This recipe came at the right time for me since we had to harvest 3 large hogs at the same time. Whew! Three freezers full and I'm going nuts trying to figure out what to do with the mounds and mounds of ground pork. My youngest son begged for Italian-style sausages and so out came the Kitchenaid w/attachments and the hunt for a good recipe began. And let me tell you, I found a good one! It is FULL of flavor and I wouldn't change a thing.
Original recipe found at allrecipes.com.
Italian-Style Pork Sausage Mix
3 pounds ground pork (fat recommendation follows)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/4 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
Place the pork and red wine vinegar in a mixing bowl.
Combine the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle over the pork. Tip: Mix the spices first then sprinkle over the pork. Everything gets evenly dispersed and mixing is easier. Knead until the spices are evenly distributed throughout the sausage. But don't do it too much, less is better with sausage. In fact, ask your butcher to pass the pork through the grinder only once, no more than twice. This ain't paté!
Okay, now... you are looking at the first batch of Italian sausage I ever made. It was delicious, but the texture was off. Why? Not enough fat. There should be a decent amount mixed in, 25% maybe? You see, fat makes everything better. After this batch you'd better believe my sausage got better. (Overhead snap, hand lands on hip.) Anyway, I'll update the pictures asap. After it's mixed, refrigerate for at least 12 hours before cooking. Don't skip this step, the spices and vinegar need to marinate into the meat which gives it the absolute best flavor ever. And a cold mixture is definitely easier to pass through your Kitchenaid and into the casing (if making links).
And speaking of stuffing a casing and if you plan to do so, just make sure to read the instructions and follow it carefully. The brand I chose says to soak, then rinse the casing inside and out at least 15 minutes prior to use. It's also divided up into 3 foot sections which is the perfect size for this recipe.
Remember to add a little bit of mixture first, before you tie off the end. This helps prevent air from taking up too much room.
When it's all stuffed tie off the other end and now you're ready to make links.
I try to make the links around 6" long. I've had no complaints (so far). Pinch and twist. Twist in the opposite direction for the next link, and so on. I typically freeze it at this point, but if you refrigerate then don't wait too long to cook it.
I cooked this particular batch just to taste it for the first time. YUM. The flavor is amazing and you will come back to this recipe over and over again like I do. And you don't have to stuff a casing. Use the sausage in your recipes, put it on pizza or whatever you do with Italian sausage. Double YUM!
And don't forget the homemade mustard! Mmmm. Italian-style sausages and spicy brown mustard. 'Nuff said.