Elk sausages with juniper and green peppercorns

Elk sausages with juniper and green peppercorns

By
From
Meat
Makes
1.3 kg sausages
Photographer
Dean Cambray

I am lucky enough to have a farmer friend who supplies me with elk meat to make these sausages. I really like the flavour, which is similar to venison. Elk are a type of deer that are native to North America and parts of eastern Asia. They are being bred in New Zealand, and in smaller numbers here in Australia, but may well be hard to find. You can, of course, use venison meat instead, which is fairly readily available.

The meat of both elk and venison is very lean – which is one of the reasons for its increased popularity with health-conscious diners. But for sausages, you do need to have a good amount of fat content, to keep the meat moist, and sadly, the fat from deer has a rather unpleasant flavour. I add pork cheek to the mixture, which has a brilliant flavour, and its high fat content adds the necessary moisture to the mix.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg elk or venison
300g pork cheek
1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed
1 tablespoon green peppercorns
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 level tablespoon kitchen or table salt, (not rock salt or salt flakes)
2-3 metres natural sausage casings

Method

  1. Trim away any connective tissue and sinews from the elk or venison, then dice both meat and pork cheek into 5 cm cubes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Use your hands to mix everything together well, so that the fat and flavourings are evenly distributed. At this stage, I like to cover the bowl and refrigerate the sausage mixture overnight, which allows all the flavours to develop, but you can proceed straight away to making the sausages if you prefer.
  2. When ready to make the sausages, remove the mixture from the refrigerator and feed it through a mincer fitted with a medium blade, until you achieve the consistency you like. I prefer a coarser texture.
  3. Fill the sausage casings and twist to form links. Transfer the sausage links to the refrigerator until ready to use, but at least overnight.
Tags:
Meat
Adrian
Richardson
La
Luna
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