*photo from unsplash
There’s this thing about autumn that keeps on fascinating me more and more with every year. It isn’t only the relief the change of temperature brings. It’s the colours that shimmer golden, orange, red, and green in the warm sunlight. It’s the warmth that rears up again from deep inside. The earthy scents in the air. The rustling of foliage in the woods. The soothing mist. The snuggling into warmer, soft clothing without really needing a thick, constricting jacket yet. The anticipation of coming home after being outside to drink a cup of comforting tea.
And it’s the return of venison dishes. I’m looking forward to them every year, waiting for them to supply my palate with strong flavours and my soul with a good, better, alternative to the usual choices of beef, pork, and poultry.
And since autumn nudges us to return to the homely tasks, to withdraw a bit and tend to our inner self, to prepare for the scarce winter times, to stock up the pantry with precious treasures, and to conserve the last glimpses of warmth and bustling summer life…making sausages is suggested, isn’t it?
Homemade Venison Sausages
ingredients for nearly 2 kg
- 1,25 kg of red venison* without bone, shoulder or haunch for example
- 600 g pork belly
- 10 g salt
- 8 g pepper, freshly ground
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
- 1/2 tsp porcini powder
- 5 g fresh thyme leaves
- 2 juniper berries, freshly ground
- 3 m sausage casings
*personally, I prefer deer and stag, but you could also use any other red venison meat you can find, like moose or reindeer.
Be sure that your tools are perfectly clean and the ingredients are properly cooled. Best cool your tools as well to obviate the meath going bad during the process. Best would be if you insert breaks after every meat grinding step to properly clean your tools and cool everything down again. For example pack everything into your freezer for half an hour.
Soak the sausage casings in water.
Cut the venison and pork belly into bite-sized chunks and grind it through the coarse plate of your meat grinder.
Mix the meat with all the spices and grind it through the coarse plate a second time.
Mix it all with your hands for at least 2 minutes until it’s nearly emulsifying.
To check if you’ve got the flavour right heat up a pan with a little bit of oil and fry a teaspoon full of your sausage filling until it’s cooked through. Adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Get the casings out of the water and put it onto the horn of the sausage filler. Start to get the meat though the filler and when it is just about to come out of the horn stop the machine and make a knot into the end of the casing. Fill up the casings rather loosely until all the filling is through.
Make a knot in the other end of the casings and start to to twist portions (video). Store the sausages in the fridge for one day and/or pack them into a freezer to store them for hungry times.