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.

Chef John
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Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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  • 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; 10.4 g total fat; 74 mg cholesterol; 1464 mg sodium. 4.2 g carbohydrates; 20.4 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (11)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/07/2018
Don't have the attachment to put it in casings so I just made bulk sausage. Whole family loved it! Read More
(7)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
04/27/2020
Not my favorite Read More
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
07/07/2018
Don't have the attachment to put it in casings so I just made bulk sausage. Whole family loved it! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
07/07/2018
Don't have the attachment to put it in casings so I just made bulk sausage. Whole family loved it! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2018
My husband is a hunter so I used this recipe to make venison sausage. I used half pork and half venison. We usually get our sausage made at a local butcher shop and it is expensive. I adjusted the quantity so that I could make a large batch.. These sausages are delicious , we will be making our own from now on. They are great done on the barbeque. Read More
(5)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/04/2018
Awesome mix! This version did it skinless for breakfast tacos and later with diced potatoes onions and bell peppers for a nice dinner burrito! Next version will use hog liner for an actual sausage! Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
06/04/2019
This is by far the best Italian sausage I have ever made. Another hit from Chef John. This is my fifth batch of Italian sausage glad to find this one. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
08/16/2019
John does it again! Read More
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Rating: 1 stars
04/27/2020
Not my favorite Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/11/2020
I will definitely make this again! I've made my own spicy italian sausage before, but never tried with some of the other spices! This turned out very good -- the family loves it. I will use this to make my Easter Pizza tomorrow ... Read More
Rating: 5 stars
06/29/2020
I'll be honest with you. I've made this recipe so many times. The family thinks its store bought. Until they see so much in the freezer. Totally amazing! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
07/25/2019
More garlic Read More