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Country style breakfast sausage

January 29, 2009

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.

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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.

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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.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2009 11:33 pm

    Mmm … mmm …. good! I should try making my own. I’ve never tried a multi-meat sausage, at least that I’m aware of. Would it be helpful, for us city folk, to buy whole cuts of pork and grind it ourselves? Now that I think about it, I know what cuts are used to make ground chuck or ground round, but I have no idea what cuts are used for ground pork. Man, the more I learn, the more there is to learn!

  2. January 30, 2009 6:27 am

    I’m nearly a vegetarian –but I have started looking for the free range products for my husband and guests.

  3. January 30, 2009 6:41 am

    Paula, I would suggest buying meat from a small farmer at a farmers market. (you have a great one near your house!) I watched the butcher grind the pork I bought, (I won’t mention the name of the “local” grocery store chain, but the initials are NS) and the pork still got that slimy, sour smell that pork does if it is starting to go bad. It isn’t that you need organic meat, but that you buy meat that is processed in a smaller plant. Our meat is processed at a USDA certified facility, but they are small, doing just a few animals a day, not hundreds. That is what makes the difference. Anyone selling at a farmers market, has had to go to a smaller plant for processing.

    Turkey and chicken would work good with this recipe too. Really any kind of meat and seasoning works. But pork is so mild and the fat helps bring along the flavor of the herbs.

    Pamela, making your own allows you to season as you like it and keep out any unwanted products.

  4. January 30, 2009 8:14 am

    Thank you for this interesting and informative lesson. We have always raised all our own products including our meat. For 10 years of our married life I worked for a large grocery chain ending my career as a merchandizer. To get to that place I had to work in every area for at least 6 months to a year.

    Boy, were my eyes opened wide! I am not, NOT, CAN NOT, buy meat at a grocery store. If people saw what passes for tasty meat….ugh.

    Produce is not much better, watch salad bars they are the by product of waste. I don’t mind my own produce being cut in half and the good half being used for my table but I don’t want to PAY A BIG PRICE for that stuff.

    I could go on and on and on.

    Just HERE IS TO YOU! Keep up the good work!


  5. January 30, 2009 9:58 am

    Thanks for the recipe. Last year was a first for me growing herbs, I was amazed at how easy it was. This year I will dry some. MM plans to do out next pig and we will do the same with the pork.

  6. January 30, 2009 4:00 pm

    Can’t do pork but I bet lamb mixed with something else might make good sausage?? I’m so glad you posted this because I LOVE sausage (especially ate lots of it in my pre-porkless days), and I was wondering what spices gave it that true “sausagey” flavor. I’ll have to try this soon!

  7. January 31, 2009 8:53 am

    YUM YUM. I love a good sausage. I often mix italian sausage spices with my ground venison for spaghetti.

    I’ve never bought part of a pig before, I’m looking for a local source. I wish I could find a local butcher that would make nitrate free smoked salted bacon. I have to buy that from afar.

  8. January 31, 2009 12:28 pm

    Sounds delicious! We use venison butchered at home to make our breakfast and Italian sausage. I have my own combinations of spices I use. I worried about the extra ingredients in prepackaged mixes and decided I would prefer knowing exactly what’s in the sausage I make.

    Oh if I could convince my husband to let us fatten a hog here at home!

  9. February 1, 2009 2:12 pm


  10. February 1, 2009 8:11 pm

    We have plain ground pork in our freezer but haven’t gotten around to making sausage patty’s yet. One of these days though 🙂

  11. February 3, 2009 9:30 pm

    oh yummmm! I’ve made my own sausage many times, but from my own hog…..!!! what a concept! You said you butcher one a year – roughly how old? I’ve heard so many different opinions abt this, and I’m sure type and how they were raised matters a lot.

    My experience with meat has to do – I think – with how fresh it is. I buy local grassfed burger from my supermarket… who gets it from a place just 50 miles from here, who butchers Thursday, delivers a whole steer each Monday. The supermarket cuts and grinds. Even at the end of the week there’s still quite a few days left of clean flavor when it’s refrigerated. I was shocked at the difference. When I buy ‘regular’ organic it seems as though it goes through the same long cycle before it gets to market, and gets whiffy a couple of days after I buy it.

  12. December 5, 2009 9:15 am

    Hi, I was pleased to find your sausage recipe. I began to mix my own sausage this year because I didn’t want nitrite or MSG in it. My dad used to make his own sausage, in links, using mainly just garlic, salt, and pepper. I used this recipe, which I made up from several I found on the internet:

    Homemade Sausage (note: no added nitrites, MSG, etc.)

    1 lb. ground pork (lean)

    1/2 T. salt

    1/8 tsps. of rubbed sage, ground cloves, ground mace, ground allspice, black pepper, thyme.

    1 small clove garlic, crushed

    Mix all together in a bowl lightly. Either fry in frying pan and break up into small pieces for spaghetti or pizza topping, or shape into patties and fry. I always add some water, put a lid on, and steam it real good too in order to make sure the pork is thoroughly cooked. Then use in your favorite recipe.

  13. December 5, 2009 9:17 am

    Hi again,

    Most of the sausage recipes I found on the internet were for vast quantities, so I had to really cut down the amount of spices for one pound of ground pork.

  14. r booth permalink
    October 15, 2010 9:53 pm

    Im going to try this recipe with deer and pork. I hope it comes out as good as it sounds.

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