smoked sausage

I’m told that it’s called “summer sausage” because it can be stored without refrigeration because of the curing process. I keep my summer sausage in the refrigerator or freezer anyway. I’ve also made various forms of wild game summer sausage using only salt as a curing agent.

Some people like big hunks of cheese in their summer sausage. Not me. Because I often serve sliced venison summer sausage with fruit and cheese, it seems a bit redundant to have blobs of cheese in the sausage. 

This recipe is simplified for those of us that do not own a meat grinder. If you have ever used a cheap meat grinder, you know that they aren’t worth much. Plan on spending at least $150, but probably more, for a good one that will actually grind meat.

If you have venison scraps rather than ground meat, you can chop them up into small pieces and pulse in a food processor before mixing with the other ingredients. 

Jalapeño, Garlic and Lime Summer Sausage

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Keyword: big game recipes, ground venison recipes, venison recipes
Servings: 2 sausages


  • ¾ cup cold water
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp curing mixture like Morton ® TenderQuick ® or Hi Mountain cures
  • 2 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 ¼ lbs ground venison
  • ¾ lb ground pork
  • 3 jalapeño peppers seeded and minced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves minced


  • In a large bowl, combine water, lime juice, curing mixture, mustard seed, pepper, and cumin, and stir until blended and dissolved. Mix in the ground venison, pork, jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro until mixture is tacky, about 3 to 4 minutes.

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