We try to only eat wild game we harvest ourselves (usually moose, deer, bear, or mountain goat), but I won't lie: sometimes I cave and buy bacon. I've even asked if we could raise a pig and Mike always says "Why would we raise pigs when we have hair pigs (black bears) running around in the mountains?" I'm like... "Did you just hear me? I just offered to RAISE A PIG!" Coincidentally, I usually want bacon in the winter, when all the bears are hibernating. Sigh....
We often sub our smoked sockeye salmon for sausage and bacon in our breakfasts, but sometimes you just want the real thing.
Luckily, Mike found someone who was willing to trade some of her pork fat from local pigs + the use of her commercial meat grinder (double score!) for some homemade moose sausage. I never thought I would be so excited to see two big bags of fat. Fat from happy pigs + happy moose meat= happy moose sausage and a VERY happy wife.
We started making sausage around 8pm. I wake up early to accommodate our customers in different time zones, so I usually go to bed no later than 10pm. A table full of 10 lbs. of pork fat and 30 lbs. of moose meat does not equal a bed time earlier than midnight.
I mixed the spices, while Mike ran the meat grinder. Once I finished the spice mixes, I had the glamorous of stacking the ground meat. This was fun.
My spice:ground meat ratio seemed a little off. I am not known for my precise measurements (or using recipes at all), so Mike was skeptical (and so was I), but we went ahead and followed the recipes I had. This resulted in some seriously overs spiced sausage and many subsequent taste tests before adding spices to the next batches. It also resulted in Mike and I consuming no less than 1 lb. of sausage in a four hour period. Lesson? Taste before you add an absurd looking amount of spice to your precious, happy moose sausage!
Once we had the spice mix just right, we formed approximately 1 pound balls of sausage and packed it in Ziplock bags. I would typically use our vacuum packer for this, but we knew it would go fast, so we didn't need to be expertly packaged.
We ended up with 40 pounds of delicious, happy moose sausage, full bellies, and a not so happy dog who was teased by stacks of meat on the floor.
So we took care of that...
Weekend mornings just got a whole lot tastier at the O'Laire house!
ITALIAN MOOSE SAUSAGE SPICE BLEND
For 10 lbs. of moose sausage
The original recipe I used for our Italian moose sausage called for twice this amount for 10 lbs, which resulted in the super spicy/salty batch. This is a great blend and it's not too spicy for our picky 8 year old. We used moose meat in our sausage, but you could sub other meat to make your own homemade sausage from wild game (bear sausage and mountain goat sausage are excellent too).
1/2 c. dried parsley
5 t. salt (you may want more or less depending on how salty you like it)
1 T garlic powder
1 T pepper
1 1/2 t. cayenne
3 1/2 t. fennel seeds
1 t. crushed chili pepper
3 1/2 t. paprika
BREAKFAST MOOSE SAUSAGE SPICE BLEND- OUR FAVORITE!
For 10 lbs. of moose sausage
5 T. salt (add more or less depending on preference)
1 T. pepper
2 T. rubbed sage
1 t. ground ginger
1 T. nutmeg
1 T. thyme
1 t. cayenne
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