Lockhart, Texas is a small town outside of Austin. There isn't much there - except for pretty much the best beef barbecue joints anywhere. We visited Lockhart on our road trip this past summer, and fell head-over-heels for the barbecue at Kreuz Market. In addition to some life-altering brisket, they did some amazing smoked beef sausages.
Months later, memories of those sausages still lingered in our minds. We decided we needed to try to make some.
Because beef on its own is generally too lean to produce a nice, juicy sausage, some pork is added to the mix. We did a ratio of about 85% beef (chuck) to 15% pork (the fattiest bits of a shoulder).
After grinding, the meat was seasoned simply: salt, black pepper and a bit of cayenne.
Here are the stuffed links after they had dried for a bit and were ready to go on the smoker:
We smoked them over oak for an hour at 235° to an internal temperature around 160°.
Hot out of the smoker (which is how they serve them in Lockhart), they were just perfect - smokey, juicy and full of beef flavor.
When we re-cooked leftover sausages they were a little dry - probably having to do with the fat melting, then congealing and then melting again. For sausages that are not going to be eaten immediately, it might make sense to keep the temperature lower to avoid rendering the fat during the first cook on the smoker.
On the other hand, it's such a quick cook that you could always just smoke them fresh every time, guaranteeing a hot, juicy link - yum!
For more details on making your own sausages, check out our "how-to" and basic Italian sausage recipe here: Making Sausage. For more smoked sausage goodness, have a look at our Smoked Andouille.