Go Back

Garlic and Fennel Seed Sausage Recipe

How to make pork sausage from scratch.
Prep Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to, pork, sausage
Servings: 3 pounds

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs pork meat and fat combined, about 36 oz meat, 12 oz fat for a 25% ratio
  • 2 Tbsp garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp fennel seed toasted and ground in a spice grinder
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine some sort of liquid is important

Instructions

Get your workstation set up, clean and ready to go before you start grinding:

  • Set the bowl into which the meat gets ground on ice.
  • Assemble the grinder attachment onto the Kitchen Aid
  • Take a portion of the meat out of the fridge/freezer. We divided our meat into 3 batches so we could have 3 different sausage flavors; each batch was 2.5-3 lbs. The specific recipe above is for one of these batches.
  • Make sure everything is very, very cold. This will make the grinding process easier and is better for health and sanitation reasons (bacteria multiplies in warmth). I cut the pork into slices, laid it on a sheet pan and put it in the freezer for about half an hour. This made it very firm and much easier for us to cut into the 1" cubes. We then laid the cubes of meat back on the sheet pan for another 1/2 an hour to get them firm again. I also put the metal grinding blades in the freezer.

Grinding the meat

  • Follow the instructions with the kitchen aid and be careful. The wooden pusher comes in really handy. If you are short, like we are, you may have to stand on something to get enough leverage to push down on the meat.
  • Make sure you have a good mix of meat and fat as you push it through the grinder. Watch your fingers!

Seasoning

  • Once the ground meat and fat are in the bowl, combine with seasonings and liquid using using the paddle attachment and bowl of the Kitchen Aid mixer. Mix on medium for about 2 minutes and chill the ground meat again until very cold.
  • NOTE: We ground the meat into the bowl, added our seasonings, then mixed it with the paddle attachment for about 2 minutes as per the instructions in Charcuterie. What we did not do was season the meat before grinding it, as the book suggests. I don't think skipping this step changed anything as we let the seasoned ground meat rest overnight.
  • Once the meat was seasoned, we cooked up a little patty so we could taste it and check. This is an important step. With each batch, we added seasonings to correct to our palate.

Stuffing the sausage

  • Put the casings on the extruder tube. This was a bit arduous as the natural casings have variations which make it difficult at times to slide them onto the tube. Many jokes of questionable taste were made during this process.
  • The stuffing process definitely had a learning curve to it. This is where it pays to have two people; one to push the meat into the extruder and the other to pull the sausage off at the same rate it's being extruded. It is possible to twist the sausage into links as it comes off, but this is not a skill we mastered the first time around. Instead, we let it coil into one long length and then formed the links later.
    How to stuff sausage
  • To link the sausages, tie off the end and twist a length (4' to 6") of filled sausage one direction. To make the next sausage, twist the next length in the opposite direction. Repeat.

Notes

Tips:
  • Have two people for this process, it's much easier. We spent a few hours each on a Saturday and Sunday for this, but it can be done in one day.
  • Use a ratio of at least 25% fat to 75% lean/regular meat or the sausage will be too dry.
  • Wear plastic gloves. I didn't, and even though I washed my hands about 1000 times that day, I had a few little cuts which were not happy the next day after being exposed to all that meat bacteria.
  • Don't overstuff the casings; they may burst and it makes it very difficult to form the links.
  • Buy the book Charcuterie. There is way more detail and information than I can possibly provide in this post.