Sweet & Hot Italian Sausage

Last weekend, I made a bunch of homemade sausages. The one I have the most experience with is my Italian Sausage. The recipe I use makes a hybrid that’s sweet to the taste but leaves a hot and spicy aftertaste. It’s always a crowd pleaser.

I don’t really know where I got the recipe. I just cobbled it together by combining several tutorials I found online and by making variations based on taste.

Sweet & Hot Italian Sausage

  • 7 feet natural casings
  • 5 pounds pork shoulder
  • 1 1/2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons fennel
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed

You need to buy a very fatty pork shoulder. The fatter the better. If it’s too lean, you need to add some extra fat in the way of bacon end meat or fat back. Get one that weighs at least 5½ pounds to account for the bone. Cut the shoulder into two-inch chunks and partially freeze it on a tray for about 30 minutes. Then you grind the meat and mix it with the wine and seasonings. Refreeze the ground and seasoned meat for at least half an hour. It needs to be stiff enough that you can break off ping pong ball-sized chunks and drop them into the hopper one after the other. The looser the mixture is, the more difficult it will be to stuff. At least, that’s how it is with my machine.

I poached the sausages in water at 200° for a couple of hours and then finished them in a pan with some caramelized onions and bell peppers. They came out perfectly cooked with a nice, crisp skin. We ate them in dinner rolls with yellow mustard.

Sweet & Hot Italian Sausage
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