Every fall, after big game season is over, I turn my attention to waterfowl. Goose hunting is often done with a group – and with a group comes large limits of geese.
I’ve been trying to find ways to make sure our large quantities of geese can be appreciated all year. Goose jerky has always been a crowd pleaser, but it’s a labor-intensive process. Corning the breast is also another favorite of mine. But neither of these methods incorporate thigh meat.
However, after putting thigh and breast meat through a grinder and realizing they have the same properties, so I ended up making a sweet and savory sausage that goes great with some good ol’ Southern pepper jelly. Perfect for a snack or appetizers at a party, this apricot-infused sausage has all the sophistication needed to impress your family and friends while also utilizing all of the meat on the goose.
Yields 20 pounds of sausage
15 pounds goose breasts and/or thighs
1 pound bacon
4 pounds pork butts or 50/50 trim (50% fat and 50% meat)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoon pink curing salt #2
3 cups dried apricots
1 1/2 cups cognac
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons white pepper
3 teaspoons nutmeg
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon New Mexico chili powder
1 ounce fresh tarragon leaves
Natural pig casing
Dice goose meat into grindable chunks (smaller than 2 inches in diameter).
Dice frozen bacon coarsely.
Dice partially frozen pork butts or 50/50 trim.
Mix all meat together and grind with meat grinder through 3/8 plate.
Coarsely chop tarragon, and mix it with the whole apricots. Mix evenly throughout ground meat, and run the entire mixture through the grinder again with the 3/8 plate.
Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the spices and cognac to the ground meat mixture.
With a sausage stuffer, load the meat and fill the natural casing slowly. Pop any bubbles with a toothpick.
You can either make links or rounds for packaging. I prefer the round coils.
Depending on your serving size, you will stuff approximately 24 inches of casing and will coil it up. Wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap, with as little air as possible, then wrap in freezer paper and freeze.