Fancy Anise Sweet Italian Sausage Recipe

This sweet Italian sausage recipe uses anise instead of fennel to produce the distinctive licorice flavor we associate with pizza and red sauce sausage. It also adds the flavors of thyme and oregano to the mix. It's one of my dad's favorites.

This is basic fresh sausage made in the Italian style but without any added pepper for heat.

  • 5 pounds boned pork shoulder (pork butt)

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of dried anise

  • 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 (3/16") 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.
  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.

Some people really prefer the taste of anise to fennel. If you don't already have a preference, give it a try to find out for yourself.

The addition of the thyme and oregano in this sausage making recipe gives variety and another layer of flavor beyond the basic Italian sausage we are used to.

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