Venison Sausage Pistachio en Croute
Everyone loves the famous cuts – backstraps, tenderloins, top sirloins, etc. But what to do with the tougher cuts? Well, one of my favorite and potentially most versatile way is to turn them into sausage. Sausage can come in many shapes and sizes and does not have to be stuffed into a casing. This recipe can be made to use as a patty, stuffed into a casing or rolled into a log using cellophane as the casing, which is what we are going to do. You can make the logs as big or as small as you like.
Venison Sausage Ingredients:
5 lbs venison shoulders, leg meat,
cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes
5 lbs. pork butts, 1- to 2-inch cubes
2 lbs. pork fat, ½-inch cube
6 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. crushed red chilies
1 tbsp. ground white pepper
2 tbsp. ground black pepper
12 tbsp. WildEats Lemon Garlic & Sage Rub with fennel
(or the combination of
6 tsp. toasted fennel seeds
3 tbsp. fresh minced garlic
zest of 2 fresh lemons
1 bunch fresh sage leaves, chopped or 3 tbsp. dried sage)
zest of a large orange
2 tbsp. sugar
2 cups ice water
1 tsp. curing salt (optional, but this helps to give a smooth textured end result)
2 cups, shelled pistachio nuts, slightly crushed
Trim all the fat and sinew from the venison meat. Keep the fat on the pork. Cut both the venison and the pork into uniform cubes. Measure out all the ingredients, add to the meat, top with the ice water and mix well. Cover and refrigerate over night.
This next step is very important. Allowing the meat to cure in the seasonings and salt before grinding is what develops the proteins and gives the sausage a nice smooth texture. If you simply grind the meat and then add the seasonings/cure the proteins will not set up and your sausage will have a grainy texture.
The next day, run the meat through the large ¼- or 3⁄16-inch grinding plate once if you want a coarse textured sausage and twice if you want a smoother sausage.
Take a sample of this sausage and cook in a frying pan to check for correct seasonings. Pull out an 18-inch length of plastic wrap and lay 16 to 24 ounces of sausage across the plastic wrap. Roll as tight as you can, squeezing out any air pockets and secure the ends with butchers twine. Take a large pot (that fits the sausage rolls and fill it with salted water). Once the water comes to a boil, place the sausage in and turn down the heat to medium. Poach this until just cooked through. Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature, it should be 160 degrees. Remove from the pot and submerge into an ice-bath. This stops the cooking process and helps retain the moisture in your sausage. Once chilled down, you can store in the freezer or cut into disks and grill or pan fry or roll into a puff pastry.
To make Sausage en Croute: Remove the plastic wrap from the chilled sausage and cut in half lengthwise. Brush the puff pastry sheet with the egg wash and place a half of the sausage on the sheet and roll until the sausage is covered by the pastry. Cut the dough and repeat with the other half. Place the seam side down on a parchment lined sheet pan. Brush the top with additional egg wash and place into a preheated 350-degree oven. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest before cutting into small disks.