This Venison sausage recipe is easy and delicious! Make your own! Here is a step by step tutorial that will make you a pro!
It has less fat and calories than pork, so you can eat it guilt free! It’s great in casseroles, stuffing or dressing mixes, breakfast sandwiches, any place you would use pork breakfast sausage!
Not only can making your own sausage save you lots of money in game processing, it is fun and easy.
It seems many us forget when we go to the grocers and buy meat that we are buying an animal that someone else has harvested and processed. This ends up costing us so much more than when we do it ourselves.
Making sausage with venison is a great way to stretch a buck (pun intended 🙂 ).
Venison is Healthier than Beef and Pork
Notice the word healthier. This sausage is not necessarily health food. Just healthier because of the use of venison.
It is so much healthier than pork or beef breakfast sausage, because Venison Sausage is lower in fat! According to Outdoor Life, venison contains roughly half of the calories and 1/6th of the saturated fat. A much healthier choice.
Venison even has 10% less fat than chicken breast, according to this article from Superfoodly.
The original recipe concept came from Great Sausage and Meat Curing, by Rytek Kutas. As you can see on the cover Chef Craig Claiborne calls it the “most definitive manual on sausage making in the English language.
That is pretty high praise. This recipe is an authentic, traditional sausage recipe that lends itself beautifully to venison.
Do I have to add fat?
The simple answer is yes. Venison fat is not really suited for cooking. It also is not very flavorful.
Because venison is so low in fat, it needs the extra fat to add flavor and to ensure the meat doesn’t not become dry and fall apart.
For my venison burgers, I like to use beef steak trimmings. They give the burgers the best flavor and texture. For the sausage however, I like to use ground pork. It has a more mild flavor so that the venison and spices are the stars.
Buy a pork shoulder or pork butt and grind your own. Use both the meat and fat, when you grind the pork. Look for a marbled cut, so that it has a greater fat content. Ask your favorite butcher. It will save you lots of money!
You want to use about 30% pork / 70% venison for the sausage. This will give you the best flavor and texture. You can go as low as 20% pork but you may be disappointed with the outcome.
Do you need to put the sausage in casings?
Sometimes you just want a nice cased sausage for breakfast with your eggs. But other times, it doesn’t matter.
Many times we don’t even bother casing the sausage. It’s just an added step and if we’re doing a recipe that calls the removal of the meat from the casing why bother?
Whichever way you choose to go the sausage will be delicious.
What casings to choose?
The casing you choose will depend on the size of the sausage you wish to case. Traditionally breakfast sausage are small and are actually lamb casings.
If you want larger breakfast sausage or you are making Italian, Polish, chorizo, then use hog casings.
The photograph above we made them with hog casings because lamb casings were not available. Either way will work fine.
Hog casings are much easier to case and have a tendency to tear less than lamb casings.
Sausage in hog casings tends to freeze better for a longer period of time.
Where to find casings for sausage
Most grocery butcher departments carry casings. All you have to do is ask. Lamb casings may or may not be available. Casings can also be obtained by most local butchers and are very inexpensive.
What you need
- ground venison
- ground pork
- kosher salt
- white pepper
- ground sage
- ground thyme
- ice water
- ground hot pepper
- freshly ground nutmeg
- ground ginger
Seasoning for Deer Sausage
The seasoning for venison breakfast is a mild, but flavorful blend of sage, thyme and salt! That is it! No huge secret! No fillers, msg, or corn syrup. Just meat and seasoning.
Once you get the basic recipe for sausage down, feel free to make other sausage types. Italian, beer and cheese, chorizo, Polish, the flavor combinations are endless really.
We love asiago with roasted peppers and spinach. It’s bomb. Red wine, parsley and cheese is another keeper.
How to Make Deer Breakfast Sausage
- Add measured spices to a container with a lid.
- Shake container to mix spices together well
- Measure ice water.
- Add ice water to spices. Mix well.
