First attempt at venison brats

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First attempt at venison brats

Postby Kyle » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:43 pm

They had decent flavor(looking for a little more or something though), and we're just a touch dry(not horrible though), and it seemed like they were maybe a bit more compacted than what my deer processor has made for us in the past. I love the brats that my old processor made for us and Im looking to duplicate them as closely as possible. They were good, but I want to get them better. Our brats in the past that we have had made by the processor have a stronger and pleasant aroma when cooking (boiling before skillet browning). Mine just seemed like they were missing some of that, and they were maybe just a tic more bland than his...I think I'll up the seasoning, but it seems like the aroma I'm missing may be an herb or some sort??(not sure).

How do I moisten them up a bit? Any ideas on that mysteriously great smell that they were lacking? Will stuffing the casings a bit less tightly improve the compactness of the sausage too?

I used LEM seasoning(I plan to develop my own concoction soon). I just wanted a proven seasoning combination for my first go at this. It was good, but I want to make them better. Any advice? Let's hear it.


Venison Bratwurst 

7.5 lbs venison
7.5 lbs pork shoulder
1 5/8 cups LEM fresh sausage seasoning
1.5 cups milk
1.5 cups water

Start soaking casing at beginning of grind.  Soak for 30 mins, then rinse.  Mix seasoning with milk/water.  Mix seasoning mixture well with meat, then refrigerate briefly.  Grab a beer if thirsty.  Stuff casing, then refrigerate overnight.  Vacuum seal and freeze.
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Postby dave zac » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:10 pm

More fat! Seems you are only going to be around 15% or so fat when done. Pork Butt at 30% and Venison is under 5%. I would think you would want at least a pound or more of back fat or belly. I like my sausage with 25-30% fat.
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Postby Kyle » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:20 pm

Ok. Thanks for the input. I'm a newb here... should I ask my local butcher for pork trimmings or do I need pork belly? Is there a difference in quality or price?

Any suggestions on getting that stronger flavor and smell?
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Postby tommix » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:29 pm

I agree with Dave, more fat. The milk you add is that non fat dry milk or just plain milk? Also I would replace the water with a beef bouillon or maybe some red wine to punch it up a bit.

I would mix up a batch and throw a bit into the frying pan and adjust from there to suit your tastes. I just made some dry cured salami and pepperoni and used the Sausagemaker's seasonings, I wanted the meat spicy so I added just a little more than called for and it is SALTY!! I learned my lesson, I will measure out all my ingredients myself next time around.

Good luck.

Tim
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Postby grisell » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:35 pm

I agree with tommix. There is really no need to use ready seasonings. If you do, you're stuck with that mix and it will taste like someone else wanted it to taste. Then, of course, you can add your own spices to the mix, but in that case you can make your own mix from scratch, right? :wink:
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Postby Kyle » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:30 pm

The milk I used was just 2% milk. What would you guys use? I'm not sure about the bouillon...seems like that would clash, but I may give it a shot to see what happens. The wine idea is good too, I'll try that too. I think by adding more fat I can get the moisture level up and improve the texture at the same time(so thanks for the input...i agree). The seasoning mix was great...I just felt like it was missing one thing, but just can't put my finger on what that is yet. I really feel like it is an herb that I can smell in the purchased brats that seems to be missing in mine. What are some aromatic herbs used in brat recipes??? Maybe I'll know it when I hear it...dunno

I'd like to make my own seasoning, and will in the future. This was my first go at it and I just wanted to try and keep it simple at first...I'll be branching out. The whole fam had fun.
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Postby tommix » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:02 pm

This is what I use: http://www.sausagemaker.com/16100nonfat ... lb8oz.aspx

It helps bind the meat and gives a good mouth feel, helping to improve the texture.

Tim
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Postby Kyle » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:23 pm

Thanks Tom. I was afraid it would make the brat too firm? I'll try that next time as well. Do you mix the powder with water and then mix, or add the powder to the mixture dry? How much powder per pound?
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Postby tommix » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:50 pm

Add the powder to the mixture dry, I go by percentage of the total weight of the meat. I use 2 to 3% of non-fat dry milk to the total weight of the meat, adjust that from there so it is the consistency that you want.

Here is a good percentage calculator; you can use it for calculating how much fat, etc.

http://www.math.com/students/calculator ... ercent.htm

Tim
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Postby grisell » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:52 pm

If you tell me what "brats" means I might be able to help you with the spices.
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Postby wheels » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:22 am

Brat = Bratwurst. But US may be different to EU.

HTH

Phil
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Postby grisell » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:41 am

Ok, thanks again, Phil. I thought so. I'll take a look tomorrow.
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Postby SausageBoy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:32 am

Brats?
There are countless kinds of brats.

This is my recipe for a classic old-fashioned all-pork Wisconsin-style brat.
If I were to make this with venison, I'd add pork belly.
No binders, no milk.

Classic bratwurst flavor profile.

Wisconsin-Wannabe Bratwurst

5 lbs. well-fatted pork shoulder/butt
3 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. toasted and freshly ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground celery seed
1/8 tsp. ground marjoram
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

I use a fairly course grind, grinding just half the meat a second time with the same plate.
I replace part of the salt with Tiparos Thai fish sauce in all of my fresh sausage recipes. It adds "what's that?" umami savoriness.
I gently steam the sausages on low heat (165-170 F) until safe temperature is reached.

Image
Last edited by SausageBoy on Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kyle » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:46 am

Thanks again Tom. The calculator is saved to the favorites now.

Brats=bratwurst...sorry if my terminology isn't spot on...still learning

Maybe ginger is the smell/taste that is missing...or more nutmeg. Hmm. Let the trial and error begin.
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Postby JLPicard » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:58 am

Kyle contact one of your local butchers and ask them to sell you some pork Back Fat. That is what I mix with my venison, normally about 30%, depending on the recipe, and it only costs me $0.69 a pound. Get it good and cold, almost frozen before you grind it up, less smearing.
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