Thursday, July 15, 2010

Homemade Italian Sausage--So Easy!

I've been using my sausage machine with wanton abandon lately, making breakfast sausage and now Italian sausage.  It's amazingly simple, but a little time-consuming because you do have to cut up the pork into small cubes to prepare it for the sausage machine.

The result is amazingly tender and flavorful sausage with just a few seasonings and fennel seeds.  Here's the recipe:

Italian Sausage

2 pounds of boneless pork butt, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 

Toast fennel seeds in pan on stove for about 3 minutes until fragrant and slightly browned.  Remove from pan and place on dish to cool.  Then pulverize them in a mortar and pestle or grind them in a spice grinder.  Combine the fennel seeds in a medium bowl with the salt, pepper, and chopped parsley; then add the diced pork and mix.  Refrigerate covered for 1 hour; remove and put through the sausage grinder.  Make patties or cook as small chunks in any recipe that incorporates Italian sausage.

Note:  I'm not partial to sausage links since I don't like the casing, so I just use the bulk sausage in pasta recipes or sauce.

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