Summer Sausage
Summer Sausage
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Traditionally, a summer sausage recipe is made and cured in the winter so that it's ready to enjoy during the summer, but unless you have some sort of time machine, we'll have to settle on this easy and much faster method. Despite only taking a few days, this comes really close to everybody's favorite gift-basket sausage and makes a great centerpiece for any charcuterie board.

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • 2 pounds freshly ground beef (85% lean)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 pinches cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon pink curing salt (Optional)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

For the 'Smoking' Wash:

  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Smash celery into juicy bits using a mortar and pestle. Combine with ground beef in a large bowl. Add garlic powder, paprika, mustard seeds, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, curing salt, and sugar. Mix by hand until thoroughly combined.
  2. Transfer meat onto a large piece of parchment paper. Use damp hands to shape into a 4-inch-thick log. Roll up in the parchment paper, compressing it as much as possible. Twist ends tightly to seal. Place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
  4. Cut ends off the parchment paper and unwrap meat. Mix liquid smoke with water and generously brush over meat. Roll meat back up in the paper, then again in aluminum foil, sealing it tightly and twisting the ends in opposite directions.
  5. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack and place sealed meat on top. Poke 5 or 6 holes across bottom for excess moisture to drip out.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F (66 degrees C) and no higher, about 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Let sausage cool in the pan until room temperature, at least 30 minutes. Give ends a tighter twist, then refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight.
  8. Unwrap sausage and slice in half. Coat outsides with freshly ground black pepper, place on a plate lined with crinkled foil, and let dry in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Chef's Notes

  • You can get freshly ground beef from your butcher.
  • The salt is best measured by weight, if you have a scale. Use 20 grams.
  • Use a probe thermometer if possible; it will ring an alarm as soon as the temperature is reached.
  • Feel free to spice this any way you want, but it will help if you include a pinch of pink curing salt.

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