Venison breakfast sausage has long been a favorite among hunters and wild game enthusiasts. The rich, savory flavor of venison combined with the perfect blend of herbs and spices makes for a delicious addition to any breakfast plate.
This versatile recipe not only works well with venison but can be adapted to suit other wild game meats like hog, bear, goose, or turkey. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the art of making venison breakfast sausage, highlighting the key ingredients, preparation techniques, and ways to customize the recipe to suit individual tastes.
The Importance of Using Quality Ingredients
The success of any sausage recipe relies on the quality of the ingredients used. For venison breakfast sausage, this means using fresh, well-trimmed venison from a trusted source.
It’s essential to use the right cut of meat, such as the bottom round, neck meat, or shoulder, which can withstand the grinding process. In addition, using pork fatback adds essential fat to the sausage mixture, ensuring a juicy, flavorful result.
When it comes to herbs and spices, fresh is best. Fresh sage and thyme impart a robust, earthy flavor to the sausage that simply cannot be replicated with dried herbs.
However, if fresh herbs are unavailable, you can substitute them with dried sage and thyme. Just remember to adjust the quantities accordingly: 2 teaspoons of dried sage and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme should suffice.
Proper Preparation Techniques
Chopping and seasoning the meat is the first step in the sausage-making process. Cut the venison and pork fatback into 2-inch pieces and combine them in a large bowl. Mix in the salt, herbs, garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and ground cloves.
Once the meat is well-seasoned, it’s time to chill it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This step is crucial for achieving the right texture during the grinding process.
Next, grind the chilled meat using a meat grinder with a coarse die. If the meat begins to smear or come out of the grinder mushy, it’s too warm and should be returned to the freezer for another 30 minutes. Once the meat has been ground once, switch to a fine die and grind again for a smoother texture.
Customizing the Recipe
One of the best aspects of this venison breakfast sausage recipe is its versatility. Depending on personal preferences, there are several ways to customize the flavor and texture of the sausage:
- Sweeter sausage: To achieve a sweeter taste, omit the brown sugar from the spice blend and add 1 ½ tablespoons of maple syrup after grinding the meat.
- Spicier sausage: For those who prefer a little extra heat, increase the red pepper flakes by an additional ½ teaspoon.
- Breakfast links: To make sausage links, add ¼ cup of apple juice or water to the mixture to create a bind. Stuff the sausage into casings and twist every 4 inches.
- Crépinettes: For a unique twist, wrap sausage patties in caul fat and cook over medium heat until the fat melts. Be careful not to let the fat render for too long, as it may burn.
Storing and Cooking the Sausage
After preparing the sausage mixture, you can either cook it immediately or form it into small patties for later use. Fresh sausage should be consumed within a week, while frozen patties can be stored for several months. When cooking the sausage, be sure to heat it thoroughly, as undercooked wild game can pose health risks.
|Pork fatback||¾ lb.|
|Kosher salt||1 ½ tbsp.|
|Fresh sage, finely chopped||2 tbsp.|
|Fresh thyme leaves||½ tbsp.|
|Garlic cloves, minced||2|
|Black pepper||1 tsp.|
|Red pepper flakes||¼ tsp.|
|Brown sugar||1 tsp.|
|Ground cloves||⅛ tsp.|
Venison breakfast sausage is a delicious, flavorful alternative to store-bought sausage that can be adapted to suit a variety of wild game meats.
By using quality ingredients, employing proper preparation techniques, and customizing the recipe to individual preferences, you can create the perfect venison breakfast sausage for any occasion. Whether enjoyed alongside pancakes, in a hearty gravy, or as part of an egg sandwich, this versatile recipe is sure to impress family and friends alike.