Hot and Sweet Italian Sausage

 5 lbs pork shoulder, cut into 2” cubes

1 cup cold white wine
¼ cup fresh basil, minced fine (4 tsp dried)

1 Tbsp fresh oregano, minced fine (3 tsp dried)

8 garlic cloves, pressed or minced fine
5 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp onion powder (not onion salt!!!)
2 tsp crushed chili peppers
1 Tbsp kosher salt

1 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne

1 Tbsp anise seed
4 Tbsp fennel seed, roast before using, see note below

Place fennel seed and anise seed in a frying pan and heat over medium heat, tossing and stirring constantly until the seeds begin to give off their fragrance. Turn out onto dry plate to cool.

Place all ingredients into a large bowl and toss well to blend together. Place in fridge for 1 hour to chill.

Run mixture through meat grinder using either the large or small hole dies.

Once ground, mix with bare hands until full incorporated. 

At this point you need to take a little bit of the sausage meat and form a patty to fry. This is very, very, very important (well maybe not that important but I like to sample and graze as I cook).  You can taste the finished product to ensure it meets your approval, if not this is the time to add a bit more salt, pepper, or what have you to get it to the seasoning level that will ring your bell.  Once seasoned according to your liking use it as you please.

Once seasoned to your liking cover the bowl and place in the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours, 48 is best. The flavours need time to develop and since they are all newly acquainted they need to take the time to become intimate friends. Freeze for up to 3 months...

Place in casings or use as meat balls, patties or simply in place of ground meat for sauces or burgers. Yummy…

Much better than store bought and a lot lower fat content than commercial.  If you don't own a meat grinder (pity poor you) you can use ground pork instead of grinding your own.  Place all ingredients into a large bowl and mix with your hands to achieve a consistent looking meat mixture.

I have also made this with chicken thigh meat.  Chicken breast meat is too lean to use but the thigh meat is fantastic and for my next batch I will be using chicken thighs or turkey thigh meat.  Enjoy and let me know what you think of it...