Homemade Italian Sausage
- 3 lbs pork shoulder, diced and chilled
- 1 tbs fennel seeds
- 1 tbs dried sage
- 1/2 tbs dried thyme
- small bunch Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- zest of 3 lemons
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste, about 1/2 tbs each
- 1/2 tbs red pepper flakes or more if you like it spicy, if sweet is preferred omit the pepper flakes
- 4 ft of natural sausage casing, if using
Sausage making at home is fun and quite rewarding. You have the opportunity to experiment with various flavors and meats. Some specialized equipment is required. Typically a meat grinder, a stuffing machine, and natural casings. This recipe shows you how to make sausage using a food processor. You may use sausage casings or opt just to make sausage patties.
- If using a meat grinder, mix the pork and other ingredients until well combined, then using a course grinding plate. Make sure the meat is very cold. We like to place it in the freezer for 30 minutes before grinding.
- Note it is important to keep the meat as well as any bowls or utensils very cold while processing the meat.
- Alternatively you may grind the meat using a food processor. Add the meat the the bowl of a food processor with the blades and bowl very cold and pulse until you have a coarse mixture.
- At this point you may form the pork into patties.
- If you want to make links, soak the sausage casing according to the package directions, then thread the casing onto a sausage stuffer and tie off the end. Fill the sausage stuffer with the prepared meat.
- Hold the casing steady and fill with the filling. When the casing if filled, lay the sausages down in a straight line and prick all the way along with a fin, then turn over and repeat on the other side. This will ensure that the sausages don’t burst while cooking.
- Twist sausage into equal sized sausages and tie off each.
- If you are not using a sausage stuffing machine, you may make patties or you may stuff the sausage casings by hand.
- Cook sausage over a hot grill or saute in a pan.