Italian sausage is one of my favorites, but instead of grilling it and eating it like a hotdog, I actually like adding the sausage meat to dishes. But the thing is, Italian sausages can be expensive!
So, after some research and trial and error, I have started making Italian sausage myself at home. I use the easy way where I just use ground pork. The traditional way to make this sausage is to season some pork cubes and then grind it in a meat grinder. But I don’t have a meat grinder (food processors are not recommended), and I don’t think most households have meat grinders lying around, too, either.
Making Italian sausage at home is actually quite easy, and the ingredients are all easy to find. I only make the Italian sausage meat and don’t stuff them into casings anymore because, 1. I don’t have the equipment, and 2. I don’t use them like a hotdog, anyway. You are certainly free to stuff them into casings if you want to!
You can use the Italian sausage meat in pasta, pizzas, etc…
HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN SAUSAGE
I am using half of this ground pork pack I bought from S&R during one of their weekly promos.
Make sure to use good quality pork because you don’t want any pork off flavors in your final product. Ground pork bought from other places tend to have pork/blood off flavors that I need to skim off / cook away with ginger and alcohol. I noticed that S&R’s ground pork has less blood and off flavors compared to others.
Easy Home-Made Italian Sausage Recipe
- ground pork, I used half a kilo
- Spanish paprika, I used about 2-3 tablespoons
- fennel seeds, about 1 teaspoon, slightly crushed
- thyme, 1/2 teaspoon
- oregano, 1/2 teaspoon
- minced garlic, to taste (depends on how garlicky you like it, I used 1 heaping tablespoon)
- salt & pepper, to taste (depends on how salty and peppery you want it)
- sugar, to taste (depends on how sweet you want it)
- chili powder (depends on how spicy you want it)
- red wine, about 1/4 cup
- parsley leaves (I didn’t have any on hand so I skipped it)
That’s it! Most of the ingredients are easy to find at your favorite supermarket. I never see fennel seeds at the supermarkets labeled as fennel seeds. The fennel seeds I used here I bought from Assad Mini Mart (Indian grocery with a branch at Otis in Manila, and a branch at Jupiter St. in Makati). The fennel seeds look very similar to the ones sold in supermarkets labeled as Anise, but I am not sure if they are the same but just mislabeled, or if they are really different seeds. Anise looks like fennel but is smaller, but to me the ones at the supermarkets look the same so I just bought mine at Assad to be sure.
The fennel seeds, paprika, garlic and red wine are characteristic of Italian sausage and are not optional. Oh, here, I almost forgot to take a picture of the fennel! I have mine in a reused Starbucks drink bottle.
Just mix all the spices and the ground pork very well, don’t add the red wine and parsley yet. Don’t add too much salt yet. Start with 1 tsp of salt first (measurement is for when using sea salt or kosher salt. If using fine iodized table salt, start with 1/2 tsp). Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out anymore if it’s too salty.
It’s better to mix it by hand. For me, I find that mixing it by hand distributes the spices better. Once everything is well mixed, add the red wine and mix again. Then finally add the parsley and mix until well combined.
Do the taste test. Take a small amount of the mixture and cook it. I just microwave a small 1-inch patty until it’s cooked. Alternatively, you can pan fry it to cook it. Taste it – is it good? Needs more salt? Needs more chili? Needs more sweetness? Needs more paprika? Want it more garlicky? Adjust the flavor to suit your preference and do a taste test again. Keep doing this until you are satisfied with the flavors. Take note of what you like and how much of each ingredient you added for future reference when you make this again.
I ended up adding some more paprika and some more sugar.
Making Italian sausage at home really is just this easy!
I transferred half of my sweet Italian sausage mix into a ziploc bag for future use, and prepared the other half to use in my next recipe – Risoni with Sweet Italian Sausage, which I will post about next.
You can now use your Italian Sausage mixture for pasta, pizzas, etc… it’s better if you let the flavors develop in the refrigerator for a few days before using though.
Here I am pan-frying small chunks of the Italian sausage mixture for my pasta:
Risoni Pasta with Italian Sausage recipe coming up next!
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The Barat Queen
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