Venison Summer Brats: Just in “Thyme” for Independence Day

Butchering, Field Producer, game processing, hunting, Hunting Culture, meat, Sausage Making, The next generation, traditional archery, wild game, wildlife

Summer is here and on these warm beautiful days, I immediately think of brats on the grill. I know warmer days are coming soon and with Independence Day just around the corner, I started to make some venison sausages with ingredients that needed to be harvested from the garden.

Ready For The Grinder

Ready For The Grinder

Grind #1

Grind #1

Fresh Herbs From The Garden

Fresh Herbs From The Garden

Thyme, Hot & Spicy Oregano, Parsley

Thyme, Hot & Spicy Oregano, Parsley

The Final Blend

The Final Blend

Casing is Ready

Casing is Ready

Finished Sausage

Finished Sausage

 

Ready For The Grill

Ready For The Grill

– Jon Dykes

@realjondykes

Enjoy your venison….

“Happy Independence Day America”!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(United_States)

July 4th, 1776, the day we adopted the Declaration of Independence declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Wild Boar Breakfast Sausage

Butchering, DIY hunting, game processing, hog hunting, meat, nature, wild game

There is a explosive wild pig epidemic attacking the United States. Due to wild pigs adaptability and high reproduction rates, they have now been seen in 47 states and their numbers keep growing. Wild pigs devour crops, uproot pastures, destroy wildlife habitats, spread disease to humans and animals, kill trees and even knock over cemetery stones. Hunters play a big part in monitoring and helping to control wild pig numbers. Wild pigs also give DIY hunters great opportunities to hunt. Wild pigs are in a lot of states and are a main concern for land owners. Most states have unlimited seasons and tags are cheap. Polite and respectful hunters can have great success asking a local land owner if they can harvest a pig from thier land. Most people will say yes and go out of their way to make you successful. Two years ago, I hunted hogs in the Louisiana and they tasted great. There are not a lot of wild pigs up north and I have been craving wild pork ever since.

Austin recently harvested some Hawaiian Jungle Bacon, with his longbow, and was generous enough to give me 4 pounds of the wild pork. When Austin gave me the meat, I immediately had the idea to try making breakfast sausage. I am a big “breakfast person” and love sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches as well as my favorite, biscuits and gravy.

Jungle bacon from Austin's harvest.

Wild Hawaiian Pork

What sets sausage appart is mainly the spices and seasonings. I looked at some recipes online and ultimately made my own combination of my favorite spices. I also took advantage of some donated fresh sage and rosemary from friends. I chose to go with brown sugar, rubbed sage, salt, rosemary, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and chilly powder.

Breakfast Sausage Seasonings

Breakfast Sausage Seasonings

Once we got the meat cubed and the seasonings measured out, we combined both together and were ready to start grinding. You dont have to have or spend a ton of money on a fancy grinder to make your own burger and sausage. I bought this old school, hand crank, meat grinder for $20 and have used it for 3 years now and it has handled all sorts of wild game creations.

Grinding Sausage

Grinding Sausage

The key to sausage to to finely grind it and to grind the seasoning into the meat. I started grinding with the large opening plate, then switched to the smaller, more course, grinding plate. We ground the 4 lbs of pork 4 times to achieve desired consistency.

Ground Wild Sausage

Ground Wild Sausage

Once we ground it all up, it was time to test the seasoning. We made two small patties and fried them up to test the seasoning balance. They tasted great and we didn’t have to change anything.

Wild Boar Sausages

Wild Boar Sausages

I believe more people need to look to the wild pigs as a food source and learn how to harvest them. They are everywhere and make great table fare! By harvesting wild pigs, we can help control numbers and feed our families great meat.

 

-Jon Dykes

@realjondykes