Camp Cooking and Game Processing Trade recipes and other tricks of the trade for cooking wild game.

Sausage conundrum

Old 02-15-2021, 07:42 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Sausage conundrum

Ok, so Iíve got about 25 lbs of frozen venison and 25 lbs of frozen pork fat, a meat grinder, and some breakfast sausage seasoning. Iíve never made sausage before, so please bear with me if these are silly questions. Iíd like to process all of the meat to make sausage.

I suppose I could thaw all of the venison and fat, grind it all, and refreeze in ziplock bags. But Iím not sure if thatís a good idea or not?

Another idea is to try to make smaller batches. The venison is cut up into smaller portions, but not the fat. Maybe I can cut frozen pork fat into reasonable size portions and just thaw a bit at a time?

I think the main complication is knowing whether I can thaw and refreeze. If I can, whatís a good method to thaw the meat safely? I donít have access to a large refrigerator, only a large freezer, so thereís another wrinkle.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 02-15-2021, 08:25 PM
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You want to grind it when it's half frozen still anyway. Much easier to grind. Set it out to thaw. Rotate it by hand occasionally so that it thaws out more evenly, and then cut your chunks up and grind it.

You probably don't want to do a 50/50 mix. You probably want something more like 25lbs of venison and 8lbs of fat. .

An 80/20 or 70/30 is usually what I do for sausage.

-Jake
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Old 02-15-2021, 09:35 PM
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ok thanks, i will give it a shot!
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Old 02-16-2021, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by i82much View Post
Ok, so Iíve got about 25 lbs of frozen venison and 25 lbs of frozen pork fat, a meat grinder, and some breakfast sausage seasoning. Iíve never made sausage before, so please bear with me if these are silly questions. Iíd like to process all of the meat to make sausage.

I suppose I could thaw all of the venison and fat, grind it all, and refreeze in ziplock bags. But Iím not sure if thatís a good idea or not?

Another idea is to try to make smaller batches. The venison is cut up into smaller portions, but not the fat. Maybe I can cut frozen pork fat into reasonable size portions and just thaw a bit at a time?

I think the main complication is knowing whether I can thaw and refreeze. If I can, whatís a good method to thaw the meat safely? I donít have access to a large refrigerator, only a large freezer, so thereís another wrinkle.

Thanks for any help!
What Boca said. You want your breakfast sausage spices to sit in the fridge for a day before you refreeze so they permeate the meat. I do 1 lb packages. FYI silky questions are the ones not asked if you don't know the answer.
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Old 02-16-2021, 06:48 AM
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I have made breakfast sausage for years, My own seasoning mix by the way, I always make my sausage in January, reason is to keep cold, I grind meat, then place out on deck to keep very cold, Then grind fat , place outside to keep very cold, not frozen mind you, then bring in about half of each, mix and season, put out on deck, mix and season remaining, lay out about 5 lbs on cookie sheet, flatten by hand to about 3/8 inch, then take a tin 1 cup measuring cup or something smaller, cut out patties like a cookie cutter, place patties on another cookie sheet, place in freezer for a few hours, after frozen place amount you wish into freezer bags, proceed with remaining, Keeping meat col,d is the key to safe venison, note if you can, I like to refrigerate seasoned ground meat overnight before pattying and freezing, Anything else I would be glad to be of assikstance
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Old 02-16-2021, 09:18 AM
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Ok, I think I am getting the picture. Good to know the meat can be partially frozen and you can still grind it. I put some in the fridge last night so maybe I will pull out after the kids go to bed and see how it goes.

I wish I'd been a little smarter about this - the venison is cut up in small portions, but the fat is much larger. I had to cut the frozen fat with a saw last night. Next time I go to the butcher to get fat, I'll get smaller portions individually wrapped.

Live and learn!
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:17 AM
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Good stuff grouch. To the OP: enjoy the process and don't stress over it. This is all a part of the hunt. Keep a notebook and keep track of what works and what doesn't.

Don't expect things to come out perfect on your first go. Heck I've processed somewhere around 100 deer in the 20 years I've been hunting and I still have batches of stuff come out bad from time to time. Learn from your mistakes and always try to improve your product.

Enjoy it.

-Jake
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Old 02-16-2021, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Bocajnala View Post
Good stuff grouch. To the OP: enjoy the process and don't stress over it. This is all a part of the hunt. Keep a notebook and keep track of what works and what doesn't.

Don't expect things to come out perfect on your first go. Heck I've processed somewhere around 100 deer in the 20 years I've been hunting and I still have batches of stuff come out bad from time to time. Learn from your mistakes and always try to improve your product.

Enjoy it.

-Jake
Ah I wonít stress out too much! Probably canít convince my wife or kids to try it anyway, kids are still real young. Iíve been hunting for over 30 years and only gotten six deer in that time, so I have learned to live with failure!

I once at an entire whitetail one chunk at a time on a Foreman grill. People said it was gross, and I canít say Foreman-grilled venison is the best thing Iíve ever had, but I lost 25 lbs in six months of eating deer meat every night for dinner.

Iím sure by comparison the sausage will be amazing!
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Old 02-16-2021, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by grouch55 View Post
I have made breakfast sausage for years, My own seasoning mix by the way, I always make my sausage in January, reason is to keep cold, I grind meat, then place out on deck to keep very cold, Then grind fat , place outside to keep very cold, not frozen mind you, then bring in about half of each, mix and season, put out on deck, mix and season remaining, lay out about 5 lbs on cookie sheet, flatten by hand to about 3/8 inch, then take a tin 1 cup measuring cup or something smaller, cut out patties like a cookie cutter, place patties on another cookie sheet, place in freezer for a few hours, after frozen place amount you wish into freezer bags, proceed with remaining, Keeping meat col,d is the key to safe venison, note if you can, I like to refrigerate seasoned ground meat overnight before pattying and freezing, Anything else I would be glad to be of assikstance
Thanks for the tips! Hoping to try some grinding for the first time tomorrow night, will see how it goes. I have a chunk of meat and a chunk of fat sitting inside my cold shop now, probably 35 degrees inside.

If all goes well, Thursday morning Iím having venison sausage for breakfast!
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Old 02-16-2021, 09:21 PM
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Let us know how it comes out!
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