What to Do With All That Venison


With deer season over I decided to take the deer meat in the freezer and make some summer sausage and hot links.  Except for Chicken Fried Steak and Chili this is our favorite way to fix venison.  We seem to use the sausage throughout the year and it keeps a long time if you smoke it.  I really like it dried where it is kind of like jerky and keeps forever or until eaten which is not a very long time around here.  The following is a family recipe developed and changed through the years.  It is kind of a combination of both of my German Grandparents recipes and then we added the cheese and jalapenos to the family recipe. You can always leave out the jalapenos and cheese for a more traditional Hill Country style of sausage.


30 pounds deboned ground venison

15 pounds of hamburger

10 pounds of ground pork butt

The ratio of meat can be adjusted just be sure and use at least twenty pounds of fatty pork or beef to the venison and end up with 50-55 pounds for the amount of seasoning.  You can cut the meat and seasoning by half to make a smaller amount.  This recipe is what I use for the amount of deboned meat I get off of an average deer in our area. You can adjust the spices to your taste.

2-4 pounds high temperature cheese (depending on taste)

1 ½ cups of Kosher Salt

1 ½ cups of course ground black pepper

8 teaspoons pink salt or meat cure

2 teaspoons Cayenne

1 teaspoon allspice

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons mustard seed

2 teaspoons fennel seed

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 cup of ground or finely chopped pickled jalapeno peppers

4 seeded ground or finely chopped fresh jalapeno peppers

I divide the meat mix and seasonings in half and mix a half batch at a time as it is easier for me to get it mixed well that way.  If you have a big meat mixer you are way ahead of the program.

Mix meats well add cheese and jalapenos, mix throughout the meat mixture.

Mix all spices together in a large bowl or glass and add enough water to stir them into.

Pour spices over the meat and mix in very well.  This stage is very important so that the spices and cure are evenly distributed throughout the sausage mixture. 

Let the mixture stand in a refrigerator or in a cold place (Forty degrees or less) for 24 hours.

Stuff into hog casings for hot links and fibrous casings for summer sausage

Smoke until proper brownish red color and internal temperature of 150 degrees.  Summer sausage can be smoked or just cooked in the oven until proper internal temperature or 150 degrees is reached.  Summer sausage should be given a cold water bath until cool then put in refrigerator or frozen.  Hot links can now be packaged and frozen or left wrapped in paper in a refrigerator to dry or until eaten.