Country style breakfast sausage
Trying to avoid chemicals in our food is important. It would be a shame to add preservatives to our home-grown meats after taking care in the raising and processing of our animals. HD and I, both, have reactions to MSG and preservatives, and we see no reason to expose RL to unnecessary food additives.
We have found over the years, that even the butcher shop doesn’t know what is in the prepackaged spice mix they are using for sausage seasoning. You can get all kinds of flavors, but you never really know what is in your sausage unless you make it yourself. I won’t go into great detail here but MSG goes by many different names and that is legal. Sometimes the butcher will say what they think you want to hear too… .
When we turn in our meat cutting instructions for our pork, we just ask for ground pork, instead of seasoned sausage. That way, I can use the pork in many different dishes and stretch it too, instead of ending up with X amount of breakfast sausage, or chorizo, or italian. Couple this with our homegrown herbs, and I have a palette for the palate.
Our herb tastes are more similar to what you would find in an Amish garden – sage, marjoram, thyme, fennel, and basil. All easily grown, harvested and dried, and never a chance of irradiation. During the summer months, I use fresh herbs, and add in cilantro, or parsley for an extra zip.
We only butcher one pig for ourselves per year. By mixing our ground pork with ground beef, we get a full flavored sausage, and stretch our pork a little bit. It does make the sausage very lean, so a touch of oil or rendered bacon grease is needed to cook these sausage patties.
Sausage and hash browns.
2 lbs ground pork
2 lbs ground beef
4 t salt
1 t pepper
¾ t brown sugar
2 t sage
2 t marjoram
¾ t thyme
¼ t crushed red pepper
In large bowl, combine meat and spices. Mix well, using your hands (freshly washed!) Cook a small amount and adjust seasonings. The flavors will get stronger, so keep that in mind. We like this combination of spices, but all are optional depending on personal taste. A general rule of thumb is 1 t salt for each pound of meat used.
I thaw my meat out, and mix the sausage and then refreeze*. I do use recycled plastic containers for this, but you could also shape the bulk sausage into rolls, wrap in plastic wrap and partially freeze until the sausage is firm enough to cut into slices, then wrap and freeze the slices.
*I have never had any trouble with our own meats using this method, but I have had organic meats purchased from a store that did not keep as long. Most likely this method would be safe with meat purchased by the side. However, if you purchased bulk ground meats at the store and seasoned them and used them right away, I think home seasoning of your sausage would still give you a superior product.