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Breakfast Sausage

Back in the day, hungry American farmers needed something to do with the lesser cuts of meat, and used it to make an English-style sausage simply called farmer's sausage. Farming is hard work, they had a lot of this lesser sausage, and since they were only half-awake anyway, they ate this stuff. So it was eventually called Breakfast Sausage. Or something. We don't know, we're not fucking historians. Whatever.

Regardless, there's no better way to start someone's day than by serving up your sausage, and this one is delicious.

Overall Time

2 hours 30 minutes

Preparation Time

2 hours 30 minutes

Equipment Checklist

  • Circular cookie cutter, 3- to 4-inches in diameter, if making patties
  • Meat grinder
  • Sausage stuffer, if stuffing

Ingredients

  • 8 pounds pork shoulder
  • 2 pounds pork belly
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp. white peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • ¾ cup water

For Stuffing

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 30 ft. sheep casing

It's up to you whether or not you decide to stuff the sausage, or just form them into patties.

If you're buying the meat pre-ground from the butcher, ask them to coarsely grind the meat.

Directions

Let's Roll

Place 3 large mixing bowls and the meat grinder attachment in the freezer around 15 minutes before use. Keeping the equipment cold will help the grinding move quickly.

Measure out the remaining ingredients of your shopping list, so that they are ready to work with in the subsequent steps.

Prepare the Casing

At least 30 minutes before using the casing:

Rinse the casing well. Add 4 cups water and 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar to a bowl. Place the casing in the water / vinegar mixture.

Prepare the Meats

Chop the pork shoulder and pork belly into 1-inch chunks, and place them in the chilled mixing bowls.

Place each bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes to keep the meat as cold as possible through the preparation steps.

Mince, Pulverize and Whisk

Destem and finely chop the sage, rosemary, and thyme. Peel and mince the garlic.

Using a spice grinder, pulverize the black peppercorns and yellow mustard seeds.

Whisk the dry spice ingredients together with the water in a medium mixing bowl.

Grrrrriiiiind

Prepare the meat grinder with the large die.

Mix the minced garlic in with the diced meats.

Grind the meat and garlic mixture through the grinder and allow to fall into a chilled mixing bowl.

Deliciousify the Meat

Pour the spice mixture and the maple syrup into the bowl of ground meat.

Put on some food preparation gloves and mix the spice mixture into the ground meat until the meat is uniformly coated with the spice mixture.

Place the meat mixture back in the freezer while while taste testing.

Taste Test

Grab a handful of the meat mixture, form it into a small patty, and fry it up in a pan. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Meanwhile, replace the remaining meat mixture in the freezer to keep it cold.

Either Stuff That Casing

Prepare the sausage stuffer. Press the meat through the stuffer until the ground meat just barely pokes through the end of the spout.

Push the open end of the sheep casing over the end of the stuffer, and continue to push the casing onto the stuffer until you reach the end of the casing. Tie a knot at the end of the casing.

Stuff the meat mixture into the casing and wrap the sausage into a long coil. Once finished, tie off the other end of the sausage. Twist the sausage into links every 4 inches.

Or Carve Up Some Patties

Place the sausage mixture on a baking sheet. Use a rolling pin to flatten the sausage to ¼-inch thickness. Use a 3- to 4-inch circular cookie cutter to cut out small patties.

Cut a number of 4-inch square pieces of wax paper or greaseproof parchment paper. Place one atop and one beneath each patty, so that they won't stick to the other patties when you take them out of the fridge or freezer.

Bork, Bork, Bork

Wrap the sausage patties and links in butcher paper, or place in sealable freezer storage bags for easier access. Using a Sharpie, label each package Breakfast Sausage: made {{current_date}}.

Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before consuming, to allow the flavors to mingle. Place in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or the freezer for up to 1 month.

Cook the Breakfast Sausage to a temperature of 150°F / 65°C before consuming it. Serve it with some eggs cooked sunny-side-up, atop a toasted English muffin with a fried egg, or in between johnnycakes and a poached egg.