Rabbit and morel sausage… one of my seasonal favorites. Seasonal because you must have fresh morels, and non-freezer-burnt rabbit. Deboning a rabbit is some pretty tedious work too. Whether you are harvesting your own rabbits, or buying them from a breeder, have that rabbit ready for when the morels pop! This has to be hands down, my favorite fresh sausage.
Like all sausage making, your equipment, trays, grinder head, stuffer, and all the meat and fat have to be cold! Cold as possible just short of frozen. I use pork fat, and have it diced and frozen ahead of time. I also de-bone the rabbit and freeze it on flat trays ahead of time. This way, when it comes time to use it, you have a sheet of chopped rabbit meat that is ready to use after a very quick thaw (just enough to break it apart). Soak your casings in lukewarm water while you prepare everything else too.
Mix all your spices. I have changed this recipe here and there, but here’s my recommendation;
Rabbit/Morel Sausage Recipe
- 4 lbs of rabbit meat (deboned, chunked and mostly frozen)
- 1 lb or fat back, cubed (mostly frozen)
- Morel mushrooms. However many you have, or want (chopped any size you like)
- 40 grams kosher salt
- 6-8 grams garlic (fresh, crushed or minced)
- 1 cup of red wine
- 4 feet of casings
- Optional: 3/4 cup asiago, romano or parmesan (shaved or chunked)
Some people add the spices to the meat and fat before grinding. Others, do it after grinding. I have tried both ways and cannot find a notable difference. Here’s how I do it. Have everything together, and cold, then grind that meat and fat into a bowl set in ice, or a deep-side tray. BUT DON’T GRIND THE MORELS. You don’t want to chop them into oblivion. Once ground, add the spices and mix together, then add the wine and mix some more. The morels should be cut to the size you like (bigger chunks for me) and then folded in to the final force-meat while you are waiting for the pellicle.
Stuff into the casings, twist and let sit for about 20 minutes to let it bind a little. I have not tried cold-smoking them yet. Some day, I will. Here is where I cut them to about 4 per pack and vac seal them before tossing them into the freezer.
To serve, I thaw completely, and give them a gentle poaching. If you are using the right vac seal bags, you can sous vide the sausages right in the bag before opening. Just be sure to not over-cook. You want the sausage still pink and raw, just slightly cooked before finishing on the grill. Check out some of the pics. You will see that they get dark and crisp up rather quick. Too quick in fact! I’m not sure if it’s the rabbit meat or what, but they are very delicate sausages. After cooking them multiple ways in the past, even low and slow, they want to cook faster on the outside than on the inside. So, handle them accordingly, but most of all, enjoy!