When you shoot buck in rut…

Ah, the things you learn when you marry a hunter. For one thing, you actually come to know what a “buck in rut” is; it’s a male deer that’s hot to mate. You also learn that those hormones coursing through the buck’s body have an effect on the taste and odor of its meat which some might qualify as adverse. When said buck is shot in the gut, the flavor and aroma of select portions of the meat unequivocally take a nose dive.

After recently learning all these things, I then learned exactly what it takes to turn about 40 pounds of venison into sausage.

As someone who does not eat factory-farmed meat, sausage is a delicacy I rarely get to enjoy. So it was a logical choice to make sausage out of the salvageable meat from the gut-shot buck in rut, which retained a slightly musky quality.

My wonderful husband spent an afternoon processing the buck in our basement, while I helped by washing hair and dirt off the meat, keeping Steve supplied with cold beer, going out to Prime Cuts to buy a few pounds of fat trimmings from organic, hormone free beef and locating casings at Roundtree Meats. (OK, so I made a few exceptions to my usual eating policy for this sausage. I’m doing my best, but I’m no saint!)

After Steve ground the meat and the fat in a friend’s industrial grinder, the real work began. Recipes were researched and devised, ingredients chopped and assembled, and then we commenced with the sausage-stuffing.

It was a long process that spanned over several days and completely dominated our small kitchen, but we think the results are well worth it. In the end, we made several different kinds of sausage: bratwurst, jalapeño-cheddar bratwurst, sweet Italian sausage and Cajun boudin. In addition to the venison mixture, we stuffed the later with ground liver from an elk Steve shot in Montana last fall, rice, peppers, herbs and spices. Our freezer is now stocked with a variety of homemade sausages that will be wonderful both in recipes and on buns in the chilly months ahead, and on the grill on sunny summer evenings.

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Published in: on December 22, 2009 at 10:28 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I admire your work on this process a great deal — and your principles. One big advantage of making your own sausage is that you know what’s in it, knowledge which is worth a lot.

  2. this blog has Character and Quality. keep it up! and I’m so happy to be living near you, in the land of great mugs and meals.

  3. When is the venison sausage feast? Sounds like a good way to help us all get through February….


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