Homemade Summer Sausage/Lunch Meat

Lunch meat. It’s so convenient, and so bad for you. Nitrates and nitrites; need I say more?Fortunately, homemade summer sausage is ridiculously easy to make.

Homemade Summer Sausage

For the longest time, Gabriel and I have used mostly leftover meat – chicken, beef roast, ham, etc – on our sandwiches, and it’s good stuff! But a while ago I came across a recipe for homemade cold sausage and, oh my, is it ever good!

I’d been wanting to make my own balogna (not anything like the stuff you get at the store at all), and pepperoni, but I thought the curing process was too involved. This method of oven baking, while it doesn’t preserve the sausage any more than it would a meatloaf, has allowed me to experiment with the spice blends and make a sausage that we really, really love, while keeping ridiculously simple.

We’ve been giving samples of this sausage to beef customers and they love it! Almost all of them leave with a recipe card and are thrilled with having a new lunch-meat alternative.

So here we go!


Homemade Lunch-meat

  • 2 Tbsp Salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Pepper
  • 2 lbs Lean Ground Beef

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Divide into 2 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 2 inch diameter log. Wrap each log tightly with heavy-duty foil. Chill for 24 hours. Using a fork, poke holes in foil along the top and bottom of each log. Place on a wire rack set in a baking sheet with edges. (or use a broiler pan if you have one). Bake at 300F for 2 hours. Let stand in foil until cooled. Chill before slicing. This is important as it dramatically changes the texture.


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