Nathan was really excited about this post. He’s been talking about making homemade sausage for months but making sausage requires some tools and ingredients that I wasn’t too thrilled about investing in. Why didn’t we put the KitchenAid sausage maker attachment on our wedding registry!? However, last weekend when Nathan was mentioning homemade sausage for the 5th or 6th time we finally decided to go for it and order what we needed to make Nathan’s dreams come true.
Well, I am SO glad we did because the product is unbelieveable. You can adapt homemade sausage to your taste and put in pretty much whatever fillings and seasonings that your heart desires. We made a pork sausage with an awesome balance of saltiness, heat, herbiness, and Pecorino Romano cheese, and then immediately used it to top our weekly homemade pizza. Mind=Blown.
Now that we have all the sausage making accoutrements, we won’t be able to buy store bought sausage without feeling a keen sense of guilt. Thus, Nathan has committed himself to being our resident sausage maker and we’re adding sausage to the list of things we routinely make from scratch along with bread, cheese, granola, cookies, and pizza dough. Soon we won’t have time for our jobs. I’m ok with that.
Let me start this pairing review by saying that Nathan opened the WRONG bottle of wine to use in the sausage and to pair with the sausage. He gave me a bite of sausage with a sip of the wine and I was all like “that is NOT a good pairing.” And then I looked at the bottle and saw that it wasn’t the bottle I had selected to pair with the sausage!! Major drama ensued. When we opened the correct bottle of wine it was a MUCH better pairing and I had something to make fun of Nathan about for the rest the evening. Katryn=winning.
Anyway, the bottle of wine that I picked to pair with the sausage was a nice balance of fruitiness and spice that complemented the savory heat of the sausage in a great way.
I debated pairing an IPA with our Italian sausages because I thought that the bitter hops might compliment the spice well but ultimately went with something that I thought would refresh and wash down the sausage instead. I don’t often drink Pilsners but Victory’s Prima Pils is certainly a respectable one! Instead of being too light and sweet like a lot of Pilsners, this one almost reminds me of a pale ale or very light IPA. The hops are much more prominent that in other IPAs but it adds a depth of flavor that most Pilsners lack. Because of the extra hop flavor this pairing ended up being somewhere between my original intentions but it worked well! The hops complimented the spice while the lightness of the beer helped wash down the rich flavors.
Homemade Italian Sausage
3 lbs. Pork Shoulder, fat trimmed and cut into ½ in. pieces
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. paprika
¼ cup romano cheese, grated
1 ½ tsp. fennel seeds
1 ½ tbs. salt
1 tbs. black pepper
¼ cup basil
¼ cup parsley
3 tbs. red wine
1 tbs. hot pepper flakes
1. Combine the pork butt, garlic, paprika, cheese, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, pepper flakes, basil, parsley, and red wine in a large bowl and toss well to coat. Refrigerate covered 4 hours.
2. Pass the mixture through a meat grinder fitted with a medium die. (Alternately, transfer to a food processor in 2 batches and process until finely ground.) To test the seasoning, heat a small skillet, and cook about 2 teaspoons of the mixture. Adjust seasonings, to taste.
3. Using the sausage attachment on a mixer, stuff the meat into the casings, if being used. Twist and tie off to make 4-inch sausages. Alternately, shape into patties. Cook sausage in usual manner, making sure the internal temperature of the sausage links reaches at least 150 degrees F. Uncooked sausage can be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days or freeze and use within 3 months.