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Make Your Own Sausage

Homemade sausage tastes great whether patted into individual patties, rolled into little logs wrapped in wax paper, stuffed into natural casings, or stored in small freezer bags. The point is that sausage freezes very well, so one day spent making sausages translates to many days with truly high quality sausages you can feel great about eating.

Making sausage is a learning process; as you make each batch, it’s important to fry up little tastes of what you’re making as you add spices. You can easily add more salt or spice, then take another taste, but the only cure for too much salt or pepper is adding more meat, which could be harder to do. When adding spices and herbs, before you commit to an entire batch, you might even want to set aside the sausage in the fridge for a few hours to see how flavors “marry” over time. A flavor can seem stronger or weaker after the mixture has been sitting. These recipes require dried, not fresh, herbs and spices.

Homemade Sausage

Classic Country Breakfast Sausage

You will need:

  • 1 lb ground pork (Ask your farmer or local butcher for ground pork with a 70-30 mix of lean to fat.)
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp rubbed sage 

Mix together well; wrap tightly and freeze or use fresh within one week.

Here, one basic recipe for Italian sausage can be tweaked for two famous varieties

Italian Sweet Sausage with Fennel

You will need:

  • 3 lbs ground pork
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 4 cloves dried garlic, medium size
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 ½ tsp fennel seed
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 tsp red pepper flakes

Mix together well; wrap tightly and freeze or use fresh within one week.

For classic hot Italian sausage, eliminate the fennel in the recipe above, and increase the original 1/3 tsp of the red pepper flakes to 1 ½ - 2 tsp, depending on your own preference for heat.