Updated: Jan 25
This is the last project with my boys before school starts, and before our newborn baby-girl arrives. (You will see this recipe much later). Since my Thomas loves sausages more than anything else I left the best for the last. He did a great job in my kitchen assisted by his little brother during the summer months making eclairs, pretzels, muffins, cookies, summer squash, and a lot of ice cream. Thomas even invented his own recipe for chocolate chip ice cream. I promise to share his recipe very soon. It is exceptionally easy to make and the result is fantastic.
These beauties are the easiest thing you can do with ground meat (pork in our case). When it comes to meatballs it seems like way more folks are making them from scratch, but not breakfast sausages, it's almost unheard of. But, let's all agree on one thing, nothing beats homemade! These sausage patties are super easy to make and they’re also freezer-friendly!
A year ago I posted a great recipe for Sourdough English Muffins . My sourdough English muffins and breakfast sausage patties are just made for each other. In fact this is what my husband loves for his breakfast along with an egg.
Why are homemade sausages vs store brands the way to go?
You probably are already comfortable with store brand sausage, like Jimmy Dean, that you have purchased for many years. Why should you go through the extra trouble, right? "Eating sausages for breakfast is not a good thing anyway": We all have heard this dogma with the further implication that turkey bacon, granola (sugar natural or not), smoothie (natural sugar), breakfast buns, etc. are healthier alternatives. But wait, many of us who are healthy eaters are not always in the mood for a sweet breakfast. And a GOOD quality animal protein is a great start to your day. That's why the source of your meat matters. Personally, I often purchase sausages and other meats at the farmers market or online if I'm short on time.
Now let's chat a little bit about the ingredients of "traditional" breakfast sausage, which every store carries. First of all is the meat, which is pork that comes from commercially raised hogs. Second is the unneeded ingredient, corn syrup that we all know how bad it is for our bodies. The last but not the least are "the spices", and just what kind are they? When the list of ingredients simply states the word "spices" this means that there are a wide range of ingredients that can make up those so called 'spices". Inclusive of spices are additives like Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and Natural Flavor, which are bad things to consume.
What is Monosodium Glutamate and how does it effect our body?
Monosodium Glutamate is one of the most controversial ingredients on the planet. So many experts have many different opinions.
This mystical additive gives flavor to processed food and causes your body to crave more of those foods. Most canned and frozen foods contain this product.
MSG seasoning is derived from glutamic acid, a type of protein that is abundant in many types of food, including fruits and vegetables. So why is MSG bad? Because it contains a highly concentrated form of glutamic acid, it’s processed very differently in the body and can increase levels of glutamate in the blood very quickly. This process can cause a long list of potential side effects, with studies linking excess MSG consumption to everything from asthma attacks to metabolic syndrome and even cancer.
Cooking with kids is important
As I mentioned earlier, I made this recipe with my boys. My kiddos are always helping me with dinner prep or other food related projects. I'm one of those moms who doesn't want to do everything for my kiddos until the of age 18. I think children should learn many life skills as early as possible. And of course learning how to cook is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can teach your little one as well as using real tools, like knives.
As someone who grew up on another part of our planet, some things in the US have been very strange to me. For example, why do children have a kid's menu in restaurants? (Ever wonder why ethnic restaurants don't have kid's menus?). Why does everything have to be soft and easy to digest? Why is it that food has to be fun vs nutritious? Why should a child not have any idea where the ingredients such as meat come from? Why do schools spend so much money on other parts of education, but neglect basic skills needed for adequate survival? As a result our children mature to adulthood and become just simple consumers who are just victims of capitalism. Catchy words on a package of food can work as magic to lure our little ones into making unhealthy choices, therefore I deem it important to provide food instruction to my children.
Benefits of Letting Kids Use Knives
Working in a kitchen requires using a variety of tools and knives that are crucial in culinary preparation. As parents, it is easy to see knives as dangerous objects just waiting to remove our children's fingers or lead them to some impalement. Yes, they can lead to harm if used incorrectly, but then so can a stove, oven, spiral slicer, vegetable peeler, or even a mop handle being used by untrained hands.
In fact, in many parts of the world, children are allowed to interact with “dangerous” tools such as knives, hammers, mortars and pestles, etc., from as young as age 2 (and even younger in some places!).
Strictly in the context of what is harmful, "Why is a knife a bad thing, and an iPad is a good thing"?
Probably most of you will agree with me, giving a dangerous tool to a child would put me, as a parent, in judgment very quickly. However, I also see that having kids graze on chips while watching TV as being dangerous and therefore I question how can it be considered a good choice?
Ellen Hansen Sandseter, a Norwegian researcher at Queen Maud University in Norway, has found in her research that the relaxed approach to risk-taking and safety actually keeps our children safer by honing their judgment about what they’re capable of. Children are drawn to the things we parents fear: high places, water, wandering far away, dangerous sharp tools. Our instinct is to keep them safe by childproofing their lives. But “the most important safety protection you can give a child,” Sandseter explained when we talked, “is to let them take… risks.”
Notes on fat
So this super easy recipe is perfect to let your little ones be involved. Just a few ingredients, and 10-20 minutes of fun will cover you for a few breakfasts. If you don't feel like grinding your own meat, use ground pork instead.
Fair warning: This recipe is not going to work for low-fat lovers! This is because I am allowing for 30-50% of fat content in these patties, just like any good sausage should contain. You should be mindful of the fat content and maybe add extra pork belly, uncured bacon, etc., in your sausage patty creation. Honestly, almost any fat will work, even chicken fat scraps. In the video we used Salo (the pork back fat, the most familiar fat that I grew up consuming). Every European grocery across America should carry this product. Also store your meat and fat in your freezer for a little bit because, it's much easier to grind if it's cold, but not frozen.
I also recommend cooking one patty for taste purposes, because the seasoning will depend on the fat that you have chosen. This allows you the opportunity to make adjustments to insure the tastiest creation possible.
Let's do it...
Prep time: 5 minutes
Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Yield: 12 patties
2 Lb. pork butt cold (it's about 2 1/2 Lb. with a bone)
1/2 Lb. fatback cold (any other fat, like pork belly, uncured bacon will work)
2 teaspoons of Celtic salt
1-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dry sage
2 teaspoons dry thyme
1-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dice the pork and pork fat into 1/4-inch pieces.
2. Add your seasoning and mix everything well. Place the meat mixture in the fridge for an hour and even up to 8 hours. This step helps to incorporate all the flavors together into a perfect marriage, but this step is totally optional. In fact, since I made this video with my kiddos, we have skipped it.
3. Grind the meat mixture.
4. Form into 1-inch round patties.
5. Sauté over medium-low heat in a cast-iron pan, until brown and cooked through, for about 10 minutes.