Venison sausages with mash and leek gravy

Lesley Water's delicious venison sausages are made from scratch. Try them and you may decide never to buy bangers again!
By Lesley Waters
Venison sausages with mash and leek gravy
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4 (makes 12-14 sausages)
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus 12 hrs resting
  • Effort: easy


For the sausages

  • 2.5 kg venison, diced
  • 500 g pork fat
  • 300 g dried breadcrumbs
  • 125 ml dry white wine
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp chopped sage
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • sausage casings

For the gravy

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium leeks, cut into 2.5cm rounds
  • 8 shallots, peeled, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 300 ml red wine
  • 300 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 150 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp plain flour, mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper

For the mash

  • 900 g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled, quartered
  • 45 g butter
  • 150-300 ml milk
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 1 handfuls thyme
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Freeze the venison and pork fat for about 30 minutes before mincing.

2. Mince the venison and pork fat through a mincer (or, for more coarse-cut meat, in a food processor).

3. Add the breadcrumbs, dry white wine and spices and mix thoroughly with your hands.

4. Fry a small amount of the mixture in a little oil and taste to check if the seasoning needs adjusting.

5. Cut the desired length of casing. Tie a knot in one end and feed the other end onto a 1cm plain nozzle attached to a piping bag. Fill the meat into the casing.

6. To prevent overfilling, lightly press each sausage, as it's piped into the casing, using your thumb and index finger. Leave enough casing at the end to tie a knot.

7. Link the sausages by pinching and twisting 2-3 times - first twist to the left and then to the right to prevent tangling.

8. Refrigerate the sausages for 12 hours - this will help the skins to soften and the spices to marinate with the meat.

9. When you are ready to cook the gravy and sausages, preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

10. For the gravy: tip the garlic, leeks, shallots into a roasting pan with the olive oil. Season with black pepper, cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes.

11. Place the wine and stock in a saucepan and simmer until reduced by half - about 10 minutes.

12. Place the sausages in a roasting tin and cook for 20-25 minutes in the oven.

13. After roasting the vegetables, remove the foil and sprinkle with sugar. Return to the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they're lightly charred and golden.

14. Add the balsamic vinegar to the reduced wine and stock, and whisk in the flour and water mixture. Simmer for 4-5 minutes and season to taste. While the sausages and gravy are cooking, make the mash.

15. For the mash: cook the potatoes until tender - about 15-20 minutes. Drain, return to the pan for a few minutes and mash until smooth.

16. Heat the butter, 150ml of the milk and the cream over a medium heat.

17. Pour the warm butter and cream over the mashed potatoes. Add the thyme, salt and pepper, and stir until the mixture is smooth. If the mash is still stiff, add more milk.

18. Serve the sausages with a spoonful of mash and accompany with the gravy.

Cook's notes: Sausage casings are available from good butchers and can even be purchased online. The sausage-maker used for this recipe was supplied by Design a Sausage - call 0845 257 8884 for more details

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