Seasonings and other ingredients for 5 lbs. (2.25 kg)

  • 7 1/2 tsp. (37.5 ml) Bradley Sugar Cure (Do not use more than this amount.)
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) salt (optional — see step #1 below)
  • 4 tsp. (20 ml) light corn syrup
  • 4 tsp. (20 ml) black peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) onion powder
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.25 ml) allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.25 ml) ginger powder
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 cup (240 ml) finely powdered skim milk

Note: If the meat weighs either more or less than 5 pounds (2.25 kg), the amount of cure mix applied must be proportional to that weight. For example, if the weight of the meat is 2 1/2 pounds (1.15 kg), then each ingredient, including the Bradley Cure, needs to be cut in half.

The casings

Fibrous casings about 2 1/2 inch (6.4 cm) in diameter are suggested for this sausage. Four casings that are about 12 inches (30 cm) long will be required. Soak the casings in water for 30 minutes before stuffing.

The meat — beef or wild game

Use 5 pounds (2.25 kg) of fatty ground chuck. You could also use 4 pounds (1800 g) of lean beef and 1 pound (450 g) of pork fat if you have only lean beef on hand.

Another option for the raw material would be venison, bear, elk, or moose. Wild game meat that has been trimmed of all fat and mixed with an equal amount of fatty pork would make an excellent product. Alternatively, rather than using 50% fatty pork, 75% well trimmed game and 25% pure pork fat could be used.

Mince the meat with a 3/16-inch (4.8-mm) plate. Refrigerate.

Preparation

  1. Mix the seasoning, water, and the powdered skim milk in a large bowl until the ingredients are uniform. (For a normal salt taste, add the optional 1 teaspoon of salt; for a mild salt taste, omit the salt.)
  2. Add the meat to the seasoning mixture. Knead it until it is well blended — about 3 minutes.
  3. Stuff the mixture into the fibrous casings. Insert the cable probe of an electronic thermometer in the top of one of the sausages, and close the casing around the probe with butcher’s twine.
  4. Refrigerate the sausage for a few hours, or overnight, to allow the curing agent to migrate to the center of each particle of meat.

Because pastrami is a smoked product, it is logical that this sausage should also be smoked, but smoking is optional. If you do not intend to smoke the sausage, proceed to the instructions for cooking.

Smoking the sausage in fibrous casing

Remove the stuffed casings from the refrigerator, and place them in a smoker that has been heated to 150°F (65°C). Maintain this temperature with no smoke until the casings are dry to the touch. Raise the temperature to 165°F (75°C), and smoke for 3 to 6 hours. Cook the sausage according to the instructions below.

Cooking

Wrap each sausage in plastic food wrap (optional). Twist the ends of the food wrap, and secure the ends with a wire bread-bag tie. Steam the sausages until the internal temperature is 160°F (71°C). (A steamer may be improvised by using a large pan with an elevated rack inside; cover with a lid.)

Cooling

Chill the sausage in cold water as soon as the cooking is finished. Continue chilling until the internal temperature drops below 100°F (38°C). Refrigerate overnight before using.