THINGS I LIKE: Home Made Sausage

Ever since I was a kid, I have always enjoyed eating sausages. I would eat  breakfast links or patties with eggs in the morning for breakfast or breakfast patties on a toasted muffin or on a rye bread sandwich for lunch or just a tasty snack. Best of all, however, I love Italian sausages Italian link sausages with fried peppers and onions on an Italian or French bread ( my favorite sandwich) , Italian sausage meat stuffed mushrooms, Italian sausage meat incorporated into sauce for pasta, etc.I had always purchased Italian sausage from the supermarket to use in my cooking because I thought it would be hard to make. In investigating this I found that, with minor modifications, it really is easy to make or, if you want to take a little more time and invest in some equipment, it is a little more time consuming but still, relatively, easy to make.The recipe I follow ismy modification of one from "Bruce Aidell's Complete Sausage Book, Bruce Aideles and Denis Kelly,  Ten Speed Press, 2002 p.85

3 pounds of store - bought ground pork*
1/2 C dry red wine
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp fennel seeds, toasted
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well using your hands. Shape into patties. sausage may be refrigerated for up, to three days or frozen for two months.

* The original, recipe calls for 3 pounds of pork butt plus 3/4 pounds of pork back fat. which you grind in a meat grinder using a 3/4 inch plate. Further, one could stuff the  sausage meat  into casings to make links.
Obviously. one needs a meat grinder and stuffing equipment  to do these things. I have both of these  but find that the store - bought ground pork meat, while I am sure, is certainly not as fully flavorful as the meat mixture recommended, provides a perfectly acceptable substitute and making patties rather than stuffing the meat into casings is simpler, faster and more accessible to the average home cook.

The recipe above can be made with ground chicken or turkey, also, and can be modified with the addition of red pepper flakes, diced Mozzarella cheese, grated  Parmesan or Romano cheese. diced, oil packed dried tomatoes, other herbs or spices, eg. fresh or dried Basil or any other ingredient you feel will enhance the flavor of the sausage to suit your palate.