December 06, 2022
By Jack Hennessey
The smell of venison sausage wafting from the griddle is the perfect “welcome back” after a cold morning on stand. Plus the flavor, when done right, puts a smile on every hunter’s face, regardless of whether tags were punched.
With this recipe, you can use pre-ground venison or grind yours fresh from trim. You will want to grind the pork fat fresh, and pork back fat works best here. We’re not stuffing sausages so you don’t need casings. I’d also argue stuffing sausage is the most difficult part of making sausage. Because we aren’t doing that, this breakfast sausage is incredibly simple to make. Just follow one rule: keep your meat very cold at all times. Proteins and fat need to bind properly and that happens when meat is just a touch above freezing. If those molecules don’t properly bind, fat will smear, then leak out during cooking, and you’ll end up with dry, crumbly sausage. Not idea.
I am a firm believer that precision equals perfect sausage. Therefore, I do recommend converting measurements to metric and using a dry goods scale for your spices. Weighing spices is far more precise than using teaspoons or tablespoons, for example. You can find these dry goods scales for as little as $7 on Amazon, but I’d recommend getting something reliable for closer to $20-$25.
Nearly all ingredients below are also listed in percentages so you can adapt this recipe to whatever quantity of meat you’re working with. Just make sure you do your math correctly. Example: 1% of total meat, when shown as a math problem, looks like this: XXX grams of meat x .01. Another example: 0.6% of meat is .006. For the chicken stock and C-Bind—both of which help bind sausage—these are listed in 2-1/2-pound increments. Feel welcome to adapt accordingly depending on your total amount of meat and fat.
- 793.8 grams ground venison (70% of total meat)
- 340.2 grams pork fat (30% of total meat)
- 20.4 grams kosher salt (1.8% of total meat)
- 11.3 grams fennel seeds (1% of total meat)
- 11.3 grams brown sugar (1% of total meat)
- 9 grams freshly cracked black pepper (0.8% of total meat)
- 6.8 grams paprika (0.6% of total meat)
- 3.4 grams all spice (0.3% of total meat)
- 6.8 grams grams garlic powder (0.6% of total meat)
- 1/2 cup ice-cold chicken stock (per 1134 or 2.5 pounds)
- 5 grams C-Bind (Carrot Fiber Binder)
- If grinding venison freshy from trim, grind together with pork fat. If using pre-ground chub bags, grind the pork fat by itself. Use a fine grinding plate for either option. (Tip: It helps when meat is partially frozen.)
- Measure spice ingredients on a dry goods scale. Mix thoroughly and add to ground meat and fat ONLY if meat is still ice-cold. If the ground meat and fat are above 35 degrees Fahrenheit, throw in the freezer until closer to 33-34 degrees.
- After making sure meat and fat are cold, mix in spices. Mix thoroughly for a couple of minutes. Add ice-cold chicken stock. Mix for a couple more minutes. Add C-Bind and mix for another minute. If at any point it feels like the meat is warming up, stop, and add meat to freezer to cool. Mixing warmer meat runs the risk of smearing fat and causing protein extraction to fail. Translation: all the fat will seep out during cooking and leave you with dry, crumbly sausage.
- Once properly mixed, your mix should be very tacky. When you hold a golf-ball size chunk upside-down, it should not immediately fall off. Additionally, you should be able to pick up the mass in one piece (using two hands). It should also be slightly difficult to pull apart chunks to form into patties.
- To cook, heat a medium skillet on medium heat. Form into 3-ounce patties and sear both sides in a skillet. Do not crowd the skillet, since crowding the skillet causes meat to steam and will soften crust of meat (and lead to a poor sear).
- Make sure the venison sausage is cooked thoroughly (to 160 degrees) prior to serving.
Enjoy! Reach out to me on Instagram (@WildGameJack) with any questions or comments.
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