When life gives you lots of ducks or geese (this happens a lot with snow goose hunters), you should make some sausages out of them. Use the shot-up birds you won’t feel bad about cutting up; save the perfect birds for roasting or other uses.
This sausage is “hunter’s style,” which to me means coarse-grained and flavored with traditional European game spices, such as caraway, juniper and sage. This duck sausage has all three, with sage as its main herb.
Duck Sausages, Hunter’s Style
These sausages would be perfect with a cassoulet, with beans, or simply pan-roasted or grilled. The possibilities are unlimited. Note that the only ingredient measured in grams is the salt — it is that important to get the saltiness right. I did include a rougher measurement to get you close, if you don’t have a scale.
Makes about 4 pounds, or 16 sausages.
Prep Time: 90 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
- 3 pounds duck meat or goose meat
- 1 pound pork fat
- 1/2 cup red wine, chilled
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons ground juniper berries
- 2 teaspoons caraway seed
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 34 grams, or 2 level tablespoons, kosher salt
- hog casings
- Chop the meat and fat into about 1-inch chunks, then mix all the spices together and toss with the meat and fat. Chill the meat and fat until it is almost frozen by putting it in the freezer for an hour or so.
- Take out some hog casings and set in a bowl of very warm water.
- Grind the meat and fat through your meat grinder (you can use a food processor in a pinch, but you will not get a fine texture) using the coarse die. If your room is warm, set the bowl for the ground meat into another bowl of ice to keep it cold.
- Add the wine and mix thoroughly either using a Kitchenaid on low for 60-90 seconds or with your (very clean) hands. This is important to get the sausage to bind properly.
- Stuff the sausage into the casings all at once. Twist off links by pinching the sausage down and twisting it, first in one direction, and then with the next link, the other direction. Or you could tie them off with butcher’s string.
- Hang the sausages in a cool place for 1 hour if it is warm out, up to overnight if you have a place that will get no warmer that 45 degrees. The longer you can hang the sausages, the better they will taste. After they have dried a bit, put in the fridge until needed. They will keep for at least a week. If you are freezing the sausages, wait a day before doing so. This will tighten up the sausages and help them keep their shape in the deep-freeze.