Homemade Mild Italian Sausage
- 3 pounds well-marbled pork butt, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon ground anise
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian parsley leaves
- 3 tablespoons dry red wine
- Pork casings, optional
Combine the pork butt, garlic, paprika, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, cayenne, anise, parsley, and red wine in a large bowl and toss well to coat. Refrigerate covered overnight or up to 24 hours.
Pass the mixture through a meat grinder fitted with a medium die. (Alternately, transfer to a food processor in 2 batches and process until finely ground.) To test the seasoning, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small skillet, and cook about 2 teaspoons of the mixture. Adjust seasonings, to taste.
Using the sausage attachment on a mixer, stuff the meat into the casings, if being used. Twist and tie off to make 4-inch sausages. Alternately, shape into patties. Cook sausage in usual manner, making sure the internal temperature of the sausage links reaches at least 150 degrees F. Uncooked sausage can be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days or freeze and use within 3 months.
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