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Venison Pizza Sticks

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 16:59
by Butterbean
Have more than several deer in the freezer at the moment and have grown tired of making the same old sausages and got on a jerky and snack stick craze of late. The other day I ate pizza for the first time in a while and wondered if the flavor of this couldn't be captured in a snack stick. Granted, the idea, while interesting, is well above my pay grade but I thought I'd give it my best shot. As a safety net, I also made some Kielbasa Ukrainska, Zywiecka Sausage and Kielbasa Czosnkowa lightly modified from Stan and Adam book, Polish Sausages. (Pages 118, 120 & 128) I had no doubt these would be good which took the pressure off me to experiment in the dark side of sausage making.

Getting my head around how to come up with the pizza flavoring seemed simple enough but the actual implementation of it was a bit more difficult due to limited supplies on hand. First of all I wanted mozzarella cheese but I was afraid the mozerella cheese would simply melt and form a greasy mess in the stick so I opted for some high melt cheddar I had on hand. Also, instead of using pork fat I opted to use beef fat since this was going into a stick and I had plenty on hand. As an afterthought, after mixing the spices, I thought of using parmesan - but the added saltiness at this time I was afraid would send it over the limit but I think this would work well and plan on trying this at a later date.

Anyhow, don't mean to bore you with my thought process and here is the recipe I settled on.

For 12 lbs of Meat

3.6 lbs of Beef Fat
8.4 lbs of trimmed venison

3.2 oz of non iodized salt
0.8 oz sugar
0.1 oz of celery salt
0.3 oz of cayenne pepper
0.2 oz of white pepper
0.1 oz of onion powder
0.3 oz of fennel seed
0.5 oz of Hungarian Paprika
0.2 oz of Oregano
0.1 oz of Chili powder
13 oz of Milk powder
2 level tsp of Cure 1
1 cup of water

Mixed all this together and poured it over the meat and mixed it well then ground the meat with the 3/16 plate.

To this seasoned mince I added

17 oz of High melt cheddar cheese
14 oz of non sliced black olives - 2 cans drained
17.3 oz of red, green yellow and orange bell peppers - diced up.

Dry ingredients looked like this.


Ingredients mixed with the mince before second grind. Colorful isn't it? Color alone gave me some assurance the train wasn't going to wreck.


Mixed the meat well and ran through the grinder a second time followed by more mixing just to be sure then stuffed in small collagen casings. 22's I think.

Hung in smokehouse at 125F with no smoke till they dried and bloomed.


Once they bloomed I upped the heat to 150F then fired up the smoke box with some pecan and oak and laid smoke on them for a few hours then upped the heat to 175F till the internal temp got to 155F then pulled them and dunked them in water to shock cool them.

As I waited on the other sausages to finish I went ahead and began packaging them.

Was nearly finished when the larger sausages were ready.


Got everything packed and ready to go in the cooler.


Up to this point I really had no idea what the experiment was going to taste like since by law (I think its a law of some sort) when manning a smokehouse one must drink non taxed whiskey and at this point I could no longer feel my sore feet much less tell if something tasted good or not so I carried some of it to the house for the girls to give their opinion. My daughter had a friend staying over and when I saw her eyes light up and grow to the size of saucers along with the big smile on her face I figured I might have made a respectable snack stick and both agreed it does taste like a meat pizza. Well sortof, with similar differences as my son would say.

Here is what they look like.


I'm of the opinion anything can be made better and in retrospect I think using mozzarella would be nice. Also some parmesan would be good but I think the salt would need reducing. How much though is anyone's guess but there is some leeway for more salt in this recipe but not a bunch. I also think upping the fennel seed a little would be in order or crushing the amount to allow for better distribution. A whole onion wouldn't be a bad idea either. And mushrooms. I think this would be good as well and these may counter any added salt if they were added along with parmesan cheese. Just some thoughts in retrospect.

In all they are very respectable as were the other sausages from Stan and Adam's book.

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 20:50
by Chuckwagon
Joe, that looks incredible! Nicely done ol' pal. Maybe you've started a new trend! :lol:
I'm surprised that you "shock cooled" 'em in water. Last time I tried that, I wound up with a gooey mess akin to the texture and color of buffalo snot! :shock:

Best Wishes,

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 21:09
by Butterbean
I had given some thought to letting them cool in the smoker when I first started out. I was thinking on maybe omitting some of the binding agents and then cold smoking the finished product down so it would be shelf stable but with all the sausages Weather and humidity is about perfect for this but with all I had going I just found it easier to do it this way and by quick cooling them it allowed me to go ahead and package them as more came out behind them. So in other words, I took the lazy man's out. :oops:

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 21:21
Joe, these look fantastic, and I am inspired, going to try a batch tomarrow with some elk, thanks for the recipe,Tim

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 01:31
by Big Guy
They look very good my friend.

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 01:12
by checkerfred
Chuckwagon wrote:Joe, that looks incredible! Nicely done ol' pal. Maybe you've started a new trend! :lol:
I'm surprised that you "shock cooled" 'em in water. Last time I tried that, I wound up with a gooey mess akin to the texture and color of buffalo snot! :shock:

Best Wishes,
I thought you were supposed to shower in cold water or put in ice water to stop the cooking process after you reach your internal temp?

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 04:47
by redzed
I like that spice combo. Will definitely look at it when making wild goose sausage. Looks like it would take care of that "gamey" flavour.

Good job! How about posting info and pics of the other sausages you made from that venison bounty?