- Grind meat
- Place meat in large container, preferably with a lid.
- Chill meat to 32-35°F. Add spices and ice water to the meat.
- Mix well with hands or a mixer.
- Immediately return to refrigerator and chill overnight. Case sausage or bulk wrap in freezer paper, or vacuum pack. See below for casing instructions.
How to case sausage
- Soak casings in ice water to remove some of the salt that they are packed in. Rise under very cold water well.
- Feed casing over the sausage stuffer attachment of your grinder.
- Twist the end of the casing. Load ground meat in hopper.
Turn on grinder. Push the sausage down with the pusher tool slowly. Carefully guide the casing to fill up the space inside.
Do not overfill because casing may break. If the casing breaks, turn the grinder off. Pinch down and twist the end where the break is. Cut the casing with clean scissors
Twist the other end and continue to stuff the casings. The goal is to get the meat to evenly fill the out the casing without leaving lots of large air holes.
Especially when starting out with the process it is so much easier to have 2 people. One to load and feed the hopper, the other to guide the casing.
If you get a lot of large air holes after the casing process, poke them with a sharp knife or sterile pin or needle If you don’t they may pop when cooking.
Use within two days or freeze for longer storage
Venison Sausage can be frozen
Yes, but… the only caution I have is don’t make too much! Sausage has a tendency to get freezer burned more quickly than other forms of meat.
Frozen breakfast sausage is best if used within 1 month and the Italian, Chorizo and Polish are best if used with 3-4 months. Vacuum packing will lengthen the freezer life slightly but not indefinitely!
The thing I do, is make several small batches, whenever I like during the year. I label the freezer bag with “for ground” when we process the deer. Then I will take out a few pounds and grind it and make it into sausage.
Pro tips for success
- Chill grinder parts well before grinding meat.
- Partially frozen (or very cold at the least) meat is best to grind.
- Always return meat to refrigerator immediately, between steps.
- Always use very clean hands, or food grade gloves when working with the meat.
- If using utensils to mix, make sure they are extra clean.
- Freeze immediately after wrapping.
- Keeping sausage cold is the key to food safety.
- When letting rest overnight place container on the bottom shelf in back, where the temperature is coldest.
- Best to use frozen sausage within one month, for best flavor.
How to cook it
The key with a lot of venison preparations is to not overcook the meat. Since you are adding pork fat, you should cook the sausage to at least 160°F.
Just do not exceed that temperature. It has a tendency to dry out, depending on the fat content of your mixture.
Some other popular Venison recipes
Want to learn more about How to Cook Venison? Don’t miss our awesome, Ultimate Guide! Complete with 65 FREE Recipes from some of the top venison recipe developers in the world!
Tools I use
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- Rytek Kutas Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing: The Bible of Sausage Making
- Large metal bowl
- Food Grade Gloves
- Foodsaver, for longer storage
- Freezer Paper
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Enjoy! And have fun cooking!
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Venison Breakfast Sausage
- 6 2/3 lbs ground venison
- 2 1/3 lbs ground pork ( I use whatever cut is on sale)
- 4 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp ground white pepper
- 2 Tbsp sage, dried
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 pint Ice water
- hog casings if you choose to case them
- 1 1/2 tsp hot ground pepper optional
- 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg optional
- 1 1/2 tsp ginger optional
- Grind meat through 3/8″ grinder plate.
- Place meat in a container large enough to mix in, preferably with a lid.
- Chill meat thoroughly. (Recommended temperature is 32-35°F)
- Mix spices in a container with a lid and shake to combine.
- Add ice water to spices.
- Add spices to meat. Mix thoroughly using hands or a mixer.
- Return again to refrigerator and refrigerate overnight.
- Case sausage or wrap bulk sausage in freezer paper or vacuum pack.
- Best if used within 1 month.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click the link and purchase something. See FTC Disclosure, here.
Originally Published 11/27/2015 Updated with new photos and content 4/18/2021