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Sweet Italian Sausage

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    Posted: 07 Sepeptember 2011 at 16:03
Since the weather is keeping us all inside out here in New England, I decided to make up a batch of Italian sausage.

I decided to do the sweet version and put my own twist on it this time.

Started off by grinding up 4 pounds of nice pork...put it in the large mixing bowl.


Then got the rest of my ingredients ready....some fresh basil and parsley, grated pecorino Romano, diced mozzarella, garlic and 1/2 cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes I made last week.


Then I poured 1/2 cup of ice cold sweet marsala wine and mixed my salt, pepper and sugar into it.


I mixed the bulk ingredients with the pork first, then poured the seasoning mix over and mixed well again. Put it all in the fridge to get happy for a few hours.


Once everything was happy I tossed it into the stuffer and pumped it into some hog casings.



once that was done I just mucked out the bottom of the stuffer and fried up a sample....damned tasty!


Tasted good enough to make a batch of sausage and pasta which we had for dinner.
I'm thinking this one is a keeper...we both enjoyed it quite a bit.


Thanks for checking out my sausage!
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sepeptember 2011 at 09:30
wonderful-looking sausage, dave! i especially like the idea of the sun-dried tomatoes! if it tasted anyting as delicious as it looked, i would love to give this a try!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2012 at 08:21
lol - well, here it is, a year later, and i haven't tried it yet, but now that i've taken my first real dive into sausage-making, the time is getting a lot closer to actually make this.
 
dave, could you help a newbie out and provide some measurements on the ingredients, say per pound of ground pork, or maybe for a 5-poound batch? i know that a lot of times, it comes down to "a little of this and a little of that," but i could sure use some direction or advice on keeping it all in balance.
 
thanks!
 
ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Feather Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2012 at 09:11
I so enjoy reading all the threads on pancetta HECK IF I KNOW, it looks like sausage,  and especially all those pictures--and I can't wait to try them myself. thank you, ~Feather LOLLOLLOLLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2012 at 10:42
Clap Hoser,
 
Grazie, Grazie, Grazie ...
 
Spectacular looking. Thanks again for all your expertise and contributions on home made sausages.
 
You are quite a Professor in this specialty and wow --- I can taste those Italian sweet sausages across the Atlantic !!! Handshake   
 
Have a fab evening at Andrew´s Bistro.
 
 Beer Margi.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2012 at 04:12
Originally posted by Feather Feather wrote:

I so enjoy reading all the threads on pancetta HECK IF I KNOW, it looks like sausage,  and especially all those pictures--and I can't wait to try them myself. thank you, ~Feather LOLLOLLOLLOL

Actually Feather, pancetta is just Italian bacon. The reason you see swirls in it is because the pork bellies are rolled tightly when they are cured. I agree making pancetta would be a fascinating project....one that I would love to try, but unfortunately am not equipped to do.

If I ever get a fridge dedicated to nothing but curing, it will be on the top of my list.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2012 at 08:00
Dave, I wish you'd hurry up with that charcuterie primer, cuz now I'm really confused.
 
In this case we have a definition problem.
 
I'd always been taught that the defining characteristic of "Italian" sausage was the inclusion of fennel. Recipes vary by the inclusion or exclusion of other flavorings. But fennel seed is always an integral part of it.
 
So, in a word, HELP!
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2012 at 09:32
Brook. Finocchio or fennel is an ingredient indigenious to Medit. however, there over a thousand types of ital sausage without fennel in the sausage. The Romans over a thousand types of sausages in Italia and fennel is only one variety. There are red pepper in hot sausage variety and no fennel and Sweet Sausage if desired and fennel variety amongst uncountable others is a variety. If you are a fan it is typical in the Greek Monasteries to employ fennel seed verses the bulb. See: www.ehow.com   and www.completeherbal.com     The Romans used fennel in medical preparations. It is also common in Galicia. Spain and Provence. Happy Thanksgiving. Mare.     
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2012 at 15:38
Thanks, Margi,
 
True, there are innumerable sausages in Italy. Most, if not all of them, have names. Cotechino, for instance, is made with fresh ham, and Luganega has a citrusy flavor due to the presence of both lemon and orange zest. Neither of them contain fennel.
 
