Jalapeño-Cheese Venison Summer Sausage Recipe

This Jalapeño-Cheese Venison Summer Sausage Recipe is great for beginners and experts alike.
By Caleb D. Regan
November/December 2011
Add to My MSN

This Jalapeno-Cheese Venison Summer Sausage has a kick and some extra flavor, thanks to fresh jalapeno peppers and high-temperature cheese.
Caleb D. Regan

Content Tools

Summer sausages — sometimes called dry or hard sausages — are cured meats that are fermented and dried. They will keep for a long time — summer sausage even gets its name from staying preserved during summer months or with little or no refrigeration. Give this Jalapeño-Cheddar Venison Summer Sausage recipe a go, and you'll have a new way to use ground venison.

Home Meat Curing   

This venison summer sausage makes use of high-temperature cheese, which is cheese that can withstant temperatures up to 400 degrees F. With a kick of flavor from some jalapeño peppers, this recipe is one you'll want to try right away.

Jalapeño-Cheese Venison Summer Sausage Recipe

3 pounds venison
2 pounds pork
5 tablespoons Morton Tender Quick Curing Salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder (or 5 minced fresh garlic cloves, if you have them)
4 fresh jalapeño peppers
½ pound high-temperature cheddar cheese

Grind together venison and pork. Add curing salt, pepper, mustard seed, marjoram, sugar and garlic powder. Mix together thoroughly with your hands, making sure curing salt and seasonings get evenly dispersed through meat.

Hull jalapeño peppers and remove seeds, then chop into small but not fine chunks. Part of the visual appeal at the end will be in seeing the peppers and cheese in the log of summer sausage. Combine jalapeño peppers and high-temperature cheese (you might have to go to a big-box supplier for the high-temp cheese, unfortunately) with the meat. Mix thoroughly.

Stuff mixture into 2 ½ -inch mahogany collagen casings. Place in refrigerator overnight.

The following day, hang sausages on drying racks and dry at room temperature, or you can dry them in the smoker with the damper open. Leave until casings are dry. Raise temperature of smoker to between 120 and 130°F, add smoke chips (I like apple wood), and smoke for 3 to 4 hours. Raise temperature to 170°, and smoke until internal temperature reaches 165°. As sausages finish up, prepare bucket of ice water in which to immerse summer sausages.

After internal temperature has reached 165°, take sausages out of smoker and immediately immerse in ice water to cool them quickly (it takes around 5 minutes for them to cool sufficiently). This maintains their plump appearance. Once cool, place back in cooled smoker and allow sausages to bloom at room temperature (or comfortable outside temperature) for 1 to 3 hours.

Editor’s Note: Once cut into, sausages will keep longer if refrigerated. You may also freeze them, then thaw and serve as needed. If you get 20-inch casings, they will each hold about 3 pounds of summer sausage, so following this recipe you’ll either have to triple the recipe to stuff five casings, or you’ll end up with one 20-inch log and two-thirds of a second casing.

Post a comment below.


12/29/2015 7:28:54 AM
Can i use beef for this same recipe instead of venison? I made the venison and it was delish!!

12/5/2015 8:41:07 PM
Tarp the crumblyness is due to air. You need to stuff the sausage casing harderto compact it.

12/4/2015 3:20:22 PM
Thank you. I was kinda thinking that too. Wish me luck. This weekend its on!!

12/4/2015 2:22:34 PM
Hey, Jody. Pork butt, which actually comes from the front shoulder, will work just fine! Mainly just adding some fat to the equation. Hope it turns out well! Let me know @ cregan@grit.com

12/2/2015 8:34:06 PM
I have everything I need to make this except the pork. What should I get?

9/30/2015 4:39:23 PM
Hmmm, Tarp. Not sure. Not real sure what you mean by "crumby and soft." Were they cooked all the way through? If everything else is equal, my initial thought is that maybe with beef brisket, you don't need to add any pork. I've love to hear more about it though! Thanks for posting.

9/28/2015 4:15:47 PM
I tried this recipe but with trimmed beef brisket and used Cabela's 2 1/2 X 20" mahogany fibrous summer sausage casings. When I cut into them the centers were all very crumby and soft. What went wrong? Tarp.

Pay Now & Save 50% Off the Cover Price

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

GRT MA16 CoverAt GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $14.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $19.95!

(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here