process your own game meat in these easy steps
- February 24, 2020
- Food Processing
Game Processing Step-By-Step
Have you avoided processing your own game meat because you don’t know how? I used to. I originally only started…Read More
When I was young I was always told that wild hogs were nasty animals and that they didn’t taste good, no matter how the meat’s prepared. Or that only small to mid sized sows are good to eat. While I won’t argue that they can be nasty animals, I absolutely disagree that the meat isn’t good or that big boars aren’t just as tasty. When prepared correctly, hogs can be some of the best eating game out there. If you follow these steps, you too will know how to make the best wild hog sausage.
There are a few key steps that you must take far before you mix the ingredients and sausage is made. As a matter of fact, making the sausage takes about 10% of the time involved in the entire process. While it may be a lot of work, there are various reasons why processing your own meat is superior. Check out our other article – 5 reason to process your own game meat.
You need to gut the hog as soon as possible after it’s killed. I’ve killed a lot of hogs in the Texas heat and the last thing you want to do is let the meat sit in the sun before gutting it.
Get the hog back to camp or somewhere where you can skin it and saw off the legs. I generally try and skin it quickly before I get to the precision work.
Remove all of the fat. You generally don’t have to do this with other game animals. I tend to get the best results when I remove as much fat as possible. This will also help ensure that you remove the glands, which will ruin your sausage if left attached. The glands are generally grape sized and a grayish in color located in the neck fat and the fat around the hams.
After the meat is trimmed, quarter the hog. Remove the back straps and any other good meat you can and put it into a large cooler and cover it in ice. I open the drain on the bottom and set the cooler outside. Each night after work I’ll put another bag or two of ice on top of the meat and just let it melt and slowly drain out of the bottom. Always make sure there’s enough ice around the meat to keep it really cold. Don’t worry if there‘s only a thin layer of ice on top of the meat by the end of the day.
After flushing out the meat with ice melt for 2-4 days I’ll debone the meat and cut it into smaller pieces that’ll fit in your grinder. This is a good time to pick out any hairs that may have made it onto the meat. Be very meticulous to remove every single hair.
Put all of the meat, including the backstraps, through the grinder (no faceplate) and let it dispense back into your washed cooler. After the first grind, regrind again with the 20% pork fat trimmings from your local butcher.
Once you’ve nicely mixed the ground pork trimmings with your meat in your cooler, mix in the sausage seasoning. My favorite is the premixed spice package from Pendery’s that you can order on penderys.com.
Lastly, put the hamburger faceplate on the grinder and send it through one last time. I like to put the meat into quart-sized bags, remove the air, date them with a sharpie and then freeze.
The final product is absolutely delicious. From sausage patties in the skillet, breakfast sandwiches, stuffed bell peppers, spaghetti sauce, and even meatballs. You‘ll be glad you took the time and learned how to make the best wild hog sausage.