Last week I mentioned the many requests I’ve gotten from folks wanting to know where they can hunt hogs in our county. Since then, a couple of folks have asked me about what to do with them once they’ve got them on the ground. I do all of my own processing, grinding etcetera, but there are a few local wild game processors that you can bring your newly acquired pork to. A quick Google search will tell you all you need to know as I’m reluctant to name them here with no first-hand experience of their service.
I cut the majority of the carcass of a wild hog into boneless chops from the backstraps or ham steaks from the rear hams. Sometimes I’ll leave a ham intact for roasting. But pretty much everything else, I will turn into sausage. I’m not a fan of casing my sausages, but leave them in patty form. But this particular sausage recipe I’ll share with you all, is great either way, loose or cased.
Drunk Italian Sausage
4 pounds wild pork
1 pound pork fat (often I’ll just use a pound of bacon)
5 tablespoons kosher salt
5 tablespoons sugar
5 teaspoons toasted fennel seeds
1 1/2 grams cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup minced fresh parsley
1 head garlic, peeled and finely chopped
¾ cup bourbon
Make sure your ingredients are laid out and the meat and fat are very cold before you begin, so put the meat and fat in the freezer for a couple of hours.
Slice your meat and fat into chunks between an inch to two inches across. Cut the fat chunks a little smaller than your meat. Quickly mix meat and fat, add most of your spices, then chill again. When the meat and fat are cut, mix them quickly. Add the rest of the sugar and mix. Put into a covered container or top the bowl with plastic wrap and put the sausage mixture into the freezer for at least 30 minutes and no more than an hour.
I use the coarse die for this sausage, but you could use either, just don’t use a very fine die, because to do this properly you typically need to grind the meat coarse first, then re-chill it, then grind again with the medium die.
Mix in the bourbon with a stout wooden spoon or paddle very thoroughly and you will now have some mighty tasty sausage! Now if casings are preferred, set up your grinder with the proper attachments and using a coarse grinding plate, run your sausage back through. I prefer using the collagen casings as opposed to natural ones. But I suppose it’s up to your personal preferences. Just knowing what the natural casings are made from (intestines), I’d just as soon pass on ‘em.
As always, I’d love to hear about your adventures and maybe see a photo or two of your successes, so drop me a line at [email protected] God bless and Good Hunting!