I know I say this a lot, but I can’t believe I haven’t done this recipe yet! There are few things as easy and amazing as homemade breakfast sausage, and this is my favorite formula.
The key here is to get some properly ground fresh pork from a real live butcher. The ground pork in the meat case at the supermarket is not going to be coarse enough, not to mention the fact that the meat they used was probably chosen based on it’s inability to be sold in any other form.
Tell the butcher you want a couple pounds of freshly ground pork shoulder, and be sure to use the term “sausage grind.” This means a very coarse grind, and an adequate fat content. Anything less than 30-40% fat is just not going to make a great sausage patty.
Above and beyond the meat, almost anything goes when making sausage patties. I think the fennel, nutmeg, and orange zest (an idea I borrowed from my uncle, and sausage master, Bill) really gives this a breakfast-y flavor, but if you’re not into those ingredients, use what you like.
Lastly, the overnight refrigeration really makes a big difference. All those big flavors need time to meld together, and besides, by making this in the evening for the next morning’s meal, you’ve pretty much assured yourself of some quality sausage-related dreams. Enjoy!
1 pound ground pork
1 tsp kosher salt (1/2 to 3/4 tsp of table salt), or to taste
1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs blend (mine has thyme, rosemary, sage, and oregano)
2-3 tsps fennel seeds, lightly crushed
2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
pinch of fresh nutmeg