Breakfast Sausage

Category: 
Main Courses

Courtesy of Zack Northcutt

Makes about 6 pounds. 

Sausage recipes and techniques are ubiquitous on the web and in cookbooks. And though making sausage might sound complicated at first, all that’s really needed are quality ingredients, a grinder and a good handle on the grinding process.

Easy

Breakfast Sausage

Ingredients

For 1 Batch(es)

Recipe

  • 5 pounds venison scraps
  • 1 1/4 pounds pork fatback
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons tinted curing salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoons toasted, ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoons toasted, ground black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons toasted, ground fresh rosemary leaves

Breakfast Sausage Directions

  1. Cut the meats and fat into about 1-inch cubes so that they’ll go through the meat grinder easily, then mix the cubes with the ground spices and salt. 
  2. If adding vegetables, such as garlic and peppers or fresh herbs, rough-chop them first, then mix with the cubed meat and spices before running it all through the meat grinder. Remember not to overwork or heat the final mixture to avoid a smear. 
  3. Form the ground sausage into any shape you’d like before cooking, or if you’re adventurous and want to stuff the sausage, purchase a bundle of casings, also known as a hank of casings (check with your local butcher or order online). 
  4. Follow the package directions, which will include soaking the casings in water overnight to help with elasticity and to avoid breakage. Just remember to go slowly when stuffing, and to fill the casings full but not too tight—you don’t want them to burst when you’re twisting them into links. 
  5. To cook the sausage, whether it’s stuffed or in patties, I suggest “slow and low.” Cast-irons are my favorite pans to use, but a regular aluminum or nonstick will work just as well. Start the pan on medium to low heat and add just enough oil to coat the pan—this will help protect the casings from burning. If you are grilling, again, low temperatures are best, because sausage will leak fat and cause flare-ups if the heat is too high. I like to start on a medium-heat fire and cook the sausages for a few minutes on either side, then place them on a raised warming platform and cook the vegetables underneath. 

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