I grew up on Jimmy Dean Sausage. Let’s face it, it’s delicious! But now that I am more concerned about what’s in my food, about what the animals that I eat ate and how they were treated, I need a replacement. I’ve been testing recipes for my own breakfast sausage for a couple of years now with mediocre results, but I have finally nailed it! The situation became crucial this week, because one dish that is never omitted from our Thanksgiving table is my mother’s Aunt Annie’s Stuffing which is made with sausage. We always made it with Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage…until a few years ago. Since then, we have tried other breakfast sausage that we may have bought at Whole Foods or made ourselves using ground pork, but we just couldn’t achieve the same flavor and juiciness. This year we ordered whey-fed pork sausage from Miller’s Organic Farm and were not disappointed! While the sausage is great on it’s own, we need a huge sage and fennel seed flavor and high level of heat for this stuffing. We are currently completely obsessed with Aleppo Pepper, so this is our choice of red pepper for this recipe, however, red pepper flakes would be fine. Miller’s sausage does not skimp on the fat, which makes the sausage really juicy and the saltiness is already correct, so we did not need to add any additional salt.
This is my new sausage recipe- not just for Aunt Annie’s Stuffing, but for everyday sausage recipe. I can’t wait to have it with biscuits and gravy!
Spicy Sage Breakfast Sausage
Makes 1 pound, 8- 2oz patties, 16- 1oz patties
1 Lb. Loose Whey-Fed Pork Sausage (from happy pigs, like those raised on Miller’s Organic Farm)
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 1/2 tsp dried sage, chopped (ours came from our garden and air dried for a week+)
1/4 tsp fennel seed, crushed a little with a chefs knife
1 tsp Aleppo pepper
Mix all spices into the pork. Mix well, but just until incorporated. Divide the sausage into 1 oz or 2 oz pieces and flatten gently into patties*. The patties can be frozen at this stage. Lay them flat on a wax paper lined sheet pan and freeze individually before storing in a plastic bag. They can be cooked over low heat in a skillet straight from the freezer. Alternatively, you can cook and then freeze them for a quickly reheated breakfast. Just sear them over medium-low heat until browned on both sides and cooked through. I would recommend cooking at least one piece before freezing, etc. to test the spices and adjust to your tastes.
*The sausage can also be browned and crumbled to make sausage gravy or to use in Aunt Annie’s Stuffing!