Ground pork is an under appreciated meat. I only just recently started cooking with it myself. It makes great maid-rite type sandwiches. It’s real tasty in place of ground beef in all kinds of Italian dishes. And I like to brown it with some seasoned salt as a pizza topping.
I’ve been wanting to experiment with seasoning plain ground pork for various types of sausage. Tonight was the night. I tried an Italian sausage recipe, and a breakfast sausage recipe, and used them to top a couple of homemade pizzas.
Let me tell you…it was easy, and it was delicious! I had to make some modifications because I didn’t have all the ingredients called for in the recipes I started with. For example, the Italian sausage recipe calls for anise or fennel seed. The only seeds I had in the house were caraway seeds, so in they went. But experimenting was half the fun! And now the wheels in my brain are turning with the possibilities for variations on the theme. I’m on a mission to create my very own secret family recipe
But I’m not there yet, so I’ll share with you my starting recipes. The great thing about making your own sausage is that you can omit unwanted ingredients such as msg or other things you might be allergic to, you can control the salt content, and you can make it as spicy or as mild as you like!
Each of these seasoning recipes is enough to season one pound of ground pork. To save time you could multiply the recipe, store it in a ziplock bag, and then just take out the amount you need each time. I put the ground pork in a bowl, and mixed the seasoning ingredients in a separate bowl. If you want you can run your seasonings through a spice grinder or coffee grinder. I prefer the au naturale quality of having bits of seeds and flakes of parsley visible in the final product.
And also I had a 6-year-old boy whiiiining about how staaaaaarving he was. So I took all shortcuts possible.
Sprinkle the seasonings over the meat and get ready to get your hands messy! Squeeze and mix the seasoning all through the ground pork with your hands. For optimum flavor you can then let it set in the refrigerator overnight so that the flavors really meld into the meat. I’m not that much of a planner-aheader, (and there was the aforementioned 6-year-old boy), so once I had it all mixed in good I immediately browned the meat. You could also shape the seasoned pork into patties and fry them.
So go ahead and experiment, get creative! Then come back here and let me know what you came up with…or keep your new recipe a family secret if you want 😉
If you’re interested in a half or whole hog, just email themillers92 (at) osage (dot) net. Last spring butchering date is Monday April 28!
Italian Sausage Seasoning
1 t. ground black pepper
2 t. dried parsley
1-1/2 t. dried Italian seasoning
1 t. garlic powder or 2 T. fresh minced garlic
3/4 t. crushed anise seed or fennel seed
1/2 t. paprika
1 t. minced dried onions
2 t. salt
Combine spices. Run through a grinder, if desired. Mix well into 1 pound ground pork. Refrigerate up to 8 hours, if desired. Brown meat, or shape into sausage patties and fry.
Notes: As I mentioned, I didn’t have anise or fennel seeds, so I substitued caraway seeds. Also I thought 2 t. salt made the final product too salty, so next time I will only use 1 t.
Breakfast Sausage Seasoning
1/2 T. brown sugar
1 t. dried sage
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/8 t. marjoram
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
pinch ground cloves
Follow directions given for Italian Sausage above.
Notes: I only had ground sage, so I substituted 1/4 t. for the dried sage. I didn’t have any marjoram, so I substituted 1/8 t. ground thyme there.