Father’s Day Feast: Easy Homemade Summer Sausage

summer sausage

Have you ever tried your hand at making summer sausage? Do you have extra ground meat (venison, beef, etc.) on hand in the freezer? If you have a hunter in the family or just need a creative way to make space for summer freezing, you can’t beat this recipe – especially as a delicious, impressive way to spoil Dad on Father’s Day. (Hint: Make it Friday at the latest, as the meat needs 24-48 hours to blend flavors.)

After making this as an experiment, our guys raved about it. You know how many men love their meat!!

We have great friends who raise Boer goats, and they kindly offered us a 1-lb package of their prime grass-fed ground goat to try. I have always loved summer sausage with cheese and crackers, and my mind instantly went to making this savory delicacy.

summer sausage spices

I remember as a little girl having summer sausage with fresh, hot artisan bread and cheese in the Italian Alps with my father’s family. It had more than a hint of sweetness and savory spices that were bursting with flavor. My biggest hurdle was not having or wanting to use an intestinal casing to hold it in a log shape.

When I got home with the ground meat, I could hardly wait to try my summer sausage idea! I had maple syrup, sea salt, and some Italian spices on hand, so I set out to do it, but I had no idea how much of these ingredients to use! SO…I guessed! Now, you won’t have to.

Lehman's delicious maple syrup lends a classic sweetness to this savory sausage. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Lehman’s delicious maple syrup lends a classic sweetness to this savory sausage. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

The raw sausage log, ready to cover and bake!

The raw sausage log, ready to cover and bake!

summer sausage raw log covered

Raw sausage log covered with parchment paper.

Sausage log covered in foil, ready to pop in the oven.

Sausage log covered in foil, ready to pop in the oven.

As my experiment baked, the wonderful spicy aroma filled our senses, taking me back to the old Dutch and Swiss meat shoppes filled with smoked and naturally-preserved meats.

Baked to perfection and ready to cool thoroughly and then devour!

Baked to perfection and ready to cool thoroughly and then devour!

Easy Summer Sausage
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lb. raw ground goat, venison, lamb, pork or beef, thawed
  2. 6 tsp. any good sea salt (preserving qualities)
  3. 5 tsp. Italian herb seasonings in a grinder set at medium grind. Contains rosemary, black pepper, red pepper, garlic, onion, sea salt, tomato and parsley (again, preserving properties)
  4. 3 T. maple syrup
  5. Fresh or powdered garlic, to suit your taste, optional
  6. 1 T. fennel seed, optional, traditionally added to give a hint of sweetness
  7. 1/2 tsp. hot red pepper seeds to your discretion (seeds are hotter than the flesh of hot peppers), optional to add heat
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, blend all the ingredients together and work them thoroughly through the meat with your hands.
  2. Place meat mixture in the refrigerator, covered, for 24 -48 hours for the flavors to mix and slightly ferment. (This fermentation does NOT affect the taste at all, if only to make it better).
  3. Remove meat from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. While the oven is preheating, form the spiced meat into a log and wrap it first in parchment paper, then aluminum foil (so the meat isn’t in contact with the aluminum foil).
  5. Wrap the foil with the folded edges up so the juices don’t run out as it bakes.
  6. Place this on a cookie sheet and into the oven for 1 hour.
  7. Let the almost completed summer sausage cool thoroughly before slicing. It should have developed a skin, a firmness, and you can slice it very thin to serve with cheese and crackers or make sausage sandwiches, etc.
  8. Enjoy! Refrigerate any leftovers.
Lehman's Country Life http://blog.lehmans.com/