Hot Italian Sausage

I decided last minute to host a dinner this weekend, and the day after I planned it, a huge order came in at work. Worried about getting everything finished, I started immedietly thinking of shortcuts to make my weekend cooking easier. One of the first things was buy a nice sausage from a local butcher instead of making my own. This decision weighed on me heavily the next few days, but thanks to a bit of snow yesterday, and a van that was fully iced in my driveway, I had a chance to make the sausage after all. The one shortcut I still made, was that I asked the butcher to grind the pork shoulder for me to save me a bunch of time at home. Doing that made the sausage making process quick and easy!

Italian sausage spices. Many people leave the fennel whole, but I find it unappetizing to come across whole fennel seeds in my sausage. I ground all these spices into a slightly coarse powder.

I tried to make this picture of herbs look pretty, but I think it ended up looking like someone tracked some leaves in the house under their shoe.  I didn’t buy all of these separate, I think they came in a poultry blend or something like that.

I ground the herbs in with the salt. Normally I wouldn’t put something with so much moisture into my spice grinder, but the salt dried it out. Why does this remind me of driving…

After you mix your sausage, it is important to taste some. You want to make sure it is good before going through all the work of stuffing it!

Cannon is loaded.

Knots! Always knots. Every time I take out my headphones it takes me 5 minutes to unravel that mess.

Finally after fighting with the intestine for 15 minutes (Fun!) I got everything sorted.

Lay the sausage out on some butcher paper(or the inside of a cut up paper shopping bag) and put the whole thing in a zip top bag for later.

Had to try just one though! I like to cook sausage in water until it is fully cooked before searing the outside at the end.

So tasty! Dinner is going to be goooood this weekend.

When I make sausage, I always end up with some leftover that is too small of an amount for the stuffing machine to process. I tossed that in with some peppers and onions and tomatoes and made a quick sauce out of it.

Nice easy dinner after all that work.

If you don’t have a sausage stuffer, you can use a piping bag and a helpful friend, or you can always just make these into patties or meatballs and eat them like that.

If you are looking for sausage casings, I have found that most local butchers (around here at least) have stopped making their own sausage! I have had 100% luck with multiple different Whole Foods locations, and they usually sell them to me for a dollar or 2, and have sometimes even given me them for free!

Italian Sausage:
Tablespoon Fennel
Tablespoon Black Pepper
1/2 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
2 Teaspoons Smoked Paprika
1 Teaspoon Coriander
1/2 Teaspoon Anise
A few leafs each of:
2 Tablespoons minced Garlic
3/4 Tablespoon Salt
3 lbs ground Pork Sholder
Mix, toast, grind spices. Grind herbs with the salt. mix everything in together with the pork. Cook as patties or stuff in casings.


  1. I wish you didn’t show those 2 pictures…
    anyway, these are probably tasty.
    I still think your Green Curry Sausages were the best…
    For the party,
    Is it cool that I bring some friends from the Crazy Beaver?

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