This is a rich, country-style venison sausage where the dominant spice is ground bay leaves and garlic. These are especially good for grilling, as bay seems to go well with the flavors that come with cooking over an open fire.
If you are unfamiliar with making fresh sausages, I wrote a basic tutorial on my friend Elise’s site here.
Makes about 4 pounds
- 3 pounds venison, lamb or beef
- 1 pound pork fat
- 35 grams salt (about 2 tablespoons)
- 4 grams Instacure No. 1 (optional)
- 1 tablespoon ground bay leaf
- 25 grams minced fresh garlic (about 2 tablespoons)
- 10 grams ground black pepper (about 2 teaspoons)
- 6 grams celery seeds (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1/2 cup red wine (I used a Primitivo)
- 25 grams dry milk powder (optional)
- hog casings, about 12-15 feet
- Chill the meat until it is almost frozen by putting it in the freezer for an hour or so. Put the wine in the fridge.
- Take out some hog casings and set in a bowl of very warm water.
- Chop meat and fat into 1 inch chunks.
- Crush the bay leaves and grind them into a powder with a spice mill.
- Combine the salt, pepper, garlic and herbs with the meat, mix well with your hands and let it rest in the fridge for about an hour.
- If you are using the dry milk powder, mix that in, too. I use it when I slow-smoke sausages; it helps them retain moisture and shrink less after they come out of the smoker.
- Grind 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 warmer than 69 degrees, set the bowl for the ground meat into another bowl of ice to keep it cold.
- Chill the meat for another 30 minutes, then add the wine, then 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. Once it is mixed well, put it back in the fridge.
- Stuff the sausage into the casings. 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 up to 4 hours (the colder it is, the longer you can hang them). If it is warm out, hang for one hour. Once they have dried a bit, put in the fridge until needed. They will keep for at least a week in the fridge.
- 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.