One of the greatest things about summer, it seems, is that we’re often more relaxed and laid back when it comes to just about everything.
Need to mow the yard? Eh, let it wait a day. Grilling some burgers? Throw in some bleu cheese and bring me another beer. Cool band playing at the city park on the weekend? Load up and go hear it.
We work the grills, smokers and ceramic cookers overtime during the summer. We have to in order to make up for that lost time in winter. The poor folks living in the Midwest and Northeast this year had enough snow and cold to last for years, so their grills may be puddles of melted goo due to overuse by the time summer ends.
“Honey, I’m grilling the eggs for breakfast! Bring the pancakes, too!”
Seriously, we have a good time in summer. If you stocked up enough deer meat during the season to last into summer, bully for you. Some of us weren’t as lucky and will be chompin’ on Bessie the cow before too long. But that’s OK, too, because it gives us time to practice.
I love to read and Bon Appetit is one of my favorite magazines. They usually have some cool stories and great tips, including these about how to avoid mistakes with steaks. A few are common sense, like don’t cut into the meat to see if it’s done and don’t toss a cold steak on a hot grill. Why? Because it won’t cook as well as one that’s been allowed to get to room temperature.
You can use some of these same tips with your venison, too.
Venison Sausage Smothered in Italian Tomatoes and Onions
- 4 pounds venison scraps, run through the largest holes of grinder.
- 2 pounds of lean bacon (no nitrates), run through the same grinder.
- 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)
- 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.
For Tomato and Onion Sauce:
- 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
- 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.