Venison Sausage Smothered in Italian Tomatoes and Onions – Ultimate Comfort Food. Food and memories are very much related. I think that when we associate food with a happy, pleasant, love filled time in our life, we automatically tend to love that meal.
One of my most treasured memories happens to be my dad standing over the stove slow cooking grits (polenta for some of you), caramelizing onions for the sauce, and browning the spicy sausage to top the creamy grits. To this day, the mere smell of sausage generates a feeling of comfort and safety somehow.
I think my dad was happiest when he was preparing meals for the table, especially “breakfast” meals. Come to think of it, cooking with and for my family brings me some of the greatest pleasures in life.
Although you can use lamb or beef as a substitute for venison in the sausage recipe, I feel that venison has a distinct flavor that makes this dish special. For a really quick fix, you can purchase Kielbasa Sausage from the market as a substitute for preparing your own sausage.
It is really much easier than you think to prepare sausage. The variations and results are endless and can be quite amazing. You can use your stand mixer with the food grinder attachments or you can go all out and buy a grinder. If you are going to invest in a meat grinder, I think you should at least get a 1/2 horsepower grinder. There are all kinds of casings out there, but I find that these natural casings are the best for the money.
I usually prepare my sausage when we process our deer. Often I underestimate how much we are going to need for the year. We made 40 pounds of sausage just 3 weeks ago and we only have about 6 pounds left. I leave most of the roasts from the hindquarter whole so that I can process it or use it any way that I please throughout the year, so no worries.
I use this sausage recipe for additions to chili, beans and rice, or to spice up my collards. Taken out of the casing, you can use it for lasagna, spaghetti , or Bolognese, as well.
For me, one of the joys about this dish is that most every ingredient has been harvested by our family. It is so cool to me that we can provide directly from our gardens, or the woods and fields, everything for the table. Learning the “how to’s” of preserving has been an extremely rewarding and delicious process.
I am writing 4 more sausage recipes that I can’t wait to share with you. For now, Happy Cooking!
For my breakfast sausage recipe, click here.
- 4 pounds venison scraps, run through the largest holes of grinder.
- 2 pounds of lean bacon (no nitrates), run through the same grinder., no nitrates
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ½ tablespoon pepper
- ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
- ½ cup Italian parsley
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 8 ounces sausage casings (about 8 feet)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, ½ inch diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 cup red wine
- ¼ cup Italian parsley
In a large bowl, mix the venison and bacon with your hands until well blended. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix just until blended. Chill mixture for 30 minutes.
Set up a sausage stuffer and attach the casing to the funnel feeder. Begin stuffing the sausage into the casing and twist every 4 inches. Keep the diameter about 1 inch to insure proper cooking. Prick sausage with a pin all over. Chill until ready to cook.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in 10 to 12 inch sauté pan. Add half the sausage links to the pan. Cook over low heat, turning frequently, until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Brown remaining sausage links and transfer to plate.
Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same pan sausage was cooked. Add onions and garlic to the pan and cook until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
In a small bowl mix tomato paste, stock, and red wine and mix well. Add mixture to the pan. Scrape brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a simmer. Return sausage to the pan, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Stir in parsley and serve over Cheesy Grits.
For a breakfast sausage, click here.