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LOCATION: Recipes >> Preserving Meats >> I'm not certain this is really what honey bologna is, but the regular

Print this Recipe    I'm not certain this is really what honey bologna is, but the regular

version of this using powdered dextrose is one of the tastiest
sausages I have ever made. Basically, this is the Kutas recipe for
Lebanon bologna with honey substituted, with a little extra, and using
venison larded with back fat instead of beef.

10 pounds venison
2-3 pounds back fat
5 ounces salt
2 teaspoons Prague Powder #2
4 ounces corn syrup solids
1/2 cup honey
6 ounces Fermento
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder

When you do this with beef, you grind the meat through a 1/2 inch
plate, mix it with the salt, then let it sit 5 to 6 days, draining off
the liquid. Then you add 3/4 ounce of salt. However, as I discovered
with the venison, being a firmer and leaner meat, there won't be any
liquid to draw off - so you might want to back off a bit on those 5
ounces of salt and definitely add no more when it comes to mixing. I
left the venison in the fridge just 4 days, keeping it in one of those
large white kitchen trash bags to keep it from air-drying. I
overhauled it once during this time.

The problem with corn syrup solids is that they want to stick together
and that can be a problem in the finished sausage - you are likely to
get lumps. I keep them vacuum sealed to avoid these hard clumps from
forming in storage. This tendency would not normally be a problem, but
this recipe calls for no water - so you can't dissolve the spices in
the blender with liquid. What I did was mix it with the dryer
Fermento, then mix it all into the venison (after I'd run the venison
through a 3/8" plate). There was still a sticky mess in the bottom of
the bowl that just wouldn't dissolve, but the next step took care of
that.

In order to insure proper distribution of the cure, I ignored the
recipe and dissolved the Prague Powder #2 in a cup of cold water and
mixed that in. This additional moisture - okay in my mind because of
the dryness of the meat - got the remaining gook off the bottom of the
mixing bowl. I figured this would be a good time to mix in the honey,
so I drizzled that over the meat and mixed it in.

Next, I mixed in the back fat, which was previously ground through an
1/8" plate. I worked this in a little at a time, until the consistency
seemed right, mixed in all the spices, a

Kutas specifies fermenting thusly:

16 hours at 90: F, 90% humidity
28 hours at 105: F, 85% humidity
6 hours at 110: F, 85% humidity

Now I can hold those temperatures fairly well, within 3 or so degrees,
but the humidity is just gonna be very high since I have no way of
regulating that. The dutch oven and wet towel insure that.

I weighed out the meat and it was exactly 208 ounces - or 13 pounds. I
decided to make 5 sausages, so I got out five 3 1/2 x 24 inch casings
and set them a-soaking in vinegar (that helps prevent sticking). I
weighed out five ~41 ounce balls of sausage mixture and prepared to
stuff.

The idea here was to make them as even as possible and that 5 pound
stuffer I just bought is just the ticket for that - very little meat
is left in it when its plunger hit the bottom and, wow, does that
hydraulic plus gear ratio thing ever pack a sausage tight! One by one,
I put the 41 ounce balls in there, sealing the ends with a half inch
hog ring. Well, all but the first one. See there's still a little bit,
maybe a couple of ounces or so, of meat left in there. After I had
sealed the last sausage, I took the "residue" from the bottom of the
stuffer and put it in the first sausage with a spoon. Then I sealed
it. The result was 5 sausages, all the same size. Prick 'em liberally
and paint them once more with vinegar, for good measure.

I'm sticking with the times Kutas suggested, and that's a really long
time! The fermenting started Tuesday at 3:30pm, first temprature bump
yesterday at 7:30am, and the last one will be this morning at 11:30am.
Then, the smoking/cooking will start about 5:30pm this afternoon.

Kutas suggests heavy smoking for a day or two, without heat, then
raising the temperature to 150: F until the sausage temperature
reaches 137:. That's for beef, I might take it a little higher for the
venison, though this stuff has been frozen long enough to kill any
trichina. If you're in doubt, get the internal temperature up to 152:.

I'm going to get the smokehouse temperature at 130: after 5:30, vents
wide open, goodbye towel and dutch oven, let's let this stuff dry out
a bit. You cannot smoke wet sausage. After a couple of hours, I'll
smoke it overnight then cook it tomorrow. Then it has to age about a
week in the fridge before it is ready to eat!

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