Juicy Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage

5 servings


12 hours

total time


2 pounds pork shoulder with at least 20% fat, cut into rough 1-inch chunks (or 2 pounds ground pork, see note)

⅗ ounces kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane (about 2 teaspoons)

2 tablespoons whole fennel seed, toasted

2 teaspoons dried marjoram

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes (hot sausage only)

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (hot sausage only)


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

Place feed shaft, screw, blade, and 1/4-inch plate of a meat grinder in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Grind sausage meat according to manufacturer's directions into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. If finer texture is desired, chill meat in freezer for 15 minutes before grinding again.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sausage meat on medium-high speed until it becomes tacky and sticky, about 1 minute. Alternatively, knead by hand for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a zipper-lock bag and seal. Sausage will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Stuff into casings or cook as desired.


Serving Size

Makes 2 pounds sausage


425 kcal

Total Fat

29 g

Saturated Fat

11 g

Unsaturated Fat

0 g

Trans Fat



128 mg


1420 mg

Total Carbohydrate

5 g

Dietary Fiber

1 g

Total Sugars

3 g


35 g

5 servings


12 hours

total time
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