Josh Dahlke | THE HUNGER
When you think about making venison sausage, it’s easy to envision a garage full of hunting buddies, hundreds of pounds of meat, and tables loaded with sausage-making hardware. Getting a big group together to process all your deer is fun and efficient, but don’t rule out small-batch homemade venison sausage. Whether you have a pile of unused sausage scraps lying around from last season, or you need to use up some neglected steaks or roasts from the pits of your freezer, this recipe will hit your lips with satisfaction.
The ingredients in this venison sausage recipe make it versatile: Remove the ancho and morita chiles if you can’t handle the heat, or keep them on the dance floor if you enjoy some spice in your life. Either way, the finished product is dressed to impress. With the infusion of fresh herbs and garlic, you’d be well served to eat this sausage before it takes a trip to your freezer. Cook it as breakfast patties, put it in omelets, grill it as burgers, use it in soups, stuff it in burritos, put it in casings—there are no boundaries with this small-batch goodness.
- 2 pounds venison
- 2 pounds pork fat
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
- 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons coarse-ground salt (Kosher or sea salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground whole allspice
- 2 teaspoons ground morita chile seeds
- Put your meat grinder’s metal components in the freezer (everything that will touch the meat) for a couple of hours. You won’t regret it. The meat will be much easier to work with. Keep the meat cold, too, until you’re ready to grind.
- Prepare the fresh herb/garlic blend.
- Prepare the dry spice blend: You can use pre-ground or powdered spices off the shelf, but consider at least grinding the coriander seeds and whole allspice yourself—their pungent aromas will be much more pronounced.
- Grind pork fat and venison to fine consistency. I recommend finishing with a #8 4.5mm grinder plate.
- Mix both meats by hand in a large glass or nonreactive bowl.
- Add herbs, garlic and dry spice blend to meat bowl, mix into meat by hand, then run through grinder one or two more times for even distribution of ingredients.
- Let it rest in the fridge for a day.
- Eat or freeze.
Another great wild game meat to have on hand for a variety of purposes is turkey meat. Braising turkey meat is a delicious method for preparing wild turkey to eat.