Friday, February 15, 2013

Homemade Canned Italian Sausage

Every year the Rock Cave  IGA grocery store sells pork sausage labeled as “Ground Hog” for the week during Groundhog Day.  This may sound like just another sausage to some, but this is truly the best and leanest sausage I’ve ever eaten.  This year they sold 17,400 pounds in the one week selling period that they do every year.  They do their own grinding and custom seasoning per customer request.  We usually order their sausage with extra sage, but this year we also ordered 20 pounds of plain and seasoned our own.  We canned the Italian seasoning version listed below and also a hot version called mititei.

5 pds. Ground pork sausage unflavored
5 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Black Pepper
2 Tbsp. Parsley, dried
1 ½ Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 ½ Tbsp. Onion Powder
1 ½ Tbsp. Basil, dried
4 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Fennel Seeds
1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
½ tsp. Oregano, dried
½ tsp. Brown Sugar
½ tsp. Thyme, dried

Combine all ingredients until well incorporated.  Shape into desired size of fingers or into balls.  Bake for 20 minutes or until just browned.  Sausage will not be cooked through but will be able to hold its shape in the jar.  Pack into canning jars as tightly as you can without breaking or crumbling the meat.  Pressure cook for 90 minutes on 10 pounds of pressure.