Ancho and Chipotle Chile Smoked Venison Sausage
A recipe featured in the Outdoor News Taste of the Wild
Prep time: 24 hours
Cook time: 5-6 hours
Special equipment: Meat Grinder, Sausage Stuffer, Hog Casings, Smoker
3 lbs. venison cut into chunks
1 lb pork shoulder cut into chunks
1 tablespoon smoked salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ancho chile powder
½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
4 grams Instacure™ #1 (Prague powder #1)
4 cloves minced garlic
3 dried ancho chile peppers
1 dried chipotle chile pepper
1 can Mexican lager beer
Hickory or apple chips or pellets
Black beans and rice, salsa verde sauce, chopped cilantro, and grilled poblano peppers
The venison and pork shoulder are ground through a 7-mm plate twice to get a nice coarse grind and to fully incorporate the pork into the venison. Make sure the meat is very cold before each grind. Mix all the dried spices and Instacure together, and evenly sprinkle over the ground meat. Add the minced garlic and mix everything together until the spices are well incorporated. Place the meat in a sealed Ziploc™ bag and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
*Note: This is a cold smoked sausage, so the cure is needed to prevent botulism. If you choose to make a fresh sausage, just omit the cure and cook them on the grill instead of smoking.
The next day, rinse and soak hog casings in cool water.
Toast the dried chiles in a hot cast iron skillet turning them when they begin to blister, but do not burn them. Remove the seeds and stems, and re-hydrate the peppers in hot water for 30 minutes. Add the peppers and about ½ cup of the soaking water to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Place the pepper mixture in the refrigerator to cool.
Once cool, add the blended peppers to the ground sausage along with ¼ to ½ can of beer. Make sure everything is very cold and mix everything with your hands until you have good protein extraction. This will result in the sausage being very sticky. Stuff the sausage into the hog casing and twist it into links every 6 to 8-inches. Use a sterile needle to prick any air pockets. Hang the sausages. A small fan will help to dry the casings before putting them in the smoker.
Start your vertical smoker at 150-160 degrees and open all the vents. Hang the sausage in the smoker without any smoke for the first hour, as this will help to further dry the casings. After the first hour, add hickory or apple chips/pellets and smoke the sausage until they reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees, raising the temperature on the smoker every hour or two until the smoker reaches a maximum temperature of 180-190 degrees. Once they hit 155 degrees, remove the sausage and immediately immerse them in an ice bath for 15-20 minutes to stop the cooking process and to keep the casings from shriveling. Hang the sausages for an hour or two and then toss them on the grill or vacuum seal and freeze for later.
About the Cook: John Vile is a fisheries biologist with the State of New Jersey and lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with his wife and two children. As a passionate outdoorsman, he spends much of his free time in the woods and on the water with his family and friends. He is an avid bowhunter, waterfowler, fisherman, and cook, who loves developing new and exciting ways to utilize the fish and game his family harvests. John recently joined Harvesting Nature as a field staff writer. Visit Harvesting Nature for more details