I have been getting more into hunting over the last few years. Small game and upland bird hunting is a great way to get out for a short hike, usually before work, and source some delicious, sustainable food. I have yet to master the flavor and texture that I want out of cooking game birds whole so I have been defaulting to making breakfast sausage from fresh grouse. My favorite way to eat this sausage is on a little breakfast sandwich or bagel but it’s also great just as a side. I adapted this recipe from a wild turkey breakfast sausage recipe from Steven Rinella. The recipe loosely goes as follows:
- 3 parts cubed grouse meat
- 1 part of locally-sourced cubed pork fat
- A healthy seasoning of kosher salt
- 1ish teaspoon of black pepper per pound of sausage
- A clove or two of garlic from your roommate’s Dad’s farm
- 4 sage leaves from your garden per pound of sausage
- A bit of finely chopped fresh ginger
- (optional) a teaspoon or two of brown sugar
If you can’t tell, I am big on local ingredients. They don’t have to be organic, just local. It seems to fit in the spirit of cooking wild game you sourced that morning. I find that one healthy-sized blue or ruffled grouse produces about 3/4 lb of meat which produces about 1 lb of sausage. I just mix all these together and grind one time through the wide die of a meat grinder. I usually form the sausage into 1/8lb for a side to your eggs or 1/4lb patties if you’re making sandwiches. Cook the patties on a medium heat cast iron and press them hard for a few seconds to get nice and brown.
The sandwich in the picture is sourdough, mayo, big-leaf spinach, grilled red onion, a steam-fried egg and some Cholula hot sauce.