This shop on making venison sausage has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LEMLoveToProcess #CollectiveBias
It’s that time of year again, here in the land of do it yourself food. What time is that you wonder? Hunting season!
Every year we have lived here we have been fortunate to have a deer for the freezer. I can’t put the existence of that bounty at the feet of the hubby though, every deer we have gotten has been gifted to us.
Isn’t that a wonderful testament to friends?
But this year the hubby wasn’t sure what was going to happen so he decided to dust off his rifle and head out. I think he also wanted to see if he could still bring home the bacon – so to speak. He’s been out twice so far and he’s brought home a load of firewood but no venison.
Oh well, at least I’ll be warm this winter. Lucky I still have some from last year.
Making Venison Sausage
Since our deer have been gifted we have the easy job of picking them up at the butcher. I have never dressed out a deer. I have butchered chickens. We do it every year here on the farm; it is a long day and hard work, BUT we know exactly what those birds have eaten and where they have been. This is why are living the way we are. When it comes to the deer I have the butcher save me the bones so I can make stock and I use as much of the animal as I can.
The LEM™ Products Big Bite® Sausage Stuffer
Now let’s talk making venison sausage. I’ve always wanted to try making sausage but never had the wherewithal – until now! Check out my uber-cool LEM™ Products Big Bite® Sausage Stuffer. I can now make and stuff sausage, make meat sticks and more! But for now I am most excited about using some of the ground venison I have.
I think I’m going to have to save my pennies so I can get myself an LEM™ Big Bite Grinder. That way I can decide what to do with what comes out of the deer.
All About Making Venison Sausage
Let me start this by noting I knew nothing about making sausage before I embarked upon this partnership with LEM™ Products. Making sausage was one of those kitchen projects on my bucket list. I’m happy to share my learning process and explain my errors so you can go forward and not do what I did. Do know that it is not difficult and that there are many resources to help you including helpful videos on the LEM™ Products website.
I love that the Big Bite Dual Gear Sausage Stuffer is made from stainless steel. That makes it easy to clean. Stainless also doesn’t rust or crack like plastic can. The unit has two gears; one for stuffing and the second for making it easy to bring the piston back up to refill the cylinder or to remove it for cleaning if you are done.
Venison Sausage with Fig and Apple
4 lbs ground venison
1 lb pepper bacon or 1 lb bacon and 1 TBS freshly ground pepper
1 lb dried figs, preferably organic
8 apples preferably organic, peeled and cored Use at least two different types of apples if you can. I used granny smith and honey crisp
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 TBS sea salt
3 TBS ground fennel
1 TBS ground cloves
1 TBS ground cardamom
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne or more to taste
natural hog casing
Before you start mixing up your sausage consider your casing – some need to be soaked for 24 hours, others take less time. The natural hog casings I used from LEM™ Products needed to soak for 30 minutes before use so I had them soaking while I made the mixture.
Add the ground venison to a large bowl and gently break apart.
Add the ground fennel, cloves, cardamom, coriander, cayenne, minced garlic and salt (and pepper if you used regular bacon) Gently mix into the meat mixture being sure to mix it in evenly and to break up any clumps of fig.
Take a small bit of the mixture and cook it to taste test the seasoning. If they are to your taste you are ready to stuff. If the seasonings need adjusting do so and retest the mixture.
How to Stuff Sausage Using the LEM™ Products Big Bite Dual Gear Stuffer
Are you ready to stuff?
I have to admit I had fun. Who knew sausage making would be entertaining? That is not to say that I didn’t have a couple of fits and starts but with any new skill there is a learning curve. Luckily it was a short curve!
I will note that after one false start I was ready to go.
After the casing was rinsed put it on your chosen stuffing tube. This actually was the most difficult part of the whole process for me. I think I had an issue because my hands were too small. Once the hubby started working on it the casing went right on – you can see how easy it was for him in the short video below. There is a full video of the entire sausage making process on YouTube HERE.
