If you like Italian sausage then you will be taken back by this homemade stuff. It is much better than anything you can purchase at the store!
If you like this you might try Homemade Breakfast Sausage.
If you are interested in learning how to butcher a pig, check out my first video series on how to take a pig from life to a half pig HERE!
I was not sure what I would think about the Italian sausage before I made it. But somebody that I knew wanted some so I had no choice but to come through for them.
When I was finished making the sausage, my wife was hungry and said can we cook some of that up?
I said “Sure we can” and proceeded to fry some up. Well, the first bite and every bite after was an explosion of flavor!
I will never again question Italian sausage and it is now in my top 3 list.
GOT A MEAT GRINDER?
If you don’t have a meat grinder don’t worry you can still make sausage! Just purchase already ground pork and add seasoning to it.
Mix it up at the same ratio and either cook it up right away or wrap it up and freeze it for later use.
I was taught by an expert meat man that grinding your seasonings with your pork is the way to go. So, we will be using a meat grinder today.
WHAT KIND OF MEAT DO YOU USE?
If you are starting from a primordial cut of meat, a traditional cut would be the upper shoulder. The upper shoulder is called the butt and it is where pulled pork among other cuts come from.
This portion of the pig has a lot of connective tissue. Low heat and long cooking time is needed to make this cut tender. Grinding it is the second option to preparing this shoulder cut.
When making sausage, look for ratio of around 80% meat to 20% fat. This will give you good consistency and good flavor.
PREPARE YOUR MEAT
If you do have a meat grinder, cut your chunks of pork into cubes that will easily fit in the inlet hole.
My inlet hole is around 1″ in diameter so I cut my chunks of pork to this size or smaller.
If you started with a whole shoulder, you will have to debone the shoulder. This step I will not be showing here right now.
ADD IN YOUR SEASONINGS AND MIX IT UP
If you don’t have a meat grinder, you can dice up the onion and garlic very small. If you do have a grinder, you can dice up the onion and leave the garlic cloves whole. The grinder will take care of the rest.
There is no specific order this step, just add all of the seasonings all at one time! That is the one and only secret to sausage, the seasonings.
Mix it all up until the pork chunks are evenly coated with seasonings.
After the cubes are evenly coated with seasoning it is time to go into the grinder.
GRIND IT UP!
Your grinder should come with disks that adjust the grind size. I only grind it one time on the smallest grind setting that I have.
Grind it up and give it one final mix with your hands before it is all done. Doing so will make sure that the seasoning is evenly distributed throughout the meat.
As you can see, there is a good ratio of meat to fat and the seasoning is evenly distributed throughout the meat.
If you want to make a bulk recipe like I have done here, no problem! Just double or triple the recipe, or multiply it to make as much as you want!
- 2 pounds pork (Ground or cubed)
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed (whole or crushed, I like whole)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (whole if you are grinding)
- 1 teaspoon minced onions (if grinding, your grinder will do the work for you)
- If you won't be using a meat grinder, and have already ground meat skip to step 2. Debone the pork shoulder and dice into chunks that will fit the inlet hole in your grinder.
- Add all of the seasonings, garlic, and onion and mix it up. If you are starting with ground pork this will be your final step!
- Grind it all in your meat grinder.
- Mix it all one more time and it is ready to cook or package for storage in the freezer.
When making sausage, an ideal grind ratio is around 80% meat to 20% fat.
I butcher all of my own animals and so I normally start completely from scratch when it comes to certain recipes. I understand that not everybody can do that so just insert yourself into the recipe wherever your ingredients will allow you to. If you don't have a grinder and buy already ground pork, just do what I do but without the grinding step etc.