Around our house, the first few hours of weekend mornings are a pretty relaxed time. Since both BeeBop and I work full-time during the week, weekend mornings are a time for us to just unwind and enjoy being with each other before we start on the multitude of errands and chores that we always have scheduled for weekends. And because those weekend morning hours are really “our time” I like to make them special with a nice breakfast that sometimes includes a homemade spicy breakfast sausage.
Now, if you want to get a bunch of Southerners engaged in lively debate, you just mention who you think makes the best sausage. It’s a big deal, believe me. There are little “mom and pop” places, like Carroll’s Sausage & Meat, dotted across the South where sausage is made according to old family recipes handed down through generations. And each sausage maker has his or her devotees. Some of them, like Abbott’s Grocery in Albany, Georgia, are so tiny that they don’t have a web site, but make sausage in small batches that are sold from the meat case in back of their small country grocery store. Yet others, like Stripling’s, have gone on to larger production and ship all over the country. But, truth be told, they’re all pretty darned good. Whatever your preference, that’s fine with me!
Now, I’m not an expert sausage maker. I can’t compete with “mom and pop” or with any of those big sausage making experts. But I do like to try my hand occasionally at putting together just the right combination of spices for a pan sausage. Do let me warn you, though, that if you make your own sausage with ground pork from your local grocery store, it will likely have a quite different texture than a commercially produced sausage. That’s because the ground pork will most likely be a good bit leaner which will produce a more dense sausage patty. If you want yours to be more moist, juicy and tender, then tell the butcher what you’re making and ask for a fattier ground pork. A good store will grind it for you with a higher fat content.
1 lb. ground pork
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground sage
2 tblsp. cold water
1/2 tsp. salt
Simply combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Blend everything together thoroughly. I find it easier to just take off my rings and get my hands in there to mix it all up.
If you’d like to test your mixture for seasonings, make a small quarter-sized patty and cook it until done all through. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
You can cook the sausage immediately, or shape it into a roll, wrap in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready. I like to make it up the night before and then cook it the next morning.
Divide the mixture into eight portions.
Shape each portion into a patty. Fry in an ungreased skillet over medium to medium-high heat until cooked through.
Serve with hot biscuits and your favorite jam or jelly. I’ll have some Mayhaw jelly with mine, please.
Homemade spicy breakfast sausage!
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. ground sage
- 2 tblsp. cold water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands or a spoon, blend together thoroughly.
- To test your mixture for seasonings, make a small quarter-sized patty and cook until done throughout. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
- Shape the mixture into patties. Fry in an ungreased skillet until cooked through.
- Serve with hot biscuits and your favorite jam or jelly.
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