- What I learned: make sure the casing is centered on the stuffing tube as you guide it on. If it gets too far to the top or the bottom it gets difficult to slide on the tube.
The cylinder gets sprayed with cooking spray or you can wipe it down with vegetable oil. This is to help the sausage mixture move easily. Now attach the cylinder to the stuffer and we are ready to go! Watch the video to see how easy it is to stuff sausage with the LEM™ Products Big Bite Dual Gear Stuffer:
- What I learned: Don’t turn the handle too quickly at first! You can break the casing or cause large air bubbles. Start slow and build up to a speed that works for the filling you are using. As the casing fills, move it down the stuffing tube a bit at a time.
After the Stuffing:
Wasn’t that fun?
As you could see it is very easy to use. It didn’t take me long to figure out at what speed to turn the handle (ie: slowly) for the best filling of the casing. I’m sure that different recipes will require different turning speeds.
As the sausage came out of the stuffer I just made sure it curled into a circle. At this point it was time to separate it into links. I first had to decide how big I wanted them to be.
I used the arm of a cake fork as a size marker. To make the links you just twist the rope of sausage on each side. Repeat this until done.
Poke each sausage to release any air bubbles. I did not have a sausage pricker so I used my pokey big fork – pardon the technical term. Then the sausages went into the refrigerator to sit overnight.
What Happened Next?
The next day I separated them – it was simple, just a cut with scissors. I made a yummy dinner with two sausages that I will share with you in another post. The rest went into the freezer for future use.
There was a little bit of sausage mixture left in the cylinder after the casing was full. It wasn’t enough to justify putting another casing on the stuffing tube so I just took it out and made patties. I froze these as well.
I’m just so excited to have this new skill and I can’t wait to try making different kinds of sausage. I bought keilbasa seasoning from LEM™ Products so that will be my next attempt. There are so many possibilities and using venison is just a beginning.
Shopping at LEM™ Products
Shopping online at LEM™ Products was super simple. The site is very easy to navigate and you can find what you need whether you want to start making your own sausage like me or get a first class dehydrator or vacuum sealer. I found my spiffy Big Bite® Sausage Stuffer as well as the natural hog casings I used in my recipe. To set myself up for future fun in the kitchen I also picked up a couple of packages of seasonings.
There are some items from LEM™ Products that will be going on my Christmas list too. Now that I have this new kitchen skill I’ve got to use it, right?
You can learn more at LEM™ Products
What kind of sausage would you make first with your LEM™ Products
Big Bite® Sausage Stuffer?
- 4 lbs ground venison
- 1 lb pepper bacon or 1 lb bacon and 1 TBS freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb dried figs, preferably organic
- 8 apples preferably organic, peeled and cored Use at least two different types of apples if you can. I used granny smith and honey crisp
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2½ TBS sea salt
- 3 TBS ground fennel
- 1 TBS ground cloves
- 1 TBS ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp cayenne or more to taste
- natural hog casing
- Before you start mixing up your sausage consider your casing - some need to be soaked for 24 hours, other less time. The natural hog casings I used from LEM™ Products needed to soak for 30 minutes before use so I had them soaking while I made the mixture.
- Add the ground venison to a large bowl and gently break apart.
- Cut the pepper bacon into small pieces and grind or process in a food processor until it is in very small pieces. Add to the venison
- Trim the stems from the figs and then grind or process until like a paste, add to the ground meat.
- Grate the apples and add to the figs and ground meat.
- Gently mix the meat, bacon, figs and apples being careful to not over mix but being sure to evenly distribute.
- Add the ground fennel, cloves, cardamom, coriander, cayenne, minced garlic and salt (and pepper if you used regular bacon) Gently mix into the meat mixture being sure to mix it in evenly and to break up any clumps of fig.
- Take a small bit of the mixture and cook it to taste for the seasonings. If they are to your taste you are ready to stuff. If the seasonings need adjusting do so and retest the mixture.
- Stuff the sausage per instructions