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Fennel and Anise Seeds

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I'm looking to do a batch of Shooter Rick's Italian sausage; it calls for Fennel and Anise seeds.  What's the thought on mixing then grinding, or should I keep the seeds whole and mix the spices after the grind?



Shooters Hot Italian-Style Sausage
4 lbs lean pork butt,cubed
1 lb pork fat,cubed (I use pork trimmings)
4 t fennel seed
2 t anise seed
2 Tbs coarse kosher salt
1 Tbs fresh black pepper, coarsely ground
1 Tbs granulated garlic
1 Tbs crushed red pepper
1/2 cup chilled water
1 t dry sweet basil (optional)
1 t dry oregano (optional)
Prepare the casings. Grind the meat and fat together through the course disk. Mix the water and remaining ingredients with the ground meat and fat. Stuff the mixture into casings. Refrigerate and use within three days {immediately if using store-ground meat as this is not as sanitary as grinding your own), or freeze.

post #2 of 10
I would follow Rick's recipe..... Keeping the seeds etc. whole, allows for the flavors to NOT get mingled into one big mess.. each bite will have a fresh flavor... you will taste all the flavors separately.....
post #3 of 10

My recommendation is anise seeds keep whole, grind half of the fennel and keep the other half whole.

post #4 of 10
I'm definitely trying this recipe. Picked up a 10 lb boneless pork shoulder.
post #5 of 10

I'd keep them whole...most Italian sausage in NY you could see the pieces of spices in them....I'd also go double on the amounts but that's me. Most of these seeds have been around for awhile and lose flavor fairly quickly IMO. Also, while the recipe sounds legit I question the 'lean' pork butt....I've never seen lean butt in my neighborhood. So, opinion I'd go with 5 pounds of fatty pork butt, forget the pork fat and call it a winner. If you plan on smoking them any remember to add some cure for safety....Willie

post #6 of 10
Depends on the flavor you're after. I agree that leaving them whole gives a more complex flavor. However if you're considering using it in a meat sauce, grinding some or all will impart a wonderful flavor to the sauce. Same if you're planning to use it on pizza. Sometimes the subtle flavors might get lost in pizza with multiple toppings, so a more "in your face" hit of that wonderful licorice flavor is more desirable.
post #7 of 10

Like Dave said, I would try it according to Shooter's recipe.  I have had good luck with his stuff.


On the other hand, I sometimes use a recipe that grinds some and leaves some whole.  Drives me nuts (short drive many would say) keeping it straight, but it works.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #8 of 10

The main thing when using fennel,anise or any seeds is to rub them in the palms of your hands to get them to start releasing their oils before you add them to the recipe!

post #9 of 10

Most of these seeds have been around for awhile and lose flavor fairly quickly .....


Have to disagree with you, Chef Willie. Whole, unbroken spices last two days longer than forever, with no discernible loss in potency. That characteristic is what made the whole spice trade possible in the first place.


Once you grind, crush, or otherwise break the spices loss of potency starts immediately, with light, heat, and oxygen being the main causes of degradation. Which is why savvy cooks never buy spices in powdered form. 

post #10 of 10
Pork, mixed with seasonings, except for fennel and anise, is chilling in the freezer prior to grinding. Will mix in fennel and anise after grinding. Can't wait for the fry test! Won't stuff it but will vacuum seal it. Love my first ever vacuum sealer. Bought it on Friday and have already sealed 5 blocks of Applewood smoked sharp cheddar cheese and 6 blocks hickory smoked sharp cheddar. Next Saturday will smoke my bacon, using pops brine. Busy!
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