Italian Sausage Recipe
Sausage at the grocery store is expensive. It costs between 4 and 6 dollars a pound. It is just as easy to make your own sausage, probably is healthier and definitely is much cheaper.
Buy a pork butt, boston butt, or country style pork ribs. These are all the same cut of meat simply cut up into different pieces. I bought country style pork ribs which cost me $1.49 a pound from Albertsons. I bought 5 lbs for $7.45. When you get it home you need to cut out the bones (don't cut out the fat, in sausage the fat is your friend), and cut the pieces of meat up so they are about 2 to 3 inches by 2 to 3 inches (If you want a leaner sausage you can use skinless boneless chicken thighs). Ideally, at this point, you would have a Grinder (hand or electric) but if not grab your food processor throw the meat in and chop it up to a medium grind. Put that in a large mixing bowl and add the following spices:
44 grams of salt (or 2% of the meat weight in grams, if you have 2265 g use 44 grams salt)
18 grams of fennel, coriander, or anise (I like to put these in my mortar and crush them a bit first)
15 grams of granulated garlic
12 grams of Paprika
10-14 grams of black pepper
1/3 cup of vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, you could also use wine)
1/2 cup sweetner (I used grape juice, again you could use some wine)
1/4 cup olive oil
Mix that all up well, grab a muffin tin, line the tin and smash some of the meat down into each muffin mold. Once you have filled up the tin throw it in the freezer, without covering it, for about 2-4 hours. After that time period you can take it out and throw the little sausage patties in a ziplock or vacuum sealed bag and leave them in the freezer for later use. You can also simply leave the sausage loose without forming it and use it however you want to.
This little recipe ends up costing me about $9.50 all told which, equates to about $1.90 a pound and took me about 15 minutes to prepare including boning and grinding the meat. You could probably skip the boning and grinding by simply buying ground pork at a little higher cost but still far cheaper and healthier than buying store sausage.
Sausage is one of those things you can play with a lot. The only hard and fast rule I've found for me is the salt content being 2% of the meat weight. As far as spices knock yourself out mace, nutmeg, poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, oregano, marjoram, etc. As far as liquids I've used beer, wine, apple cider, vinegars, diet coke, coke, pepsi, honey, apple beer, lemon juice they all seem to work out fine in the end.