Below is the cover for my book – Chef in the Wild. Happy dance!
>>>>>Please refer to the more detailed section here for a better “how too” guide on making fresh sausages.
I love this sausage. All my own creation – and that is the important part – the ideas can come from you. This one is delish, the first time I made it well…
2 pounds Venison or other wild animal, diced
1 pound fat back, diced
1 heavy tablespoon kosher salt
2 each jalapeno
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
1 tablespoon chicken base
½ cup ice water
2 hog casings
Soak casings according to directions on package. Place grinder attachments and stuffing machine into the freezer.
Combine diced venison with salt and chill for 1 hour. Using the smallest grate on the grinder grind the fat back and venison into a chilled steel bowl. Add the remaining seasonings and water. With your hands (gloves!) or a mixer incorporate the seasonings. Remember to mix until it is sticky, but not warm. You are trying to make the primary bind but not smear the fat. Place the mix back into the refrigerator.
Next add the sausage mix to the stuffer. Follow the directions laid out above in the “The Stuff” section and proceed to stuff your sausages. Freeze or cook them at this point.
Cook sausages on the grill for about 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees, or 160 if bear, white meated birds or wild hog is involved.
Layout is almost done. Cover has been shot and designed. I have a printed hard copy to review. So damn close to fulfilling a life long dream.
The crosshairs were steady on the vitals of the mature buck. He was dead, if I pulled the trigger. But I didn’t, I couldn’t. Something in my stopped my killer instinct, I lowered my gun, looked to my right and smiled. My son was taking aim, trying to steady his breathing enough to fire off his shooting stick. It was a farther shot than he has ever taken before, I was nearly certain he would have trouble with it. But I watched – heart filled with hope and anticipation.
BAM! The crack of a .243 rang out over the rim-rock. A solid miss. BAM! Another miss, I watch as Noah’s chest pounded, heaving with each breath. I pulled up again on the buck, crosshairs finding fur, but I lowered my gun quickly. The buck slipped into the brush, gone forever.
In past years I might not have let that happen. A legal buck would have simply died, or at least been shot at. With a small inspection of my horn collection it is easy to see that I do not discriminate. As one buddy put it to me “I have yet to find a good recipe for horns.” Legal is dead, simple as that.
But this year I have passed three times on perfectly legal bucks.
My motivation for not shooting this year is twofold. First, I really want a whitetail deer. All the bucks I have passed on were mule deer. I have never shot a whitetail in my life; it feels like this is a problem that needs rectified. I can’t shoot a whitetail with a punched muledeer tag.
The second reason for passing this year is that I really don’t want to shoot more than my family can eat. Both Noah and I have cow elk tags, each cow being ample meat for my family for about a year. Add a deer, or two, and an antelope and my freezer will be fuller than it needs to be. We simply do not need to kill that much food. We would be killing to kill, not killing to eat. I have an intrinsic problem with that.
But I might just be putting the cart before the deer. I am worried about having too much meat before I, or Noah, have even killed anything. It is quite possible the only shot opportunities either of us would get this season have already passed. Maybe I have missed my chance? I might not see another game animal all year long. Who knows?
Even if neither Noah nor I connect on a deer or an elk this year, I will feel better knowing I did what I thought was right by the animals. I wasn’t just killing to kill. Even if my freezer goes a little light this year.