Smoked venison sausage with beetroot relish

Smoked venison sausage with beetroot relish

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin

I cooked this rich and smoky dish on The Best in Australia and it won! I recommend using beef casings for the sausages, but you could also use caul fat – this just makes them extra-rich.

You will need a barbecue with a lid in order to smoke the sausages.


Quantity Ingredient
500g lean venison, cut into chunks
450g pig’s livers
750g boneless pork belly, cut into chunks
60g salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves
2 mace blades, ground
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon juniper berries, ground
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
1 wine glass red wine
1kg beef casings or caul fat, rinsed and soaked overnight in water

Beetroot relish

Quantity Ingredient
500g grated cooked beetroot
190g soft brown sugar
125ml balsamic vinegar
1 star anise

To smoke

Quantity Ingredient
lump charcoal
2 cups hickory barbecue woodchips, soaked in water for 1 hour and drained


  1. Make the sausage filling by combining the venison, livers, pork, salt, garlic, rosemary, mace, pepper, juniper berries and sugar in a large bowl. Pass the mixture twice through a meat grinder set to medium. Mix in the red wine and allow to stand.
  2. If using beef casings, take out your sausage maker (or secure your sausage-making attachment to your mixer). Push the beef casing onto the sausage nozzle and tie a knot in the loose end of the casing. Place the sausage mixture into the hopper of the sausage machine and turn it on to its slowest speed. Push the meat down into the machine until the meat starts to slowly fill the beef casing. Once the entire casing is full, use your hands to twist into small sausages, tying the last one with kitchen string to secure.
  3. If using caul fat, drain the caul fat and take a piece large enough to make a sausage 20 cm long and 7.5 cm thick; you will need enough fat to wrap at least 3 layers around the meat. Shape the meat inside the fat into a firm sausage and tie each end with kitchen string. Repeat this process using the remaining filling to get 3 thick sausages.
  4. To make the relish, combine the grated beetroot, sugar, vinegar and star anise in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes, or until the beetroot reaches a chutney-like consistency. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  5. Prepare the barbecue for smoking (I use a big, green, egg-shaped barbecue). Light about 12 large pieces of lump charcoal, allowing the coal to burn evenly with the lid up. Once alight, close the lid and set the airflow and temperature to low to slow down the burning. The temperature should be around 100°C. Add the pre-soaked hickory chips. Allow the smoke to start; it should be a thin stream through the top of the lid.
  6. Add your sausages to the barbecue, close the lid and smoke them for 45 minutes. Don’t allow the temperature to exceed 100°C.
  7. After 45 minutes, open the airflow to full and let the temperature rise to 200°C – this will happen quickly. Cook for a further 5–10 minutes to allow the sausages to colour and cook. Carefully remove from the barbecue and slice the sausages into small sections. Serve with the beetroot relish.
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