Basic Homemade Italian Sausage

This hot homemade Italian sausage recipe is very straight forward. It differs from the basic sweet Italian sausage only by the addition of red pepper.

Home sausage making is fun and easy, and this one is about as simple as it gets. Most often, we don't bother to stuff it, but put it up in bulk packages.

This is one of my favorite fresh sausage recipes. When I do stuff it, I like it simmered for a while in beer and then grilled on the BBQ.

We always have a few packages of this sausage in bulk on hand for pizza and pasta sauce.

  • 5 lbs boned pork butt

  • 5 teaspoons cracked fennel seed

  • 5 teaspoons fine ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes.

  • 3 1/2 teaspoons pickling salt (or 5 teaspoons kosher salt)

  • 1 cup ice water

  • 32-35mm natural or collagen casing.

  1. Trim the pork, cut it into 1 inch cubes, and grind it through the fine plate of your meat grinder.
  2. Combine the spices in a 1 quart 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.

This recipe makes what I consider a mildly hot sausage, but taste and tolerance for heat is subjective. Fry up a small patty and try it before you decide to add more pepper flakes than called for here.

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.

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