Have you ever wanted to make venison sausage without relying on pork or beef fat? This recipe uses olive oil mixed with red wine, garlic, and rosemary for a light and delicious sausage. The process isn’t complicated but it does require some time. Follow the instructions carefully and you’ll enjoy this heart-healthy alternative to traditional deer sausage.
Time to make
2 lb. venison, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 oz. red wine
8 oz. olive oil
5 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, minced
5 feet of hog casings, soaked in water and rinsed
Also works with
Any wild game
Meat grinder, sausage stuffer, stand mixer
- Spread the venison chunks across a metal sheet tray and place it in the freezer. Chill for 20-30 minutes or until crunchy. Grind the meat through your grinder’s smallest die. If using big chunks, start with a large die, and then grind a second time through the small die.
- Place the ground venison in the fridge and keep cold.
- In a small processor or blender, purée the red wine, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary until emulsified. Place this cold liquid in the freezer for 15-20 minutes until very cold and almost solidified.
- Using either a stand mixer or a large spatula, blend the ground venison and the emulsified liquid at low speed for one minute until combined. The bind should be a cohesive, tacky texture.
- Place the bind in the refrigerator again; you must keep the ingredients very cold to prevent the emulsion from breaking. While chilling, set up the sausage stuffer. Feed the casings over the nozzle of the stuffing tube and tie a knot at the end.
- Stuff the mixture into casings and twist into 7-inch links. If air pockets develop, prick the casings with a pin. If time allows, let the sausages air-dry in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Options for cooking include poaching, smoking, or grilling. If grilling, make sure to use indirect heat. Do not grill over an open flame to avoid the risk of a flare-up caused by oil leaking from pricked holes in the casing. If hot smoking, aim for low temperatures around 190 degrees. The important thing to remember is not to overcook the meat.
- Use only freshly ground meat. Using a previously frozen bag of burger meat will throw off the ratio of liquid to fat and won’t emulsify.
- Keep everything cold during each step of the process. This will keep the sausage emulsified and avoid an oily mess.
- To freeze, lay the sausages across a metal sheet tray and freeze until solid before bagging. Doing this first will help it keep its shape and not smash together.