If you've never made sausage before, don't be afraid. Even if you have a minimal amount of equipment in your kitchen, it's possible to make great breakfast sausage that will take a plain old egg sandwich to something really spectacular. Once you've given this recipe a try, adjust it to your own liking. A few toasted fennel seeds, or some finely chopped fresh sage—or maybe just a dash of maple syrup for some added sweetness.
My favorite way to serve this sausage is by forming into a patty and sandwiching it in a toasted English muffin. But you could also cook it then toss it into a hearty strata, or throw some into a pancake batter—the options are endless when you've got a few pounds of homemade sausage at your disposal!
Note: You must use a scale for this sausage. There is no way to accurately estimate the amount of salt needed otherwise. This recipe can be made with pre-ground pork as well. Mix ingredients as directed in step one, allow to rest at least 8 hours, then skip the grinding step and proceed as directed in Step 4.
- Yield:Makes 2 pounds of sausage
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:12 hours
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 2 pounds pork shoulder with at least 20% fat, cut into rough 1-inch chunks (or 2 pounds ground pork, see note)
- .6 ounces kosher salt (see note)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Heat mustard seeds over high heat in a dry skillet until they begin to smell toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and process until fine.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
If using pre-ground pork, skip to step 4. If using chunked pork, place feed shaft, screw, blade, and 1/4-inch plate of a meat grinder in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Grind sausage meat according to manufacturer's directions into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. If finer texture is desired, chill meat in freezer for 15 minutes before grinding again.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sausage meat on medium high speed until it becomes tacky and sticky, about one minute. Alternatively, knead by hand for three to four minutes. Transfer to a zipper-lock bag and seal. Sausage will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Form into patties for breakfast sandwiches, or use your imagination to incorporate it into lots of delicious brunch dishes.