Project Description

Italian Hot Sausage

This was based on a combination of Kenji Lopez-Alt’s ‘Basic Sausage’ and ‘Hot Italian Sausage’ recipes and techniques.


  • 2 lbs Pork Shoulder, cubed
  • 15 grams kosher salt (about 3 tsp)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, grated fine
  • 2 tbs fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 5 – 2 tbs red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Hog casing

Method: (note that this is a two-day process, plan your time accordingly)

  • Day 1:
    • Cut the Pork into 1.5 – 2 inch cubes
    • In a large bowl, combine Pork, salt and seasonings, and mix thoroughly by hand
    • Place this mixture in a ziploc bag and allow to rest in the refrigerator overnight (12 – 24 hours)
  • Day 2:
    • Grind the chunks of meat on a medium sized die (we used the ¼” plate on our Kitchen Aid grinder attachment)
    • Once all the meat has been ground, use the paddle attachment to mix the ground meat in the mixing bowl for about 2 minutes to fully combine and achieve the correct texture.
    • Prepare hog casings by placing in a bowl of salted water until soft and pliable
    • Place the nozzle attachment on the grinder, and feed the hog casing onto the nozzle until most of the length is bunched up on the body of the nozzle, and just a few inches are left hanging over
    • Filling the casings is ideally done with 2 people – one to feed the meat into the grinder, and another to handle the casing as the meat comes through the grinder and out through the nozzle.
    • Begin feeding the chunks of meat into the grinder. As the casing begins to fill, slowly begin easing some of the additional bunched-up casing off of the nozzle, maintaining a constant pressure so that the casing is full and firm, but not stretched too tight.
    • If you want individual links, pinch the casing at regular intervals to create a gap, twist and tie off each link with butcher’s twine.
    • If you want a single long sausage ring, continue to move the casing carefully as it fills and allow the filled portion to form a large ring on your work surface.
    • If certain sections are too tight, too loose or have air pockets, pause and work the meat very carefully with your hands so that the casing is filled evenly and has a consistent firm texture.
    • Once the casing is full or all the meat is used up, twist the end and tie off with butcher’s twine.

Check out our related blog post Makin’ the Sausage…