There is nothing like homemade sausage. You control the salt and ingredients, making it a healthier option for breakfast, soups, or stuffing! After tweaking this recipe to get the right sweet & salty, I believe this to be a winner. If you don't like any 'spice' to your sausage omit the red pepper flakes, but it is NOT hot spicy, just gives it a little extra.
5 pounds pork shoulder cut into 1-inch sections (you can buy pre-ground pork sausage plain, if so do step 1, then step 4 ... done)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt – or sea salt
5 teaspoons fennel (lightly roast in dry saucepan)
3 teaspoons cracked pepper
1 teaspoons crushed red pepper flake
1 cup COLD water
1. Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Let sit in fridge 30 minutes. It is important to make sure the meat is very cold before processing through a meat grinder – it goes smoother and quicker.
2. Take out of fridge and send through meat grinder on small die cutter.
3. Place ground meat into mixer bow, add 1 cup cold water and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. NO LONGER.
4. Roll into links, patties, or a log and freeze immediately. Use some immediately too if you desire.