Making Italian Sausages at home is surprisingly easy and it allows you to customize the seasoning to your liking. From mild to spicy the choice is yours.
Sausage has been around since about 3100BC. The technique hasn't changed much over the years: grind up the bits and pieces of meat and fat, add some spices and stuff the mixture into the animals intestines. Yeah, I know the last bit sounds gross, but that's what casings are.
My mother-in-law's father was a butcher and according to his kids he made the BEST sausages including Hungarian Kolbaz (paprika, garlic and allspice) and Breakfast Sausage (sage, nutmeg, and pepper). Same technique, different flavorings.
I frequently use this spice mix to flavor ground pork when I need loose Italian Sausage. But this time I decided to go "whole hog" and buy some casings to actually stuff them. Easy, but it is a bit time consuming. So, if you are going to go to the trouble, make at least ½ of the recipe below and freeze the extras to have on hand for everything from pasta sauce to grilled Italian Sausage sandwiches.
Sausage Making Equipment
If you have a good kitchen supply place and/or butcher near you, you can pick up these items in person. Otherwise, do as I did and head over to Amazon.
Meat Grinder Sausage Stuffer Mixer Attachment (similar to what I have)
Manual Meat Grinder and Sausage Stuffer
Videos for Sausage Making
You may want to watch a video or three before stuffing the sausages for the first time. There are plenty on YouTube, but here are three that caught my eye.
- using a mixer attachment (e.g. Kitchen Aide)
- using a manual sausage maker
- using a caulk gun !!!! (my inner Frugalista loved this idea)
Homemade Italian Sausage
- 10 pounds coarse ground pork butt or pork shoulder
- 2 cups ice cold water
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 5 tablespoons salt
- 4 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon anise seed
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ tablespoon coarse ground pepper
- 1½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- hog casings for stuffing
- Grind pork through medium fine plates.
- Blend remaining ingredients in a blender, blend on low 30-60 seconds.
- Mix spices with ground pork until thoroughly blended for 3-5 minutes
- Stuff into casings per manufacturer's directions or store loose sausage in zip to lock freezer bags.
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Italian Sausage Recipes
Until next time, happy eating!