Sage Pork Breakfast Sausage

I've been on a kick to make my breakfasts more interesting lately because I usually eat nitrate-free bacon and eggs. I've been trying to vary my protein by adding sausage, but sometimes the ingredients in store-bought sausage can be questionable. One way to ensure the quality of the breakfast sausage you eat is to simply make your own! The possibilities of herbs and spices you can use are endless. The recipe that I prefer reminds me of the sage sausage I remember eating when I was little. I think the real trick to making homemade sausage is to not be afraid to be heavy-handed with the seasonings. Otherwise, the meat will taste like a seasoned burger instead of sausage.

To grind the meat, I used my Kitchen-Aid meat grinder attachment. You can also use a food processor. I suggest freezing the meat for 30 minutes beforehand to make it easier to work with.

Sausage to go with my nice big breakfast of roasted sweet potatoes and over easy eggs!

Sage Pork Breakfast Sausage
Printable Recipe

2 1/2 lbs semi-lean boneless pork, such as sirloin (use something inexpensive, not something expensive like loin, which is also too lean)
1 1/2 tsp dried rubbed sage
1 1/2 tsp dried minced onion
1 1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp whole fennel seeds
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)

1. Grind the meat with a meat grinder or food processor fitted with a blade. You can also start out with pre-ground meat.
2. Place the meat in a layer about and inch high on a cutting board and evenly sprinkle all the herbs and spices over top. I used a large knife to "chop" the spices into the meat until they are homogeneously combined.
3. At this point, you can immediately cook the sausage. I split mine into half-pound parcels wrapped in parchment. They can then be placed in a freezer container or kept in the refrigerator and used over the next few days. My sausage happened to be really lean, so I cooked up the patties in a little rendered nitrate-free bacon grease.

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