I have been craving breakfast sausage for over a month. But no matter how badly I wanted that unique combination of spices and greasy meat I just could not bring myself to buy a package of Jimmy Deans. I tried to kill the craving with some hand-crafted Fra'Mani breakfast sausage but while good, they just did not taste like breakfast sausage.
I was getting desperate when I remembered that I'd seen a recipe for breakfast sausage penciled into the end pages of the copy of Putting Food By that I inherited from my husband's grandmother, Marcia.
I thumbed through the cookbook's spattered pages until I reached the sausage recipe and was pleased to find that it was remarkably simple. After a quick Internet search to cross-reference Marcia's recipe with a few others, I felt confident enough to begin.
There were two big surprises in this sausage-making endeavor.
First, it is incredibly easy to make breakfast sausage (I'm talking patties here, not links...casing would add a whole new layer of complexity that seems totally unnecessary and also a little gross.) All you do is chop up some herbs, mix them together with a few spices and some ground pork, form the patties, and fry them up in a nice hot skillet.
Second, marjoram is partly responsible for the taste I associate with classic breakfast sausage - who knew?!
I served these for brunch alongside hash browns and a spinach and scallion scramble. Craving satisfied!
Homemade Breakfast Sausage
* 1 lb of ground pork (use the best pork you can get -- look for something antibiotic and hormone-free, ideally from a smaller, local farm)
* 1 tbsp of fresh sage, chopped
* 2 tsp of fresh marjoram, chopped
* 2 tsp of fresh thyme, chopped
* 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
* 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
* 1/4 tsp garlic powder
* 1 tsp of brown sugar or maple syrup
* 1/2 tsp of salt
* 1/2 tsp of black pepper
1. Mix all the ingredients together well (I ended up using my hands as the fork was just not getting me anywhere though you could also use a food processor to really combine everything.)
2. Form the patties and fry over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until nicely browned, then flip and repeat on the other side.
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