My family and I typically make our own venison sausage from scratch, but occasionally I come across a new seasoning which I just have to try. Excalibur’s Pizza Supreme sausage seasoning has such high ratings and sounds so out of the ordinary that we had to try it. I have to say they are amazing, especially when combined with some high temperature mozzarella. This past September, I decided to take advantage of the last of this year’s garden harvest of vegetables and herbs and put a fun spin on stuffed peppers and lasagna.
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Time To Make:
Cast iron pan
Pellet smoker or gas grill
1-1/2 lbs ground venison
Excalibur Pizza Supreme seasoning
8-10 San Marzano or Roma tomatoes, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 bay leaf
8-10 small bell peppers, cut in half or tops cut off
1-2 jalapeno peppers, diced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 small red pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini
Salt and pepper to taste
1. I added 30% pork shoulder to the venison before grinding it twice through a 4.5mm plate.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of the Pizza Supreme seasoning and mix thoroughly to incorporate, but make sure the meat is very cold and do not over mix.
3. Place the sausage in the refrigerator.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the pepper halves. Let them simmer for 2 minutes then remove and set them aside.
5. In a separate pot over medium/low heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and add the diced peppers.
6. Cook for several minutes and then add the shallots and garlic.
7. Cook until the shallots are translucent, but be sure not to burn the garlic.
8. Add the red wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, and apple sauce and bring the sauce to a simmer.
9. Once the sauce begins to thicken, add fresh basil and salt/pepper as needed.
10. Slice the zucchini lengthwise and salt each side well and place on paper towels to draw out any excess moisture.
11. Brown the loose sausage in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding.
12. Once all the meat has been browned, add it all back into the pan and add a cup or so of the tomato sauce and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
13. While the sausage and sauce is simmering, start your pellet smoker and set it to 350 degrees.
14. Place the peppers in a well oiled cast iron pan and spoon the sausage mixture into each pepper. Top each pepper with grated or thinly sliced buffalo mozzarella cheese and top with fresh basil.
15. In a well oiled loaf pan, layer zucchini, meat sauce, and buffalo mozzarella cheese.
16. Cook on the peppers and zucchini lasagna on smoker for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
17. Serve with sliced Italian bread and a nice pale ale.