Have you ever made your own sausage?
I consider sausage to be one of those real comfort foods—perfect for fall. But I also prefer to get my purchase my meat from quality sources (grass-fed, preferably local). This creates a problem in our area if we have a hankerin’ for some sausage, since once cannot and will not find pastured pork, turkey, chicken, or any other variety of sausage within a one-hour radius of my house. Sure, I could go to Sprouts in Lubbock and spend $8 on a package of six bison sausages, but why would I when I can make my own sausage in very little time at all, using quality ingredients of my own compilation and leaving out the stuff I just don’t need (nitrates/nitrites, excess salt, excess fat, etc.), and save so much money while I’m at it? Plus, when you have fresh flavors such as apple, sage, and fennel, who needs the store-bought stuff??
Am I alone in that I tend to feel sick if I eat sausages in the morning? I used to love eating breakfast sausage until I realized that I felt sick every morning after I ate it. I realize now it was the excess grease. But since my pork was rather lean, I didn’t get that sickly feeling with this sausage! Another win!
Apple-Sage Breakfast Sausage
Adapted from FineCooking.com
1 apple, diced finely (I used a jazz apple)
1/2 small onion (or one very tiny onion), diced fine
1 lb ground pork
1 small bunch (about 1/4 cup) fresh sage, minced fine
3/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed (I used an old coffee grinder)
1/2 tsp whole allspice, crushed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients together in a medium bowl until well distributed. Cover the bowl well with plastic wrap and park the bowl in the fridge for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.
In the morning (or afternoon or evening…), set a cast iron skillet to medium-high. Once heated, take about a 2-ounce portion of the pork mixture and form it into a patty. Cook on the cast iron skillet, flipping occasionally, so that the outside gets a slight crust and the inside is cooked thoroughly. No, you do not need to use additional oil. There is plenty of fat in the pork itself.
Serve with roasted sweet potatoes and poached eggs.
Mmmm. Tastes a little like Christmas.