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How Paul Ryan’s Makes Deer Sausage

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(CNN) — Ask, and you shall receive. We implored CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd to suss out the secrets of vice presidential candidate and avid hunter Paul Ryan’s much-vaunted homemade venison sausage, and goodness, did she deliver.

According to Sunday’s pool report, the secret to Ryan’s venison sausage is spices from Tenuta’s Deli (“A Kenosha Tradition Since 1950!”) where he spoke with reporters while purchasing supplies for this year’s haul.

Each year, the Wisconsin congressman grinds up deer meat to make brats and Italian sausage and leaves a third variety open as a wild card.

While the campaign currently has Ryan firmly under hoof and he is unable to make his own, he buys links from the deli and deemed Ralph (Tenuta)’s housemade Italian sausage “the best I ever had.”

Ryan said he will make time “after the election, Thanksgiving and Christmas,” and he’ll get his kids involved.

“I’ve got to take Liza this year,” Ryan vowed. His ten-year-old daughter, for whom he recently bought hunting gear, will hunt alongside him for the first time and then three of his children will help him make the sausage.

The congressman is, in particular, a cheerleader for chorizo – a variety of sausage usually made with pork, and often spiced with paprika, chiles and smoke flavors. While he had admittedly not stuffed any of his own for a while, Ryan was impressed by the dimensions of the links on offer at Tenuta’s, proclaiming, “These chorizos are huge.”

But, down to business. “You skin a deer then you bone it out,” Ryan advised, “and then you grind it and you have to add some pork for fat because venison have no fat and then um, you know everyone’s different. You get hog casings, and you grind it and put it in a grinder and you put it in the hog casings and mix it with the spices.”

And yes, the process is not unfamiliar. Asked the inevitable question about if the gutting and grinding is akin to making laws in Congress, Ryan chuckled, “It’s very similar actually. Everybody says that.”

By Shawna Shepherd

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