Homemade Venison Sausages
Previously I had taken my animals to Kumeu Homekill – Mark had processed the first couple of Deer I had shot and delivered a pile of cuts and sausages back to me. Really good venison sausages. However, after taking my brother up to Balnagown to get his first Deer, I decided to 1, process it myself and 2, make some sausages.
So, for the last month or so, I have had a bin of trimmings in the fridge, waiting for me to make into sausages.
Essentially, making sausages means mincing up the content then stuffing it into a casing. Some quick reading up online, and I was ‘ready’ to go.
I needed a good way of mincing up the meat and sausage stuffing and we already had a Kitchen Aid mixer at home – so I picked up the mincer and sausage making kit add-ons.
Essentially, the mincer attaches to the front of the Kitchen Aid and provides an option of two sizes for mincing. I went with the larger option. One note here – it’s important to remove as much sinew, silver and anything else other than meat from the Venison (or whatever it is you are grinding up). This all gets stuck in the grinding plates and slows down the process. I cleaned the plate halfway through (right after a large section of meat with the silver still on it) and things went much smoother.
The sausage nozzle goes onto the end of the mincer attachment. While you could mince and stuff at the same time, instead I minced all the meat up, added in some herbs and spices and then sent the mixer back through when stuffing the sausages. Initially, I left the grinding plate in there – it seemed to be holding in the mincer ‘screw’ – but after a bit, I removed it and had no issues.
One of the wonders of Venison is how lean it is. There is very little extra fat on Deer Meat. However, venison sausage without fat means a mouthful of sand. So in addition to the Venison, it is generally a good idea to add some fat from another source. In my case, I just got a pile of Pork Belly. Yes, Pig is next on the hunting list.
You are aiming for a ration of about 4:1 for the fat – or 20% fat, depending on how you want to look at it.
Herbs and Spices was – I kept it simple – I found an online recipe for some breakfast Venison sausages which had Sage, Chilli, Salt and Pepper. Nice and simple and really just focusing on the taste of the meat itself.
Of course, I also needed some sausage casings – casing is, in the case of ‘organic’ options – part of the intestine of animals – essentially collagen. While synthetic (or at least ‘man-made’) options are available, it’s generally considered that the traditional version is going to give you better taste. I decided to start with some Hog Casings from the Casing Boutique.
Making the Sausages
I was going to just put up a slow-motion video of me making the sausages – complete with some porn-funk-bass heavy music.
Anyhow. The process itself was easy enough. Like I mentioned above – I would suggest the larger mincing option and try to keep anything ‘stringy’ out of the mincer. It severely slows things down. I think the biggest challenge was stuffing the meat and then mince into the machine through the top. Two people, one feeding the casing, one stuffing the tray could make things a bit easier.
Regardless, it was a worthwhile process and the resulting venison sausages are excellent. There is nothing like knowing exactly what is going into the food you are eating. One of the few ways of doing that is making them yourself.