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Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Venison Salami Cotto Recipe

This Venison Salami is a perfect entry level charcuterie sausage recipe that doesn't require too much work. The Word cotto translates to "cooked" in Italian. So that means no long curing times or special curing chambers are needed. Here I first grind the venison without the pork fat. That way when you grind the venison a second time with the pork fat, you're left with larger white chunks of fat scattered throughout your sausage. These pieces of fat make for a great presentation on a platter. This salami is great simply served with some good mustard, on pizzas or sandwiches.

Cooks Notes: This recipe calls for cold smoking, which is a temperature less the 90 degrees F. Cold smoking is used in order to achieve a deeper smoke flavor to your sausages without melting the fat. If you're unable to reach temperatures below 90 degrees F, you have two options.

  1. Smoke the meat at around 145 degrees F for one hour and then smoke at 200 degrees F until you reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees F. You risk losing some fat, but its worth the risk if you really want to give this salami a try.

  2. Use a handheld smoke pistol, which gives you an easy option of turning a cooler or old refrigerator into a cold smoker.

Yield: 3.5 pounds of Salami


  • 3.5 pounds venison, trimmed of fat and silver-skin, cut into large dice

  • 2 ounces/56 grams kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon/7 grams pink salt (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway

  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground juniper berries

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1.5 pounds pork fat, cut into 1/2 inch dice

  • Casings of your choice. I used the LEM Fibrous Casings


  1. In a large bowl add the venison, salt, pink salt, pepper, caraway, black pepper, juniper and garlic. Grind through a 1/4" die into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl if mixing by hand). Mix on medium low speed with a paddle attachment for about 2 minutes or until all of the ingredients are combined.

  2. Place a piece of plastic directly on top of the meat, tucking in the edges so that no meat is exposed. Place in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

  3. Add the diced pork fat to the bowl and mix with the meat until well combined.

  4. Prep your casings according to the manufacturers directions. Tie off one end of the casing with butchers twine. Stuff the casings and secure the other end with butchers twine. Place in the refrigerator, uncovered for 8 to 12 hours.

  5. Cold smoke the sausages for 1 to 2 hours.

  6. Hot smoke the sausages to an internal temperature of 150 degrees F.

  7. Place into an ice-bath and chill thoroughly. Store in the refrigerator until needed.


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