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I'm planning on grinding a smaller amount of sausage but I need a lot more taste for these jewels. 4 teaspoons of fennel will not cut the taste with 8 pounds of pork.

So, how much other spices can be included on the meat.

You're right about the fennel. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, that recipe that you used was too light on the salt and spices.

First, the salt. You need to add enough salt to give about 1.5 to 2% salt. That means 15 to 20 grams salt per kilo. Translating that to tsp/lb measurements gives about 1.5 to 2 tsp per pound. (About 6-8 times as much as was listed in the "Old World" recipe.)

Second, the fennel. This is the spice that "makes" it Italian sausage! The "Old World" recipe was way too light on this, also. It needs 3-4 times that much seasoning. I don't know the measure in grams/kilo, but it needs about 1½ tsp/lb to a tbsp/kilo - plus a little more for good measure if you don't crack it first with a mortar & pestle.

Third, red wine. This is the "magic" touch. It just adds that something special that makes the flavor "pop". Add about 2 oz per lb or 60 mL per kilo.

In the US, per USDA labelling regulations, "Italian Sausage" has to be made from pork meat (muscle tissue) with no organ meat or other extraneous tissues and cannot exceed 35% fat content. However, when making my own, I like to use 2 parts pork and 1 part beef and limit the fat to 20-25%. I think it makes a more healthy, leaner sausage that tastes better and fries better. YMMV.

Finally, I wouldn't increase the oregano; it's about right - ½ tsp per lb. Adding a little basil would be good if you've got lots of it that you need to use. I often crumble in some air-dried, fresh basil leaves when I have them.

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