Archive for the ‘Making Sausage’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Breakfast Sausage Patties

Before living in the South (of USA)  I had never heard of sausage patties for breakfast.  Sausages came in casings and was either cooked on the braai (coals from burning wood), fried in a pan along with fresh tomatoes and onion or simmered with sauerkraut and beer.  I never did meet a sausage without his little see-through jacket until I landed here.

We have a great selection of breakfast sausages here in South, some are hot and spicy, others have a milder flavor and are filled with herbs and you even get the sweeter sausages that have maple syrup in them.  Because of the kids I tend to buy the milder flavored sausage, Emily and Alexia love having sausage for breakfast, James will eat it any way I make it and along with eating it for breakfast I use it in my stuffing for pork chops or dressing.

One of our local grocery stores had a special on pork butt roast and this was the perfect time to try making my own.  Our last attempt at sausage was a success in one way, but James did not like the flavor of them.  Instead of following a recipe this time, I found a few examples online and used them all to come up with something that we would like.  It was a great hit.  James loved it, I think his words were something like; “yum, this is so good, how did you get it to taste so smokey?”  Don’t tell him or the kids that it has several herbs in it or none of them will eat it!

Breakfast Sausage Patties:

2 pounds pork butt, diced into small pieces
1/2 cup Bacon fat choped (I trimmed the fat from a packet of bacon I had in the fridge)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh chopped sage
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped Thyme
1/2 teaspoon fresh Rosemary
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Nutmeg

Combine all the above ingredients well and feed it through your meat grinder.
(I used an old fashioned crank grinder and it worked great, as long as you put the blades in the right way around, lessons learned from our last attempt)

Refrigerate the ground sausage for an hour or longer then form the breakfast patties.  The recipe makes about 20 small patties.  You can either fry them up immediately or freeze them for later use.

I froze 12 of them, we had 4 for brunch and I have 2 more in the fridge waiting to be used to stuff pork chops or turned into dressing.

I am off to the grocery store to buy another pork butt to make more sausage for the freezer.  I was also thinking of  changing the recipe up a bit and making sausage links for a sausage and mushroom dish that I make.  This is another grocery item that I no longer need to buy,  I get to control what goes into the sausage, no preservatives, no fillers, just the good stuff.

PostHeaderIcon My first attempt at making sausage

About a week ago I came across a web page about making sausage, I was intrigued and had to find out more. A few more google searches lead me to more recipes and many posts from people who have tried it and found it to be easier than expected. I found a recipe for a Bratwurst and since that is mostly what I tend to buy, I set off to buy the ingredients and to look for a meat grinder and stuffer.

I needed something cheap and small. As I have mentioned before my house is not very big and although I LOVE kitchen gadgets, I have little space for them. A kitchen Aid with a sausage stuffer attachment sounded like a great idea, but at about $400 there was no way! A little more research brought me back to the old fashioned hand crank meat grinder. It brought back memories of my grandmother in South Africa who had one and used it for everything from making, cookies, crackers, ground meat, tomato sauce, about anything that you can think of and then some.

We have a great old fashioned hardware store about 20 minutes from our house, they sell anything from spring chicks to lady bugs, canning equipment and then the usual manly hardware items.  Renfrow’s paid off and 40 min later I was home with a meat grinder under my arm and an adorable little salad dressing canteen from the next door Habitat for Humanity restore.  As a side note, next week I plan to make dressings so that will come in very handy, especially at the lovely price of $2.00.

Search for ingredients:
Now I needed the ingredients.  Since I no longer remember the website that I got the recipe from, I cannot link it, but will post the recipe here.

Bratwurst Recipe
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
3 teaspoons celery seed
3 teaspoons caraway seed
1 1/2 milk powder
1 egg
3 teaspoons onion powder
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon lemon peel
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley
4 1/2 tablespoons water

Combine ingredients, let it stand for 1 hour and stuff into the casings.

I thought it would be hard to find the casings, but a local butcher sold it to me for about $2.50 for a 5 foot piece and I found out that any grocery store will most likely sell it as well.
I bought a 5 pound pork butt roast and since it has a good fat contents and all the things I have read suggested that the fat was very important for keeping the sausage moist.  One of our local grocery stores happen to have it on sale for $0.99/lb.  I got 2 pounds of 80/20 fat ratio ground beef and had to purchase caraway and celery seeds since I did not have that in the house.

The process of grinding the pork was a colossal endeavor.  My poor husband spent about an hour cranking that grinder trying to turn the chunks of meat into ground pork.  I commend him for his patients and am surprised that he is not suffering from muscle pains this morning.  As it turns out we had not turned the grinder’s front   tight enough so the meat was pushing back up the grinder instead of out the front.  We only realized this after the pork was completely ground and I cleaned it out to start grinding the beef (the beef had to be ground again to make it even more fine).

The stuffing part was much easier and in fact a great rewarding experience.  It was a pleasure to see the sausage actually look like something that we would eat.

Above are a few pics of the sausage that we made.  I made the sausage before planning to do this blog, so there are not many pictures and I did not keep much of the info and planning that led me here.  In the future I plan to make a cost analysis of the recipe as well as more resources for further reading.

The verdict:
I loved making sausage, James was excited about doing it as well so that made it more fun to have someone to share it with.  It was a great to see the final product, but the recipe was a let down.  The sausage tasted like sausage, but was a little dry.  Fortunately we ate it with a lovely tomato sauce and it masked the dryness somewhat.  The kids and I gobbled it up, but James was not impressed with the flavor of celery seed and caraway seed.  To me it tasted less like a Bratwurst and more like an Italian sausage and I know he does not like the flavors in Italian sausages.  I plan to make a simpler breakfast sausage or maybe an English Bangers next time to cater for James’ taste.  As soon as the kids and I have finished the remaining (now frozen) sausages I will be making more.


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