Jim’s Italian Sausage is so versatile and handy to have around! This recipe makes about 5 pounds of sausage, most of which we freeze in smaller amounts for later use. A couple of our favorite recipes are Italian Sausage Manicotti and Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce. Also, you can brown just a quarter-pound of it for a delicious homemade pizza topping. To save extra portions for later use, weigh out desired amounts of meat, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. Don’t forget to mark your sausage clearly with the date you made it and what it is. (We once mistook it for Jim’s Breakfast Sausage and our biscuits and gravy, while still tasty, were not exactly what we expected that morning!)

Ingredients for Jim’s Italian Sausage

  • 4.5  lbs. pork shoulder butt, diced
  • 8 oz pork back fat or pork belly
  • 2 t. minced garlic
  • 40 grams salt
  • 32 grams sugar
  • 12 grams fennel seeds, toasted
  • 8 grams coriander seeds, toasted
  • 24 grams Hungarian paprika
  • 4 T. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • 4 T. fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 T. hot red pepper flakes
  • 6 grams coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3/4 C. ice water
  • 1/4 C. red wine vinegar, chilled


Dice all of the pork to 3/4 inch cubes.

Toast the fennel and coriander seeds in a dry skillet until they become fragrant, no more than one minute. Then coarsely grind them in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together, then mix them thoroughly with the meat. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight. 

Grind the meat through the small die with your meat grinder of choice (we use a Kitchen Aid attachment).

Add the water and vinegar to the ground meat and, in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, mix for about one minute on medium speed.

In a small skillet brown a small portion (1/4 C.) of the sausage over medium high heat. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Repeat this step if necessary to achieve the flavor you desire.

Cook and use in Spaghetti Sauce, Italian Sausage Manicotti or any recipe that calls for Italian sausage. Freeze additional portions for later use.