Home Sausage Making (Recipe)


Plated and with the pan Jus



Flashback:  My first memory of Italian Sausage was eating it as a child. As far as someone making it, it was my father.  One day he walked into the kitchen with these stringy things that looked like rubber bands.

He pulled out this machine and began to hook it up to the counter, not plug in but crank like the pasta machine.

He then proceeded to take a package of meat that he must have purchased from our local butcher Huppy and Leo's.  I watched as he seasoned the meat with garlic and some other stuff.  Suddenly it start smelling like Italian Sausage.  The aroma of the fennel and garlic gave it away!


He then took these rubber band looking things and placed one end over the spigot of the faucet and let water run through them. They began looking like those balloons they twisted at the carnival to make a poodle! Then I realized he used these to hold the sausage filling.


He cranked and ground the meat, seasoned it, tasted it raw (what is that wrong?), then adjusted seasoning.  He then slipped on the balloon things on a horn which was now on the grinder.  He then cranked out these big long snakes of sausage, I remember thinking how cool it looked!


That Saturday my father cooked his homemade Italian Sausage on the grill in front of our restaurant "Jim's Snack Shop" for the Fiesta Days Celebration in McHenry Illinois.


The memory of the aroma of  charcoal briquettes with the fat of the sausage flaring on the grill to this day is still in my mind.  Combined with fresh roasted sweet bell peppers and some giardinara and of course crusty yet soft in the center Italian bread and you were in Heaven!

Which brings us to this post.....

Home Sausage Making (print recipe)

Two recipes  which I found and tested from, Professional Charcuterie, Sausage Making, Curing, Terrines , Pates.

Sweet Italian Sausage
Hot Italian Sausage

Note on sanitation:

  • Before preparing any type of sausage product make sure you have a clean and sanitized work area
  • Also sanitize all your sausage making equipment as well
  • Wash your hands often in between each step
  • If available use plastic gloves, like the ones they have in the restaurants

Sanitize and dry


  • Be sure your spices are fresh and of the highest quality. Yes...please throw out any spices in your pantry that are older than 6 months opened!

Hog casings:

  • Be sure to rinse off the salt from your casings with clean clear water, then rinse out the interior of your casings by flushing water through them. Even though they say they have been pre-rinsed they may not be as clean as you'd like them to be.

Hog Casings Washing the casings

These recipes may be used for the Italian Sausage by itself to top pizzas or to stuff into casings.  You may also brown off the Italian Sausage and add it to ricotta for a Italian Sausage meat and cheese filling to stuff mushrooms or fill pasta and cannelloni. 

Here, I show you some images as well on how to make the coils of sausage that you can cut  to the size you desire. Or you may choose to twist links.

Sweet Italian Sausage


Pork Butt

6 1/2 lbs Pork Butt-Lean
1 1/2 lbs Pork fatback
1 pt Ice water
2 oz Kosher salt
1 oz Cracked black pepper
2 oz Whole fennel seed ( toast in saute pan till aromatic)
1/4 oz Red pepper flakes

Hog Casings 32-42 mm ( buy from your local butcher)

1/4 oz Powdered dextrose

Hot Italian Sausage


6 1/2 lbs Pork Butt - lean
1 1/2 lbs Port fatback
1 pt Ice water
2 oz Kosher salt
2 oz Paprika
1 oz Fresh Thyme (don't use dry!)
1/4 oz Red Pepper flakes
1/2 oz Whole Fennel Seed
2 oz Fresh garlic ( use less if you don't like allot of garlic)
1/4 oz Powdered dextrose
Hog Casings 32-42 mm

Place the ice water in a container. Combine the salt, and spices based on what recipe you are making into the container and mix . Place the mixture into the refrigerator to chill.

Ingredients scaled and added to ice water include the chopped garlicSpices are all mixed now chill! 

If you want a finely textured sausage grind the Pork Butt and the fatback separately through a 1/4 inch plate . Combine the two and grind again.

Trimed and cut pork Butt with fatback Let the grinding begin

For a coarsely textured sausage, combine the Pork Butt and the fatback and grind once through a 1/4 inch or 5/16 inch plate. I personally like the bite of a coarser ground sausage.

Pour the chilled seasoning solution over the meat. Mix well to distribute the ingredients evenly.

 Pour the spices over the ground pork and mixMixed and ready to stuff

Evenly pack the Italian sausage into shallow pans. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Set up your grinder and or sausage stuffer place the casings onto the sausage stuffing tube. I took one end of the casing and tie a knot in it, then poked a small hole in the end to allow air to escape.

Slide the casings on the horn All hooked up and ready to grind

I then took my refrigerated Italian sausage mixture and proceeded to fill my casings. This was a little trickier than I thought. I have to hold it time and sausage on the horn with my right hand and feet in the mixture into the top of the grinder with my right hand. This took slower than I wanted to so I am really thinking of investing in a sausage stuffer. Don't get me wrong it worked, but it would have been better if it took less time.

Feeding the hopperReloading more casings!

 I made a coil as well as links then refrigerated them till they were well chilled. Of course I had to taste them!

Links of Italian Sausage

 I placed a bit of olive on the bottom of a sauté pan then added the link Italian Sausage with a bit of water. The water helps steam the sausage a bit so it released some of its fat.


 Once the water evaporated it began to brown. I then turned it and allowed it to cook on the other side. Once the sausages were thoroughly cooked I added a bit of water to the bottom of the pan after removing them to deglaze the brown bits on the bottom.


 I reduce this to concentrate the flavor and poured it over the plate of freshly cooked sausages.

Cooking with a bit of waterBrown and turn

Plated and with the pan Jus

Man, I wish I had some roasted bell peppers!

Here I took the coil of sausage, skewered it then roasted it in a 400 degree oven.

 Out of the oven


A roasted coil of Italian Sausage


The above method is great for grilling as well!  Just watch your heat and have a spray bottle of water ready for flair ups. 



Have fun making Italian Sausage! Remember to always Cook Italian!



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