If you’re like me, you thought sausage-making was for culinary wizards. But the truth is that sausage-making is not only very forgiving and convenient when you have cuts of meat you don’t know what to do with… it’s also pretty fun! You will need a mixer, a meat grinder, and a sausage stuffer.
Check out my blog post on hunting and butchering deer in Texas for more detail than you probably ever wanted.
And enjoy this great Venison Sausage recipe!
Sausages are one of the oldest prepared foods. Traditionally, sausages made use of the less-desirable animal parts and scraps that could be cured in salt and put in the cleaned, inside-out intestines of an animal. Today, things aren’t done much differently than they were in 589 BC. Sausage is simply a combination of meat, fat, salt, and spices, stuffed into natural animal casing. The combinations of flavors are endless and it is a chance to experiment with your favorite ingredients.
Salt and pink curing salt are the two most important ingredients. As you experiment, write down the amounts of each ingredient that you use so you can go back and adjust.
3 1/2 pounds venison shoulder or haunch, cubed
3/4 pound hog shoulder butt, cubed
3/4 pound hog or domestic pig fat, cubed
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pink curing salt #1
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup ice water
Natural pork casings, soaked in a bowl of saltwater
1. Before you are ready to grind the meat, put it in the freezer for about 1 hour, until the meat is firm but not frozen.
2. Grind the meat and fat through a medium die, taking care to alternate pieces of meat and fat.
3. Place the meat in the bowl of a stand mixer and add everything but the water. Mix well with the paddle attachment for about 1 minute, or with your hands for longer.
4. Add half of the ice water and continue mixing until the meat and fat are emulsified. The meat will develop a uniform, sticky appearance.
5. Work the meat through your fingers, squeezing it against the sides of the bowl.
6. Continue adding water until the meat is loose but not watery.
7. Heat oil in a small skillet. Cook 1 tablespoon of the mixture in the oil to taste the seasoning and adjust as necessary.
8. With a sausage stuffer, stuff the mixture into pork casings 6 to 8 inches long, pricking the casings with a sterilized needle as you go, to prevent air bubbles. Twist off the casing into links and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
9. To cook, heat oil in a skillet and sear over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, turning often. The internal temperature should be 160°F.
*Makes 5 pounds*
Happy sausage making!