Weekend Sausage Extravaganza

 

For the second consecutive year, daughter Betsy and I made sausage with venison, goose and duck breasts. We mixed the fowl with the venison and figured it would all work out in the end – which it did. Snow geese, Aleutian geese, widgeon and spoonies joined with shoulder and rump meat from my buck.

I found a couple pork shoulders at the local grocery store – ten pounds apiece. Combined with 20 pounds of game meat we had the makings of a bunch of sausage.

I purchased sausage kits at Bass Pro. This made the process of gathering up materials and spices quite simple and I had enough to do to get ready anyway. We were very pleased with the product.

Here’s a photo essay of our weekend efforts.

Meat ingredients

grinder

We sliced and diced the pork and venison.

It's ok to have a beer while making sausage.

Casings come packed in salt.

Rinse the casings to remove salt.

Note the prepackaged sausage kit.

The casings must be soaked until soft.

We ground the pork and venison together.

I followed directions from the kit carefully.

The meat after one pass through.

After the first pass we added seasoning and cure and then reground.

After regrinding and a night in the fridge, the meat was ready to be stuffed.

Summer sausage is 80% lean meat and 20% pork.

Polish and bratwurst are 80% pork and 20% venison, but you can go to 50/50 if you prefer a lean product.

When the grinding was over, we switched the knife and grate (on the counter) for the stuffing blade - inserted into the grinder.

The casings slide over the stuffing tube. After it's in place tie a knot at the end.

Betsy attempted to make sausage by herself, but it really takes two people, one to hold the sausage and the other to run the machine.

Summer sausage casings are quite large and a larger stuffing tube is used.

Twist the casings as each link reaches the desired length.

The summer sausage made us laugh.

Dad stopped by to supervise for a while.

Polish links with a little left over for smoked sausage patties.

I was quite proud of the summer sausage.

We ended up with 15 pounds of summer sausage.

To prepare the smoker, I place apple wood chips inside aluminum foil. This created an appropriate amount of smoke and heat when placed over the coals.

Bratwurst first.

Almost there.

After three hours of smoking, the bratwurst reached the 160 degrees necessary to be safe.

The summer sausage is fabulous.
The bratwurst and polish have an excellent smokey flavor.

What a great way to share your game with friends.

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