Foodie Friday: Venison Sausage With Italian Tomatoes and Onions Over Cheesy Grits

If your deer seasons have opened already and you’ve put some meat in the freezer, congratulations!

By Alan Clemons, Southeast Managing Editor

Venison Sausage Smothered with Italian Tomatoes and Onions over Cheesy Grits

Bow seasons have begun sprouting like spring daisies throughout the country for whitetails, elk and antelope. From Florida to the Rockies, hunters are enjoying their forays into the woods, swamps and mountains in search of soul-cleansing hunting experiences and venison for the table.

If your seasons haven’t opened, don’t fret. It won’t be too much longer. If you’re lucky and put up several deer last season, there may still be a few packs of venison in the freezer that can sate your appetites before adding a few more.

Here’s a great recipe from Stacy Harris, author of “Happy Healthy Family” and a fantastic wild game cook! She’s one of our favorites, no doubt, and this sounds like an incredible dish that could be served at a fancy dinner or for a family meal!

Venison Sausage Smothered in Italian Tomatoes and Onions Over Cheesy Grits
Serves 8

Deer season is approaching fast! Time to clean out the freezer! Do you have a favorite sausage recipe?
Hint: You can use any cut of the deer for this recipe

The Sausage
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)Directions
1. 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.
2. 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

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Return sausage to the pan, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Stir in parsley and serve over Cheesy Grits.

Cheesy Grits
5 cups water or chicken stock
1 cup grits
3 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup Parmesan-Reggiano

1. Add grits, butter, salt, and pepper to the water or stock. Bring to a boil stirring constantly, and then reduce to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Just before serving, add the Parmesan and stir until dissolved.

Are You Hungry?

One of the hottest cookbooks around right now is Happy Healthy Family by Stacy Harris of Alabama. She’s married to a diehard deer hunting outdoorsman and he, along with their sons, bring in a variety of deer, turkey, waterfowl and fish during the seasons. Harris prepares it all, and in Happy Healthy Family she gives some of her insights about cooking along with fantastic recipes for meats, vegetables and desserts. It’s a great cookbook to have in your kitchen or deer camp, and also makes a fantastic Christmas gift for anyone who enjoys cooking! Buy it here now!