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Lindsey Davis | 11.1.2021

Comfort Food

  • Pursuit: Everyday

Wild game is a labor of love. Every year I spend countless hours preparing for the season, in the field and in the pursuit, and hopefully processing my animals to share and enjoy throughout the year. One way I love to enjoy game is through homemade sausage.

This recipe is a household favorite and one for those who love beets. It makes a deep purple, dill-forward venison sausage with a garlicky finish that is delicious smoked, on buns with kraut, or in pasta. While butchering in the fall, I cut meat into one inch cubes and freeze them in five pound packs. pull them out later and make sausage as a mid-winter project. Food processing keeps me connected to hunting season throughout the year.

When you’re ready to get started, freeze the cubed venison and fat together so it goes into the grinder as cold as possible. Detach the hopper of your grinder and place that in the freezer as well to keep the process cool.

Roasted Beet & Dill Venison Sausage

Ingredients

  • 4.5 lbs cubed venison
  • 1.5 lbs cubed pork fat
  • 4 lbs roasted beets
  • 1/2 cup roasted garlic
  • 3 bunches chopped dill
  • 4 T kosher salt
  • 4 T course black pepper
  • 15 ft. natural hog casing or 32/25mm collagen casing

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice beets into 1 inch chunks; place in a roasting pan with whole cloves of garlic. Toss in olive oil. Roast for 40 minutes, or until soft; set aside and let completely cool (can be done the night before)
  2. Combine chopped dill, cubed meat, fat, beets and spices into a large container and mix
  3. Grind all ingredients together
  4. Set up your sausage stuffer; load the casing onto the tube; press all the air out of the hopper with the hand crank; tie a knot in the end of your casing; slowly fill the casing with your ground meat
  5. When your section is full, measure your desired length for each link and start to twist each one -- 6 times towards you, and then 6 times away from you until you get to the end (best to cue up a YouTube video at this point if this is your first go)
  6. Prick each sausage 4-6 times with a safety pin so there are a few holes for air release
  7. Cut to separate
  8. Vacuum seal, and voila!