Fancy Anise Italian
Sausage Recipe

Just like many of its sweet cousins, this special recipe Italian sausage uses anise instead of fennel for the signature distinctive licorice flavor.

It also adds the flavors of thyme and oregano to the mix, and then kicks up the program even more with red pepper flakes.

I like to mix up my sausage making at times by substituting anise for the more traditional cracked fennel. My family hasn't decided which it likes better yet, but either choice is great.

  • 5 pounds boned pork shoulder (pork butt)

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of dried anise

  • 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon of pickling salt

  • 1 teaspoon of fine ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 cup ice water

  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 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.

I consider this to be a mildly/moderately hot sausage. You can always add more pepper flakes if you want yours spicier but be sure to try a sample first.

Some people feel that anise has a more distinctively licorice flavor than fennel. If you don't have a preference already, give both a try to decide for yourself.

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