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. This is a simple one. Salt, pepper and garlic. Nothing else is needed because you want to let the rabbit and morels shine. The recipe below uses percentages so that you can weigh out your trim and adjust your fat and spices accordingly.
Rabbit/Morel Sausage Recipe
- Rabbit trim (deboned, chunked and mostly frozen)
- 32% Fat back, cubed (mostly frozen)
Take total weight in grams of the rabbit trim + fat, and weigh out your spices.
- 2% kosher salt
- .02% cracked black pepper
- .06% garlic (fresh, crushed or minced)
- Morel mushrooms. However many you have, or want (chopped any size you like)
- Optional: Ramps! They are usually in season along with morels.
- Optional: 3/4 cup asiago, romano or parmesan (shaved or chunked)
- 1 cup of red wine
- 4 feet of casings
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 in taste but I have decided that I like to toss the meat and fat in the spices, then grind as helps get the spices well-integrated.
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 OR RAMPS. You don’t want to chop them into oblivion. Once ground, add the spices (if you haven’t already) and mix together. Then add the wine and mix some more. The ramps can be chopped into 1 inch pieces. The morels should be cut to the size you like (bigger chunks for me) and then folded in to the final force-meat. Let sit for the pellicle. The time here depends on how cold you’ve managed to keep things. I find I have plenty of time to do the quenelle test (adjust the spices) and prepare the stuffer.
When the farce is sticky, 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 inside. Finish on the grill. Check out some of the pics.