Venison Merguez with spinach and pickled fennel

I am always searching to find new ways to incorporate venison into recipes. One of the things I have found is that venison has some similarities to lamb and goat, so I am always substituting venison for them in recipes that I find. So far it seems to be working just fine. I make a lot of my own sausages and ever since Michael Ruhlman published his book on Charcuterie I haven't bought a single sausage from the market. He has a recipe for Merguez, which is a Moroccan lamb sausage that I had substituted venison for and it makes an absolutely delicious sausage that can be grilled or fried in a pan it is intensely flavorful and goes wonderfully with grilled peppers and couscous.

So the other night I thought I would try it with some sauteed spinach and pickled fennel. I browned the sausage in an oven proof pan with some butter for about two minutes on each side then added a 1/4 cup of white wine. Then roasted it in the oven for ten minutes. When I took the sausage out of the oven I set it aside and heated the pan it was cooking in over medium heat to reduce the wine that it was cooking in. When the wine was almost gone I sauteed two cloves of garlic and one shallot in the pan until they were soft then added two pounds of spinach leaves. After stirring the spinach for a couple of minutes I added the juice of half a lemon and two cups of pickled fennel. I added the sausage back to the pan and then covered it for a few minutes to let everything blend together.

The whole dish worked really well for me. The spinach and the fennel worked well together and the sausage was juicy and full of flavor. The venison Merguez was a success and I will be making up another batch of that as soon as I shoot another deer. All I have to do is find some time to get out hunting again.

Next up, my sister wants to know how to cook some of the meat my Brother in-law brought home so I will be heading to their house this weekend to make venison medallions with a shittake port sauce I may even throw in a surprise for them, venison heart in a red wine marrow sauce. We will have to wait and see.