I have been making this sausage from scratch for over 15 years!
A couple of years ago I got the idea for a “quick” version that was just as tasty.
My original recipe starts out with 1 pound of pork that is ground to a medium size. If you start with commercially ground pork from a market it will be too fine and your sausage will have no texture (like a lot of “gourmet” sausage that is sold in stores!).
My “quick” recipe uses all of the same ingredients as the original sausage recipe but it starts with 1 pound of your favorite uncooked sweet Italian sausage.
Besides the tart dried cherries (I buy them at Trader Joe’s), this recipe includes toasted sliced almonds (TJ’s), lots of baking type spices and some fresh chopped parsley for color.
You could also use dried cranberries in this recipe- they would be great!
My original sausage recipe includes 2 slices of bacon that are ground with the pork. You could add some bacon to this quick recipe but it is not necessary because the Italian sausage itself has a lot of flavor.
If you choose to make the original recipe and grind your own meat, you might want to make more at a time and freeze it in bulk 1 pound packages.
I am including full instructions for both recipes below.
It might sound funny but this sausage makes a great gift if you are going to a friend’s house for dinner!
1 pound (usually 3 links) Sweet (mild) Italian Sausage
Remove the casing from the outside of the sausage by slitting it from one end to the other and pulling it off. Cut sausage into smallish pieces and place in saute pan.
Hydrate 1/2 cup of dried tart cherries (Trader Joe’s) in a small bowl with
2 Tblsp Marsala wine
I microwave the cherries and Marsala for 1 minute on high to hydrate.
Add to the heated mixture:
2 Tblsp. water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Stir together then add:
3/8 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds (Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Stir everything together then add to sausage pieces in saute pan. Mix cherry mixture into the sausage meat as good as you can, pressing it into the meat with the back of a spoon.
Cook sausage- don’t turn the heat up too high or the sugar in the cherries will cause it to burn.
Original Recipe For Pork Sausage With Dried Cherries:
Grind one pound of slightly fatty pork along with
2 slices of bacon, chopped small
Prepare cherries and spice mixture exactly the same as above but add
3/4 teaspoon salt to the spice mixture
That is the only difference! If you make more than one pound of this sausage at a time, I suggest mixing the spices and cherries in separate bowls for each 1 pound batch (I had better luck with flavor consistency that way)
If you are going to freeze some, just place a pound in each quart size freezer bag and label- this takes up the least amount of room in your freezer!
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