The generic "Italian" sausage found in America, however, comes in two major versions: mild and hot. Other than minor differences in ingredients, one sausage maker to another, the difference is that one of them uses crushed pepper flakes and the other doesn't.
 
When you lived in Little Italy, did you ever attend any of the Saint's day street festivals? What we're talking about is the sausage sold from stands at those events---sausage, peppers, onions, sometimes tomato sauce, stuffed into a length of crusty bread. Yum!
 
Universally (and I must have a dozen or more variations in my files) they all contain fennel.
 
Here's a typical recipe for hot Italian sausage:
 
5 lbs coarse ground pork butt
12 cloves pressed garlic
1 tbls crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbls fennel seeds
1 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves, crushed
1 tbls salt
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tbls paprika
1 cup cold water
 
Compare that to this version of a sweet Italian sausage:
 
5 lbs coarse round pork butt
1 tbls alt
8 cloves pressed garlic
2 tbls oregano
2 tbls fennel seed
1 tbls black pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp thme
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1 cup water
 
Or the even simpler:
 
5 lbs coarse ground pork butt
1 tbls fennel seed
2 tsp white pepper
1 1/2 tsp sage leaves
5 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tbls salt
1 cup white wine
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2012 at 15:51
Brook. Firstly I grew up in Little Italy and loved St. Gennaro, St. Anthony and St. Francis or Francesco Street Fairs. Please do not compare NYC or USA sausages though delicious to Italian sausages, as they are distinct in profile taste wise and ingredients are not the same. It is late however I shall see what I have and post. Also perhaps sending Luca a PM as he can contribute too. One thing is fennel and another is the seeds. Like in Basilicata, dry red pep flakes verses Basilicata sun dried and fresh combo. I shall state in north the sausage varieties are quite different from Palermo or Basilicata or Puglia etc. Nonna made sausage and peppers for me and I make once in awhile. Delicious.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2012 at 15:57
Brook. Thanks for recipes. Appreciate. Mar.     
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2012 at 15:59
Please do not compare NYC or USA sausages though delicious to Italian sausages, as they are distinct in profile taste wise and ingredients are not the same
 
Precisely my point, Margi. Most FotW members are based in the U.S., though. And if you say "Italian Sausage" it means a specific type, which is available in hot or mild versions. And all of it contains fennel seed.
 
I would guess that sausages in northern Italy are more akin to German and Swiss types than they are to the southern reaches. Heck, why should sausage be different than any other food.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 November 2012 at 16:56
i'm going to take a couple of guesses here ~ there is no fennel seed in dave's sausage above because
 
a) there was no fennel seed in the pantry
 
or
 
b) it just wasn't a fennel seed kind of day ~ Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 00:09
Tas. You could be correct. The other reasons could be distaste or allergy or Hoser just wanted to produce an Italian sausage profile verses an Italian American profile. Boilmaker employs fennel   seed and aniseed or anise and red pep flakes.    Margi.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 03:42
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

i'm going to take a couple of guesses here ~ there is no fennel seed in dave's sausage above because
 
a) there was no fennel seed in the pantry
 
or
 
b) it just wasn't a fennel seed kind of day ~ Wink

The correct answer would be "B" Ron...I was playing with some new flavors and techniques and was not interested in a "traditional" recipe that day...if you are looking for a traditional Italian sausage recipe...the one Brook posted seems very traditional to me...Len Poli's site also has several nice Italian recipes, or there's always good old Rytek's recipe which is delicious.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 05:49
On followup...here's Rytek's recipe for sweet Italian 

To make 10 pounds

4 Tbsp salt
2 cups ice water
3 tsp fennel seed
2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 Tbsp sugar
10 pounds boned pork butts.

Grind all the pork butts through a 1/4" or 3/8" plate and
place into the mixing tub. Add remaining ingredients and mix well until evenly distributed.
Stuff into 32-35mm hog casings.

Make sure meat is almost freezing 32°-34° before starting.
Do not leave this sausage at room temperature any longer than necessary.
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