Venison Summer Sausage with Cheese and Jalapeño Pepper

Deer season is in full swing now with the regular deer season opening for most of New York State on November 17th.  Here is a recipe for a delicious summer sausage you can make at home.  It is perfect for holiday parties!

1 cup cold water
3 tablespoons Tender Quick Curing salt
1-2 teaspoons mustard seed
1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon marjoram (optional)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring (omit this if smoking the sausage)
3 pounds ground venison
1 cup shredded or finely diced cheddar cheese
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely diced

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix water, curing salt, mustard, garlic, marjoram, black pepper and liquid smoke until the salt is thoroughly dissolved.  Mix in the ground venison, cheese and jalapeño peppers until evenly blended (it’s easiest to do this with your hands, wearing food gloves).

Divide the mixture in half and roll each half into 2 inch thick “logs.”  Tightly wrap each “log” with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, carefully remove the aluminum foil from the sausage logs and place them on a baking sheet.  Bake the sausage until they reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees, about 1.5 to 2 hours.  Let cool and slice thin to serve.

*If smoking the summer sausage, omit the liquid smoke when mixing ingredients.  Then instead of baking the unwrapped sausage logs, cook them in a smoker according to the manufacturers recommendations, making sure the meat reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

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