Pork and fennel sausages

Pork and fennel sausages

Best Kitchen Basics
Petrina Tinslay

I started making my own sausages some 20 years ago as the local butchers then, with a few exceptions, were a little slow to get on board with the changing culinary environment. In my childhood I grew to love artisanal, German-style ‘smallgoods’, and as a young chef it was a natural thing to make my own sausages when the quality wasn’t available. There is a lot of beautiful artisanal products available now, but we still make our own otherwise it’s just shopping, and where’s the fun in that?


Quantity Ingredient
3.5kg pork shoulder
1.1kg pork back fat
2 garlic bulbs
50g fennel seeds
50g black peppercorns
50g table salt
3.5g saltpetre
15g fresh rosemary
335ml white wine
3m natural thick pork sausage casing


  1. Remove the skin and trim any excess fat and sinew from the pork shoulder. Cut the meat into strips and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Cut the pork back fat into 1 cm cubes and also chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Put the garlic bulbs on a baking tray and roast them for 20 minutes or until soft. Peel and set aside.
  5. Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat. Add the fennel seeds and cook until fragrant. Keep half of the seeds whole and set them aside. Transfer the other half of the seeds to a spice grinder and finely blend them with the black peppercorns, table salt, saltpetre and rosemary. Add the roasted garlic to the spice mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Coarsely mince the pork shoulder and back fat together – ensure the pork remains cold.
  7. Combine the spice mixture, whole fennel seeds, white wine and pork by hand, keeping the mixture as cold as possible. (It may be necessary to refrigerate the mixture during the process to maintain the temperature.) Let the mixture marinate for a day in the refrigerator.
  8. Tie one end of the sausage casing and feed the casing onto the sausage funnel of your mincer. Fill the casing, tying in 15 cm lengths, and hang in the refrigerator for 2 days to firm and dry.


  • Saltpetre: This cure blend consists of salt, sodium nitrite and in some cases a pink or red colour to differentiate it from standard salt. The nitrite keeps the meat safe for a short period of time, and retains the natural red meat colour. This is used in products that are made and then cooked and eaten quickly like fresh sausages. It is readily available online.
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