The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

April 20th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Posted in breakfast, Recipes

All you need is a grinder

For the latest Charcutepalooza project–grinding meat–daughter helped me make a batch of pork breakfast sausages flavored with with lots of fresh ginger and sage. The original recipe in Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie called for stuffing the meat into sheep casings, but I didn’t have any on hand so I just made loose sausage that we formed into patties with our hands and mostly froze for later.

Need I say, this was all great fun for an 11-year-old girl, pushing the meat through the electric grinder, then squishing it up with her hands and making the patties. Actually, she passed on making the patties–she couldn’t get them quite round enough to her liking–so she took over wrapping them.

As you can see, I wasted no time taking our fresh sausages for a test run. Here a rather large patty fried in the skillet sits atop fresh greens picked from the garden, accompanied by an omelet constructed of eggs from the farmers market, sauteed leeks from the garden (they are now more than a year old, but you’d never know it) and grated Swiss cheese from our local dairy and garnished with freshly chopped chives, which are about to bloom in the herb garden outside our front door.

The original recipe for the sausage called for five pounds of meat, but I used two and a half. Halving this recipe turns out to be no problem at all. I should think it would be even easier if you had a digital scale on which to measure the other ingredients. Mine is an old analog–not quite as accurate or as easy to read. Still, the sausage came out just fine, with strong hints of the aforementioned ginger and sage.

The most helpful advice for making sausage is to make sure all of your ingredients–especially the meat–are cold to near freezing, as well as your grinding tools. Whenever the meat isn’t being ground or mixed, make sure it’s in the fridge. Likewise, the guts of your grinder can sit in the fridge or the freezer until the moment you need them. Once fat warms, it tends to gum up the works. Everything will grind much more easily cold.

Dice 5 pounds (2.25 kilograms) boneless pork shoulder (butt) and place in a bowl. Add 1 1/2 ounces (40 grams) kosher salt (about 3 tablespoons); 3 tablespoons (50 grams) peeled and finely grates fresh ginger; 5 tablespoons (30 grams) tightly packed finely chooped fresh sage; 1 tablespoon (18 grams) minced garlic; 2 teaspoons (6 grams) ground black or white pepper.

Stir everything together and run through the grinder. I ground the mix twice, first with a very large plate, then with my smallest plate, 4.5 millimeters. To the ground mix add 1 cup ice water and mix together thoroughly with your hands. You can then either stuff the meat into sheep casings or form patties as we did.

This will probably keep you in breakfast sausage for several months–or maybe not, if you like sausage for breakfast as much as we do.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Your comment may have to wait for approval to be published to ensure that we don't accidentally publish "spam". We thank you for understanding.


  • Barbara | VinoLuciStyle

    Silly I know…but momentarily missing having an 11 year old daughter around. Mine are grown and off doing their own very important things and think I’m crazy for making my own bacon; maybe the grinding could convince them to do sausage with me…yeah, that’s it. I’ll call her now.