Summer sausage

Summer sausage

Deep South
4 x 20–30cm sausages
Andy Sewell

This fermented smoked sausage is one of the South’s best items from the meat larder: acidic, smoky, pork- and beef-flavoured deliciousness that will travel. It’s perfect as a pocket meat when you’re on a hunt or a long drive. It’s also good served with saltine crackers and red rind cheese at a cocktail party.

You will need a good set of electronic metric scales, as precision with the gram measures is important here. The Prague powder, F-LC culture and beef middles are available online from specialist home-curing suppliers.


Quantity Ingredient
3g coriander seeds
5g mustard seeds
5g freshly ground black pepper
3g paprika
1.25g ground ginger
30g sea salt
3g prague powder number 1
12g dextrose
12g caster sugar
0.6g f-lc culture
875g pork belly, cut into 2.5cm dice
375g beef rib or brisket, cut into 2.5cm dice
1 metre beef middles or similar, 60mm in diameter


  1. Put the whole spices in a dry frying pan and toast lightly over a medium heat until aromatic. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then mix with the ground spices, sea salt, Prague powder, dextrose, sugar and F-LC culture. Combine the pork and beef and rub well with the salt and spice mixture. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 48 hours to allow the salts to penetrate the meat fully.
  2. A couple of hours before you plan to mince the meat, spread it out on a baking tray in an even layer and place in the freezer to firm up, then put it through the finest disk of a meat mincer. Mix well by hand to spread the spices evenly throughout the meat.
  3. Soak the casings in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain. Rinse them by putting one end over the cold tap and running plenty of water through, then drain again. Fill the casings using a sausage stuffer, and cut the runners to make four individual sausages, all equal in length, then tie the ends firmly. Using a sausage pricker or a skewer, poke a few holes around the circumference of the entire length of the sausage. This will help prevent air pockets.
  4. Hang in a very warm place for 24 hours to ferment – ideally at 36–38°C and 85–90 per cent humidity. You should be able to accomplish this with your oven on its lowest setting and a pan of water set on the oven floor. If not, leave the sausages in a very warm place, such as above a humidifier or a radiator, for 24 hours.
  5. Place the sausages in a smoker set at 75°C and smoke for 5–6 hours, until the internal temperature has reached 60°C. If properly cured, they will keep in the fridge forever, or in a cool, dry place for at least a month.
Southern cooking
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