Monday, August 15, 2011

Sweet Italian Sausage Recipe

The flavors of fine fresh pork and aromatic fennel seed combine to make one of the most distinctive of the world’s fresh sausages. Makes 2-3/4 pounds.

3 t. kosher salt
1 T. fennel seed
1/4 t. black peppercorns
1 small dried red pepper, seeds removed
1/4 t. finely minced garlic
1/4 cup ice water
2 lbs. lean, trimmed pork, cut into 1-inch cubes, chilled
3/4 lb. fresh pork fat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, chilled

Step 1. Combine the salt, fennel, peppercorns and red pepper in a spice mill or mortar and grind to a coarse texture; do not powder. Mix with the garlic.

Step 2. Combine the spice mixture, water, meat and fat in a large bowl.

Step 3. Put the meat mixture through the coarse blade of your grinder. Once the meat has been through the grinder, knead the meat, in small batches, with your hands to mix thoroughly, then cover and refrigerate for about 12 hours.

Step 4. If you plan to use your sausage stuffer, follow manufacturer’s instructions and tie these off in 5-inch lengths. If the room is cool, hang the sausages for a few hours, or until they are just dry to the touch, then refrigerate them. If it is too humid to hang the sausages, simply refrigerate them, uncovered, for a maximum of 12 hours, being careful not to contaminate other foods. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.

To cook: Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes and serve with your favorite tomato sauce and pasta. The Kitchen Mouse’s “gremlins” like these grilled with sliced green peppers and onions.

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