Favorite Hot Italian Sausage

This is my favorite Italian sausage recipe for times when I want to spice things up a bit.

I like things hot, usually the hotter the better, so be warned.

You can always cut back on the red pepper for a milder product, but at least give this a try before you do.

One thing that I have found is that the slower and longer you cook the finished product, the spicier the sausage becomes. If you grill it quickly, the heat stays reasonable.

  • 5 pounds boned pork shoulder, 80% lean is about perfect

  • 2 tablespoons cracked fennel

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon fresh fine ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic

  • 4 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 cup ice water

  1. Trim the pork, cut it into 1 inch cubes, and grind it through the coarse (1/4") plate of your meat grinder.
  2. Combine the spices in a small container and mix with the 1 cup of ice water.
  3. Pour the spice and water combination into the ground pork and mix thoroughly for at least 2 minutes. Use your hands for mixing to assure even distribution.
  4. Once the sausage is fully mixed, either stuff it into casings or make it into patties or bulk packages.
  5. This sausage should be cooled as soon as it is done. It can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

This recipe makes a pretty spicy sausage. I like it especially well when it's grilled and served with grilled vegetables (onions and bell peppers are great) and a drizzle of olive oil on a hard Italian roll.

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