January 15, 2010

Spicy Herbed Breakfast Sausage

1 to 1 1/4 pound ground pork
1 shallot, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons sage
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine. If you have the time, refrigerate the mixture for a bit or up to overnight. Form into small, flat patties. Cook in a nonstick skillet, turning once halfway through the cooking time. Cover briefly if your patties are rather thick to insure that they cook all the way through.

My thoughts:
It always amazes me how easy it is to make breakfast sausage patties that taste so much fresher and better than store bought. The spices are ones that most cooks would always have on hand and of course, ground pork is readily available. I like to stock up on ground pork (or grind my own) and freeze it in 1 lb portions for future use, it freezes really well and defrosts overnight in the refrigerator.

In this part of the country I find that sausage links are more popular (if you order sausage in a restuarant, links are almost always automatically served) but patties are much simpler (no casings!) to make at home and are just as tasty. I like to make the mixture and form it into patties the day before so I can just pop them in the skillet in the morning.

Note: Normally I wouldn't add sugar to a savory dish but in this instance, it really is needed. Leaving it out results in a patty that is more like a spicy burger than a breakfast sausage. The sugar is what makes it taste like it is for breakfast. Who knew?