Spicy Italian Sausage

I used to think I was tough. I thought I was rough, hard around the edges and out of my 3 co-workers the the most intimating. Yeah, I was gangster. Until the day I decided to make sausage.

Let me just tell you, sausage making will knock you out of your boots no matter how tall you think you stand. Or at least it did to me.

It wasn’t butchering of the pork, slicing delicately around bone – making sure the fat ratio was just right took me down.

It wasn’t the marinating the 4 pounds of cubed pork in my tiny cramped fridge that put me in my place.

It wasn’t the lengthy process of grinding the sausage that showed me I am indeed capable of feeling nauseous.

It was the natural hog casings. The idea of natural casings didn’t bother me, if your willing to eat meat, you should be willing to utilize the other parts. The idea of having to handle natural casings gave me pause, but more because I’m rather curious by nature then disgusted.

It was the smell. Oh Lord, the smell. I had ordered casing that came dehydrated in a heavy salt package that needed to be opened and soaked for a while. That first time you smell that, oh, there is no going back. Now, to be fare, I am led to believe that not all natural casings smell this potent and I will be trying some other options in the future.

As for the rest of the sausage making, it was a breeze.


This was an experience, but I can’t say it was the best sausage ever. I have made another batch (a beer base for a beer garden inspired party) that I also felt fell a little short in the flavor department. I will be working on improving the flavor with a few more batches, though I can’t promise it’s something I’ll rush to do, knowing whats in store for me when I open that next package of casings up.


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  1. says

    I always wanted to try my own sausage. Thanks for the warning on the casings. I’ve always considered myself pretty tough too, but smells can take me down also!

  2. says

    I have made sausage before and feeding/filling the casings were the hardest part, I would say that is a two person job. Yours look like they turned out great without any excess air bubbles. Like the ingredients used here, I have bookmarked-yum!

  3. says

    Super impressive! You are totally a sausage gangster :) You’re the second blogger I follow how’s made sausage and its hilarious that y’all both bagged on the smell. Not for the faint of heart! Well done :) Buzzed

  4. says

    First off – congratulations for stepping outside of your comfort zone! Your pictures are incredible as always. I also appreciate the honesty in your post. I have wanted to make sausages…I guess when I do, I’ll make sure to not get salt packed, dehydrated casings!

  5. says

    Oh my, you did an outstanding job with these!! Homemade sausage is the bestest! But it wants careful attention and patience… we make them every winter and half way through I always have to say, “never again”… winter comes, and I do it again. :)

  6. says

    Great job with this Kita! Those are some gorgeous links!

    I’ve yet to tackle the sausage-making, but I’m sure I’ll come around to it – you’ll be the first I tell because I know the natural casings will leave me with a similar reaction =)

  7. says

    Thanks for this recipe, I’ve always wanted to make Italian sausages. The casings, I hope won’t be a problem, my husband is French and one of his favourite things to eat is andouillette, they smell like cows butt! So hpefully I have had some training on this smell.

  8. says

    I am very disappointed that this does not have a video to go with it. I remember the first few times I made sausage it was not pretty LOL.
    Funnily enough using a sausage stuffing attachment in a large piping bag works well and it is easy to control the pace and afterwards you can gently squeeze the meat into place in the casings. It gives you the feel for the process before using a machine.

  9. says

    Making your own sausage is impressive. I honestly can’t remember if my casings smelled or not. Maybe I took a bried whif and that was enough to convince me not to smell them any more (and to not remember what they smelled like)


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