Ok, I’m a bacon snob. I admit it. But I have LOTS of company, so I’m not ashamed to admit it freely. But as much as I love bacon (and I use the word “love” as in the sentence, “I love to breathe”), I have to say I love breakfast sausage almost as much.
Personally, I’m not a link man. I’m a patty person. I’ve had bad luck with links, and I can’t say exactly why. I don’t think it’s the casings or the seasonings. Generally, they are made from the same recipe as the patties. Still, I’ve never really linked up with links. Maybe it’s all in my head? Regardless, it just so happens that the seasoning flavor of breakfast sausage suits my eggs perfectly. And my hash browns, pancakes, French toast and coffee. And it’s even better if the best maple syrup in the house just happens to pool right beneath it. It’s all good.
Breakfast sausage and I go way back, but we just recently rekindled our relationship as I’ve spent some time with Nino’s butchers to improve our recipe.
I’ve revved it up a bit–boosted the octane, so to speak. It’ll now get your breakfast off to an even better start. I think you’ll be pleased.
Of course, breakfast sausage is a pork sausage, with just the right amount of fat to give it a great flavor and juices. But that’s just where it starts. From there, what makes a really good breakfast sausage is balancing just the right amount of sweetness, salt and seasonings (particularly sage) to be sure nothing is out of balance and everything works together. And I have to confess that I couldn’t help myself and added just a touch of maple sweetness to Nino’s new recipe.
Bottom line? Yum.
I hope you’ll stop into Nino’s soon and try our new breakfast sausage. We’ll be sampling it from time to time in our butcher shop, so you may even get lucky and nab a sample or two. I also enjoy making breakfast sausage at home. I grind my own pork trim, use FRESH herbs and spice it just the way I like it (spicy!). If you’d like to try my personal recipe, here it is:
Pete’s Breakfast Sausage (Makes about 2 lbs)
2 lbs. Coarse Ground Pork (75% lean, 25% fat)
4 tsp Fresh Sage, Minced
1 tsp Fresh Thyme, Minced
½ tsp Fresh Rosemary, Minced
½ tsp Fennel Seed, Chopped
½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper
¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
¼ tsp Ground Cayenne
1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
2 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
¼ tsp Granulated Garlic
2 TBSP Pure Maple Syrup
1. Place the WELL-chilled ground pork on a cutting board.
2. Sprinkle all the herbs and spices evenly over the surface of the pork (including the maple syrup).
3. Using a sharp knife, scraper or pastry dough cutter, gently but thoroughly chop all the ingredients together until well mixed. Avoid stirring or kneading, which will make the mixture less tender when made into patties.
4. Refrigerate the pork mixture a minimum of 12 hours or overnight to allow the herbs and spices to flavor the meat well.
5. For each patty, place a ¼ cup mound of the meat mixture between two pieces of plastic film or waxed paper and gently press evenly into a round patty approximately 3/8” to ½” thick.
6. Pan-fry patties on medium heat on both sides until lightly browned and cooked through.