Wild turkey breast is among the very leanest of game meats, and needs the addition of a bit more fat than others to prevent the sausages from turning out dry or mealy.
The noble pig sports several types:
- FatBack: (a.k.a. back fat) The hard fat found on the back of the pig. With a high melting point It is exceptionally well suited for sausage. It sometimes comes skin-on, in which case be sure to remove the skin before weighing or grinding.
- Jowl fat: Prized by fancy artisinal sausage makers for it’s more creamy texture.
- Shoulder Butt: (a.k.a. Boston butt, shoulder) A roast heavily marbled with fat, excellent for sausage. “Pork Butt” is the most common source of fat specified in game recipes. Keep in mind a whole butt is about 30% fat, 70% lean. “Pork Butt Trimmings” are much higher in fat percentage, up to 90% depending on who did the trimming. So there is a huge difference and they are not interchangeable in a sausage recipe.
- Belly Fat: (a.k.a pork belly, where bacon comes from) A soft fat with a low melting point. Some recipes call for it, but some sources consider it unsuited for sausage. Probably best not to use belly fat or bacon unless the recipe calls for it or you’re experimenting on purpose.
- Kidney Fat: (a.k.a. leaf lard) A hard intestinal fat concentrated around the kidneys. Some consider it a bit too hard for sausage, but it has the most neutral (least “porky”) flavor, makes the flakiest pastries and the best lard.
Be warned that most grocery store meat counter folks, and even some butchers, don’t understand all of the above. I’ve had butchers tell me there is no difference between back fat and shoulder fat, and it just ain’t so.
Cost can vary all over the place – from free or close to it, to those who will charge as if it was loin. I’d never balk at $1 per pound or less. Let the buyer beware.