The big game hunting seasons have come to a close and most sportsmen have stored their harvests in a freezer. To get the most out of unsavory cuts from wild game, consider making venison snack sticks on your grill or smoker.
Most will cut wild game from shoulders and ribs and store it as stew meat, but grinding it down for sausage can elevate the lackluster cuts.
With many local sporting goods stores, and even a few big box franchises, carrying everything you need for making jerky sticks, making it at home is quite easy.
Venison Snack Sticks
- 1 sheep casing (4 feet long)
- 2 ½ pounds venison, chilled/cubed
- 1/2 pound beef fat, chilled/cubed
- 1/2 pound pork fat, chilled/cubed
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons chipotle pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel
- 3/4 teaspoon No. 1 curing salt
- 4 tablespoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- ⅓ cup lactic starter culture
Rinse all the salt from the sausage casings and soak them in cold water for at least one hour to rehydrate.
Combine venison and fat by running the meat mixture through a grinder into a large bowl, using the smallest grinder plate. Add all ingredients, along with one cup of cold water. Mix by hand until mixture is a similar consistency as compared to a bread dough.
Choose the smallest tube (3/8 inch) of your sausage grinder/press. Be sure to coat the tube with olive oil and pull the casing over it. Make sure to pull all of the casing onto the tube.
Push the mixture through the grinder/press into the casing. Don’t get in a hurry. You should avoid ripping the casing while filling with the mixture.
Preheat your smoker to 100 degrees. Hang sausages in smoker for about 22 hours. Temperature should not go below 90 degrees or go above 110 degrees.
Use pecan or apple wood in your smoker for the first eight hours.
Raise the temperature to 150 degrees after 20-22 hours and smoke the venison until the internal temperature reaches 150 to 155 degrees. This is easily checked with a Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 instant read thermometer.
Remove sausages from smoker and let cool for 4 hours. Cut sausage into 4-inch lengths.
Bag the sausages in vaccum-sealed bags and store up to nine months.
Venison Snack Sticks via Phil Crockett