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Venison Sausage with Bay and Garlic

venison sausage recipe

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
  1. 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.
  2. Take out some hog casings and set in a bowl of very warm water.
  3. Chop meat and fat into 1 inch chunks.
  4. Crush the bay leaves and grind them into a powder with a spice mill. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

More Venison Recipes
More Cured Meat Recipes

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15 responses to “Venison Sausage with Bay and Garlic”

  1. Brady

    Pro or Con on using the Instacure?

  2. D donnelly

    I got a moose last week. I am grinding a lot of meat for sausage. I have to say I love your site

  3. Sausage Fest ’11 « The Cage Free Tomato

    [...] Sausage via Paula Wolfert via Chow (above), venison with bay and garlic via Hank Shaw (below right), chorizo for aging via Darina Allen (below center). Good looking recipes. No pink [...]

  4. Sherry

    I made both the lemon and basil and the bay and garlic sausages this week. They were outstanding! Shared with friends and had a feast. Shot my deer on Monday and going to make more today. Thanks so much for your site and your instructions on how to make sausage. I did try using my Kitchen aide grinder with sausage stuffer attachment because I liked the presentation of the links but I have to agree with you that it is best to just leave it in patty form without professional equipment. Seemed to toughen up the sausages a bit and it is harder to control the cooking since deer seems to taste best just barely done in this. Also made the Chilidrone which was a big hit. Thanks again for sharing your expertise with all of us.

  5. dave

    The recipe obliquely alludes to smoking, such as when it mentions the dry milk powder, but doesn’t explicitly state to smoke. Shoule they be smoked?

  6. dave

    Thank you, Hank. LAst question, I promise:

    Cols smoke them for flavor only, or hot smoke them to doneness?

  7. dave

    Cured & smoked, they are fantatstic! Served cold as antipasto, even slipped by a few people who claim to dislike venison, they loved it!

  8. bill

    is it possible to get a weight (in grams) for the amount of bay leaves? a tablespoon of ground bay sounds like a lot of bay leaves to me.
    i’ve just recently discovered your site and i’m loving every minute of it. can’t read it fast enough. thanks for everything!

  9. Greg

    Any thoughts on a sauce/condiment to serve these with, aside from the traditional ketchup/mustard/pickle routine?

  10. How Eating “Real Food” Helped Me Love Deer Season {From a Hunter’s Wife}

    [...] Make sausages, both patties and links. [...]

  11. Kathy Fore

    I’m allergic to pork, can this be made with some other fatty meat as substitute?

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