Sweet Italian Sausage

Posted on October 15, 2017 in Main Course

2 pounds (1 kg) trimmed boneless pork shoulder blade roast, chilled
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) freshly cracked fennel seeds (see Tips)
2 teaspoons (10 mL) kosher salt
1 teaspoon (5 mL) sweet paprika
1 teaspoon (5 mL) garlic powder
1/4 cup (60 mL) red wine or water
4 to 5 feet (120 to 150 cm) 32/35 mm hog casing, soaked

Soaking the Casing: About an hour before you plan to make sausages, cut the casing to the length you need — about 4 to 5 feet (120 to 150 cm) for 2 pounds (1 kg) of meat — and rinse it thoroughly. Place the casing in a bowl and add enough warm water to cover. Soak the casing for 1 hour, changing the water several times. This process will make the casing more pliable and easier to work with, and will remove some of the natural odor, as well as the salt. Some sausage makers like to soak the casings in wine instead of water, as they believe it works better to remove odor. Store any remaining casing in a brine solution in an airtight container for later use. To Make the Sausage: Cut pork into pieces small enough to fit in the throat of your grinder. Using the coarse grinder plate, grind pork into a large bowl or stand mixer bowl. Add fennel seeds, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder to the ground pork. Using your hands or the stand mixer paddle attachment, mix until seasonings are evenly distributed. Add wine and mix until white strands appear in the mixture and a handful of the mixture holds together. In a small skillet, over medium-high heat, sauté a small amount of the sausage mixture until no longer pink. Taste the sample, then adjust seasonings as desired. Stuff sausage mixture into prepared casing. Twist into 6 links, each about 6 inches (15 cm) in length. Yield: 6 sausages