Spicy Italian Sausage

Makes 9 sausages


2 pounds pork butt, cubed into ½-inch cubes
½ pound pork fat, chunk bacon or fatback
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Casings, of your choice


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl very well and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Using the finest blade of the meat grinder, grind the mixture following grinder instructions. If you are making or using the meat without the casing go right to that step. If you are making links put the mixture back in the mixing bowl and place in the freezer for a little while. In the meantime soak the casings in warm water and rinse a few times. Get out your sausage stuffer and slip the casing onto the stuffing tube, making sure you leave about 6 inches off the end of the tube, this is the part that you will need to tie the sausages off. Remove the meat from the freezer and stuff it into the stuffer, if all the meat does not fit leave what will not fit in a bowl in the refrigerator. Turn the stuffer on and begin the process, air will be the first thing to emerge. As the meat begins to slide out use one hand to maneuver the speed of the sausage output. Let the sausage emerge into one long coil, the links will be tied later in the process. When the sausage is done, turn off the machine and tie up the ends, you can use kitchen twine. To make the links, pinch a section together, then spin the links and turn them opposite from each other several times, repeat this moving down the entire main link. Make sure both ends are tied off. Hang the links up so you can review for air bubbles, using a sterilized pin or sewing needle, pop each section that has an air bubble with the pin and the link should move flat and the air bubble should be resolved. Hang the links for about an hour and then refrigerate them covered in the refrigerator overnight, use them or freeze them in about a week.