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Homemade Hot Italian Sausage


Smokehowze
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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.

 

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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. 

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I think I'll try this although I'll probably make a half batch to start. I love hot Italian Sausage. I assume all references to 'water' apply to the Red Wine (Cab).  Thanks much for sharing.

 Yep.  I fixed the text.  I just typed it wrong.    Thanks for the feedback.  

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I see you use anise seed instead of fennel seeds... Does it up the licorice flavor??

 

Actually for our family tastes we like to use both as you can see.  I have tried it with only minimal anise seed and the sausage was just "missing something".  I have gradually increased the anise to this level in balance with the fennel.  It does not make the sausage taste like licorice. Eating an anise seed by itself not in combination in the sausage will definitely make you think otherwise, however.  Note -  Its almost a 2 to 1 ratio fennel to anise.  

 

The interesting thing about sausage seasoning is how the flavor elements work together to produce a result that is not necessarily the individual notes but something entirely unique in conjunction with the meat. That's the formulation magic and the art form and fun in homemade sausage production.

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BTW . for anyone who wants to sense the flavor of a fresh sausage mix with minimal effort, get a couple or three pounds of the freshest store bought ground pork you can find  (with no store additives) and just mix up a batch in proper proportions. I would use at least 2 pounds otherwise the seasoning amounts get hard to measure and mix evenly.

 

Let it mature after mixing up the meat batter at least a day in the fridge and then see how it tastes to you and family.  If it needs this or that you can always add it and remix and taste it.  And if an element is too heavy in flavor well you know next time. Keep good notes on all your proportion and such so you can optimize.  It is very interesting how little of a seasoning can flavor a lot of meat - just look at the % factors. So go easy as you make additions/subtractions.   It as much art/experience as it is scientific/precise measurements. You just gotta jump in and do it and fresh sausage in bulk is a great entry point.   

 

I also like this sausage for breakfast even though it is not a traditional breakfast blend. 

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I see you use anise seed instead of fennel seeds... Does it up the licorice flavor??

Actually for our family tastes we like to use both as you can see. I have tried it with only minimal anise seed and the sausage was just "missing something". I have gradually increased the anise to this level in balance with the fennel. It does not make the sausage taste like licorice. Eating an anise seed by itself not in combination in the sausage will definitely make you think otherwise, however. Note - Its almost a 2 to 1 ratio fennel to anise.

The interesting thing about sausage seasoning is how the flavor elements work together to produce a result that is not necessarily the individual notes but something entirely unique in conjunction with the meat. That's the formulation magic and the art form and fun in homemade sausage production.

Um... Not to be a dick, but I dont see any fennel listed...
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