Monday, January 11, 2010

Homemade Summer Sausage

Over the holidays a friend of mine was preparing some special foods - favorites of her son who was home from the military. We moms love our sons and daughters that way.

My ears perked right up when I heard Gwen say the words "summer sausage" - much like Elliott's does when AD or I say the word "treat".

Gwen was very kind and shared a sample of her tasty snack along with the recipe. She did tell me there was one ingredient that is kind of hard to find - hickory smoked sea salt. McCormick used to make it but Gwen hadn't been able to find any in the last couple of years. She had, however, located a recipe to make the special salt herself.

I can be pretty tenacious at times and although I would have made the salt if need be, I was determined to find the stuff somewhere.

Long story short, we were on our way to Tulsa so I made a call to my favorite restaurant supply store and was told to try Allen's Gourmet Grocery because they have a salt bar. (I'd never heard of a salt bar, have you?)

The clerk who answered at Allen's told me they only had a couple of containers of smoked sea salt left and they would be glad to hold them for me. When we got to the store they had located a third container so I bought that one too and gave it to Gwen as a little thank you. Notice that the word "hickory" wasn't on the label but no matter - it was smoked sea salt and I thought it would do just fine. And it did.

The original recipe yields 5 pounds but I cut it down to make 3 because I wanted to see how it went over with the family. Silly me. I should have stuck with the original amount but you live and learn.

If you'd like to give it a go you'll need: extra lean ground beef, smoked sea salt, garlic salt, ground pepper, Morton's Tender Quick (Gwen shared some of hers with me - that's it in the baggie), and mustard seed. I went out on a limb and added some Liquid Smoke too because the bottle had that word "hickory" on the label.

One note though - the sea salt did need to be ground up. It was coarse like that in the container on the left. The one on the right shows the salt after I put it through my salt grinder.

Basically the ingredients are mixed altogether and refrigerated for 24 hours, mixing it 4 or 5 times during that time period. Clean hands work really well.

Then form the mixture into logs - I made 3 - and bake them on a broiler pan (or a cooling rack placed over a foil-lined cookie sheet) for 8 hours at 170 degrees. (The original recipe says 150 degrees but my oven doesn't go that low.)

Let the sausage cool completely and it's ready to enjoy.


Summer Sausage
(adapted from Gwen's recipe)

3 pounds extra lean ground beef
3 teaspoons Morton's Tender Quick
3 teaspoons smoked salt
2 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 1/4 teaspoons mustard seed
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
4 teaspoons Liquid Smoke

Mix altogether and refrigerate for 24 hours, mixing 4 to 5 times during that time. Roll into 3 logs. Place logs on a broiler pan (or you can use a cooling rack that has been put over an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet.) Bake 8 hours at 170 degrees. Cool completely. Slice and enjoy.

Extra rolls can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then foil and frozen for later use. (I packaged 2 rolls and put them in the freezer only to have to take one out a little later that same afternoon because the 1st roll had been devoured.)

This summer sausage would make a super Super Bowl snack food if you're planning to watch the game - or the commercials - or both.


  1. This is an excellent recipe! My brother loves summer sausage and I know he would appreciate this for either Christmas or birthday. I'll have to find a recipe for smoked salt and the tender quick. :D I can also give the recipe to my brother since he lives in Oklahoma and might find the ingredients easier than I could!

    Thank you! Made my mouth water!

  2. That sounds pretty darn good!!
    Have a good week.

  3. Good Golly Miss Molly you sure come up with the GOOD stuff!!! Cant wait for this one!!

  4. I called my mother this morning and gave her your recipe. She's all excited and can't wait to make this for my brother!

  5. Herogian loves summer saugage. That's why he gave me two rolls of it for Christmas and proceeded to beat me to eating them. We will have to try this recipe. Yum.

  6. Another great recipe. Bet the puppies would like this too!

  7. Wow, that sounds really good, my Dad and the men of my house would love it!!! Thank you for sharing....the recipe. I wonder if my local seasoning shop has the smoked salt? I'll have to give them a call tomorrow. xo Julie

  8. I bet Aubrey would love this! Yes, it will be great for the Superbowl!

  9. That looks delicious! I am going to have to try this one for sure.

  10. I'm gonna have to try this! My Captain loves summer sausage.
    Thanks to you and Gwen for this recipe!!!

  11. This looks like a great summer sausage recipe. Thanks for posting.