I can remember both my grandfathers and my aunt Carol making homemade country/breakfast sausage. Being from southern decent, sausage always played a big part in our meals. Of course sausage patty’s at breakfast, along with sausage crumbled up and mixed into our gravy to put over biscuits. I’m not to sure about everyone else, but my mom would fry up sausage patty’s just like they were hamburgers, and we’d make a sandwich of it for lunch or dinner with a big slice of tomato on top. Then at Thanksgiving we’d sometimes have sausage stuffing with our turkey dinner.
When you buy sausage at the store, and these days its getting harder and harder to find bulk sausage in supermarkets, you usually have to settle for something in a tube about 5 inches long or links that you can cut the outer casings off of. Most of these sausages aren’t to flavorful either. Then there’s the cost. I went to 3 supermarkets this weekend, along with a Wal-Mart Superstore and the cheapest I could find sausage was about $3.59/lb. Oh and by the way, it looked a little old and brown to me. So then I decided to check out the pork shoulders and see what they ran. To my surprise, I found them for $1.49/lb..
So knowing I have a nice big Kitchen Aid stand mixer, along with a multitude of attachments including a meat grinder, I decided that today was the day I begin making my own sausage. So with a pork shoulder in hand, I grabbed some fresh sage (mines not ready in my garden yet) and fresh ginger. I knew I already had the other ingredients I’d need at home, so I headed out.
Once home, I rinsed off my beautiful pork shoulder and commenced to deboning (you can by it without the bone for a little more) and cutting it into about 2 inch cubed pieces. Once the shoulder is all cut up, it is best to put it back into the refrigerator for a good hour. You want it very cold, that way it won’t jam up your grinder as easily if the fat and meat are cold.
After about an hour, make sure you have your meat grinder ready and setup with a the course wheel. For country sausage, we don’t want to use the fine grain.
Get your cubed pork shoulder from the refrigerator and begin with your stand mixer on about the #6 speed. Slowly add the cubes of sausage and push down with the plastic or wood dowel that comes with the meat grinder. You’ll want to work a little quickly, so the meat doesn’t warm up.
Once your done grinding all your meat, you should end up with a big bowl of ground pork. Now is when you add all the ingredients to give it its country sausage taste. I like to use both fresh and dried sage, along with fresh and ground ginger. They all will bring out different tastes in your sausage. I also add cayenne pepper, a few pepper flakes, and instead of maple syrup, I added brown sugar to this batch.
Now I like to mix mine by hand, that way I can feel the moisture in the sausage and make sure all the ingredients are being mixed in very well.
Once your done, your sausage is ready to make into patty’s, stuff in a chicken breast or pork loin, or just mix into some gravy to put over biscuits. No matter how you like your sausage, once you make your own at home, you’ll never buy store bought again. By the way, this sausage freezes for up to 3 months in the freezer, and tastes just as good then as it is fresh. I hope you enjoy.
4-5 lb. pork shoulder
2 T. dried sage
2 T. fresh sage
2 T. dried ginger
2 T. fresh ginger
1 teas. cayenne pepper ( or leave out)
1/4 c brown sugar (or 4 T. maple syrup)
2 T. salt
2 T. cracked black pepper