The great sausage affair

Well, Stag came home two weeks ago, after being gone 3 ½ weeks hunting in Idaho. Yes, he did get an elk and what an elk it was! He is lucky he got an elk or I might of killed him for being gone so long.

“Why was he gone so long?” many of my friends ask me. I personally think he gets back in that wilderness and goes feral. After a week or so something starts to dawn on him, “I have a warm home, a wife and a job somewhere. I wonder where that is?” Then after another week or so, he remembers. Then it takes him whatever time it takes to actually get out of the wilderness he and his buddy are occupying. Then if there is elk involved, which there were two, it takes that much longer to get out. I guess I’m lucky to see him after 3 1/2 weeks!

The big payoff of course, is the meat he brings home. There is every kind of cut of meat you can possibly imagine. Stew meat, rump roast, backstrap and my new favorite, the humble ground meat. You can do so much with ground meat. Make sauces, chili, soup, stuffed squash and of course, sausage!

The first step, Erich grinds the meat

We decided to invite a few friends over and have a great sausage affair. We ground a lot of meat and mixed a lot of sausage. Over 10 different types were cranked out. The weirdest was “Thai” even though it was delicious. The least favorite was “Wartime” sausage which has mashed potatoes in it. (We think the sausage would have been better with potato chunks in it instead of mashed.)  There was tie for the favorites, both “Wild Rice and Porcini Mushroom” and “Hot Italian” made everyone’s tastebuds tingle. Close on the heels of those two were the “3 Wave Chili” and the “Chorizo.”

A very busy kitchen!

Most of the recipes that we tried called for 2/3 ground pork and 1/3 ground venison. We made most of the sausages with 100 % venison. One chorizo we made with 1/3 pork and 2/3 venison and everyone agreed the 100% venison chorizo was better.

Some of the mixed sausage ready to cook

There are so many recipes that we used that I am only going to share our 3 favorite with you. A great cookbook that I got many recipes out of is Janie Hibler’s “Wild About Game.” I highly recommend this book. Every recipe that we have cooked out of it has been wonderful.

frying up some samples of the "wild rice and mushroom" sausage

We ground all our meat with a Kitchen Aide meat grinder attachment on my mixer. We used the coarse (3/16) blade on the meat grinder. At first we tried the smaller one but it became easily clogged with sinew.

Kitchen Aid food grinders work great! We decided to make mostly bulk sausage since that is what we mostly use in cooking. We had a professional butcher make up a few types into links. Wonderful!  Mixing the meat was best with your bare hands, so get down and get meaty! Most of all have fun and let me know what you have discovered.

Wild Rice and Porcini Mushroom Venison Sausage

Adapted from “Wild About Game.” I rehydrated my mushrooms by added them to the wild rice as it cooked. Added great flavor to the rice and worked out great!

3 pounds of ground venison

1 small onion diced

4-6 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)

1 tablespoon of salt

2 teaspoons of fresh cracked pepper

2 teaspoons of dried thyme

1 tablespoon of fresh finely chopped rosemary

2 ounces of dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated

Or 8 oz of fresh

1 cup of 100% wild rice, cooked

Place the meat in a large bowl, so you have room to mix. Add the onion and all the spices and mix well with your hands. Add the rice and the mushrooms and mix some more. Then mix it some more. Fry up a little bit and taste, then adjust your seasonings accordingly.  Package it up into 1 pound portions and freeze what you don’t eat.

Three wave chili sausage

Three Wave Venison Chili Sausage

Adapted from “Wild about Game.” The original recipe called for 8 oz of passilla chilies, which we can not find here.

3 pounds of ground venison

4 Anaheim or pablano chilies, diced and de-seeded

1 tablespoon of cumin seeds, slightly crushed

1 tablespoon of cumin, ground

1 tablespoon of smoked paprika

1 tablespoon of salt

2 teaspoons of fresh cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder

Place the meat in a large bowl and make a bowl in the center of the meat. Add the chilies and mix for a bit with your hands. Then add all the spices and mix a lot. Then mix a bit more. Fry up a little bit and taste, then adjust your seasonings accordingly. Used immediately or freeze in whatever size packages you want. Very tasty in tacos!!

Hot Italian Sausage

I mince the garlic for this recipe in the food processor for ease.

5 pounds of ground venison

10 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of salt

2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper

2 teaspoons of fennel, crushed slightly

2 teaspoon of thyme

2 teaspoons of basil

2 teaspoons of fresh cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon of nutmeg

Get out a really BIG bowl for this batch. Place the meat in the bowl and make a well in the center of the meat. Add all the spices in the well and then get your hands in there and mix mix mix. Fry up a little bit and taste, then adjust your seasonings accordingly. Molto delizioso!


    • ziabaki says

      Venison actually covers the whole gamut of meat that comes from any animal in the Cervidae family. Elk, deer, moose, antelope, caribou, you name it, it covers it. Thanks for visiting!

  1. says

    I am so excited to see this post!! I will definitely be trying out your recipes and I just added the book you recommended to my Amazon cart. I may end up getting a meat grinder, so it seems like you are happy with the kitchen-aid attachment…is that true? Thanks so much for helping me find you, and now I really really want to be your neighbor! 🙂

    • ziabaki says

      Your blog is lovely! I love it! It seems we have a mutual admiration society going. Yes, we love our kitchen aid meat grinder. Works wonderfully!

  2. says

    So very jealous! No hunters in either my or my fiancé’s families, so we rarely get to enjoy deer, elk, etc. What a treat having all that meat to work with, and even more so turning it into wonderful homemade sausages!



  3. says

    Here in Italy, people still make their own sausages still, especially in the countryside. It’s a great way to keep up traditions. Your sausages are fantastic, it’s so interesting to look at the pictures of how you make them.

    • ziabaki says

      Oh Italy. We traveled through the country side there a few years ago and I’m still drooling over what we ate. The wild boar sausage was truly memorable. You lucky dog to live there!

  4. says

    I’m so excited to try this, I don’t have a meat grinder attachment (yet) but I will soon, in the mean time, I’ll buy ground meat.
    Thank you for this lovely post!

  5. says

    These sound fantastic. I just bought some sausage for dinner, can’t say I’m adventurous enough to make some, but the different varieties (10!) you guys came up with sound really clever and tasty! Enjoy all your hard work!

  6. MissM says

    I’m lucky enough to have a friend who gets us a deer every year- I have about 70lbs in my freezer right now. I just got the grinder/sausage stuffer attachment for my KA and would love to know where you got the “thai” sausage recipe. It sounds delish and I’d love to make it (and the others that you posted 🙂

  7. says

    Thank you for posting.

    I am just getting started making sausage. I wonder how you keep the venison moist without added fat in your sausages? It’s been the biggest thing I’ve struggled with.

    • ziabaki says

      We never put pork or beef fat in our sausages. We think it taints the flavor. Just make sure and cook in coconut oil or in sauces for moist meat. Also be careful not to cook too fast or too long, that will make it tough too. Good luck!

  8. Ashley says

    I love your blog! My fiance would be out hunting for 3 weeks if he could :). You are really cool to be so open to that. I had no idea that venison covered such a wide variety of animals from the same family. Looking forward to checking out more recipes!

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