Summer Citrus-Session Ale Smoked Pork Sausage


Ok, I have made a lot of sausage.  I mean a lot of sausage.  This is one that I became truly excited about from the second I put the ideas together.  I think this is certainly one of the more unique sausages that I have made even though it is really just a riff on some classic techniques.



5#   – Braised Pork Belly  ( weight after braising, remember you will loose considerable weight from rendering, so just cook a lot and sear off the rest for snacks.  Yum, pork belly snacks.)

10# – Pork Butt

16floz – Session Ale (or preferred liquid)

5 T  – Kosher Salt

5T   – Garlic Powder

2.5   -T Fresh Ground Black Pepper

2.5   – T Dry Dill

3T   – White Sugar

5 tsp – Whole Mustard Seed

2 tsp – Cardamom

2 tsp – Pink Salt



We had some pork belly to use up at work.  the only thing at that point that sounded good to me was brazing it.  We had plenty of bacon and I am just a fan of when pork has the consistency of butter.  Maybe I have a problem, I would rather view it as a solution.  I seasoned the pork belly generously with salt, pepper, caraway, garlic powder, and dill.  I put the oven into a 450 degree oven for about 30-45 minutes until the fat began to render out and there was a slight but very nice caramelization of the fat cap.  At this point, I added equal parts session ale, citrus juice and water; covered the pan well and put in the oven at about 275 degrees for 6-8 hours until the the pork belly is tender in a way that can only be expressed in religious terms.  The seasoning combination is what I used to balance with the session ale.  Use whatever you prefer, just make sure it’s delicious.


  1. Braise off the pork belly ( sorry I don’t go into too much detail here.  I was just braising pork belly at this point to use it up.  I thought it would be a one time thing and had no idea yet it was going to be a further ingredient in something else.)
  2. Cool Pork to a temperature that is cold enough to cut without turning it into pudding.  At this point small dice the pork and put it into the freezer ( this step is here so that upon further mixing it will stay relatively whole.)
  3. Grind the Pork through a large die on a meat grinder ( this sausage is meant to have a more rustic texture, so I prefer a larger die, but experiment.  Sausage is a very personal preference.)
  4. Mix the beer with all of the herbs, spices, and salts.
  5. In a large bowl mix the ground meat with the diced pork belly and the beer mixture.
  6. I used natural pork casings when I stuffed the sausage, but I believe that this sausage would also lend itself to a larger casing for use as more of a summer sausage as well.
  7. As to smoking,  I currently am using a hodge-podge of a smoker.  but I would recommend using a temperature that is low enough so that you will need to smoke for about 3 hours before you reach 155-160 degrees.  carry over cooking should take you easily to 165.
  8. due to the heavy fat content in this sausage I would recommend letting the sausage rest before putting it back on the grill or roasting it further for service.  Or, serve it cold.  I can’t get enough of smoked sausage that is served cold.  Once again, I have issues.  Either way let it rest so that the fat can properly disperse and coagulate.


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