugar and that’s it once we have
everything together we’re gonna go ahead and give this a very thorough mixing
preferably with our clean bare hands and this is one of those rare times where
our fear of under mixing should actually be greater than our fear of over mixing
okay so we’re gonna want to get in there and get in there deep and continue
mixing until we are absolutely certain that everything is perfectly distributed
and then what we’ll do once we think everything’s been thoughtfully combined
is transfer that onto some parchment paper where we will attempt to shape it
into some kind of uniform log and as usual we’ll want to DAP in our fingers
so the meat doesn’t stick to our hands and as we’re doing this we want to try
to prevent any large pockets of air from being trapped inside so be sure to
really press and push this firmly and what we’re shooting for here is
something about three or four inches wide and then what we’ll do once that’s
been accomplished is go ahead and roll this up and as we’re doing this not only
are we trying to get this nice and uniform but we’re also trying to get it
as compact and compressed as possible and then once that’s rolled we’ll go
ahead and twist the ends as tight as we can to create what is basically a giant
beef spleef and then once that SAB we’ll go ahead and transfer that onto a paper
towel line sheet pan because before we wrap this in foil and cook it we need to
pop it in the fridge just like this for 24 hours so that is exactly what I did
and then the next day we’ll go ahead and pull that out and get it ready for the
oven which means we will first cut off any
excess parchment paper from either end and then we’ll go ahead and unroll it
and proceed to smoke it and when I said smoke it I did the air quotes because
we’re not really gonna smoke it but we’re just gonna simulate that by using
some liquid smoke then I’m gonna dilute in a little bit of cold fresh water and
while you could of course just add some of this liquid smoke to the meat mix I
much prefer this method because if we add it along with the other ingredients
it’s very easy to overdo it plus when we actually smoke something the flavor of
course comes from the outside in so I feel like this method gives us something
much closer to the real deal and what we’ll do once we have that mixed up is
go ahead and generously brush that all over as well as we can also brush them
on the paper and then once our liquid smoke mixture has been applied we’ll go
ahead and roll this back up at which point it’s ready to transfer onto a
large piece of heavy duty foil or several sheets of regular foil and just
like when we rolled this in the paper we really want to make sure we’re
compressing and compacting this as much as possible and again that’s to avoid
any large bubbles or crevasses in the middle once it’s baked okay so we’re
gonna roll that up nice and tight and when we’re done what we’ll do is take
both ends and twist them in opposite directions which will help compress
things even for and then once that said we can transfer
that on top of a baking rack that we placed in a sheet pan and once we
figured out where the bottoms gonna be we will sort of roll that over and we
will poke about five or six holes through the foil which will allow some
of the excess moisture to drip out and that’s it our sausage is now ready to
transfer into the center of a 275 degree oven for about an hour and a half or
until we’ve reached an internal temp of exactly 150 and by the way do not under
any circumstances go past 150 otherwise too much of the fat will render out and
the texture will not be as good which is why I like to use one of these probe
thermometers which will ring an alarm when you reach your target temperature
and then what we’ll do as soon as this comes out is absolutely nothing all
right just simply let it sit there until it reaches room temp at which point
we’ll get both ends another twist to sort of compress it even further and
then refrigerate this at least overnight okay a couple nights is probably even
better in which point we can finally pull it out and unwrap it really quickly
and I’ll be the first to admit this might not be the best looking meat log
you’ve ever seen but we’ll get to the appearance in a minute for now I’m gonna
slice in to see how we did on the interior and if everything goes
according to plan we should get a beautiful smooth solid cut with no giant
crevices or air pockets I mean you’re always gonna get a few smaller bubbles
here and there but as far as a homemade summer sausage goes that’s about as good
as we can expect although I did have a brief moment of panic here because I was
like what the heck is that red thing I don’t remember putting any red
ingredients in but then I remembered the smoked paprika so that must have been
caused by a tiny chunk of that stuff that didn’t break up and what are the
odds that my knife hit that exact tiny spot when slicing this well apparently
roughly a hundred percent but despite that tiny flaw I was absolutely thrilled
with how this came out and I celebrated by eating a little slice off the end
which really was magnificent and if we wanted we could just slice this up and
serve it as is but I do like to do one extra optional step and that would be
the dusty outside with some freshly ground black pepper to soar to help
improve that outside appearance which once sliced by the way is gonna be fine
but I do think this looks a little better if we dust on something so what I
like to do here is that with black pepper and then transfer
down to some crinkled up foil and then let it air-dry in the fridge uncovered
for one additional day which I think not only gives you outside a more finished
appearance but it’s also going to allow our sausage to dry out just a little bit
and allow those flavors to concentrate and develop even further so you go ahead
and decide if you want to do this or not I mean you are after all the MVP of your
homemade charcuterie but if you can wait one more day I do recommend it and
that’s it the next day we can pull it out and go ahead and slice it up and go
in for the official taste for something where we shaved off a couple months of
production time and didn’t actually let it ferment and cure properly or even be
smoked properly the results are still very very impressive I mean this stuff
has pretty much the exact taste and texture of that certain summer sausage
you’re used to from the gift baskets and as far as serving goes you could simply
do this off the cutting board or take it up to the next level and include it in
your very own custom-made charcuterie platter garnished with some of the usual
suspects and if you’ve never had this stuff before it’s basically like a
garlicky slightly smoky salami which is why of course it’s so good with a little
mustard on a cracker paired with some cheese and once again I’m sorry I threw
away the package I’m not sure what that is although it appears to be a wash
Rhine goat cheese and by the way speaking of salami do not think of this
video as a recipe this was all about the technique and by switching up the meats
and the spices and the flavorings and the size you make it you can produce
other similar type sausages like maybe a pepperoni or a sopressata or even those
little spicy meat snack sticks what are those called
thin Jameses something like that but anyway whether you follow this exact
formula or come up with your own very special variations either way I really
do hope you give this a try soon so head over to food whooshes calm for all the
ingredient amounts of more info as usual and as always enjoy you you

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