December 01, 2012

Pork Breakfast Sausage

We wanted to have breakfast in, today. However, it was already quite late, and while we had eggs, we had no bread-stuffs (not even tortillas!), no potatoes, no bacon or sausage, and no mushrooms or tomatoes to grill. We had eggs and cheese, but nothing else to round out into omelettes, for example. Last week's "clean the fridge" efforts had been a little too effective.

However, all was not lost! On my way home last night I impulse-purchased a package of fresh ground pork. Because that's the kind of impulse-buying I do - not candy, not chips, oh no. I buy raw meat. And sometimes broccoli, but that's a different story.

We live close to a lovely Italian bakery, so I sent Palle out for bread (to serve as a toast raft for scrambled eggs, as you can see from the picture). While he was gone, I put the coffee on and started mixing up some homemade sausage. It didn't take long at all, and I had a nice ball of sausage meat ready for shaping and cooking when he arrived with a fresh loaf of Tuscan bread.

These have a fairly pronounced fennel flavour - if you do not want fennel to be quite so prominent, reduce the fennel seeds to 1/4 teaspoon. If you are aiming for a spicy sausage, add a 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne (depending on the level of heat that you want), and a big pinch of chile flakes to your spice mixture.

If you are watching your sodium, you might want to cut the kosher salt back to 3/4 teaspoon, but these are already lower in sodium than many sausages on the market.

Pork Breakfast Sausage

Makes six patties, or 9 sausages (about 3 servings)

500 g medium ground pork
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Combine the salt, paprika, fennel, granulated onion, and peppercorns in a spice grinder (or molcajete) and grind until fairly smooth (if you like a bit of bite from your fennel and black pepper, stop grinding sooner, so that there are chunky bits). Combine spice mixture with the ground pork, mixing well with your fingers to get it all worked through. The paprika will slightly darken the overall colour of the meat.

You can use this right away (as I did this morning), but it would be even better to make it up the night before, and let the flavours combine in the fridge overnight.

Divide into six pieces, flatten into patties (or roll into sausage shapes) and fry in a medium-hot skillet until cooked through, turning as needed to get a nice golden-brown colour over the whole surface.

So there you have it! Rather simple, and easily made even before the coffee has brewed: delicious sausage without preservatives or bread fillers, just pork and flavour.

We were pretty excited by how well the sausage turned out, and are already plotting and scheming future sausage endeavours. I am planning to make some up for the freezer - after all, sausage is good to have on hand: pizza, pasta, sausage & potato dinners, and skillet dinners of all kinds, as well as the breakfast applications. I think I might make some up as meatballs, too - can you visualize a sausage meatball breakfast platter? I'm getting hungry again just thinking about it!

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