Homemade breakfast sausage. Have you ever imagined such a thing? More importantly, have you ever tasted such a thing?! We assure you, there’s no going back to store-bought given how ridiculously simple and outrageously indulgent it is. Here’s how to make sausage patties as well as how to cook ’em.
Yes, you can make magnificent breakfast sausage at home, and it’s surprisingly easy. Here’s how. And if you’ve already glanced at the ingredient list, you know this makes a BIG batch of homemade breakfast sausage. We’re quite okay with that as we’re partial to having a stash of sausage at the ready in the freezer. But we understand if the thought of making 5 pounds of homemade breakfast sausage seems a little (or, let’s face it, a lot) overwhelming. Don’t worry. The recipe can easily be scaled down to suit smaller households. You can halve the recipe or, if you want to make even less, you can scale it down even more and make just a single pound of sausage. Because yes, it’s so easy to make your own homemade breakfast sausage that you could just mix some up on a Saturday morning and sizzle it up in a skillet. And because we know you don’t have the time to crunch numbers, we did the math for you.*** Just check out the smaller batch variation following the recipe.–Angie Zoobkoff
Special Equipment: Meat grinder (optional; if you don't have a meat grinder, see the variation following the recipe)
Homemade Breakfast Sausage
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 45 M
- Makes about 48 patties
- 5 pounds (2.3 kg) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1⁄2-inch (4-cm) cubes, including all the fat
- 8 ounces (227 grams) pork fat** (or substitute fatty bacon), cut into 1 1⁄2-inch (4-cm) cubes
- 7 tablespoons rubbed sage (do not substitute ground sage)
- 6 tablespoons (80 grams) dark brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60 grams) kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons (21 grams) black pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons (5 to 10 grams) red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (9 grams) fennel seeds, toasted until fragrant and crushed
- 1 to 2 teaspoons (4 grams) cayenne pepper
- 1. Toss all the ingredients in a stainless steel bowl until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- 2. If using a meat grinder: Put your meat grinder parts or attachment in the freezer to chill at the same time you put the ingredients in the refrigerator. Set up your meat grinder with the smallest die according to the manufacturer’s directions. Working in batches, feed the meat mixture into the grinding tube and grind the sausage mixture into a separate bowl. If not using a meat grinder: See the note following the recipe about having your butcher grind the pork for you. Mix the pork with the remaining ingredients by hand. (Do NOT toss everything in a food processor or you’ll end up emulsifying the fat and meat proteins, which is a scientific way of saying you’ll end up with a very strangely textured sausage.)
- 3. Measure about 2 ounces (57 grams or about 1/4 cup) sausage and gently press it between your palms into a 2-inch (5 cm) patty that’s about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Repeat until all the sausage has been used. [Editor’s Note: We prefer sausage patties for their ease of making and cooking. If you prefer sausage links and have the know-how, by all means, go ahead and put the sausage mixture in casings.] Place the sausage patties in a resealable plastic bag, separated by squares of wax or parchment paper, and stash in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. (If freezing the sausage, be sure to safely thaw the meat prior to cooking.)
- 4. To cook the sausage patties, warm a cast-iron skillet or a sauté pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add a few patties, being careful not to crowd the pan, and cook, turning every couple of minutes, until browned on both sides and cooked through in the center, about 10 minutes. The pork should register at least 145°F on an instant-read thermometer. Serve immediately.
A Few Helpful Hints
- *How To Make Homemade Breakfast Sausage Without A Meat Grinder This recipe calls for a meat grinder, but if you don’t have one, no problem. Simply ask your friendly local butcher to grind some fatty pork for you. When you get home, all you have to do is mix it with the remaining ingredients by hand. (Do NOT toss everything in a food processor or you’ll end up emulsifying the fat and meat proteins, which is a scientific way of saying you’ll end up with a very strangely textured sausage.)
- **What Kind Of Pork Fat To Use In Your Homemade Breakfast Sausage If you’re uncertain what sort of pork fat to use, you can substitute an equal amount of fatty bacon in its place and it will work wonderfully. You can instead opt for salted pork fat (such as salted fatback), although you’ll want to cut the salt in the recipe in half. And if you have a particularly fatty cut of pork or are otherwise reticent to add chunks of pork fat to your sausage, you can omit it. But why would you want to do such a thing?! The final product won’t be as rich or as flavorful. Besides, haven’t you heard the latest research that fat is good for you?
- ***How To Make A Smaller Batch of Homemade Breakfast Sausage The numbers below are the amounts of ingredients you’ll need should you wish to make a smaller batch of homemade breakfast sausage: 1 pound pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) cubes, including all the fat 1 1/2 tablespoons rubbed sage 1 rounded tablespoon dark brown sugar 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt Generous 1/2 tablespoon black pepper Just shy of 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper