Hunting and harvesting our own food is a humbling, rewarding and primitive endeavor. Making Jalapeno and Cheddar Smokies with the deer we shot, however, is pure artistry.
Check out the hot and cheesy video here:
Thanks to Sarah, we had 125 pounds of deer meat to process this fall (check out the picture of her and the handsome buck in the picture gallery). We put aside twenty pounds, plus a pork belly from our Burkafest pig, in the freezer to make smokies this winter.
Grinding it up is always a family affair. Until this year we had the classic “Porkert” hand grinder, which was always good for a workout. It wasn’t that I minded the exercise, it’s just the sweat that dripped in, made the meat a bit salty.
Check out this short video of Sarah helping me to grind fat (for making soap) when she was 3:
Besides the 13 jalapenos and 10 cups of cubed extra aged cheddar, there are really only a few other ingredients to gather. We followed the awesome instructions and recipe from Carolyn Parker at ificandoitmyself. She does a great job explaining the whole process, which we followed to a tee (with the exception of the Morton Tender Quick, we used a combination of Prague Powder #1 and regular salt instead).
The hog casings are great; easy to stuff and easy to eat. The collagen casings on some of the sausage you buy in the store can be tough and kind of papery.
Alder is our go-to smoke wood as it’s prolific around our place. This summer, I plan to build a brick smoker to improve control over the temperature. Currently it’s a full time job babysitting our repurposed outhouse and deep fryer combo.
As with other types of artwork, smokies don’t always turn into masterpieces, but these ones did. The perfect mix of spicy, cheesy and meaty. The kind of smokies that Rose dreams of.
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