No venison sausage is quite as famous as the venison Italian sausage.
Italian sausage is any sausage that is typically made with fennel seeds or anise.
These ingredients, as well as the other herbs used, pair really well with venison, hence why this is one of the most popular venison sausages.
Tips For Venison Italian Sausage
As with making any venison sausage, it’s essential to keep everything really cold. This will help the bind later on. Even if you are using the sausage loose, you should still follow this guideline, or you may end up with an unpleasant texture.
Many people like to use venison Italian sausage loose. It also works great for other recipes; I like to use it in sausage rolls and scotch eggs. It also works great for pasta sauces, lasagna, etc.
If linking the sausage, then there are many ways to cook it, such as on the grill, on a skillet, or in the oven.
Let’s face it, out of all the sausages, the one you are most likely to make the most of is these ones, which means you will end up with a surplus of sausages that need storing.
If you make a small batch, it can be stored in the fridge for about 3 days, not including the hanging period if you link them.
If you do link them, then an option is to smoke them, which I think works very well; you can play around with different woods for smoking; the one I mostly use is cherry.
For linked sausages, you can also store them in the freezer in wax paper or freezer bags. If you leave the sausage loose, then it would be best if you vacuum pack before freezing, but freezer bags will also work.
You will see in this recipe that I used caraway seeds instead of fennel.
Fennel seeds and caraway seeds are very similar in both looks and taste, but caraway has a slightly more complex flavor profile. In contrast, fennel has a simpler flavor profile that is mostly licorice.
If you prefer to use fennel seeds, you can swap out the caraway and don’t need to adjust the amount.
While you can use any paprika, I prefer to use smoked; this gives the sausage a much better flavor. I use sweet smoked paprika.
Venison Italian Sausage
- 3.5 pounds venison
- 1,2 pounds pork belly
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 3 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1.5 tablespoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried onion
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- sausage casing sheep, hog, or pork I use a 28/30 gauge sausage casing
- Chop the venison and pork belly into cubes, small enough to fit into your grinder (approx 1 inch)
- Mix in the seasoning and set into the freezer for 10-20 minutes
- When the meat is adequately cold, use a large hole grinding plate to grind it into a cold bowl.
- Thoroughly mix the meat with your hands or food mixer. This is to ensure proper binding, so be very thorough.
- If using a grinder to fill casings, place the meat back into the freezer for another 10 minutes. If you are using a sausage stuffer, you can mince again on a small plate before doing this step.
- Fill the casings. With a grinder, use the small hole plate and grind again into the casing.
- Link the sausages and hang them for 12 hours in a cool, dry room or in your refrigerator. To link the sausages, start in the middle of the casing and pinch to separate the meat. Make a couple of twists. Measure out a sausage length on both sides and give one twist; now fold the right side over the left where the twist is and pass it back through the hole. Continue to do this until all the sausages are linked.