Making Venison Sausage – with the LEM Products Big Bite Sausage Stuffer

LEM Products, Big Bite Sausage Stuffer, Venison Sausage with Figs and Apples, making venison sausage, #CollectiveBias, #LEMLoveToProcess, #AD

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For anyone that lives in deer country and is a meat eater hunting season is a popular time of year. When we lived in Montana we were lucky to have very kind friends who gave us a deer every year that we could put in the freezer. The hubby went out hunting a couple of times but all he brought back were a couple of ticks and lots of firewood. I was glad for the venison in the freezer and it allowed me to try some new skills like making venison sausage.

The wood was welcomed. The ticks, not so much.

Friends are a wonderful things. Friends that are good hunters are a gift.

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One year the husband decided he wanted to see if he could still bring home the bacon – so to speak. He dusted off his hunting rifle and headed out into the woods. He’s been out twice so far and he’s brought home a load of firewood but no venison.

Oh well, at least I’ll be warm this winter. Lucky I still have some meat in the freezer from last year.

how to make venison sausage

Making Venison Sausage

Since our deer have been gifted we have the easy job of picking them up at the butcher. I have never dressed out a deer and guess what? I am never going to dress out a deer. Chickens I have butcherd –  we did it every year when we kept them on our little farm; it was a long day and a lot of hard work, BUT we knew exactly what those birds ate and where they had been. This is why we chose the farm lifestyle for that time in our lives. When it comes to the deer I have the butcher save me the bones so I can make stock and I use as much of the animal as I can.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you buy from my link I might make a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay. See the full affiliate disclosure here.

The Big Bite® Sausage Stuffer

Now let’s talk making venison sausage. I’ve always wanted to try making sausage but never had the wherewithal – until now! Check out my uber-cool Big Bite® Sausage Stuffer. I can now make and stuff sausage,  make meat sticks and more! But for now I am most excited about using some of the ground venison I have.

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All About Making Venison Sausage

Let me start this by noting I knew nothing about making sausage before I embarked upon this little endeavor. Making sausage was one of those kitchen projects on my bucket list and I am happy to be able to do so. Come along with me and follow my learning process and I will explain my errors so you can go forward and not do what I did.  

I love that this sausage stuffer is made from stainless steel. That makes it easy to clean. Stainless also doesn’t rust or crack like plastic can. The unit has two gears; one for stuffing and the second for making it easy to bring the piston back up to refill the cylinder or to remove it for cleaning if you are done.

Venison Sausage with Fig and Apple

4 lbs ground venison
1 lb pepper bacon or 1 lb bacon and 1 TBS freshly ground pepper
1 lb dried figs, preferably organic
8 apples preferably organic, peeled and cored (Use at least two different types of apples if you can. I used granny smith and honey crisp)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 TBS sea salt
3 TBS ground fennel
1 TBS ground cloves
1 TBS ground cardamom
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne or more to taste
natural hog casing

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*Before you start mixing up your sausage consider your casing – some need to be soaked for 24 hours, others take less time. The natural hog casings I used needed to soak for 30 minutes before use so I had them soaking while I made the mixture.

Add the ground venison to a large bowl and gently break apart.

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Cut the pepper bacon into small pieces and grind or process in a food processor until it is in very small pieces. Add to the venison

LEM Products, Big Bite Sausage Stuffer, Venison Sausage with Figs and Apples, making venison sausage, #CollectiveBias, #LEMLoveToProcess, #AD
Trim the stems from the figs and then grind or process until like a paste, add to the ground meat.

LEM Products, Big Bite Sausage Stuffer, Venison Sausage with Figs and Apples, making venison sausage, #CollectiveBias, #LEMLoveToProcess, #AD
Grate the apples with a food processor or box grater and add to the figs and ground meat.
Gently mix the meat, bacon, figs and apples being careful to not over mix but being sure to evenly distribute.

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Add the ground fennel, cloves, cardamom, coriander, cayenne, minced garlic and salt (and pepper if you used regular bacon) Gently mix into the meat mixture being sure to mix it in evenly and to break up any clumps of fig.

Heat a small fry pan over medium and take a small bit (about a tablespoon) of the mixture and cook it to taste test the seasoning. If they are to your taste you are ready to stuff. If the seasonings need adjusting do so and retest the mixture.

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How to Stuff Sausage Using the Big Bite Dual Gear Stuffer

Are you ready to stuff?

I have to admit I had fun. Who knew sausage making would be entertaining? That is not to say that I didn’t have a couple of fits and starts but with any new skill there is a learning curve. Luckily it was a short curve!

I will note that after one false start I was ready to go.

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After the casing was rinsed put it on your chosen stuffing tube. This actually was the most difficult part of the whole process for me. I think I had an issue because my hands were too small. Once the hubby started working on it the casing went right on – you can see how easy it was for him in the short video below. 

  • What I learned: make sure the casing is centered on the stuffing tube as you guide it on. If it gets too far to the top or the bottom it gets difficult to slide on the tube.

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The cylinder gets sprayed with cooking spray or you can wipe it down with vegetable oil. This is to help the sausage mixture move easily. Now attach the cylinder to the stuffer and we are ready to go! Watch the video to see how easy it is to stuff sausage: 

  • What I learned: Don’t turn the handle too quickly at first! You can break the casing or cause large air bubbles. Start slow and build up to a speed that works for the filling you are using. As the casing fills, move it down the stuffing tube a bit at a time.

After the Stuffing:

Wasn’t that fun?

As you could see it is very easy to use. It didn’t take me long to figure out at what speed to turn the handle (ie: slowly) for the best filling of the casing. I’m sure that different recipes will require different turning speeds.

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As the sausage came out of the stuffer I just made sure it curled into a circle. At this point it was time to separate it into links. I first had to decide how big I wanted them to be.

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I used the arm of a cake fork (about 5″) as a size marker. To make the links you just twist the rope of sausage on each side. Repeat this until done.

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Poke each sausage to release any air bubbles. I did not have a sausage pricker so I used my pokey big fork – pardon the technical term. Then the sausages went into the refrigerator to sit overnight. This helps with drying the casing and makes for better cooking.

What Happened Next?

The next day I separated them – it was simple, just a cut with scissors. I used a couple for dinner and the rest went into the freezer for future meals. There was a bit of sausage mixture left in the machine when the casings ran out and I just took that and made some patties. I froze them as well.

All in all this was a great learning experience and one I was very glad that I tried. I always thought sausage was some great mystery – OK, maybe some kinds of sausage are – but when you make it yourself you know exactly what is in that casing and you can feel comfortable serving it.

Now, if you don’t have or don’t want to purchase a sausage stuffer there is no reason you couldn’t make the meat and fruit mixture and form it into sausage patties and serve it up that way.

 

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