What do you do when you're given a cooler full of venison that includes 10 tubes (1 1/2 lb ea.) of very lean ground venison? Make Summer Sausage & Snack Sticks!
I mixed 10 1/2 lbs of venison 2 1/2 lbs of ground beef fat trimmings from the butcher to give me roughly an 80/20 mix.
The Summer Sausage cure mix: Pickling salt, Cure#1, Fresh cracked Pepper, Mustard Seed & Powder, Coriander, Garlic Powder, Brown Sugar & Powdered Buttermilk.
Thirteen pounds of summer sausage mixed up, covered tightly and put into the fridge for the 3 day curing process.
After a 4 1/2 day cure, 10 lbs of the sausage was stuffed into cotton casings and the other 3 lbs had additional spices mixed in to make pepperoni snack sticks:
Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes & ground Fennel Seed.
Cold smoked for 4 hours using Sugar maple pellets in foil pouches for smoke (I love the sweet smell & flavor this gave).
Raised pit temp and cooked to an internal temp of 150° brought inside to cool & bloom on some wire racks.
To get a little drier texture, some of the pepperoni sticks went into the dehydrator overnight and the rest went into a paper bag to dry in the fridge for a couple days (per NePas' suggestion). The dehydrator method let them bloom a little more so they got a little darker.
They were pretty tasty!
Thanks for looking!