Rating: 5 stars 4.7
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One of my earliest and most vivid food memories was when my uncle Bill would make his famous dried Italian sausage every Christmas Eve. They'd be fried after Midnight Mass and served on bread with roasted red peppers. This fresh version was inspired by those. If you can manage not to eat them right away, letting them dry for a day or two really deepens the flavor, and firms up the texture as well, in true Uncle Billy fashion.

Recipe Summary

1 hr 10 mins
20 mins
1 day 8 hrs
1 day 9 hrs 30 mins
8 sausages


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cut pork shoulder into cubes. Place in a bowl and refrigerate while preparing the other ingredients.

  • Grind garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar to make a paste. Add fennel, anise, and black pepper. Bruise spices lightly with a pestle to release the flavors. Add red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, oregano, marjoram, coriander, mustard, allspice, sugar, and a splash of water. Stir to combine.

  • Add the spice paste to the pork cubes. Mix thoroughly by hand. Add the remaining salt. Cover and refrigerate until flavors meld, 8 hours to overnight.

  • Process the cold pork through a meat grinder on the slowest speed.

  • Push a casing onto the stuffing tube of your meat grinder. Feed the sausage meat through the filling tray. Run the meat through the casing on the slowest speed until all the casing is used up. Tie casing at the end into a knot. Pinch and twist the meat to create links if desired.

  • Place sausage onto a wire rack set over a sheet pan. Refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours.

  • Preheat a charcoal grill for medium heat. Separate the links and grill them until browned, about 5 minutes per side.

Chef's Notes:

You can also grind meat in a food processor, and there are plenty of videos out there showing how, but then you'll have to get a sausage stuffer.

For a little nicer flavor, you can toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan just until you begin to smell them. This goes for any other whole spices you may want to grind and toss in.

Nutrition Facts

194 calories; protein 20.4g; carbohydrates 4.2g; fat 10.4g; cholesterol 74.4mg; sodium 1464.5mg. Full Nutrition