German Sausage

Using Beef or Wild Game
The casings

Soak fibrous casings in water for 30 minutes prior to using. If you are using 2 1/2 inch (6.4 cm) diameter casings that are about 12 inches (30 cm) long, four of them will be required.

The meat

Using a 3/16-inch (4.8-mm) plate, grind 3 pounds (1360 g) of well-chilled beef, venison, elk, or moose. Game meat should be trimmed of all fat before grinding. Next, grind 1 pound (450 g) of lean pork with 1 pound (450 g) of pork fat. Pass all the meat through the grinder twice if you want it to be finer. Chill the meat thoroughly.

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

  • 7 1/2 tsp. (45 ml) Bradley Sugar Cure (Do not use more than this amount.)
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) black pepper, finely ground
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) salt (optional — see below)
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) mustard seed, ground
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) celery seed, ground
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) chilled 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.

  1. Mix the Bradley Sugar Cure, seasoning, water, and the powdered 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 and blend well by kneading for about 3 minutes.
  3. Stuff the sausage into fibrous casings. Insert the cable probe of an electronic thermometer in the open end of one of the sausages, and close the casing around the probe with butcher’s twine.
  4. Refrigerate the stuffed sausages overnight.

Smoking

  1. Remove the sausage from the refrigerator, and place it in a smoker that has been heated to 150°F (65°C). Maintain this temperature with no smoke until the casing is dry to the touch. (Alternatively, dry the casing in front of an electric fan.)
  2. Raise the temperature to 160°F (71°C), and smoke the sausage for 3 to 6 hours.
  3. If you wish to cook the sausage in the smoker, raise the temperature to 180°F (82°C) and hot smoke until the internal temperature is 160°F (71°C).
  4. Refrigerate overnight before using.

Instructions prepared by Warren R. Anderson, author of Mastering the Craft of Smoking Food.