Let’s ease into sausage making by starting with a simple mixture of mince and leave the casings behind. For now.
Oh, sausage making. What a daunting sounding task. You need tools that you have to buy (like a sausage stuffer and possibly a meat grinder and a special toothpick to get air bubbles out of the sausages). If you’re using venison, you need fat. Like, just fat. I actually have just fat and I still don’t know exactly how it’s all supposed to work. And then on top of that everything has to be cold, as in sat in the freezer cold, when you start the process. And then there is the issue of casings. Gross.
This wild hog recipe is a really really easy first step into sausage making. It involves no special tools (except your hands and a knife), no casings (still – ick), no stuffing, pricking, drying, etc and all that other stuff you’re supposed to do when making sausage links. You simply mix your ground meat with the flavorings, make them into little patties, fry-flip-repeat and voila! You’re done. These sausage patties turned out a lot better than I thought they would. Like, a lot better. So much so that I’m thinking maybe I have a gift and I’m now considering all the aforementioned equipment and annoying steps of sausage making. Or, maybe homemade sausage is just always going to be better because it’s suited precisely to your tastes. And here I am spouting that I’m gifted at sausage. You can leave your dirty jokes at the door, thank you.
Moving along, a good habit to get into when making sausage, whether you are using casings or not, is to fry up a little patty to make sure you’ve got your seasonings right. While it’s not THAT BIG A DEAL with a loose sausage like this, wouldn’t it be a damn shame to spend all that time grinding and stuffing sausage, and hanging it to dry and pricking it with pins just to realize you’ve under salted it or left something out? I did it in this instance just to build the habit, and you know what? I needed more salt and pepper so I am glad I did. In a final note on this recipe, make sure your burner is at medium or a little bit less. The maple syrup in it will caramelize and brown really fast so you don’t want your pan too hot, otherwise your patties will be burned on the outside and raw in the middle.
Breakfast Sausage with Apples and Sage
- 2lb ground wild hog
- 1/2 small onion (finely chopped)
- 1 small apple (diced small)
- 2 tablespoons sage (finely chopped)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 5 cloves garlic (minced, or about 2 T garlic paste)
- lots of salt and pepper (to taste)
|Heat a skillet to medium heat and spray with pan spray. Mix all the ingredients very well, until the ground hog is almost a paste. Form one patty and cook until browned on the outside and cooked through (about 3-4 minutes per side). Taste, adjust seasonings, then form the rest of the sausage into patties and cook on medium heat, about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve with bread, rolls, eggs or just eat 'em plain!|
Non game substitution: You can use regular pork or ground chicken. If using ground chicken and the test patty seems a little dry, add a good glug of olive oil to the mix.