This is my Venison Italian Sausage recipe except I cased it! Venison Italian Sausage Links are delicious and the only thing I changed in the recipe is I went 70/30% venison to pork backfat compared to 80/20 in the loose sausage.
I’ve been wanting to post a linked sausage recipe for a while now. I made a gator sausage a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t mix it enough, so it came out a little too crumbly. I also cooked the sausage at too high of a heat and a bunch of the fat rendered out causing issues. So that recipe got scrapped for another time.
This recipe came out perfect! I ground venison and pork fatback through my LEM Big Bite Grinder #8 twice, mixing it in a stand mixer between each grind, and then threw it into my LEM Big Bite Dual Gear 10 LB Sausage Stuffer.
Some notes to keep in mind when casing sausage. You want everything to be cold, so the fat doesn’t smear. I put my meat and the head of my grinder in the freezer each time before grinding. When finished mixing, you want the meat to feel tacky and fully incorporated with the fat. When putting the meat into your sausage stuffer, you want to make sure you have punched down the meat, so that there is no air stuck in the stuffer that can push air into your casings.
Also, specifically for the LEM Dual gear stuffer, you have a top gear that rotates in gross movements (big, fast movements) and a lower gear that rotates in fine movements (small, precise movements). The bottom gear should be used when you are actually pushing the sausage into the casings. If you try the gross movements top gear, you’re going to feel like a wimpy little kid that can’t move anything 😂.
Last note, when you’re getting your sausage up to temperature you want to do it gently. If you throw it on a super-hot grill the fat is going to render and pop possibly bursting your casings. The best way I have found is putting the sausage into an oven set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and letting it go for around an hour or until it gets to 150 degrees internally.
All of this may seem like a lot, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be making pounds and pounds of the stuff! Which again, this is a process, so make it worth your while and make a lot of sausage lol. If you have any questions you can reach out and ask but I hope you guys ENJOY!
Venison Italian Sausage Links
- 3.5 lbs venison cut into 1" pieces; extremely cold on the verge of frozen
- 1.5 lb pork fat cut into 1" pieces; extremely cold on the verge of frozen
- 1.5 T pepper
- 3 T salt
- 1.5 T fennel seeds ground up
- 1.5 T red pepper flakes
- 2.5 tsp oregano
- 1.5 tsp paprika
- 2.5 T garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp onion powder
- 1.5 tsp dried parsley
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- natural hog casings follow directions on packaging
- Soak your sausage casings in water according to their package directions.
- Cut venison and pork fat into small cubes that will fit in your meat grinder and place into a freezer for ~10-30 minutes (depending how cold it already is).
- Grind the venison and pork through a coarse plate in your LEM Big Bite Grinder.
- Mix seasonings together in a small bowl. Make sure your fennel is ground up. I used a coffee grinder, but you can use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
- Mix the spices thoroughly into the meat with your hands, stand mixer, or meat mixer and then put back into the freezer for 10-30 minutes.
- Clean your grinder and freeze any part of it that comes in contact with the meat.
- Grind your meat again through a fine plate in your LEM Big Bite Grinder.
- Mix the meat again thoroughly. You can add some water if you want to try to help the binding process, however the moisture in the fat should be enough.
- When your meat is fully combined and tacky it is ready to be put into casings.
- Attach the 3/4" stuffing tube to your stuffer. Your stuffer has two gears for gross movements (big motion) and fine movements (small motion). Use the gross movements to lift up the seal until you can remove the container.
- Fill the container with your sausage, making sure to pack it in tight, so that you don't have any extra air in the meat. Extra air=Air bubbles in your cased sausage=bad
- Place the container back into your stuffer and move the seal back down with the gross movements until you reach the meat (you'll hit a bunch of resistance when you do).
- When the seal has reached the top of the meat stop your cranking and push your sausage casings onto the stuffing tube fully. Use the fine movement gear to slowly start pushing the meat to the end of the stuffing tube stopping before it comes out. Tie the end of your casing like a balloon. By doing this, you will eliminate extra air in your sausage.
- Once tied, continue cranking with the fine movements pushing the sausage into the casings. It helps a lot to have two people helping with one cranking the stuffer and one holding the meat. I do this slowly to ensure the meat is filling up the casing to my desired thickness (brat size).
- Continue cranking until all of the casing is used or you run out of meat and then tie off the other end of the casings.
- You can twist the casings into links or leave it in a singular circular sausage.
- To form the sausage into links first choose a starting end and figure out how long you want your link to be (a couple of inches, a giant wiener, the choice is yours).
- However long you want the link, pinch where you want the other end to be and twist a couple of times. Continue this. Go along the sausage switching directions at each link (away from you, towards you, away from you, again and again) until you are done.
- This might leave you with a slightly too big or too small link at the end but that's ok!
- Next you want to bring your sausage up to temperature or freeze the sausage.
- The best way to cook, I have found, is to put it in the oven.
- You want to bring it up to temperature gently without the pork fat rendering and popping/exploding in your casings.
- Heat your oven to 200°F and cook for ~1- 1 hour and 15 minutes or until you hit and internal temperature of 150°. You can flip it around the half way point to have a more evenly browned sausage.
- You can increase the temperature and lower the cook time but you'll have to worry about more pork fat rendering out.
- After you have brought the sausage up to temperature you can eat it, store it, or put it into another recipe.