It is a bit presumptuous to lay claim to this basic recipe by placing my name on it, but I just finished making up a 10-pound batch and am feeling most pleased with myself.
Although no match for the primeval thrill of the hunt, the fun lasts year-round in the preparation and serving of wild game dishes. Since all normal people enjoy a traditional breakfast of pork sausage patties with fried eggs and lightly-browned, buttered toast, this recipe is suitable for all ages and palates.
A meat grinder is essential to properly prep this recipe. If you do not have one, get one. If you have a Kitchen Aid or Hamilton-Beach stand mixer, odds are it has a “power take-off” for accessories, and a meat grinder is one of the available accessories. A hand-cranked grinder works just as well for small and medium batches–or even big batches if you have kids or grandkids to press into service as grinder-crankers.
- 10 lbs feral hog meat (any cut), sliced into 1- to 2-inch cubes
- 3 Tbs iodized sea salt
- 3 Tbs powdered sage
- 3 Tbs rosemary
- 1 Tbs thyme
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Pre-mix all seasonings then combine with meat in a large mixing bowl or shallow pan. Mix meat and seasonings so all pieces get a thorough coating. If mixture becomes too dough-like, thin with a bit of tap water.
Feed seasoned meat cubes through grinder. If you have a sausage-stuffing attachment nozzle, feed into bags. If not, feed into a large bowl then form logs or patties. Wrap logs in wax paper and freeze. Layer individual patties in a freezer-safe container; separate layers with wax paper and freeze.
The coolest thing about wild hog sausage is that a 3-inch patty is still a 3-inch patty after frying. Naturally-lean wild pork is the perfect breakfast meat for low-fat dieters and healthy eaters. This sausage does not produce enough grease for frying, so pre-oiling the pan is mandatory.
If you prefer your sausage with a bit of fat, add cubed beef suet or pork fat to the mix before mixing and grinding.
Other options include adding venison to the meat mix, and adjusting the seasoning to personal tastes. Perform the latter experimentally by grinding one or two patties-worth at a time, then cook and taste-taste. Adjust seasonings and repeat until you find the desired seasonings mix ratios, then multiply to get the mix number for a 10-pound or larger batch.
Equipment, Supplies & Seasonings Sources
I have had a couple of meat grinders for years, including an antique hand grinder that belonged to my grandmother and an old Oster electric model. If you lack a grinder, models ranging from the simple to the elaborately expensive are available from many sources, including Sears, Cabela’s, and Academy.
Supplies such as plastic meat bags, edible sausage casings, and even seasoning kits for many types of sausage and other meat preparations are likewise available from a variety of sources, including those above, your local grocer, and myriad on-line sources.
Lately, I have ordered bags, hog rings (for clamping bags closed), and other supplies from The Sausage Source (http://sausagesource.com), an on-line retailer that carries everything you could conceivably need for processing meat, from grinders and seasonings to meat bags, sausage casings, seasonings and kits, utensils such as knives and ladles, and much more.
The Sausage Source offers a “Sausage Making Starter Kit” in its “Hunter Favorites” section that includes an electric grinder, seven packages of various sausage mixes (each will season 2 pounds of meat), a “Home Sausage Making” book, 1 package of natural hog casings, a meat thermometer, and complete sausage-making instructions; currently priced at $167.84. –Don Zaidle, editor-in-chief, Texas Fish & Game