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Red-Hot Links

Venison red-hot sausage links are made from a mixture of venison and pork fat, then seasoned with a savory blend of spices guaranteed to raise your body temperature. The hot links get their hot and spicy flavor from a generous dose of red pepper flakes, their rich red color from paprika and a bit of sweetness from corn syrup solids.

3 1/2 lbs lean venison trim (1.58 kg)
1 lb pork butt (454 g)
1/2 lb pork back fat (227 g)
2 1/2 tbsp pickling salt (48.7 g)
1 tsp Prague Powder #1 (5.7 g)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (2.2 g)
1 1/2 tsp rubbed sage (1.95 g)
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder (4.65 g)
1 1/2 tbsp paprika (10.8 g)
2 tbsp corn syrup solids (27.6 g)
3 1/4 tbsp red pepper flakes (20.5 g)
1 cup non-fat dry milk (94.6 g)*
1 cup ice cold water (236 ml)
32-35mm prepared hog casings

1. Chill meat and fat to 30°F (-1°C), grind one time through a 1/4” (6mm) plate.
2. Combine ground meat and fat with remaining ingredients in a large bowl; mix well until the mixture is sticky and batter like.
3. Stuff batter into hog casings, twist into 5-6” (13-15cm) links and refrigerate overnight to cure.
4. Transfer links to 130°F (54°C) smoker with vents wide open. Hold for one hour or until links are dry to the touch.
5. Add wood chips, close dampers to 1/4 open, gradually increase smoker to 170°F (77°C).
6. Hold temperature at 170°F (77°C) until links have obtained an internal temperature of 152°F (67°C).
7. Upon reaching 152°F (67°C) remove links and shower with cold water until internal temperature drops to 110°F (43°C).
8. Hang hot links at room temperature for 1 hour to bloom.
9. Refrigerate links up to 5 days or vacuum seal and freeze up to 6 months.

Notes:
The USDA recommends that the internal temperature of fresh sausage reach 160°F (70°C) when checked with a quick-read digital thermometer.

*You may use soy-protein concentrate in place of non-fat dry milk.