Simple Homemade Sausage

Makes 1 pound.

Sausage is quite easy to make. This recipe is for sausage meat that won’t be stuffed into a casing. It is good for making patties and meatballs, and for stuffings and pasta sauces. In general, for sausage to have a good texture it should contain 25 to 330 percent fat. Much of this fat is rendered while the sausage cooks, but without it the meat will be dry and lack flavor. it follows that the best ground pork to use is ground from the shoulder, which has more fat than the leg or loin. When made with fresh meat, sausage will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Using you hands, lightly mix together

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • a pinch of cayenne

Mix well enough to distribute the seasonings evenly, but avoid mashing the meat. Make a small patty of meat, fry it in a small skillet, and taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.

To make fennel sausage, replace the sage nutmeg, and cayenne with 2 teaspoons fennel seeds toasted and lightly pounded; 2 garlic cloves, pounded to a puree; 3 tablespoons red wine; and if you like, 2 teaspoons chopped parsley and 1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes.

You can find The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters at Plenty in Victoria and Barbara Jo’s Books for Cooks in Vancouver.

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