We like the breakfast sausage we get from our processor, and we’ve had several compliments on it. Like so many things in life, though —especially in the world of food— the greatest flavor and satisfaction come from what you can do in your own kitchen. Our favorite breakfast sausage recipe comes from Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn (it’s also my go-to reference for curing and smoking meats).
Breakfast Sausage With Fresh Ginger And Sage:
5 Lbs Boneless pork shoulder
3 Tbs Kosher Salt (recipe written for Diamond Crystals Salt. Salt brands vary in salinity, so the brand makes a difference)
5 Tbs finely grated fresh ginger
5 Tbs tightly packed, finely chopped fresh sage (If you have dry sage, use a ratio of 1 part dry to 3 parts fresh. I used 1.5 Tbs of our own dried sage)
1 Tbs minced garlic
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup ice water
A note about being a cool sausage maker:
Keeping everything cold is one of the keys to making good sausage with that perfect texture of fat and meat. If the meat and fat get warm in the process, you get a mushy mess from softening fat. We notice the difference in texture when we cook sausage that got too warm while grinding.
You need cold ingredients but also a cold grinder to do this well. We like to make sausage in winter for this reason. Our grinder is an attachment on the front of our stand mixer. (Don’t gasp, I own a hand cranked one too). Not only do we chill the meat, we set the mixer’s bowl and grinding attachment in the snow to keep them cold since grinding will build up some heat from the friction. For really large batches, I’ve pushed snow through the grinder every so often to keep it cold.
1. Combine all the ingredients except the water and toss to distribute the seasonings. Chill.
2. Grind the mixture through a small die into a bowl set in ice (their directions -an alternative to our technique of chilling the stainless mixing bowl in the snow)
3. Add water to the meat mixture and mix with the paddle attachment or a sturdy spoon until the liquid is incorporated and the mixture has developed a uniform, sticky appearance.
4. Saute a small piece of sausage to taste test.
(Their next instruction goes into stuffing casings. We don’t bother. We measure out 1 lb increments and wrap them in butcher paper to store in the freezer.)
When cooking, gently saute the sausage to an internal temperature of 150 degrees F. I make patties and cook them just to the point of browning while still yielding to the touch. It’s a hit with our kids and brunch guests.
Former Marine Infantry Officer. Iraq Vet. Interested in Regenerative Agriculture at any scale.
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