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Entries in Homemade Italian Sausage (1)

Sunday
Apr072013

Homemade Italian Sausage

I love to buy the whole pork loin (not the tenderloin) in the cryovac packaging, when it goes on sale.  Let’s face it, you can’t do much better than $1.99 a pound.  And with very little waste.

You can either cut the meat yourself, or ask the Meat Department to cut it for you.  I cut about 4-6 inches off either end of the roast, maintaining the center cut as a whole roast.  This will yield you about 5 lbs.  What do you do with the rest of the meat?

I finally found the perfect solution:  make sausage.

Ingredients:

3 lbs ground pork (optionally, substitute ground pork from the grocery or your butcher)
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp fresh, finely ground black pepper (I use my spice grinder)
1 tps red pepper flakes, slightly crushed or roughly ground.
1 tsp dried whole fennel seeds, slightly crushed or roughly ground
2 Tbs fresh Sage, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced

For the Ground Pork:

I’ve always thought this a complicated process, but really, it doesn’t have to be.  I used the meat grinder attachment to my stand mixer, and it worked beautifully. 

And, I eliminated stuffing of the casing, well, since I didn’t have any casings, but also because this requires yet another attachment.  Which I didn’t have, either.  

I made sausage patties instead.

I cut the meat into 1 inch chunks, and also trimmed off any of the sinew or thicker areas of fat.  It just gets stuck in the grinder, which you then have to take apart.

No thanks.

I used the fine grind plate as one of my pet peeves with the Italian Style Sausage you find around the Northeast is that it tends to be coarsely ground.  Not my favorite thing.

Finally, I crush or slightly grind whole spices in seed form, whenever I can.  It releases the oil and intensifies the flavor.  I also mix all of the spices, herbs, salt and pepper in a separate bowl, and thoroughly mix them.  This will spread the flavors more evenly in whatever you add them to.

Instructions:

Use the blade with the smaller holes for the meat grinder attachment.  Place a large bowl (not the bowl for the mixer), underneath the attachment.

Turn the mixture on, and drop the meat, piece by piece, into the grinder.  Use the wooden pusher to keep pushing the meat down.

The grinder will drop all of the meat into the bowl.  When you have finished grinding the meat, place the bowl for the stand mixer under the grinder, then spoon all of the ground meat back through the grinder again.

When you have finished, remove the grinder attachment for cleaning.

Place the mixer bowl underneath the stand mixer, and using the paddle attachment, mix the spices into the meat with a few turns of the paddle.

If you have a #24 ice cream scoop, use that to make the sausage balls, otherwise, roll the meat into 2 inch balls.

You can either bake them in the oven at 375 for about 35 minutes, or gently fry them in a pan with a little olive oil if you are going to make them into part of a sauce. 

I have two suggestions for serving these:

Sausage with Fennel, Sweet and Hot Cherry Peppers and White Wine (next post), or

Sausage with Homemade Marinara Sauce (if you really need to know how to make this, I'll do a post.  Let me know.)

Either would be good as is, over pasta, or served on an Italian roll.  Don’t forget the cheese.