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Hot Italian Sausage Recipe I have been refining a recipe for a hot Italian Sausage and with my latest batch of homemade sausage I have decided to quit tweaking the recipe. This one has it nailed and the family and friends agree. The flavor profile has some pepper heat but in a way that complements the overall flavor and does not burn your mouth up when eating it. While the photo shows the sausage cased, about half the batch we put up in bulk chubs. So if you have a grinder and no stuffer, don’t be afraid to make some homemade sausage like this as the bulk get used in a lot of dishes. You won’t regret the effort. Even if you don’t have a grinder, you can buy store ground pork (just make sure it has no added “solutions” in the ground pork –some stores do this and it is on the label) and still make a good sausage although the texture with store ground pork might be somewhat denser due to a finer grind. Regardless, this is way better than store bought! And way less fatty overall. Lower salt, too. The recipe below was for 16.4 pounds of meat. I buy the boneless pork butt package at Costco that has two butts in it. In this batch I also added pork belly but it would be just as good a flavor without it but slightly less fatty. For scaling to other amounts of pork, I also provide the ingredients percentage based on weights. Meat Block: 16.4 lbs (7435.8 grams) Meat mix is 14.6 lbs boneless pork butt and 1.8 lbs pork belly. Fennel Seed (some crushed) 23 tsp 56.7 grams 0.76% spice by weight percent of total meat weight Anise Seed 13 tsp 30.8 grams 0.41% Ground Coriander 3.5 tsp 8.9 grams 0.12% Crushed Red Pepper 10 tsp 22.0 grams 0.30% Coarse Grind Black Pepper 10 tsp 26.2 grams 0.35% Ground Cayenne Pepper 6.5 tsp 18.4 grams 0.25% Dried Oregano 10 tsp 9.5 grams 0.13% Dried Parsley 10 tsp 3.0 grams 0.04% Granulated Garlic 10 tsp 35.7 grams 0.48% Hungarian Paprika 10 tsp 29.8 grams 0.40% Kosher Salt (Diamond Brand) 22.0 tsp 68.4 grams 0.92% Accent (MSG) 6.5 tsp 22.6 grams 0.30% Table Sugar 3.3 tsp 15.1 grams 0.20% Red Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon) 1.5 cup Omit the MSG if you prefer. Grind using a 1/4 plate. I cube the meat in preparation for grinding. I add the seasoning (but not the water Red Wine ) and mix well with the cubed meat. I let this season overnight or a full day in the fridge. After grinding the cold meat, add the water Red Wine in increments and mix well. Glove up and use your hands. You want a meat batter that holds together. A quick test is to make a small patty and stick it to your palm and turn your hand over and see if it stays stuck. Alternatively you can grind the meat and add seasonings afterwards. I prefer to add the seasoning ahead. If stuffing, do so now as refrigerating the mixed batter will stiffen it up and make stuffing very difficult. After grinding and mixing, fry off a patty or two of the sausage and evaluate the flavor. Adjust as required recognizing the flavor profile will change as the ground and mixed sausage matures. I like to age the meat (bulk cased or links) for day in the fridge before freezing to aid the maturation process.
Smokehowze’s Homemade Hot Italian Turkey Sausage Recipe This is a recipe I have developed to make a well-seasoned hot Italian sausage using turkey to be on par to the extent possible ( at least to our family palates) with that made with pork and at the same time to reduce the sodium. In this recipe I used commercial ground turkey for convenience. I was going to make links but Mrs. Smokehowze asked me to leave it as a bulk sausage for her cooking. I vacuum sealed what we did not eat, after it had a chance to marry the flavors together in the fridge for a day and a half, in 1 lb chubs and froze it. This was a very good hot Italian sausage with a significant depth of overall flavor particularly being made with turkey (and store bought ground turkey at that). It would be even better (not so dense a texture and not as finely ground) if it was home ground turkey (or chicken) using a coarse to medium plate. The great thing about this sausage is you can make it without having a grinder or even stuffing casings if you chose to utilize store bought ground turkey. We did appreciate and enjoy the resulting sausage in a number of dishes and even for breakfast and more will be made. I thank my son for his assistance and excellent suggestions on seasoning elements as we were making this and developing the variations. Here are some pictures of the bulk sausage and some that was cooked as breakfast patties. Reduced Sodium Hot Italian Turkey Sausage (using MSG) (About 80% of the typical sodium amount) 5-lb ground turkey (93% lean) 6-tsp whole fennel seed 2-tsp crushed fennel seed 2 to 2 ½ -tsp anise seed (some crushed) 1-tsp ground coriander 5-tsp crushed red pepper 4-tsp dried oregano 4-tsp dried parsley 6-tsp ground black pepper 4-tsp garlic powder 3-tsp Hungarian paprika 1-tsp ground cayenne pepper 2-tsp kosher salt 2-tsp MSG (like Accent) 1/2 cup red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon) ~1/3 cup Chia gel (1 Tbs chia seeds ground & 6 Tbs water – let soak for 10 -15 minutes) Mix all the ingredients except the turkey together and incorporate well into the ground turkey. Let the flavor mature covered in the fridge for 24-36 hours. Mix again gently before portioning out for storage. Note on the sodium: To reduce sodium further to about half of the usual sodium level – use just 1 tsp of salt and the MSG. It is not at all bad at that level (I have tested that) but in this batch I did 2 tsp to kick it back up for the rest of family. If you prefer not to use the MSG to reduce the sodium compared to all salt, use 3 tsp of kosher salt. MSG has only 30% of the sodium in an equivalent amount of salt. I know some have sensitivities or do not prefer MSG but our family has no difficulties with it so I tried it out in this sausage. Note on the seasoning amounts: The ground turkey absorbs seasoning and effectively reduces the seasoning “hit” on the palate especially after the sausage matures in the fridge, so the seasoning going into the mix in this recipe is much heavier than what might be used for pork. Note on the chia gel: The “chia gel” was an addition I wanted to try out to improve on the “fattiness” element in the sausage. Chia can be used as a fat substitute in many dishes. I did comparison batches of the sausage with the same seasoning with and without the chia gel addition and it definitely improved the sausage texture and taste. Next time I may even double the chia gel just to see the effect. You cannot tell it is in the sausage by texture or taste. If you do not wish to add the chia gel just omit it and probably increase the moisture with water or more wine by another 1/8 to 1/4 cup. I hope this gives you some ideas for your own versions.