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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Venison Sausage

I have been trying out a few recipes for venison sausage.
The first two are loosely based on recipes found on the internet: and

I combined them as follows:

Approx. 6 lbs venison to 3 lbs fatty pork ground together
1 cup cold water
3 T sage
3 T garlic
6 packets red pepper flakes
3 T salt

The mild version
1 cup water
1 1/2 T sage
1 1/2 T garlic
3 T salt
3 T brown sugar

These turned out well, although I thought that it could use some improvement and flavor.
I was given a recipe book 301 Venison Recipes; The Ultimate Deer Hunter's Cookbook.
This recipe calls for:
5 lbs venison, 1 lb pork
1 lb ground beef fat or suet
2 T salt
3 T sage
2 t pepper
1 t red cayenne
2 T molasses

I blended this into the first recipe and added a few things, tweaked the flavor a little.
This is what I used:

6 lbs venison, 5 lbs pork
1 T. Garlic, Rubbed sage, Powdered Sage
2 T. Curing Salt, Molasses
6 T. Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 t. Paprika
1 Cup Cold Water

6lbs venison, 5 lbs pork
1 t. ground black pepper, ground red pepper
1/8 t. ground white pepper
1 t. paprika
1 T. Garlic
2 T. Sage (1 T. rubbed sage, 1 T. ground sage), curing salt
6 T. brown sugar
2 T. molasses
1 cup cold water

The flavor of the mild in the last recipe was heavy in garlic, and light on sage, without much other flavor. the molasses and increased sugar should meld well with the paprika, and I reduced the garlic slightly. We are using curing salt this time, so I have decreased the amount and we will see how it goes.

The hot recipe was hot enough but I felt that the crushed red pepper was too chunky, so I put it through a pepper mill and I was pleased with the results. I also reduced the amount of garlic so it would not over power the sage. I switched the recipe to curing salt and added sugar and molasses this time, which it did not have in the last recipe.

The rubbed sage is a little hard to mix and blend, I may use only powdered next time, but I thought that it would nice to have recognizable herbs in it. I think in the future it would be nice for it to be a homegrown sage and I can dry and powder it myself.
In addition, I might try a hint of liquid smoke, and adjust the amount of sugar and molasses. I also have ground red pepper, but I didn't want to over do it. It seemed plenty spicy last time, just too garlicy and a bit unbalanced. I am hoping the curing salt/sugar/molasses is the element I was missing in the last batch. We shall see. I plan to taste it in a few days, and vacuum seal the rest.
The problem is that you have to let the meat cure for a few days before you really know how it will taste. And, really, it is too late to change the batch. But I can add to the recipe the ideas for the next batch, so that I can follow that recipe.
I sort of lost the first one with my original notes, so this time I stapled it into the venison cookbook.
Last time, I vacuum sealed it and kept it over in the fridge for 3 days before freezing. This was in hope that the flavors would have a chance to meld, without aging the meat much. Being as fresh as the deer is, I don't worry, but using store bought pork, you just don't know how long it has been in the freezer case...

The best part of the sausage making process is that less meat is wasted. I always had a hard time with the foreshank and neck for jerky or stew. I tend to use the very best cuts in my stew and I use scraps of any of it for jerky. Now I really have a system of meat use as I butcher.

Roasts are cut large and left whole. They can be cut partially defrosted for steaks, for stew or for jerky. Any meat that is cut off the large roasts while processing is cut in cubes and put in a bag labeled precut stew. Another bag is filled with marinade for jerky, and any slim and slender scraps go here. A bowl is loaded with scraps with too much work in cleaning, and too much fat for other cuts. This is the sausage bowl. The Backstrap is put in a bag of marinade and saved for wrapping in bacon. This is the prime meat. In this way, very little is wasted.
At the rate we had deer this year (5 so far) I think that it would pay to save hides. After fleshing, I think I will salt, roll and freeze the hides. As they are collected, (8-10), I will process them after the butchering is done.