Hunters are always trying to find new ways to incorporate wild game into their diets. Not only is it good to make use of the animal you harvest, but it also tends to be very healthy as it’s much leaner than other meats.
If you’re considering cooking wild game, sausages are a fantastic choice because you can use different parts of the animal. Sausages also often use intense spices that hold up well to strong gamey flavors. There are hundreds of kinds of sausages around the world, but this collection of five types is a great place to start.
1. Andouillette and Andouille
Andouillette is a traditional French sausage that is thought to go back as far as the 9th century. It is an extremely coarse-grained sausage that is known for its strong aroma. Typically, it is made from pork intestines or chitterlings; however, veal is a common alternative. It’s difficult to find this French delicacy outside of France, perhaps due to its distinctive scent that some might find off-putting.
Although Andouillette is not particularly popular internationally, a variation of the sausage, Andouille, has become a staple of Cajun cooking, thanks to French immigration to the south. Andouille is surprisingly different from Andouillette and is notable for its smoky, spicy flavor. In Louisiana, it’s often eaten alone for breakfast or as part of iconic Cajun dishes such as gumbo and jambalaya.
Cajun Andouille is made with ground pork, onions and spices but is easily modified for hunters looking to include more wild game into their cooking. The most popular pork substitute for Andouille sausages is venison, which tastes particularly delicious as part of a gumbo recipe. You can replace the pork entirely with deer meat or, for a gentler taste, create a sausage using a combination of both types of meat.
Wild boar is another fantastic option for game Andouille because the robust flavor of the meat is complemented perfectly by the variety of aromatic spices used to make this popular sausage.
2. Spanish Chorizo
While Mexican Chorizo is made with fresh pork, the Spanish version is cured or smoked. This internationally admired sausage was developed after the Spanish invaded the Americas and brought back one of Chorizo’s key ingredients: paprika.
As a cured sausage, Chorizo can be enjoyed without cooking and makes a fantastic snack with a glass of wine. However, it is also included in many traditional dishes, such as bean and lentil stews and regional variations of paella.
Although most Spanish Chorizos are made with pork, this flavorsome sausage would taste just as good made with venison, wild boar or elk. These meats act as a strong base for the rich, smoky flavors that typify this Spanish classic.
Although the word Bratwurst is sometimes used interchangeably with sausage, it is a particular type of sausage that originated in Germany hundreds of years ago. German sausages are well-known around the world, and they are proud of their popular cuisine. In fact, you can even find a Bratwurst Museum in Bravia.
The exact birthplace of the Bratwurst is a hotly debated topic, with the German regions of Franconia and Thüringen both fervently claiming the honor. The name comes from Old High German, “brat” meaning either “finely chopped meat” or “without waste” and “wurst” meaning sausage.
Traditional Bratwursts are usually made from pork and veal and contain nutmeg, ginger, caraway, pepper, sage and cilantro, with some recipes even calling for eggs and cream. However, these days, there are many different variations of this fresh link sausage throughout Germany and even the United States. The versatile snack can be boiled, steamed, broiled or roasted and are delicious in a hot dog bun.
All kinds of game meat can be used to make tasty Bratwursts, such as deer, elk, caribou and even wild turkey. Adding wild game recipes to your repertoire is fantastic because, being very lean, this meat tends to be super healthy. However, this leanness can be difficult for sausage making, so you should add a good amount of fat to your sausages to get them just right. It’s also very common to add juniper berries to offset the gamey flavor.
Longaniza is an extremely popular sausage around the world, with many variants hailing from Argentina, Spain, Uruguay, Chile and the Philippines. One of the most famous is Argentinian Longaniza, which is cured and dried.
This long sausage has a very distinctive flavor and scent thanks to the anise seeds used, which contrasts beautifully with the salty pork. Unlike many other Latin American meats, it is sweet rather than spicy. The anise flavor offsets the strong gamey flavors of most wild meats, so this is an excellent option for hunters to include more game into their diets. One of the most common ways to eat this unusual sausage is in a sandwich.
If you plan to make this aromatic delicacy, try adding duck, pheasant or other dark game bird meat with the pork to complement the warm anise.
5. Sai Ua
You might not associate Thailand with sausages, but Sai Ua, which originates from the country’s northern regions, is a much-loved local dish. Literally meaning “stuffed intestine,” these minced pork sausages are bursting with intense flavor.
Traditionally you make Sai Ua with red curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, green onions, cilantro stems, lemongrass and garlic, with some recipes also calling for fish sauce. This tasty mixture has gone beyond sausages and is now served in meat patties or balls as well. It makes an excellent accompaniment for rice dishes or on its own as a snack.
Like many other types of sausage, Sai Ua can easily be made using wild game, such as elk, deer or boar, instead of pork. The secret to this yummy sausage is grinding the meat well and chopping all your ingredients very finely.
Experiment with Your Sausage Recipes
Sausages are popular the world over because they are an efficient and delicious way to use up more meat. Most countries have their versions of sausages with herbs and spices that complement their cuisine. These days, you can find inspiration from recipes from around the world and make your own versions of these traditional styles using wild game.
Making sausages takes quite a lot of work, so it’s a good idea to make a large batch at a time and freeze them. Why not experiment with multiple styles of sausages, preparing several at a time? That way, you can decide which is your favorite and next time you can make more of them.
Need wild game meat for a recipe you've been wanting to try? Check out GameKeeper Butchery. GameKeeper Butchery is dedicated to procuring the finest assortment and highest quality of specialty meats from the United States and around the world. Our commitment is to deliver the safest, freshest and most wholesome products.