My Italian sausage recipe. My mods from the original recipe: use garlic from a jar, omitted the anise and sugar, cut the red pepper flakes in half. It still has a bit of a kick so if you don’t like spicy at all cut back on the cayenne and red pepper flakes or just omit the red pepper flakes and let the cayenne provide the spice.
Homemade Italian Sausage
3 lbs pork shoulder
4 cloves garlic
1 oz (28 g) kosher salt, divided
2 Tbl whole fennel seeds, toasted
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp ground allspice berries
Grind garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar to make a paste (I found the garlic in a jar makes a nice paste – fresh garlic was very dry). Toast fennel seeds until brown. Add toasted fennel and black pepper to garlic. Bruise spices lightly with a pestle to release the flavors. Add pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, oregano, marjoram, coriander, mustard allspice and a splash of water. Stir to combine.
Cut pork shoulder into cubes. Add the spice paste to the 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 in batches. Keep pork in refrigerator until ready to be ground. Ground pork that will not be stuffed into casings can be frozen.
Push a casing onto the stuffing tube of your meat grinder. Feed the sausage until casing is filled up. Tie a knot at the end and pinch and twist into links, if desired.
Place sausage links onto a wire rack set over a sheet pan. Refrigerate uncovered 24 hours. At this point if you want to separate the links you can cut them at the twists.
Grill sausage links until browned and done all the way through, about 5 minutes per side.