Homemade Italian Sausage

9 Mar

Laws are like sausages. You should never watch either being made.

Looking for a fun weekend project? Want to control your own ground meat/sausage to avoid all of this “pink goo” that’s been added to ground meat? Then here you go – you just need a kitchenaid and a grinder attachment and a LOTTA meat 🙂

I got the most amazing deal on a Series 600 KitchenAid mixer on Amazon on Cyber Monday this year. With a crazy discount and 2 rebates, I scored the $400 mixer for $185. It was a no-brainer. And once I got the mixer, I knew I would want to really use it and get some attachments for it to be able to do everything possible with it.

My best friend, John, got me the meat grinder attachment for xmas and my eyes lit up! Immediately, I knew we were going to be making sausage….and SOON! I also did some research on making sausage….I asked my friend, Amanda Anastasiou, since I knew she and her husband had recently ground their own meat and made sausage. She gave me some hints and also suggested I check out this extensive sausage-making guidebook.

The most extensive homemade sausage guidebook ever

John came over on a snowy Saturday in January and we set out to the Hennings (my local supermarket) to pick up our ingredients. I had all the basic spices and seasonings, but we needed our pork butts – 20 pounds of pork butt!!!!! We wanted to “go large” and make enough so that we had 10 pounds of sausage each since this was a momentous occasion. We knew we would be putting large quantities in the fridge and giving some away to friends and family. So it was a no-brainer.

20 pounds of buttz in the shopping cart at Hennings

This was a true project for both of us. We had zero experience – except the night before we both watched this helpful video series: http://www.monkeysee.com/play/955-italian-sausage-introduction. It was so straight-forward and helpful – each step was broken up into 3 and 4 minute videos.  And we also used the recipe that he demonstrated since it sounded like the type of Italian Sausage we were looking for.

Getting ready to grind

First grind.....this is the coarse grind

Oh, and we left this sausage loose. We didn’t want to case it this time around. We just wanted to focus on the grinding and mixture, since most of the recipes we use request the casings to be removed immediately anyway.

John and I grinding

All ingredients Ready to Mix

When grinding your own meat, you essentially cut off all the fat, grind the meat through the grinder on a coarse grind first. Then add all your ingredients together. And grind back through the grinder for a finer grind. Voila!

Meat ready for the second grind

Having fun doing the fine grind

We decided to make it into a delicious meal just by cooking the sausage and then adding some canned whole peeled tomatoes and breaking them up along with some tomato paste. We didnt add any herbs or spices since the sausage was spiced enough. We added a little parmesan. And then we poured the mixture over top some pasta so we could truly taste the sausage. It was phenomenal.

Final product!

Sausage and Pasta Dish

Consensus: This sausage is the BOMB. It tastes like authentic Italian sausage –and so fresh. The key is the wine and the fennel. I will always grind my own meat from now on – this was easy and fun and you can taste the difference. It’s worth it to spend a little extra time to be able to control what you are eating and taste the freshness.

Sausage log to be rolled in parchment

10 pounds of sausage

The Exhausted Sausage Makers

Italian Sausage Recipe

(Please note that this recipe is for 2.5 pounds of meat. If you are “going large” and making a substantial amount to freeze, then adjust the recipe accordingly.)

  • 2 and 1/2 pounds lean ground pork butt or leaner cuts if desired
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons fennel seed (up to 1 tablespoon if you like dominant fennel flavor)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley, chopped, (stems removed)

Trim all of the fat from the Pork Butts as best as possible, leaving trace amounts in the meat. Cut the meat into ½ or ¾ inch pieces. Put meat in the freezer for 15 minutes. Run the chunks of meat through the coarse grinder on your grinder attachment.

Add all of your spices and ingredients. Mix well. Hook up the fine blade on your grinder and run the mixture through the fine-process grinder.

When meat is well-mixed and ground, form into patties or logs in parchment paper and place in the freezer as you like.


5 Responses to “Homemade Italian Sausage”

  1. Christine Halfon March 10, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    i’ve alawys wanted to make sausage; i’ve never done so. Laura, i’m going to do this, for sure! PS i have that exact same mixer. Christine

    • lmullane March 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

      YAY Christine!!!!! srsly, it’s SOOOOOO easy. Watch the video links that i put in my blog. All we did was watch that once and from there on out, it was straight-forward. tastes so yummy!

  2. Cortneechiwa March 10, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    This is great! I must start grinding my own meat!

    • lmullane March 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

      Cort – get the $40 attachment and start grinding. it’s soooooo easy and tastes so much better. I will be grinding my own beef from now on as well.


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