Guide to Making Venison Sausage at Home
Many people feel that venison sausage is the best tasting sausage there is. It goes well in most recipes that call for sausage, and it’s delicious with eggs in the morning. It is also far less difficult to make than you might think.
Deer meat is usually quite lean and generally recognized as healthier to eat than most other types. Part of the reason is that deer eat the foods provided by nature, rather than being “fattened up” like farm animals often are. Deer also tend not to be sedentary. Normally, this translates to less fat production and more meat production.
Using venison in sausage
One of the great things about venison sausage is that it can be made out of the meat scraps that are left over after cutting and wrapping the meat. This means that there is less potential waste. The biggest downside is that deer meat tends to be so lean that it doesn’t stick together very well. To offset this, a lot of people add pork, pork fat or lard to the venison, when making sausage. You have control over the amount of pork you use, however a good general guideline is to add about two pounds of pork fat for every five pounds of venison. This can be adjusted according to taste.
Chilling and grinding the meat
Before grinding the meat, the venison should be trimmed if necessary, cut into small chunks and cooled in the fridge. Cooling the meat usually makes it easier to grind, with less of a mess. Small pieces tend to be easier to grind than larger ones. Once the meat is cold, it can be ground, adding the pork fat during this process. An electric meat grinder can be used, however a hand grinder should also work well. Since sausage tends to be a course grind, using either a 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch blade should produce about the right size grind.
It is the seasoning that changes the meat from being ground venison to becoming venison sausage. Considerable variation in spicing is possible, though sage is an important ingredient. One example of a sausage mixture made of five pounds of ground venison and two pounds of pork would be to mix in about four tablespoons of ground sage, one tablespoons each of ground black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder, and a teaspoonful each of marjoram, basil, thyme and brown sugar. For a smokey flavor, add a teaspoon of liquid smoke flavoring. If a bit of a zing is desired, a teaspoon of ground chili peppers can be added.
Using or freezing
After the other ingredients have been mixed in well, the venison sausage can be cooked and eaten or frozen. One way to do this is to form the sausage into two inch balls and flatten them out between sheets of wax paper. Place these in sealable plastic bags, with wax paper included between the patties, then seal the bags and freeze it. The sausage is then ready for cooking at breakfast time, with the paper helping to separate the individual patties. Venison sausage keeps well in the freezer for five to six months.
Venison sausage isn’t especially difficult to make, it has a great flavor and the person making it has control over the ingredients. This is a great way of taking care of meat scraps that are generated when the deer has been cut and wrapped, too. It’s great for breakfast, and many people also find this sausage to be a wonderful addition to everything from spaghetti to pizza.