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Plainest Italian Sausage

8 Foot of sausage casing,

- packed in salt 1 1/2 lb Boneless pork

1/2 lb Fresh pork fat

1 tb Salt

1/2 ts Freshly ground black pepper

2 ts Fennel seeds

- lightly crushed 2 tb Dry red wine

SCRAPE THE LOOSE SALT OFF the sausage casing and set the casing in a bowl of cold water to soften for at least 30 minutes. (You will need only about 4 feet of casing for this amount of meat, but it's useful to have extra in

case of ruptures.) Cut the pork and fat into pieces that will go through your meat grinder and grind them, using the coarse blade. Mix the salt, pepper and fennel seeds thoroughly into the ground meat. (Hands are the best implement.) Then mix in the wine. Drain the casing, open one end gently with your fingers and run a stream of cold water into it, to flush any remaining salt out of the interior. Thread the casing onto the stuffing horn and fit the horn over the meat grinder. Feed the sausage meat through the horn, supporting the emerging tube of sausage with your hands to prevent rips. (Actually, sausage making is much more conveniently done with two people.) When all the sausage meat is in the casing, lay the filled tube on the work surface and pinch it at 4-inch intervals to produce individual sausage links. At the same time, fill and firm any air pockets in the casing. Tie off the links with kitchen string. Coil the sausages onto a plate and set it, uncovered, in the refrigerator to season for 48 hours. Turn the sausages over once or twice during that time.

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