What Is Venison Summer Sausage?

A. Leverkuhn

Venison summer sausage is a kind of prepared meat that is semi-perishable, and can last longer than fresh steaks or other similar meat products. It is a variety of summer sausage, a type of processed meat that is made to keep in less controlled conditions. This food is enjoyed in many places where species of deer exist.

Venison is cured and treated for summer sausage.
Venison is cured and treated for summer sausage.

On some continents, the word venison, or its translation, might suggest any type of wild game. In many English-speaking regions, particularly in North America, venison has come to mean specifically the meat of the American deer, a creature that populates many of the wild reaches of North America. Venison is often made into various forms, similar to other meats such as beef or pork.

Venison summer sausage is a common way of processing lower quality cuts from the deer.
Venison summer sausage is a common way of processing lower quality cuts from the deer.

Venison summer sausage is cured and treated, but not entirely dried. Cured meats each have their own specific food safety protocols, and this is especially true for venison summer sausage. Anyone who has gotten access to this kind of food should be particularly careful with using it past a date of possible spoilage.

One of the very commonly recognized aspects of venison use in North America is that this meat is generally produced by individual hunting, and is not often manufactured by large food processing companies. As a result, venison is often less regulated than other meats that usually go through a USDA inspection process. Various rules apply to the sale or trade of venison products that are not inspected or approved by the USDA.

Foods like venison summer sausage are more popular in places where communities focus on killing and processing their own meat. In places where residents tend to prize individual autonomy, families may subsist on venison products throughout parts of the year, rather than buying USDA approved foods, such as processed beef and pork, at local supermarkets. One means of supporting this subsistence is by curing the meat in specific ways.

Smoking and drying are common methods for curing venison summer sausage. Some makers of this shelf-ready food also use citric acid or other preservatives to assist in slowing bacterial growth. Other recipes might call for various fermentation methods.

When preparing venison summer sausage it is common use a variety of herbs and spices. Some frequent additions include garlic, mustard seeds, salt, pepper, sage, oregano and other aromatics like rosemary. Each recipe is in its own way unique. Many of these creations develop on the basis of trial and error as a hunter slowly figures out how to preserve his or her kill for a longer term.

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