Easy to Make – Venison Sausage by Scott Leysath

Scott Leysath |

leysath_wow_10-7-16_sausagebasics_pic3My first grinder, a Weston, set me back about $125 and I still use it for most jobs. It just takes a little longer to process large quantities of meat as compared to a more powerful model, but really, it’s enough for most home cooks. Not only will you use it to grind meat for sausage, it’s great for making freshly-ground burgers, meatballs and more. When chicken breasts are on sale for about 2 bucks a pound, run them through your grinder and it will save you at least 4 bucks a pound over the chicken that’s already ground at the market.

leysath_wow_10-7-16_sausagebasics_pic1There’s nothing mysterious about making sausage. Mix together 6 parts ground venison and 4 parts ground pork. Add some seasonings for flavor and either load into casings or simply make them into patties. I like mine a little on the spicy side, so I’ll throw in fresh jalapeno or serrano peppers or just a tablespoon or two of red pepper flakes. To make it even easier, I’ll add roughly chopped peppers, garlic,  onions and herbs to the grinder while I’m grinding the venison and pork. The juice from the ground vegetables adds great flavor to the sausage.

If you plan to smoke your sausages, it’s best to add the appropriate amount of sodium nitrite to the mix to prevent spoilage while smoking. Morton Tender-Quick can be found in many stores, but the better bet is to buy one of the cures online or from a local meat shop. If you don’t want to mess with measuring, seasoning and cures, pick up a sausage kit from Hi Mountain Seasonings. They make the process a no-brainer.

Before you load meat into your grinder, make sure that the meat and the grinder parts are well-chilled. Room temperature feed tubes, blades and venison can turn your meat into mush. Once ground, take your time and mix all ingredients thoroughly.

In the video, Stacy Harris of GameandGarden.com fame shows how she turns venison scraps into sausage. By the way, Stacy has a new cookbook on the way in a few weeks. Her recipes are solid.


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