Sunday, March 29, 2009
My friend Dave gave us some venison that his cousin shot and took to a processor. Item #1 was this entertainingly packaged sausage.
It looks like something you would buy from under the table at a flea market, but it is very tasty. It's seasoned like standard American breakfast sausage -- black pepper, sage, salt, red chile flakes -- and is well balanced in a way that highlights the dark, sweet deer flavor.
Item #2, unfortunately -- and Dave warned me about this -- is a packet of square patties with some kind of seasoning added such that they taste very much like fast food chicken sandwiches. They are quite alarming. The meat is too finely ground and the seasonings oddly chemical. They taste nothing like deer. They are nearly inedible.
I put some of the sausage to good use for a recent dinner. I made two sausage patties and browned them and set them aside -- they were probably medium rare at that point, but they cooked a little more in the sauce at the end.
I then used the same pan with a little extra olive oil to saute onions, garlic, shitake mushrooms, and cremini mushrooms. Then I added vermouth or maybe leftover Riesling and scraped up the pan goop left over from the sausage. There was a lot of it -- very effective. I added chicken broth, fresh sage, and thyme, and let the whole thing simmer a bit.
I thickened it slightly with cornstarch, which made for a nice glossy brown sauce.
At the end I added a bunch of parsley and reheated the sausage patties in the sauce. I served it over polenta/grits...I think I called it polenta that night.