How to make Italian Sausage

Italian Sausage

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.

Project Time

3 hours


10 pounds


Meat Grinder
Sausage Stuffer, if stuffing


• 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

For Stuffing:
• 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.

Recipe For This Italian Sausage

Sausage Ragù

Let's Roll

1. Let's Roll

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.

Prepare the Casing

2. Prepare the Casing

At least 30 minutes before using the casing:

Rinse the casing well. Add 4 cups water and 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar to a bowl. Place the casing in the water / vinegar mixture.

Prepare the Meats

3. Prepare the Meats

Chop the pork shoulder and pork belly into 1-inch chunks, and place them in the chilled mixing bowls.

Place each bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes to keep the meat as cold as possible through the preparation steps.

Grind the Piggie

4. Grind the Piggie

Prepare the meat grinder with the large die.

Mince the garlic. Mix the minced garlic in with the diced meats.

Grind the meat and garlic mixture through the grinder and allow to fall into a chilled mixing bowl.

Pulverize and Whisk

5. Pulverize and Whisk

Using a spice grinder, pulverize the black peppercorns and coriander seeds.

Whisk the dry spice ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Add the red wine, red wine vinegar, and water, whisk together until you have a tasty looking soup.

Flavafy the Meat

6. Flavafy the Meat

Pour the spice mixture into the bowl of ground meat.

Put on some food preparation gloves and mix the spice mixture into the ground meat until the meat is uniformly coated with the spice mixture.

Place the meat mixture back in the freezer while while taste testing.

Taste Test

7. Taste Test

Grab a handful of the meat mixture, form it into a small patty, and fry it up in a pan. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Meanwhile, replace the remaining meat mixture in the freezer to keep it cold.

Either Stuff That Casing

8. Either Stuff That Casing

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.

Or Pack it Loosely

9. Or Pack it Loosely

If packing loosely, weigh out the sausage mixture ½ pound at a time.

Place wax paper over the kitchen scale, then place the sausage mixture on the wax paper until it weighs out ½ pound (8 oz.). Fold the wax paper over and set aside to wrap in butcher paper.


10. Dunzo

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.