Italian Sausage

Homemade Italian Sausage

Frankly, making homemade sausage is a pain in the butt, but the effort is well worth it.  Our sausage is cheaper than store bought sausage, made with higher quality meat, and it has MUCH LESS fat.  We also think this sausage tastes a lot better.  There is just enough fat in this recipe to make the sausage cook well and taste good, but it has about one third of the fat that commercial sausage has.  Buy pork butts when they are on sale and save money.  Use pork butts and 32 mm sausage casings.  Pork butts come in different sizes so I have adjusted this recipe to the amount of seasonings needed for each pound of meat.

One of our favorite things to do with this sausage is to divide it into 6 or 8oz portions, make these into 3"X6" patties, and freeze them.  Later, on a night when we need a quick dinner, we pick up some French bread from the grocery store on the way home, grill the sausage (frozen, straight from the freezer), and use whatever toppings we feel like to make quick sandwiches on a night when we don't have time for a complicated dinner.  

For every pound of cubed & trimmed pork butt:
1 tbl
fennel seed
1 tsp
1 tsp
black pepper
1 tsp
granulated garlic
dried oregano

Trim the fat cap off the pork butt.  Cut the pork off the bone, then cut everything into 1 pieces and set it all aside in a large mixing bowl.  Weigh the meat so you know how much seasonings you will need.  Set your meat grinder up with the disk with the largest holes.  Grind the meat, putting it back in to a large mixing bowl.  Put the fennel seed in a plastic bag and break them open by rolling over them with a rolling pin.  Make sure you break open the fennel seeds so that they release their flavor.  Mix the fennel seeds and the rest of the spices together.  Now add the spices to the meat and mix everything together thoroughly using your hands.  You can store this in bulk to use in spaghetti, lasagna, etc.

If you want to make traditional sausage, use a sausage stuffer and 32 mm casings, tie one end of the casing shut but use a toothpick to poke a small hole by the knot to let air out when you start stuffing.  Stuff the casing, twisting it into individual 6" links as you go along.  When you are done, tie off the other end with cotton string.  Lay the sausage on a wax paper covered platter in layers and freeze overnight.  After the sausage has frozen, cut the links at the joints, place into ziptop or vacuum sealed bags, and store in the freezer.

One of our