I love Italian sausage. It adds so much flavour to simple meals without a large amount of work. The only thing I haven’t loved about it in the past is the excessive amount of fat in the meat, and knowing it was full of things that I probably didn’t actually want to eat. But, now that I’ve started making my own what’s not to love?
Like so many other things, when you make your own sausage at home it’s not only cheaper but healthier, since you can make it lighter and without preservatives or unnecessary additives. This recipe is just ground pork (we use lean), spices, herbs and a little vinegar. Mix up a big batch, divide it into the serving sizes you want and freeze.
You can adjust the seasonings to your hearts content. Add less pepper flakes to cut back on the spiciness. Add more maple syrup for a sweeter flavour. For those on a low salt diet you can fiddle with that amount too. You can even swap ground turkey for the pork if that’s your thing. This is why I love making things from scratch. You get all the flavour while being able to manipulate it to suite your specific diet or taste buds. Win-win-win.
Homemade Italian Sausage
As written this is a spicy Italian sausage. Cut back on the red pepper flakes for less spice.
- 3 pounds ground pork (we used lean)
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/4 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together until evenly combined. Divide equally into desired amounts (I divide mine into 1/2 pound packages since we hardly ever use a full pound in one recipe). Wrap each in plastic wrap and place in a large ziptop plastic bag. Freeze or place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before using (to meld flavours).
Makes: 3 pounds
Adapted from Allrecipes.