BASC’s top tips for game sausages and burgers

Turning game burgers and sausages may feel like a step too far, but with a little further processing (and experimenting) the door opens to a multitude of fantastic new recipes and meals. We have spoken to several BASC staff about their favourite game burgers and sausages, and where they have had most success.

James Green, head of wildfowling

The Field’s ‘best pheasant burger’ recipe should not be overlooked. I have used the recipe dozens of times, never straying from their rules. Both breast and thigh meat are used. The only rule is never overcook them, if using a BBQ watch them like a hawk. They always go down well on the shoot day.”

Matt Gisby, wild food officer

“I mince 70% pheasant breast and thigh with 30 per cent pork shoulder. Add breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, orange zest and a good whack of homemade Seville orange marmalade mixed through by hand to make the mix. They make fantastic sausages or for an easier option sausage rolls.”

Will Pocklington, head of publications

“Every year, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I get together with a few friends and we make enough sausages to fill our freezers.

“Last time round, 13kg of venison, 10kg of pheasant meat and 7kg of fatty pork made enough sausages to see us through winter. Flavours vary and we make an effort to experiment. ‘Firecracker’, ‘Game and Guinness’, ‘Hunter’s Feast’ and ‘Lincolnshire Sausage’ are tried and tested favourites.

“The key is to involve someone who is very meticulous, happy to make a mess and preferably has a big kitchen.”

Ben Cotterell, regional firearms officer

“I have seen plenty of success with goose burgers using seasonings from a company called Tongmaster. The burger mix is roughly 80 per cent minced goose breast and 20 per cent mince pork belly (without rind). The cranberry and apple seasoning works fantastically.”

Jane Hatton, training and education officer

“With an excess of venison, we turn loads into burgers and sausages. For the burgers we mix with around 15 per cent pork mince and season with onion salt, garlic granules and olive oil.

“We do our mincing with a heavy-duty Buffalo mincer and make the patties with a simple burger press from Lakeland.”

Matt Dutton, regional officer

“For me it must be venison burgers. I dice the meat straight off the carcass and freeze in 10kg bags. I then part thaw the bags and put it through the mincer together with 25 per cent (2.5kg) of smoked bacon trimmings, along with onion and seasoning which are all minced at the same time. The blades tend to cope and cut better when the meat is still slightly frozen.

“Burgers are then weighed out using an ice cream scoop and pressed out by my 5-year-old daughter in the burger press.

“I use a wax disc on the top and bottom of each burger as it goes into the press and making quarter pound burgers from this amount of meat gives me about 30 – 35 burgers.

“About five minutes on each side under the grill and they are around medium rare and perfect.”