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Big Black Dog: We're out of sausage again!

July 2, 2008

We're out of sausage again!


The other day I was making pasta and discovered that I had no more Italian sausage in my freezer. No problem...I'll just make some!

I've been making my own sausage for over a year now and I thoroughly enjoy it. And it's so easy and no special equipment is needed. All you need is a recipe, food processor, large mixing bowl, pork butt or shoulder, spices and herbs and you're good to go!



Italian Sweet Fennel Sausage
Recipe adapted from "Complete Sausage Book" by Bruce Aidell

3 lbs. pork butt
3/4 lb pork fat back **See Note
1/2 cup dry red wine
4 garlic cloves minced
2 T fennel seeds
1 T freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground allspice

My additions:
1/4 c. dried basil or 1 c. fresh basil, finely minced

Cut pork and fat back into 1" cubes.



Place about 2 c. of pork cubes at a time in your food processor.



Pulse the food processor 3-4 times until the meat is roughly ground. Make sure you do not over process into mush!



In a large mixing bowl add ground pork, fat back, wine and all herbs and spices and mix thoroughly with your hands. I wear surgical gloves when using my hands to mix this recipe, it saves me time and frankly I don't like to put my hands into raw meat!



Shape into patties and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet or sheet pan and lightly freeze.



Then pack patties into freezer bags. If you make several different kinds of sausage make sure that you label your freezer bags. I usually pack 2, 3 and 4 patties per bag, this way the portions are according to how I use them; 2 patties are for breakfast, 3 and 4 patties are usually for a pasta dish of some sort.

Note: Fat Back is not easy to find but I'm lucky and my market generally stocks it. But if you can't find it you can substitute some bacon or just skip it. With out the fat back your sausage will be leaner but not as tasty.

BTW, if you're watching your fat intake, there are chicken and turkey sausage recipes that are out of the this world delicious. I made a Chicken Apple Fennel Sausage and it was gone within a month!




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15 Comments:

Blogger Lucy said...

Wow!! I see you've been busy ;-) And....doesn't that look good !!!

July 2, 2008 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

It takes about an hour at the most to make 5 lbs of sausage. I wish I'd of known sausage was so easy, I would have started making my own years ago!

I was happy we were out of sausage as I've wanted to try this recipe for some time. Can't wait to taste it. I know it's going to be fabulous!!

July 2, 2008 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger OhioMom said...

Michelle, could I have my grocer ground the pork butt since I do not have a food processor ?

I like the idea of make your own sausage.

July 2, 2008 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

In IL it is illegal to grind pork on site. My markets sell ground pork but it's ground elsewhere. I'm not sure what the laws are in OH, but your grocer will know.

As I said, I wish I had tried making my own sausage years ago. It's so easy and no real mess at all. And the patties freeze flat so they take up less room in the freezer too.

I make sausage, about 5 lbs, every 4 months or so.

July 2, 2008 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger Robin Sue said...

Michelle thank you for posting this about sausage making. I have my grandfather's hand crank meat grinder and sausage stuffer but really had no recipe. I had looked at books but too overwhelming. Thank you for breaking this down into something I could handle. I did use the hand crank once and it made squishy noises and dripped blood on my floor, a bit of my own horror flick. I like the processor idea better.

July 3, 2008 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Shelly said...

oh my! I didn't realize that making sausage would be so easy! I will have to give it a try now that you provided excellent instructions! I am visiting you today via the foodie blog roll.

July 3, 2008 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger kat said...

We love making our own Italian sausage too but I've never added red wine what a good idea!

July 3, 2008 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

It so much easier to just use your food processor to grind the meat. I've got 2 meat grinders and a sausage stuffing attachments for each and I've not used them yet. And making the sausage in patty form is just more convenient for how I use the sausage.

Kat, sausage is one of those fun recipes that you can substitute what you have on hand. You can even add a little brandy which is also very good!

Generally, I make 10 lbs of sausage at time. The pork shoulder, although on sale, was not as cheap as I would have liked. Wait for a good sale buy 2 pork shoulders or pork butts. And then you can try 2 different recipes but make sure to label your freezer bags!

July 3, 2008 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Lo said...

What a good idea. I like the idea of making my own sausage so that I can control the flavoring.

We have a great local organic market that makes fantastic sausage... but I'll bet it's a bit more frugal to make my own. So, that's another good reason.

July 3, 2008 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger maybelles parents said...

this looks so easy. I would have never thought of it.

July 3, 2008 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger giz said...

When I read you were making sausage I had this vision of miles of casings and twisting and turning. It actually doesn't look quite so daunting.

July 3, 2008 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Linda F said...

Yum, I do this all the time too, it is just the greatest isn't it???? Next I would love to learn how to make it with the casings.......:)

July 4, 2008 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger MrsPacNW said...

Thanks for this post Michelle..because of it, when I saw ground pork on mark down at the grocery the other day I picked it up..I happen to have some Penzey's Sausage Seasoning from one of the Linda's at CF..and made up 3lbs of sausage patties..

I'd love to try the whole grinding thing..but like ohiomom, the FP isn't an option...So I did it with the preground...

Tip to those that aren't sure about the seasoning..season up the meat as you think you'll like it, maybe just a tad under seasoned, brown a bit, and adjust if needed..that's what I did. It worked great..Now I have 18 sausage patties in the freezer! For the grand total of $2.97 and my time. :O)

July 13, 2008 at 10:22 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Good for you Terri!!! I used to fry up a patty for seasoning adjustment. But now I've made so much sausage that I sort of know what we like. But thanks for reminding me, I forgot to include the step about frying up a test patty when I wrote my post.

July 13, 2008 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Natashya said...

So cool! I want to make sausage now!

July 19, 2009 at 12:40 PM  

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