Caveman Cuisine: Venison Sausage with Cranberry Cream Sauce
Unfortunately (or fortunately if you are a member of PETA) I have never killed an animal. Granted, I have been complicit in the deaths of a multitude of creatures as the end consumer of a wide variety of species from lowly crustaceans all the way through to herbivorous ungulates (moo).
Fortunately (or unfortunately if you are a member of PETA) my father is a frequent hunter and absconds several times a year to remote locations in Georgia and northern Florida with with a car load of rifles, bullets, neon orange vests, doe (a deer, a female deer) urine, and camouflaged everything.
More often than not, he will return, a week or so later, with a cooler full of neatly wrapped white packages, each one marked with the words "ground", "sausage", "tenderloin", "back-strap", or "cube" (as in "cube steak"). These packages represent what was, just a few days prior, a large deer that happened to have the bad luck of walking through the wrong patch of forest.
I, the frequent benefactor of such trips, then find my own freezer soon loaded to the brim. From both a nutritional and financial perspective, this abundant surplus of wild meat is just about the best thing ever.
This years harvest was processed by a Mennonite family that apparently knows their way around a deer carcass. The sausage they produced could scarcely be recognized as wild game as the flavor was almost porcine. Rich, flavorful, herbed and spiced to perfection, I've been living off this stuff for days.
Simultaneously, I was also experienced an abundance of another sort. Thanksgiving had recently concluded, and there was quite a bit leftover. The bowl of home-made cranberry sauce, sweet, tart, and bright red seemed to be a perfect foil for the unctuous venison sausage. Bringing all of the flavors together, however, was a job for another category of food.
When it was all said and done, I think that the recipe was a resounding success. I'm not ashamed to admit that I licked the plate.
1lb venison sausage (see "Meat Grinder" for how you can make your own loose sausage, venison or otherwise)
1/2 cup home-made cranberry sauce
1/2 cup organic European style sour cream (it has an almost liquid consistency and Whole Foods carries a great brand called "Wallaby")
Form the sausage into little balls about the size of a golf ball and flatten slightly with your hand. In a large frying pan, cook the sausages over medium heat, flipping once after 3-4 minutes. Allow the sausages to cook for another 3-4 minutes. The result should be a nice crusty brown color. I didn't mind having mine slightly rare on the inside, but if you're squeamish about raw meat, feel free to cook all the way through. When the sausages are done, set them aside on a plate. (I decided to not bother draining them as I wanted to have a nice little pool of fat to mix with the sauce.)
In a small bowl, combine cranberry sauce and sour cream. You want the sauce to have the consistency of kefir (a sort of drinkable yogurt) and may need to play with the proportion of cranberry and cream depending on the particular ingredients you are working with.
To serve, drizzle a generous amount of the cranberry cream sauce over the sausage. This dish stands alone, but you may also wish to serve along with some poached eggs or some sauteed greens.