Monday, February 11, 2008

Deer Sausage

I am not a deer hunter, yet I have a freezer full of deer sausage.

A few weeks ago I wrote a column about the so-called Obese Bill (HB 282). In it I offered several pieces of alternative legislation to the Mississippi House of Representatives bill that proposes to ban fat people from eating in restaurants.

In my haste to meet an editor’s deadline, I forgot an alternative bill that should placed in the hopper with the rest: The Deer Sausage Law.

The Deer Sausage Law, HB 282G states: Licensed Mississippi deer hunters, or any of their relatives or assigns, are not allowed to give away any deer meat to anyone, ever, period.

I have a theory: I believe that most people don’t like to eat deer meat. Proof: I have a freezer full of deer sausage and I’m not a deer hunter. People shoot deer because they like to shoot deer. I’m OK with that. I have no objection to people shooting animals for food or for sport.

That said, the point still remains, deer meat is not good. If deer sausage was good— if it tasted like a filet mignon or a ribeye steak, or a hamburger, even— deer hunters would hoard it in their own freezers. Even if deer sausage tasted like pork sausage they wouldn’t be trying to pawn it off on me.

My deer-hunting friends— and I have many— purchase secondary freezers to store the deer sausage that accumulates each deer season. Most of them empty these freezers at the beginning of deer season, throwing out all of the leftover deer sausage from the previous hunting season (read: 90%), and prepare to fill it with a new batch of deer sausage that, again, won’t be eaten.

As I write, I have just thought of an amendment to HB 282G: All of the leftover deer sausage from the previous deer season must be donated to the state penal system. You say you want to crack down on crime? Make inmates eat deer sausage in our state prisons. The crime rate will drop immediately.

I like steak. My friends never try to fill my freezer with steak. Therefore, I also propose a statewide cow-hunting season. During cow-hunting season, my friends who like to shoot things can go out and hunt a few steer. Then they can bring all of the ribeyes, strips, prime ribs, and even hamburger that won’t fit into their freezers to me. I will welcome them with open arms, and a baked potato.

Cow hunting will save money, too. No one would need camouflage or long-distance rifles. Tree stands will be rendered useless, high-powered scopes won’t be needed, and there’ll be no need to soak one’s clothes in urine. Just park the truck by the side of a field, walk out into the field. Shoot a cow. Presto! Roast beef for everyone!

And what about pig season? Pork sausage tastes a lot better than deer sausage. I would love to see one of my hunting friends arrive at my front door with a few slabs of ribs and bacon after a successful week hunting at the deer, oops make that, pig camp. I’ll even purchase a supplemental deep freeze for that hunting season.

Chicken season might be a good idea, too. We can release the chickens from all of the state’s chicken houses and let them assimilate into the wild. The countryside will smell a lot better and you’ll never get stuck behind one of those big chicken-hauling trucks, ever again.

The problem of wildlife walking out in front of your car won’t be so bad during chicken season. A full-sized deer can total an automobile. What harm can be done by a rooster?

My friend Marshall Ramsey says that being on the Natchez Trace after dark is like driving through a petting zoo at night. Actually it might be fun to drive down the Trace at night while chickens are crossing the road. We could implement a statewide points system: 10 points for a Bantam Rooster, 15 points for a Rhode Island Red, and for a Black Breasted Red Cubalaya, 25 points and a new upright freezer.

Question: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Answer: Because everyone was sick of deer sausage.

Three-Meat Meatloaf

1 pound Ground beef
1/2 pound Ground venison (or deer sausage)
1/2 pound Ground Pork
1 Tbl Bacon grease (or canola oil)
1 cup Onion, minced
3 /4 cup Celery, minced
3 /4 cup Bell pepper, minced
1 tsp Garlic, minced
1 /8 tsp Thyme, dry
1 /4 tsp Oregano, dry
2 tsp Steak Seasoning
1 Tbl Salt
1 cup Milk
1 /2 cup Ketchup
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
3 Eggs
1 1/2 cup Unseasoned Course Bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat the bacon grease in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the vegetables with salt and dry herbs until tender. Allow to cool.

Combine milk, eggs, Worcestershire and ketchup and mix well. Place ground beef, venison, pork, cooled vegetables and egg mixture into a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, squish the meatloaf until you have mixed everything together and all is well incorporated. Fold in the breadcrumbs last.

Shape the meat mixture into the form of a loaf on a baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes of cooking, use a pastry brush and brush the glaze over the entire meatloaf. Return to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes. Again, remove the meatloaf and brush another layer of the glaze over it. Return it once again to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes. Brush one final layer of the glaze on the meatloaf and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove the meatloaf and allow it to rest 15 minutes before serving.
Yield: 8-10 servings

Tomato Glaze


1 tsp. Bacon fat
1 Tbl. Garlic, minced
1 Tbl. Onion, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry basil
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 Tbl Brown sugar
2Tbl Tomato paste
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
2 Tbl. Yellow mustard
1 Tbl. Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup Ketchup

Heat the bacon fat in a small skillet over a low heat. Cook the onions, garlic and salt for 2-3 minutes. Add the basil, black pepper and brown sugar cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir constantly tp prevent the sugar from burning. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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