Italian Sausage "Grinders" with Peppers and Onions


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Wolfgang PuckTurkey is a great choice for making your own sausages, because its so lean and takes so well to Italian seasonings like garlic, cayenne pepper and whole fennel seeds (toast these beforehand, to develop their flavor, by stirring them in a small dry skillet over low heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes). Nevertheless, I like to combine it with some pork to keep the sausages extra-juicy, and to add some of that meat's richness. But you could certainly use all turkey if you prefer.

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  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) boneless, skinless turkey meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes
  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. salt
  • 1 Tbs. whole fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbs. chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 C. (500 ml) chicken stock or good-quality canned chicken broth
  • 1/4 C. (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. chopped garlic
  • 3 bell peppers, halved, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) strips
  • 2 medium white onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) wedges
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 leek, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and thoroughly washed
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 pinch dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts (2 l) water
  • 2 C. (500 ml) dry white wine
  • 6 submarine sandwich-style rolls
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Dijon mustard

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First, prepare the sausages: In a mixing bowl, combine the turkey, pork and seasonings. Toss well to distribute the seasonings evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. Push the chilled mixture through a meat grinder using the large-hole plate. (Alternatively, in batches, pulse in a food processor with the stainless-steel blade until coarsely but evenly chopped.) Transfer to an electric mixer and, using the paddle attachment at lowest speed, mix for 1 minute; increase the speed to medium, slowly pour in the stock, and mix 2 minutes more; then switch to high and mix 30 seconds. (Alternatively, in batches, pulse in the stock in the processor.) To form a sausage, place a 12-by-16-inch (30-by-40-cm) piece of plastic wrap on a work surface. About 6 inches (15 cm) from one narrow end, place 1 C. (250 ml) of the mixture. Fold the 6 inches (15 cm) of wrap over it, and pat into an 8-by-1 1/2-inch (20-by-4-cm) cylinder. Roll up tightly and knot the ends to seal in the meat. Securely wrap again in aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining mixture to form 6 sausages. Refrigerate. For the peppers and onion, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, onions, sugar, paprika and bay leaves. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Stir in the basil. When the pepper-onion mixture starts cooking, prepare the Court Bouillon: Cut the vegetables into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices and put them in a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the wrapped sausages. Cook until firm, 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon or wire skimmer, remove the sausages. Leave at room temperature until cool enough to handle. Carefully remove the foil and plastic wrappers. Preheat a grill, broiler, heavy skillet, or griddle. Slice open each roll like a book. Brush the cut sides with olive oil and toast on the heated cooking surface. If you like, spread with mustard. Brown the sausages, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. On a cutting board and, cut each diagonally into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Divide half of the pepper-onion mixture among the bottom halves of the rolls. Add the sausage pieces and top with the remaining peppers and onions. Serve immediately. Makes 6 sandwiches.

(Chef Wolfgang Puck's new TV series, "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class," airs Sundays and Wednesdays on the Food Network. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY. 14207.)



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