Homemade Italian-Style Sausage and Peppers


12 ounces salt pork, rind removed, cut into ½-inch pieces
3 pounds boneless pork butt roast, pulled apart at seams, trimmed, and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 green or red bell peppers, cored and quartered lengthwise
2 onions, quartered through root end
¾ teaspoon baking soda
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1½ teaspoons fennel seeds, cracked
Salt and pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup tomato paste
½ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1. Rinse salt pork and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange salt pork and pork butt separately in single layer in rimmed baking sheet. Freeze until very firm and starting to harden around edges but still pliable, about 45 minutes.

2. Working in batches, use food processor fitted with slicing disk to process bell peppers and onions until thinly sliced; set aside.


3.  Fit now-empty processor with chopping blade. Sprinkle baking soda evenly over pork butt. Working in 6 batches, pulse pork butt in processor until ground into ⅛-inch pieces, about 10 pulses, stopping to redistribute meat as needed; transfer to large bowl.

4. Pulse salt pork, garlic, 1½ teaspoons oregano, fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon pepper, and pepper flakes in again-empty processor to smooth paste, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Transfer salt pork mixture to bowl with pork butt and knead with your hands until well combined.

5. Divide sausage mixture into 12 lightly packed balls, then gently shape into 5 by 1-inch cylinders. Refrigerate sausages until ready to cook. (Sausages can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

6. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Brown half of sausages on all sides, about 10 minutes; transfer to plate. Repeat with remaining sausages.

7. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet, add tomato paste and remaining ½ teaspoon oregano, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in bell peppers, onions, and broth.

8. Nestle sausages into vegetable mixture along with any accumulated juices and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until sausages and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

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