Wild Duck Sausage with Orange and Fennel
Pork belly balances the gamey flavor of wild duck in this hearty hunters sausage with fennel and oranges.
Photo by Isabel Rozendaal
Prep: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
breasts and legs of 2 wild ducks, deboned and cubed
1 pound of pork belly—the best quality you can find—cubed
10 feet of pork intestines (natural sausage casing). You'll have some left over, but this leaves room for error and it costs next to nothing.
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
Zest of 3 oranges
15 leaves of sage, chopped
½ bulb of fennel, cubed
1 tablespoon ground, toasted fennel seeds
4 tablespoons salt
Segments of 3 oranges
½ bulb of fennel, thinly shaved
Author's Note: Making sausage is not complicated, just a little laborious–but that's part of the fun. It takes a surprisingly large amount of fat and salt to make sausage tasty and juicy. Because wild duck meat hardly contains any fat, we'll use high quality pork fat to make up for it. The easiest way to make sausage is using a sausage maker. This is a simple contraption that can grind meat and feed it into the casing. In this recipe, we'll pass the meat through the grinder twice.
1. Fit the machine with its grinder blade. Mix the duck meat with the pork belly before feeding it into the grinder. After it's been ground, knead the herbs and vegetables through it evenly, and pass the mixture through again.
2. Now, replace the blade on your machine with the funnel that will feed the meat into the casing. Place the opening of the casing over the funnel and pull the entire casing onto the funnel like a pantyhose. Next, feed the meat mixture through the machine into the casing (find an extra pair of hands to assist you with this step) and twist the casing after each length of a link.
3. Fry the sausages over medium heat until they are golden brown in butter or olive oil and serve with shaved fennel and orange segments.
Don't have a sausage maker? Sausage is super fun to make and it can be done without the appliance. As long as you grind your meat finely with a knife or food processor (or ask your butcher to do it), you can do this by hand if you have a suitable funnel. You can make fillings out of all kinds of meats, but you can also make a meatless filling. A Lithuanian recipe uses mashed potatoes as a filling (served with bacon and sour cream), and an Egyptian recipe uses herbed rice with vegetables.