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Technically not my first...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
But the last try was a trial run, and I was... if not embarrassed, then at least not so proud of it.

This is mild italian, uncased. About 3 pounds. I used this recipe (and not entirely happy with it):


First off, I don't blame the recipe, I made some slight changes... I substituted dried parsley for fresh (couldn't find any), and I added some diced red bell pepper from another recipe. Additionally, I used awfully cheap australian wine... and the awful is meant in its original meaning, and not that it's merely very cheap.

The meat wasn't cubed as fine as some recommend (a mix of 1" to 2.5" pieces), nor was the fat as evenly distributed as it probably should have been. I need better knives, and more practice. It then sat in the fridge for the better part of 24 hours, with the spices mixed thoroughly.

So, I finally found a bowl that fit in our freezer (I got laid off, canceled the chest freezer we had ordered) for about 3 hours. Finding the right amount of time for it to get stiff without freezing solid's a little tricky. Then, I ran it through my grinder once with the only plate I have. (3/16" I think.)

Note: pork grinds easier. Even frozen as it should be. I first ground some chuck for supper, and then sausage after (to avoid having to clean the grinder). Chuck is just not as soft. I noticed that this night.

So, then we fried it up... (god, I love cast iron). It had a fair amount of grease left over in it, but still not as much as when I fry commercial sausage.

My wife liked it. She even grabbed a second bite. She said that it "was pretty good, but is missing something". I don't disagree. Not sure what though. Or maybe it just has too much going on. Even so, we'll definitely use it and I don't feel like it was a waste... it's not going to make the lasagna or pizza taste bad.

Thank you to everyone who has offered advice or encouragement. I enjoy this, and I can't wait to try to make other things. As it turns out, my unemployment may be short-lived... I fly out to Lubbock, Texas tomorrow for well... not sure if it's still a job interview, or just a finalization. A friend thinks it means they're already planning to make a job offer. So, after getting that call with my hands all greasy from this, I thought I'd better put the pictures up before I forgot.
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

My apologies.

I am pretty dumb, somehow got this in the wrong section. Sorry guys. Trying to figure out how to delete it now.
post #3 of 6
Looks good keep a log of each attempt with the process and recipe and eventually you'll have one tailored to your exact tastes
post #4 of 6
Pineys idea of the log is a necessity when you're experimenting with recipes, glad to hear you liked this one better then the last.
FWIW. I like to add my seasoning and especially any liquid after I grind the meat.

Good luck on the job interview!!
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Dan, I end up making meat loaf pretty often when it's my turn to cook. (It's one of the few meals I know how to do...) And just mixing spices in with ground meat never seems to go very well for me. It's never even. So when I asked in a previous thread, and people talked about grinding it in, I decided to give it a go.

Visually, it doesn't look perfectly mixed that way either. But having fried it up, I didn't detect any single nibble that tasted different from another, so I figure it worked as it was supposed to.

I need to get a really coarse plate, maybe grind with that before mixing the spices and regrinding. But generally, I think this looks like it's working. If not, I'll figure it out eventually.
post #6 of 6
I have not compared the amounts, but the basics of the recipe you used is similar to mine. To me, the best Italian has salt, pepper, garlic, toasted fennel seeds, anise and crushed red pepper(not too much....I like it milder). I don't include any of the other stuff. It's grind and mix. This is more of a sweet Italian vs. the hotter versions a lot of folks like.

But what you did looks good for the first time out. And a good lesson to learn is when you are just starting out, 3 pound batches are better than 30. If it turns out good, make more. If not.....you don't have 29 1/2 pounds of reject!
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