As we all dig to the bottom of our winter food cache, we need to make room for the coming season’s splendours.

I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew here, but it’s starting to feel like winter is losing its grip. I’ve started to notice little odds and ends poking their way up through the depths of the icebox.

I don’t like to keep meat frozen for longer than six months, so I knew it was time to start using some of these treasures.

One of the items that caught my eye was a block of moose given to me by a friend during my visit to Dawson City during the great cold spell this past January.

One of the ways I like to use moose is to make a mild homemade sausage, simmer it until it’s nice and tender and eat it with homemade perogies and sauerkraut. I find this recipe emphasizes the flavour of the moose, and doesn’t take away or hide anything.

By dry curing it for a few days, you intensify the moose flavour even more.

The addition of the curing salt is to help eliminate any chance of bacteria that may be, and often are, present in wild game meat. If used correctly, curing salts are perfectly safe to use.

This is a real old-style country sausage that has been made for hundreds of years. Originating from French farmers, it is simplicity at its finest. When you don’t have any game in your stash, use high quality pork and you will not be disappointed!

Moose Saucisson de Ménage Depending where you go, this sausage is either completely dried and eaten as is, or semi-dried, cooked and sliced.

INGREDIENTS

750g ground moose

250g pork fat back

3g curing salt #2

17g kosher salt

1 clove of garlic, crushed to a paste

1 tsp cracked black pepper

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp pate spice (optional)

One medium size piece of cheese cloth

Pork fat for dipping cheese cloth

METHOD

Grind moose on coarse blade; if already ground omit this step.

By hand, dice the fat into nice small uniform pieces. Place in mixing bowl with moose.

Add the rest of the ingredients. If mixing by hand or wooden spoon, beat well for two minutes or until the meat feels tacky to the touch. If using an electric mixer, beat with paddle mix on speed setting 2 for one minute or until tacky to the touch.

Dip cheese cloth into pork fat and lay out onto work surface. Make a large cylinder with the sausage mix. Tightly roll the cheese cloth up around it.

Tie one end with butchers twine, then twist and push the sausage meat down to make a tight package and tie other end. Now cut another long piece of twine and wrap all around the sausage for support.

Hang in a cool, well-ventilated place for three to five days (a location about 15C is good). Then move to your fridge – the sausage is ready to be cooked.

To cook the sausage, bring a small pot of water, stock or wine to a low simmer, or even better try to keep the water at 170F. Add the sausage and cook till internal temp reaches 160-165F – about 45 minutes or longer.

This sausage can be sliced and served warm, or cooled and used for sandwiches, pizza or eating with cheese.

NOTES

Do not attempt to cut back the quantities of salt or curing salts in this recipe if you’re dry curing your sausage, you may get yourself or someone else sick!

If you’re freaked out by having meat hanging in your closet, do the following:

Omit the curing salt. Place sausage on a cooling rack, on a sheet pan in your fridge.

Leave for 3 days, turning it over once a day. Proceed to cook as directed above.