Gina's Sweet Italian Sausage

Sweet Italian Sausage is one of my wife's favorites, especially when it's made from this recipe. The wine and sage give it a very unique flavor. We often use this one in our red spaghetti sauce, and it's always a hit.

  • 6 pounds boned pork shoulder, we like it about 80% lean

  • 5 teaspoons cracked fennel

  • 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper (medium grind)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated garlic (or 4-6 fresh cloves)

  • 2 teaspoons rubbed sage

  • 1 cup very cold, good quality white table wine

  1. Trim the pork, cut it into 1 inch cubes, and grind it through either the fine (3/16") or coarse (1/4") plate of your meat grinder.
  2. Combine the spices in a small container and mix with the 1 cup of cold white wine. Make sure to finally chop the garlic if using fresh.
  3. Pour the spice and wine 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.

There's something about the sage in this sausage that makes it very reminiscent of a good quality breakfast sausage. You can certainly use it that way.

As with any sausage made with garlic, don't keep it too long in the freezer or the garlic flavor will go away. I always try to use ours all up in the first month or two.

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