Classic Venison Brat Recipe

No deer camp is complete without a meal of venison bratwursts. This recipe adopts classic German flavors like ginger and nutmeg but employs wild game instead of veal. To serve this wiener Wisconsin-style, poach it in beer and onions before searing on the grill. Be sure to top it with sauerkraut and whole-grain mustard before digging in.

For this recipe I used 70% venison and 30% pork fatback. If you’re undecided on what ratio to use, check out my article on how much fat to add to ground venison.

Serving size

5 lbs.

Time to make

3 hours

Ingredients

5 pounds of cubed meat and fat*
2 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. white or black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg or mace
1 1/2 tsp. marjoram or oregano
1 tsp. caraway seed (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz. ice-cold milk or water
Sausage casings

Also works with

Hog, waterfowl, bear

Special equipment

Grinder, sausage stuffer, sausage casings

Method

1
  1. Prep. Soak casings in a big bowl of water for at least an hour or overnight before stuffing. If they are packed in salt, run cold water inside to rinse before soaking.
  2. Grind. Combine the dry seasonings and mix with the diced venison cubes and diced pork fat cubes in a large bowl. Make some room in the freezer and place the meat inside to chill. The meat and fat must be very, very cold before grinding. Let chill for 30 minutes or longer, but don’t allow to freeze solid.
  3. Use the large die attachment to grind the meat and fat. Return the mixture to the large bowl. Grind again, this time using the small die attachment.
  4. Stir in the cold milk to make the bind. Mix with a large spoon or use your hands. You want the bind to stick together in a large ball and not crumble; the texture should feel tacky. When finished, place the mixture in the fridge to stay cold while you clean up the meat grinder and set up the sausage stuffer.
  5. Stuff. Pull the casings out of the water and squeeze out any excess liquids. You still want the outside to be a little wet because it helps it slide better. Feed all of the casing over the stuffer’s tube, leaving a few inches off the end. Tie the end in a knot.
  6. Feed the meat into the sausage stuffer. Keep feeding it through at a consistent pace as it extrudes the meat into the casing. Don’t overstuff. As the stuffer continues to extrude meat you can start to coil the sausage.
  7. Form links by pinching at equal distances (about 7 inches) and twisting several times. Turn each link in alternating directions (or tie with butcher’s string). Do this throughout the entire casing. Refrigerate or freeze immediately afterward.

*You can use a classic sausage ratio of 30% fat by doing 3 1/2 pounds of venison and 1 1/2 pounds of pork fatback. If you want to cut in pork trim, use 3 pounds of venison, 1 pound of pork trim, and 1 pound of fatback.