Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Meat Week - Breakfast Sausage

Although the consuming of sausage in various forms happens frequently around here, the actual making of sausage has never before been attempted.  Until this week.

We had about twenty pounds of ground venison, so just under a quarter of it was made into breakfast sausage.

Don't ask me why haven't made it up until now.  Maybe because we never really had enough ground meat just sitting around.  The hog we got earlier this year yielded sixty or so pounds of breakfast sausage (made by the butcher), so we didn't make a big batch of the venison version.  And besides, I was saving most of it for Italian sausage.

Anyhow, I looked up venison breakfast sausage recipes online and found a plethora of information.  But almost all of them had basically the same ingredients; sage, garlic, black pepper and red pepper.  The amount of venison to pork or pork fat varied from 4:1 to 3:1.  So I took something from here and another thing from there and came up with our own recipe.

Kind'a Spicy Maple Venison Breakfast Sausage
4 pounds ground venison
1 pound pork fatback
2 tsp. sage
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. garlic salt
1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. each thyme, marjoram & black pepper
1/2 cup ice water
1/2 cup maple syrup

First off, it is much easier to grind semi-frozen chunks of meat.  So either chunk up your meat and then freeze it or freeze the meat and then cut hunks off with a big honk'n knife.  You'll also want your fatback frozen or darn near frozen.

Combine all the spices in a small bowl.  Set up your grinder and put the larger plate setting on it.  Have a large bowl under your grinder and run alternating hunks of venison and fatback through it.  Mix up a bit with your hands (or a spoon if you're a big sissy, but you'll eventually have to get your hands into it so just do it now and get it over with), then evenly distribute the seasoning mixture and smoosh around again with your hands.  Pour in the ice water and maple syrup....and smoosh some more.

If the venison/fat/spice mixture is getting warm and overly mushy, which it probably is by now, put it in the freezer for a while to firm up again.

This time, run the cooled mixture through the fine setting on your grinder:
Most definitely a hands-on experience.
If you want a really fine textured sausage, you could run it through the grinder again.  We didn't have any sausage casings yet, so we just packaged the sausage in quart-sized zippy bags and put them in the freezer.  After sampling a few patties, of course.  If I were to make them into breakfast links, I would have probably sent it through the grinder again for a smoother texture.  We thought it was good enough that I would transfer the ingredients and proportions from the back of the feed store receipt to an actual recipe card and I placed it in my recipe box.

Thank goodness I actually wrote down what we did this time!


  1. All I have to say is... I gotta get a meat grinder... Are you gonna post your "recipe" for italian sausage too??

    1. Oh yeah, you got like a million pounds of ground beef coming soon, don't ya? I'll post the Italian Sausage recipe once we make (and personally taste test) it.

  2. Feed store receipts make good scratch paper, LOL, Congratulations on your sausage.

  3. Looking good! THanks for the recipe, it will come in handy when time to make sausage. Hubby will be out next month for his deer.

  4. If this keeps up, you're going to have to start jogging into town, LOL! That's a mighty handy doodad gadget you have for your mixer - does it work well?

  5. Tee-hee! I like the blue cans of fortification back behind the mixer! ;-)
    I have a grinder for my mixer too and have used it a couple of times to grind chicken of all things! LOL!!