Aside from the fact that there are more then just Hot and Sweet Italian Sausages available, these two varieties of Italian sausages are types that most of us are most familiar. Whether simmering in a marinara sauce, cooked with peppers and onions or grilled outdoors the flavors and aromas from Italian sausage really is hard to beat.
There are as many possible combinations of ingredients as there are recipes for Hot Italian Sausage. I can imagine that it could be a full time hobby actually making and then of course eating each one of these Hot Italian Sausage Recipes. However, you have to start somewhere and for me this was the recipe provided in Bruce Aidells’ Complete Sausage Book. From the very first time I made Hot Italian Sausage I deviated from the recipe, but this book provides a great reference point in which to make your own sausage. Below, is the most current version of Hot Italian Sausage that I recently made.
Ingredients for Hot Italian Sausage
- 3 Pounds of Pork Loin
- 1 Pound of Pork Fat Trimmings
- 2 Tablespoons of Fennel Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon of Minced Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon of Red Pepper Flakes
- 4 Teaspoons of Kosher Salt
- 2 Teaspoons of Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon of Ground Cayenne Pepper
Once you have decided upon the recipe for Hot Italian Sausage that you wish to make, you will need to Grind the Pork Loin and Pork Fat Trimmings and then following the instructions in Preparing the Ingredients. Once the Hot Italian Sausage mixture has been stuffed into the casings and the desired length of the links has been made, it will be extremely difficult to not cook them right away. You can, but allowing the sausage to air dry in the refrigerator on racks overnight / twenty-four hours does allow for the sausage links to dry out a little bit and improve in flavor. Sausages will keep in the refrigerator if wrapped for a few days and can be stored in the freezer for a few months.
Homemade Hot Italian Sausage is perfect for those that are never satisfied with the options available at the grocery store. For me there are two things that truly differentiate Hot Italian Sausage made at home. The first is you are controlling the intensity of seasoning. By reducing the amount of one spice and increasing the level of another. Second, by adding an entirely additional flavoring; i.e. 2 Tablespoons of an anise flavored liqueur like Sambuca, you have completely change the flavor profile of the sausage. Where else can you have that degree of influence in the sausage that you are going to eat?
Homemade fresh Italian Sausage is very versatile. Whether it is baked or grilled and enjoyed with a salad, added to a pot of Marinara Sauce or cooked with Pepper and Onions and even used to make a Sausage Sandwich, the possibilities are endless.