Homemade Italian Sausage is easy to make. In fact you may even be shocked how easy it is to make great tasting sausage at home. I love Italian sausage, it goes great in meatloaf, it makes great meatballs, or even goes wonderfully in Spaghetti sauce.
When I was growing up we often made sausage. My house growing up was filled with all sorts of food preparation. We had a large garden, we had all sorts of fruit trees, and my parents loved to do things like make sausage. Of course when we did it at our house growing up we had a hang crank to grind the meat. I still have those hand cranks, they are sturdy, you would clamp them onto the table, and put the meat in. You would have to switch out people after a bit because arms could grow tired, and there were other jobs to do.
What I really love about Italian sausage is it is one type of sausage that you don’t need to stuff into a casing. Often sausages are stuffed into casings, but this one I think lends itself well to using simply ground up. I like to make a small batch of this sausage and then freeze it in sealed bags and take it out whenever you need dinner. One of my go to meals is to brown some Italian sausage and add it to a jar of inexpensive pasta sauce. The Italian sausage has a lot of flavor, and it makes a cheap jar of sauce taste really good.
How to Grind Sausage
You may be wondering how you will grind up this sausage. You may use a hand crack, but there are other options. Maybe you have a mixer that has a grinding attachment. I know the Kitchenaide grinder works well. I have also used a food processor too. You will simply mince the meat very fine with the food processor. All work very well. You will get a more uniform sausage with a grinder, but again, the food processor works great.
Seasonings for Italian Sausage
One of the things I love about making food from scratch means that you can customize it any way you like. For this recipe I am using garlic, paprika, fennel seeds, salt, freshly cracked black pepper, cayenne, crushed red pepper, parsley leaves, and some dry white wine. I know a lot of people really enjoy found anise in their sausage, but that is a spice I do not prefer. If you want some more garlic, you can add additional garlic. If you like your sausage more on the hot side you can add some crushed red pepper.
Type of Meat for Homemade Italian Sausage
For this recipe I am using a pork butt roast. I like them the best for sausage making because I think it has the right amount of marbling in the meat. You want a meat that has some fat content to it. Pork loin is very lean, and it wouldn’t make a great sausage. Honestly, any large cut of pork with marbling will work. I let what’s on sale be my guide when making homemade Italian sausage.
Homemade Italian Sausage
- 4 pounds pork well marbled
- 4 tablespoons dry red wine omit if desired
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
- Chop pork butt into pieces that are 1 to 2 inches large. Add to a bowl. In the bowl add dry red wine, salt, cayenne pepper, fennel seed, paprika, crushed red pepper, garlic, chopped parsley, and cracked black pepper. Stir mixture to combine, and coat the meat evenly. If desired covered with plastic and allow meat to marinade for a few hours before grinding. Pass the meat with a meat grinder fitted with the medium sized die. Or place meat into a food processor in small batches and process until finely ground. You can test the seasoning by cooking a small portion of the sausage, if desired adjust for seasoning. Sausage should be used within 48 hours, or can be frozen for use later.