When Italians have a hefty amount of leftover pork shoulder, they grind it up and make a sausage similar to what's featured in this recipe. There are a thousand variations to making Italian Sausage, so feel free to shift things up to make it sweeter, hotter, or more herbaceous.
You can make this recipe either by packing the sausage loosely, or casing it in 6-inch links. Add it to tomato sauces or throw it in a hoagie on game day. With Italian Sausage, you simply can't go wrong.
• 8 lbs. pork shoulder
• 2 lbs. pork belly
• ¼ cup salt
• 3 tbsp. dextrose
• 6 cloves garlic
• ¼ cup paprika
• ¼ cup dried oregano
• ¼ cup fennel seeds
• 2 tbsp. black peppercorns
• 3 tbsp. coriander seeds
• 3 tbsp. red pepper flakes
• ½ cup red table wine
• ½ cup red wine vinegar
• 4 cups water
• 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
• 20 ft. hog casing
When making this recipe during the summer time, we usually put the Italian Sausage in casing to throw it on the grill. In the winter months, we usually pack the sausage loose, and add it to marinaras.
If you're planning to serve this to someone who cowers in fear when the Scoville measurement is mentioned, you may want to halve the crushed red pepper flakes.
If you're buying the meat pre-ground from the butcher, ask them to coarsely grind the meat.
Place 3 large mixing bowls and the meat grinder attachment in the freezer around 15 minutes before use. Keeping the equipment cold will help the grinding move quickly.
Measure out ½ cup water. Measure out the remaining ingredients of your shopping list, so that they are ready to work with in the subsequent steps.
Mix together the water and red wine vinegar in a liquid measuring container, and place in the refrigerator to chill the liquid.
If casing, prepare the sausage stuffer for use. Press the meat through the stuffer until the ground meat just barely pokes through the end of the spout.
Push the open end of the hog casing over the end of the stuffer, and continue to push the casing onto the stuffer until you reach the end of the casing. Tie a knot at the end of the casing.
Stuff the sausage into the hog casings and wrap the sausage into a long coil. Once finished, tie off the other end of the sausage. Twist the sausage into links every 6 inches.
Wrap the cased sausage links and / or the wrapped ½ pound loose sausage in butcher paper, or place in sealable freezer storage bags. Using a Sharpie, label each package Italian Sausage: made May 6, 2015.
Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before consuming, to allow the flavors to mingle. Place in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or the freezer for up to 1 month.
Cook the Italian Sausage to a temperature of 150°F / 65°C before consuming it. Cook it up and create a tomato-based Sausage Ragù to kick your penne or lasagna up a notch, use it as a pizza topping, or toss it with sauteed zucchini and onions for an easy summer dish.