Making Jackrabbit Sausage at Home

A few posts ago I promised you a recipe for Jackrabbit. Having played with a few dishes, I decided today to try making Jackrabbit Sausage. Ace’s parents gave me a meat grinder for Christmas, and this seemed like a good way to try it out. Since I don’t have a sausage stuffer, I decided to make bulk sausage instead, but if you wanted to this could just as easily go into links.

Here’s a picture of the meat grinder, which attaches to a KitchenAid stand mixer.

1-Grinder(Click for larger view)

For most sausage, the coarse grinding plate (with large holes) can be used, and the fine plate would be for certain sausages and pâté.

I de-boned one jackrabbit and ended up with about two pounds of meat.

2-Rabbit Meat(Click for larger view)

The meat is chopped into small chunks that will feed into the grinder easily. Since rabbit is so lean, some sort of fat has to be added to keep it together. I used bacon (pork belly would work as well) at a ratio of one pound of bacon to two pounds of rabbit.

3-Bacon(Click for larger view)

Both of these meats are run through the grinder. It is important to keep meat cold before grinding to preserve the texture.

4-Grinding(Click for larger view)

Use a tool to push the meat into the grinder, as you don’t want to get your finger caught in the auger. Once all of the meat is ground, it’s time to add the spices. I went with a chorizo recipe.

For three pounds of meat, I added the following spices:

-3 tbsp salt (this turned out to be a bit much)
-3 tsp whole cumin seeds
-1.5 tsp ground black pepper
-1 chopped guajillo chili
-1.5 tbsp minced garlic
-1 tsp rice vinegar
-1.5 tbsp brown sugar
-2 tbsp paprica

 6-Spices

(Click for larger view)

Lightly mix the spices with the meat, and run through the grinder a second time. At this point, I pressed the sausage into a loaf pan, but you could also make links.

8-Loaf(Click for larger view)

Let stand for a few hours in the refrigerator, after which it’s good to use. We had a bit left over after forming this loaf, so we fried it up for a taste test. It tastes magnificent, if a bit salty. Once the loaf has set in the fridge, it can go in the freezer. We’ll just cut off slices as we need them.

~The Homesteading Hippy

5 thoughts on “Making Jackrabbit Sausage at Home

  1. Pingback: Hunting Part 3: The Meat | The Homesteading Hippy

  2. Carl H

    Good job! Let me suggest adding thyme – and plenty of it – to most rabbit dishes. Just as an FYI, when you’re adding bacon you can count on cutting way back on salt. Your ‘sausage’ could be called a ‘terrine’ as prepared – google some recipes for rabbit terrine, the french love ’em. Here’s a good one: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Rabbit-and-Herb-Terrine One final tip – when you’re still-hunting (walking 5-10 steps, stopping for a count of 5 while you scan, repeat) this will often make game break from hiding, they’re SURE you can see them. Along those lines, a trick they taught me when I was learning to rabbit hunt 45 years ago – look for the rabbit’s eye. It sounds odd, but try it – it works. Look for a big black dot.
    If you have several rabbit livers, soak in buttermilk or whole milk for half an hour, dip in seasoned flour, panfry in butter or baconfat – one of the hunter’s rewards. You can also cut out the ‘tenderloins’ if you have several animals, treat just like the livers, above, and panfry. Good stuff.
    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    1. The Homesteading Hippy Post author

      Thank you Carl! I will try out thyme in my next batch.

      As far as the hunting technique you describe, I tried it and it works very well on rabbits (cottontails here near Tucson), but not so much on the jackrabbits (actually a hare). Since they can keep running much longer than cottontails, they tend to bolt much earlier, and don’t use the freezing defense that true rabbits do. So, for rabbits, it seems that the best strategy is to let them run a ways, and then shoot them once they stop. For hares, it is best to shoot them before they start running at all.

      I haven’t tried the livers yet (I’ve been opening them in the field to check for disease, which leaves them in pretty poor shape. Reading your advice, I’ll try checking them at home and save them if they look good.

      ~The Homesteading Hippy

      Reply

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