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Italian Sausage

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 2 pounds or 10 to 12 (4-inch) sausage links

1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
2 pounds pork butt (2 1/2 pounds with bone), diced into 1/4-inch pieces
5 feet of 36 millimeter collagen casings (do not allow to get wet at any time)
Shortening, to lubricate nozzle of stuffer

Special equipment: meat grinder with stuffing attachment or manual stuffer

Toast fennel seed in medium sized, heavy saute pan over medium heat, constantly moving seeds around in pan until they start to turn light brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cool, grind seeds and combine with salt, pepper, and chopped parsley in medium mixing bowl. Add pork and blend thoroughly. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Using the fine blade of a grinder, grind the pork. After lubricating stuffer or stuffing attachment with shortening, load casing onto attachment, clipping end with a clothespin. Stuff meat into casings, trying to avoid air pockets. After stuffing is finished lay out on counter and tie off end. Pinch and twist to form 4-inch sausages. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. Store in refrigerator for use within 2 to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. If freezing, wrap in aluminum foil. If using immediately, saute over medium heat in a heavy saute pan with 1/4-inch of water. Bring water to boil, put on lid and cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid and continue cooking over medium heat, turning every 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Sausage should reach an internal temperature of 150 to 156 degrees F.

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