Homemade Beef Summer Sausage

My personal Funky Fresh Kitchen “Make it Yourself” Challenge was to make Homemade Beef Pepperoni, using a recipe I found at Tammy’s Recipes. I read through all of her reviews before trying the recipe and many of them suggested that this tastes more like Summer Sausage than Pepperoni. I completely agree – it does taste much more like Summer Sausage. But no matter what you call it, we all really loved the flavor.

I kept having to remind myself while we were eating (one entire log of sausage in one sitting) that we didn’t need to feel guilt or hold back on eating this. We have, on occasion, purchased beef summer sausage from the store to eat on the run. The boys love it, but I’ve always been hesitant because the store-bought sausage is so full of MSG and who knows what. To now have this recipe in my hip pocket to make as a healthy, convenience food for my family is super exciting!

And did I mention that it is crazy easy to make? Yes, practically effortless. I used our healthy Grass Fed Beef and made five pounds of this wonderful meat, which tastes good with cheese and crackers or on sandwiches. I put our leftover meat in the freezer to use later. This is going to be a perfect grab and go snack to take to soccer games this fall!

Making this summer sausage was a three day process (although not time consuming or difficult). On the third day, after we got to smell it cooking on low heat all day, we were thrilled to eat it with cheese and fruits and veggies for dinner. Awesome!

Next, I’d like to try Tammy’s Spicy Pepperoni, which sounds like it has more of a pepperoni flavor. Score! Now we can have healthy summer sausage and healthy pepperoni too!

Does your family like summer sausage and pepperoni? You’ve got to try Tammy’s recipes!

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  1. says

    You probably wouldn’t believe I was JUST wondering last night what to do about pepperoni and thought how in the world would I ever make THAT??? My husband says to me as I am looking at the label on the pepperoni bag, “Come on, don’t look, just get it!”. We have been avoiding it for a while, so now I can try our own! Do you think it will work with pork? We are raising our own hogs to slaughter this winter. Thanks, Laura. And, no offense to those who avoid pork!


  2. Erica says

    These sound GREAT! We love pepperoni around here, but it is not healthy or economical. Thinking about pepperoni makes me think of pepperoni dip…yum!


  3. says

    Wow! This looks great! And my kids will just devour this! Our fall musical season is underway and we are in need of filling snacks for our Friday 5pm-9pm rehearsal times while I work on costumes and the kids work up an appetite singing and dancing. Can’t wait to get some beef from Costco and try it!


  4. Sue O says

    I just have to give this a try. I know I would like it and perhaps my fussy son may just find he likes this also. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Rebekah says

    I’ve never been to Tammy’s recipe site. Now I have another one to explore! This sounds delicious and not too difficult.


  6. Jean says

    This sounds great. I’ll have to try it some time. We’re in the middle of a remodel and I’m happy to get a healthy dinner on the table most days. No time for extras. :o(


  7. Lisa says

    Can’t wait to try this. Hopefully my husband will get an elk this year and we can make our own instead of having it made for us!


  8. Hayley says

    Are you at all concerned about the nitrites and nitrates in curing salt? Can kosher salt be used instead?


    Laura Reply:

    Yes, very concerned. I believe next time I will simply use my Redmonds Real Sea Salt since I’ll be storing in the fridge or freezer anyway. All of the previous commenters who have been “visiting” about this seem to think it should be okay and I agree! Then I’ll feel 100% good about serving this to my family!


    Michelle Breffle Reply:

    Would you use the same amount of salt to curing salt? I’m thinking of trying an apple wood smoked salt I found at our health market.


    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    I think so!

    alison Reply:

    i made this years ago with plain salt(no nitrates) and the color can be a slight put off. it will be the color of a cooked hamburger inside, and the texture might not be as fine as with nitrates. but it tastes great!

  9. says

    This is “getting ready” right now. I used elk (organic) and Kosher salt instead of curing salt. Can’t wait to cook it tomorrow and see how it turns out! Actually…I am doing the pepperoni instead :)


  10. Jenny says

    Showing my ignorance now. The salt keeps the beef from going bad in the frig for the 2 days??? It is in the oven now and I can’t wait, but I just am wondering how this works.


    Laura Reply:

    Good question – I question that too! I don’t worry about the meat going bad in two days, which is why I’m not too concerned about using sea salt instead of tender quick. One difference though with using sea salt instead is that it turns out brown instead of pink and is overall just not as nice “quality” as if we were to use Morton’s tender quick. I’m okay with that though!


  11. Alecia says

    I made this the other day, and you are right it is ugly! I used sea salt instead of the tender quick as well. But it tasted great!!


  12. Jenny C. says

    I wonder if this could be cooked in the crockpot instead of the oven? I don’t think my oven goes that low! I might try it and see how it comes out.


  13. Erin says

    I was looking into what ingredients are needed, and of course the better options. While researching the Tender Quick I noticed some info that would turn me away from using it too. I see you already commented on using regular salt. Please let us know how that works out. Both this and the pepperoni look amazing and seem super easy. My husband LOVES both summer sausage and pepperoni (we make homemade pizza with pepperoni and i feel better about making my own now). I will be trying these very soon. Thanks!


  14. Cathy says

    Fresh Celery juice can be substituted for the nitrates to keep that pink color, but I am not sure on the amounts. Morton’s quick cure salt is nasty stuff (think antifreeze, yuck!) and it is definitely worth trying to find a decent alternative. Plain salt is not a perfect sub.


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