DIY meat care: Venison beer brats
All photo credits: Brad Tribby
I have always wanted to process my own meat. As a kid we would even process all of our own animals, cutting and wrapping the steaks and roasts. Occasionally, I would help make a batch of jerky. I take pride in filling my freezer with meat I have harvested, plus, there is nothing healthier than wild game and wild-caught fish.
I like to cook and I consider myself pretty good at it. So, several years ago I decided that I wanted to try making my own sausage out of wild game. Once I finally settled into a home big enough to store the equipment needed, I purchased the necessary items.
Last year, I made 20 pounds of Italian sausage and 20 pounds of breakfast sausage. It turned out excellent. One of my favorite ways to use the Italian sausage is on homemade pizza, which is a combination of homemade wild game Italian sausage, pheasant breast, homemade pepperoni, vegetables and cheese.
This year, I am planning to make another 20 pounds of both Italian and breakfast sausage, but also want to take my meat processing a step further and try making a batch of bratwursts. The more research I did and the more people I talked with, the more creative my mind became.
|Cold Smoke jalapeno cheddar wild game brats:|
|* Makes 100 brats|
|11.5 lbs.||Any wild game meat of your choice|
|2 lbs.||LEM high-temp. cheese|
|6 oz.||Dried jalapeno flakes|
|1 package||LEM Bratwurst Seasoning|
|1 package||LEM Wild Hog Casings: size 32mm-35mm|
|1 can||Cold Smoke Scotch Ale|
|Meat grinder||Attachments for casings|
|Cutting board||Kitchen scale|
|Meat tub(s)||Kitchen scissors|
1. To begin, soak wild hog casings in warm water.
2. While casings are soaking, cut up wild game and pork into chunks small enough to fit through the grinder. It’s a 50/50 or 1:1 ratio of wild game to pork. Weigh the wild game and pork and make sure you have 11.5 pounds of each.
3. Once the meat is ready to be ground, send it through the coarse grinding stone. To start the mixing process alternate handfuls of wild game with handfuls of pork.
4. Mix the ground meat by hand. In a separate bowl, mix the LEM Bratwurst Seasoning. Instead of using water, use Cold Smoke Scotch Ale, or your favorite beer.
5. Once the seasoning is mixed add it to ground meat. Replace the coarse grinding stone with the finest stone you have. Send the seasoned meat through the grinder again. This will mix the seasoning and meat together.
6. Once the second grinding is complete, add 6 ounces of jalapeno flakes and 2 pounds of LEM high-temperature cheese.
7. The meat is finally ready to be stuffed into the casings. Your casings will be soft after soaking for several hours in warm water. Grab a casing and run water through it several times to remove the salt from inside of the casing. Then get ready to place the casing onto your grinder attachment.
8. You will need to use the foot pedal when stuffing the bratwurst meat inside of the casings. You will need both hands to fill the casings. One hand will be on the casing to provide resistance to thoroughly pack the casing with meat, (letting little to no air inside) while your other hand will be used to keep stuffing meat through the grinder.
9. Now its time to make these into actual brats. Pinch the casing closed and step on the foot pedal while stuffing meat into the grinder. The casings will begin to fill with meat. Once your brat is at its desired length (about a 1/4 pound) twist the casing four or five times and begin stuffing the next brat.
After the second brat is finished, once again, twist the casing four or five times, then use scissors and cut the brats off. Continue this process until you have finished.
10. Vacuum package your brats in whatever quantity best suited for you and your family. Last, but not least, enjoy a year of homemade bratwursts!
I made 25 pounds which made exactly 100 brats. I am very fortunate to spend many nights camping for work, as well as for play. I look forward to being able to share these brats with friends and family as well as co-workers. Good luck with your bratwurst making. If you have any questions feel free to ask!