Posted By: Jesse Williams
Both my family & Clay's are game hunters, so growing up I knew that the new year meant deer sausage making time! It often involved a ton of cousins, friends and neighbours, a fair bit of liquor and a long day of fun. Depending on the tags we are drawn for, we usually butcher 3-5 deer per year and split it between 2 -3 families. Since I got married, we have been making our deer sausage with my brothers-in law, but the same trusty recipe from my mom & dad Baron still holds tried, true & my favorite!
Baron Garlic Sausage -100 lb Batch
60lbs of deer/ 40 lbs of pork
Each year we seem to waiver on this. Depending on how much fat you keep from your deer, and if you use trimmings, fat or the whole pig carcass, you will want to adjust the ratio of deer to pork. This year we did 70/30 because the pork trimmings were almost entirely fat. Just fry up a patty sample of your mixture and see if you like the fat content. You can always add more deer or pork to your liking.
We use the same garlic recipe below for our moose and elk sausage.
When I was little, we used to raise our own butcher pigs just for sausage. Nowadays, with an anti-pig husband (sigh!), our best luck is to buy a mature butcher pig from the local Hutterite Colony. Sometimes they will even butcher it for you, or you can take it to a local butcher and have it done the way you like, leaving out the good cuts for your freezer.
Spice Mixture (for 100 lbs)
Mix together & sprinkle over the ground meat:
1 cup sea salt (or non-iodized salt)
1 cup black pepper
1 cup garlic salt
1/4 cup tender quick
Add to meat after the dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups minced garlic in 3 cups of boiling water*
**This is my mom's trick. Soak the minced garlic (you can buy it minced at the store, or spend hours peeling & mincing yourself) in the boiling water. We do these up a bit ahead of time, put the 3 cup mixture in jars and let the water infuse with the garlic. The liquid helps to mix the ingredients together, and the temperature helps keep mixing hands warm, especially when the ground meat was frozen previously! You can add more boiling water if needed to make the meat easier to mix.
Mom says the best casing are sheep gut casings and we have a tradition of getting them from Brooks Meat Packers, a local butcher shop. We seemed to have had the best luck there, as other sources have given us casings that broke very easily and made sausage making a nightmare. I am sure there are many different types and sources that work, but we tend to stick to what has served us well in the past.
Soak your thawed casing salted water prior to use. Keep them in the water until you are about to thread them onto the sausage press. Don't allow them to dry out.
Some people get fancy with their packaging using vacuum sealers, but even doing 3 or 4 deer per year, we always run out before the year ends, so paper packing works just fine for us. If you are planning on keeping your sausage for long periods of time in the freezer, maybe a vacuum sealing system would be better for you to prevent spoiling.
We purchase freezer paper (paper on one side, wax on the other) from our local grocery store. You can usually buy it in 50 ft rolls. For 300 lbs of sausage this year, we used about 250 ft of paper, however it will vary based on your wrapping technique and size of packages.
Tape seems to be a big issue for us. You can purchase Freezer Tape which is specifically made for wrapping items for the freezer. It looks like regular masking tape, but trust me- masking tape doesn't work! The second it hits the freezer it loses its stickiness and just falls off! I had some freezer tape left over from a few years ago, stored in cold storage (our c-can), and when I took it out to use this year I was very disappointed. Apparently it cannot be frozen (prior to use). It wouldn't even come off the roll! So if you do manage to find the elusive freezer tape, store it inside for next time!
I have purchased Freezer Tape at our local grocery store before, however this year it was impossible to find. You may want to try you local hardware store or Canadian Tire, although it can be quite tricky to get a hold of.
Because we were low this year, we tried a number of different tapes. All-Weather Scotch tape (blue) seemed to work great. We actually found it in the painting section at Canadian Tire. It looks a lot like painting tape. We also tried a very thin, plastic sealing tape recommended by our local hunting store, but it was hard to use, and had to use a lot of it to make it to stick.
We don't do anything fancy here. We just use permanent marker to write the type of deer sausage it is, and the date. This way we can identify how old something in the bottom of our freezer is (although we never seem to have to worry about freshness when it goes so fast!).
After all that work, now sit back, kick your feet up and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
We would love to hear your feedback, comments or suggestions if you make your own deer sausage. We are by no means experts, but we do have a ton of fun and get a lot of satisfaction knowing we have a freezer full of meat to enjoy all year round. Cook up a batch & enjoy!
You may also like these other #meatmonday recipes...
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