Monday, December 30, 2013

Homemade Italian Sausage

I found a recipe for a Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup that called for 1 pound of Italian sausage.  It sounded like a recipe that my family would love.  The only glitch was: the recipe called for the Italian sausage to be made into tiny meatballs.  Since I certainly did not want to take a bunch of sausages and squeeze the meat out of them, I planned to buy the Italian sausage in bulk.  I thought I had seen bulk Italian sausage in a grocery store before the holidays but, of course, it is no longer available.  I thought about it for a while and decided it would be a better idea if I made my own bulk Italian sausage.  After all, how hard could it be? Well, I ran out to the butcher to buy ground pork only to find out that our local butcher shop closes at 1 pm on Saturday afternoons.  Why? Who knows!  Anyway, I had my mother with me and she suggested that we buy some pork and have it ground at the local grocery store by the butcher.  Ahem...  no that does not work because we have been told that "they are no longer allowed to grind pork."  Why?  I assume because of the bacteria or something like that (possibly law suits).  I was convinced that I should just go ahead and buy the packaged ground pork ... until I took a look at it.  OMG!  It was almost entirely fat.  Yuck!  That was when my mother offered to take the pork and grind it herself in her KitchenAide Mixer that she has a meat grinder attachment for.  We had the butcher cut up the meat into strips which was supposed to make it easier. Apparently, my mom said it wasn't easy at all.  There was a bunch of gristle or something that kept clogging up the grinder.   Double yuck!  Now I know better.  I will go to the butcher earlier in the day and get my pork ground by them.  Anyway, here is the recipe I used.  It comes from  It is written as a spicy Italian sausage recipe but it can be adapted to be mild or sweet.  Just reduce the pepper and increase the maple syrup to your taste.



3 lbs. ground pork (lean is okay)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1-1/4 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (ground or whole)
¼ teaspoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme


Place all ingredients into a large bowl.  Mix together until evenly combined.  Divide equally into desired amounts.  Wrap each packet in plastic wrap and place into a large plastic bag.  Freeze or place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before using to let flavors combine.

The Creative Cook