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Homemade Moose Summer Sausage

If you are fortunate enough to have some moose meat (or any wild game) in your freezer, here's a great recipe for making summer sausage. 

Homemade Summer Sausage Recipe for Moose or Wild Game 

(This recipe makes 66 lbs. of sausage) Enjoy!

Prepare a very large mixing basin. You will need a very large container to properly mix ingredients with a minimum of effort! ( Our largest cooler provides the necessary volume.)

Grind 25 lbs of wild game. (We use moose or deer.)

Add 8 lbs of ground pork.

Add summer sausage mix. We use Excalibur Summer Sausage seasoning mix (product code 0300010 available from Alaska Butcher Supply.) This seasoning weighs 1.4375 lbs and is supposed to mix with 25 lbs of meat. However, to reduce salt, we prefer to add it to 33 lbs of meat which doesn't seem to compromise the taste. There are other seasoning mixes that will work. 

Add 1 to 1.5 pounds of grated cheese (optional).

Add the desired amount of jalapenos (optional). We add 1 pint of jalapenos to 33 lbs of meat. Add more if you like it hot.

Mix all of the above.

Mix Excalibur Sure Cure (1 oz. net weight which comes with the seasoning) with 16 ounces of cold water. Then add this to the meat, mixing everything well.

Add another 16 ozs. of cold water and mix again. (Note: Total of 1 quart of cold water has now been added to the meat).

Grind again.

Soak fiber casings (see type and size below) in very warm water for 10 or 20 minutes.

Stuff the meat (use vertical crank style stuffer) into 2" or 2.5” diameter by 20” long perforated fiber casings available from a butcher supply. Each casing will hold about 3.7 lbs of meat so about 10 casings of this size are needed for the 33 lbs of meat. (Depending on how much cheese you add, you may need an extra casing.) The perforations in the casing are almost imperceptible until the meat is stuffed when tiny amounts of meat squeeze through the holes.

Another casing option size is 1.5” x 20”. Two of these casings hold a little more meat than one of the 2.5” casings. Now you are ready to stuff the casing with sausage. To secure stuffed casings use hog ring pliers and squeeze rings hard (rotate, get another grip, squeeze again). We use 5/8” hog rings (distributed by The SausageMaker Inc, Buffalo, NY). However, it seems ½” hog rings would work as 5/8 are plenty long.

Once the casings are stuffed with sausage, put them in the refrigerator. It's best to let them sit for 8 hours or so under refrigeration as part of the curing process. Some recipes suggest they should not be in the fridge for more than 24 hours. (We have left them in the fridge for up to 36 hours with no harm.)

It's important to warm stuffed casings to room temperature before placing them in the oven. If you must put cold sausages in the oven, you can warm them by leaving the door cracked for an hour at 200F.

Put the sausages on parchment paper on the racks in the oven with foil covering the drip pan underneath. If done properly grease drippings should be minimal. Don’t overload the oven – 25 lbs of sausage is about maximum or the sausage casings will touch the side of the oven and burn.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees and close the door. The objective is to get the sausage up to a minimum of 155 degrees F as measured with a meat thermometer. If there is a full load of sausage in the oven, this can take a long time. To expedite the process, after 2 hours at 200 F, raise the temperature to 230 F for 3 hours and then raise the temperature again to 250 F for 2-3 hours to get the sausage done in about 7-8 hours total.  If you prefer to cook the sausage overnight, keep the oven at 200 F. (Note: these temps and times are highly variable depending on the amount of meat in the oven etc.)

After removing the sausage from the oven wait 20 minutes and spray or submerge the sausage in cold water for a short time. Then allow the sausage to cool for another hour or so before putting in the refrigerator and/or before packaging for freezing.

To clean up, we take the cooler, stuffer, grinder, etc. outdoors and blast everything off with a hot water hose with spray nozzle. This makes cleanup very quick and easy. The magpies will appreciate it! Enjoy your sausage!