Saturday, January 5, 2013

Easy home made cranberry pork Italian sausage

I have always thought to myself when presented with a new situation, or skill to perform "I can do that, how hard can it be?" When I was 16, and working on the weekends in a store selling sewing supplies, a customer came in and asked if I could recommend a seamstress to sew a dress with the supplies that she had bought.  "I can do that for you" I said. Now I had never made any clothes before, but she took me at my word and using the pattern, (and I expect help from my Mother who was a very god seamstress) I delivered the made dress.  So when presented with the fact that I could not get to my favourite sausage store to buy sausages for New Years I thought "how hard can making sausages be?"

Well in fact a lot easier than making a dress for the first time.  I do not have a sausage stuffing machine, but I was making sausages to go inside a sausage roll, so I did not need to stuff them. I also do not have a meat grinder, so I bought ground pork instead of grinding it myself.

I did a little research on sausage ingredients and found that the ratio of salt to meat is important for a sausage, and the addition of fennel seed is important for an Italian sausage.

2lb ground pork
1teaspoons of salt
1 tablespoon of fennel seed.your blender to grind them up, or do it manually in a mortar and pestle.
11/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1tablespoon of  finely minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup of dried cranberries (optional)
1tablespoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

I ground my fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar, but you could also use a spice grinder.

Mix all the ingredients together...and you have Italian sausage!

I mixed all the ingredients except the cranberries and made a small ball and microwaved it for 30 seconds so that I could taste for seasoning.  I wanted to add a little sweetness, this could have been finely chopped apple, but I had some dried cranberries so added those.

Then I rolled it in puff pastry.

You can use this mix right away, but according to the recipes it would improve with a little resting time in the fridge.  I made too much to make sausage rolls, so I have frozen some to use in a pasta sauce or soup some time when I need Italian sausage. Obviously there is some experimenting to be done with different meats and seasonings, and who knows maybe I will get a meat grinder, I do love sausages after all.

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