This Homemade Italian Style Beef Sausage post is sponsored by the New York Beef Council, but the opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!
Seasoned with traditional Italian sausage herbs and spices, this Homemade Italian Style Beef Sausage is a fun twist – and it makes for the best meat sauce ever!
We eat a lot of pasta around here. We also eat a lot of beef. This fun recipe for Homemade Italian Style Beef Sausage combines those two favorites into one! I’ve always wanted to learn how to make sausage, and I finally got a chance to try my hand at it. Surprisingly, making homemade sausage really isn’t that hard at all. You do need some special equipment, but aside from that it’s super easy. Let’s get started!
Last summer, a handful of bloggers joined the New York Beef Council at a house in the Catskill Mountains for a week. We ate a lot of delicious beef recipes. We had the chance to learn video techniques from expert videographers, and of course we had a lot of fun, too. As we all parted ways at the end of the week, we promised to do it again next year. Little did we know at the time, but there was a pandemic in store for us the next year. So instead of meeting for Blogger House 2.0, we decided to do some virtual events this year. And one of those was learning how to make homemade sausage via Zoom.
Homemade Italian Style Beef Sausage
In order to make homemade sausage, you’re going to need a meet grinder + sausage stuffer (aff. link). (I have the STX Megaforce Classic 3000 grinder + sausage stuffer, and it’s great.) These machines might sound complicated, but they are actually pretty easy to use. Bonus – because you start with grinding your own beef, you can buy bulk cuts at your local butcher. For this project, we actually made 3 different styles of beef sausage. Today’s post focuses on the Homemade Italian Style Beef Sausage, but we’ll briefly mention the other styles later. Since we were making 3 different types, we started with a full 10+ pounds of beef.
I went to my local butcher and purchased a 10-lb chuck eye roll. The Chuck Eye Roll comes from the chuck subprimal, and it’s where cuts like the Chuck Eye Roast and Chuck Eye Steaks come from. To be fair, the full Chuck Eye Roll was closer to 25-lb, but I just asked my butcher for half of it. Back home, that large piece of meat gets cut into smaller strips. This is the easiest part of the whole process! Aside from using normal care with your knife, you don’t need to worry about how you cut that piece of meat. You just want it small enough to go through the grinder.
Once that meat is cut, you process it through the grinder using a medium grinder plate. You’ll end up with a huge bowl of freshly ground beef. At this point, you’re going to face a tough decision. Resist all temptation to stop and make a boatload of burgers. While those burgers with freshly ground beef would be delicious, this batch is destined for sausage – although if you pull off a pound or two for burgers, I don’t think anyone will be upset!
The next step is adding the seasonings. Traditional pork-based Italian sausage is heavily seasoned with fennel, paprika and other spices. We just take that spice combination and mix it into our ground beef. Sausage making isn’t difficult, but it is a bit of a process. I like to go ahead and make a bunch at once, and then store it in the freezer for easy meals later on. At this point, I divide the ground beef into 2-lb bowls and add seasonings to each bowl.
Once those seasonings are gently mixed in, you process the ground beef back through the medium grinder plate again. This helps further mix in the seasonings, and it also gives you a bit finer grind to the beef. Sausage typically uses the medium blade, while the finest blade is used for things like hot dogs or beef jerky. At this point, you’ll have ~2 pounds of Homemade Italian Style Beef Sausage. You can stop there and use it as ground sausage, or you can take the next step and form it into links.
Ground Sausage vs. Links
If you do opt to make links out of that sausage, then you’ll need to get hog casings (or synthetic casings) from your butcher. The same butcher where I purchased the Chuck Eye Roll had hog casings that were already double-washed. Nice and easy. Back home, you’ll take off the grinder blade and add the sausage stuffer attachment. The STX Megaforce grinder (aff. link) came with great instructions for how to stuff the sausage. As you stuff the sausage, you’ll end up with one giant link. To separate it into smaller links, you just give it a couple of twists and then cut it with a sharp knife – it will stay twisted and you’ll end up with sausage in link form.
With all of this said, you can totally just buy ground beef at the store and mix in the appropriate Italian seasonings. You’ll be all set to make the most delicious meat sauce ever. Heck, you can even use your favorite store-bought pasta sauce. It will be an amazing sauce either way! We love meat sauce, and we typically make big batches of it here. Then we divide it back into jars and freeze it for easy weeknight meals. (If you go this route, just make sure to leave ~1″ of space at the top of the jars as the sauce will expand once it freezes.)
Have I convinced you to try this Homemade Italian Style Beef Sausage yet? I hope so! Whether in ground-form or link-form, it’s a tasty creation that makes for one heck of a delicious meat sauce. In fact, we made this meat sauce recently, and I used both ground beef sausage as well as links. It was the exact kind of comfort food we needed to welcome in these early Autumn days! If you’re looking to learn a new skill in the kitchen, try your hand at homemade sausage. (Even if you don’t go all in for the sausage stuffer, you can make ground sausage fairly easily.)
If you’re looking for additional flavor profiles for your beef sausage, check out these other versions. (As noted above, you can make several different styles at one time and then freeze for later.)
- Mexican Style Sausage (i.e. chorizo)
- Breakfast Sausage
- Cajun Sausage
- Polish Style Sausage
- Asian Style Sausage
- German Style Sausage
Did this post inspire you to make Homemade Italian Style Beef Sausage? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). I’d love to see your version!
Homemade Italian Style Beef Sausage
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 tsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½-1 tsp crushed red pepper
- Using a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef and all of the seasonings. Gently mix until well combined. (see note)
- Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until beef is fully cooked. (Note: The USDA recommends ground beef to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F.)
Looking for other tasty beef recipes? Check out these other favorites: