Making your own homemade sausage blend to fit your tastes is so simple it doesn’t even feel like a recipe!
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Sage & Ginger Spicy Sausage
When one of my Patreon subscribers requested a tutorial on how to make your own sausage, I was pretty ecstatic. For a long time, I’ve had to avoid sausage – it’s nearly impossible to find a store-bought version that doesn’t have garlic or onion listed in the ingredients. And I get it – those are delicious things. But if you have a sensitivity to those foods and are trying to follow a FODMAP friendly diet like me, it can be pretty dishearteningly. You can understand then, why learning I can easily make my own sausage mixture would feel like a life changing experience.
I was first introduced to the idea while I was reviewing Vivian Howard’s Deep Run Roots. Using her tips and tricks as a template, I developed my own incredibly easy recipe for Sage & Ginger Spicy Sausage. The best part? This template works well for whatever herbs or spice level you want to include in your own homemade sausage mixture – and while a stand mixer is preferred, you don’t actually need any special equipment to make it happen.
Follow along here for some of the basics, or scroll down to the recipe to start making your own homemade sausage mixture right away.
Making Homemade Sausage
There are a few key elements that go into making a truly delicious sausage mixture.
A Good Local Butcher
First things first: If you don’t have your own meat grinder at home – don’t fret! A local butcher will be more than happy to grind up your meats for you when you make your purchase, taking out one of the most intimidating aspects of making your own sausage at home. This fact should have been obvious to me, but it was really a revelation to learn I wasn’t limited to whatever ground pork or beef the store had in its case. If you want the truly homemade experience though, don’t let me stop you. While I don’t have one myself, you can always try out one of these grinder attachments for your stand mixer.
Choosing the Right Cuts
Due to its higher fat content, pork makes for a really luscious sausage mixture, so its no surprise that it’s the most common ingredient in store-bought versions. Some recipes specifically call for adding pork fat into your mix, but unless you are on good terms with a local pig farmer this might be a little difficult to source (My local Whole Foods, for instance, told me it was actually against policy to sell me fat in my state). Instead, I recommend using a combination of ground pork shoulder and the fattiest pork belly your butcher has available.
While I haven’t tried it myself, I don’t see why this recipe wouldn’t work with other animal meats as well. I imagine duck would be particularly decadent, especially with all of that fat. If you are using lean meats like turkey or chicken, however, you do run the risk of creating a drier sausage mixture (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just won’t be as rich due to the lack of fat).
Season & Spice to Taste
The rest of the process is just seasoning and other flavors. As the name indicates, sage and ginger are the primary flavors I added to this particular recipe, along with red pepper flakes, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Sage makes everything better, and the resulting sausage has a nice little bite without being too spicy.
If you are feeling adventurous, this recipe is highly adaptable to other ingredients. Just make sure whatever you add is diced nice and small so that it can be evenly distributed when you stir up the mixture. Apples, pears, rosemary, and thyme all sound like they would be delicious variations on this simple recipe template.
Pro-Tip: Taste your ground sausage mixture! No, I don’t mean try it raw of course. Before you are totally done, take a small ball of sausage, flatten it out, and sear it on each side in a small saucepan. This will let you taste your creation before showtime (so to speak) and allow you to adjust the seasonings in your mix if needed.
Homemade Sage & Ginger Sausage [FODMAP Friendly, Gluten Free]
Makes 3 pounds sausage
- Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
- 2 pound pork shoulder, ground
- 1 pound fatty pork belly, ground
- 3 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ – 1/3 cup cold water
- Add all ingredients but the water to the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment. Paddle together until just combined, slowly adding the water to keep the mixture from getting too dry.
- Heat a small pan over medium heat, and sear off a small lump of sausage mixture until cooked through. Taste test and adjust the salt or other seasonings to taste if needed.
- Fry up the sausage immediately, or follow instructions for storage below.
- Divide the raw sausage mixture into two 1 ½ pound sections and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge overnight, or seal in a gallon-size freezer-safe bag, label, and freeze. Use frozen sausage within 3 months, defrosting in the fridge overnight before use.
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