Through the doorway and to the left of the fridge, my grandpa would cook breakfast sausage on an electric griddle. It's frozen like a photograph, just like that in my mind.
My view is from the a brown vinyl chair that's pulled up to my grandparent's kitchen table. Across the table there's a small TV, it's 10-inch screen grey and lifeless, and a stack of envelopes. Light comes in through a window behind my grandfather as he uses a spatula to serve sausage patties on a plate.
I can almost taste them now, twenty-odd years later, crispy on the outside and rich with maple flavor. My tastebuds have forgotten everything else on the plate, but for some reason that sausage sticks with me.
Breakfast sausage is still one of my favorite things to eat in the morning, but I hadn't made my own from scratch until working on this recipe. It's a combination of my favorite breakfast sausages: sweet, from the addition of maple syrup and apple, a sprinkling of fennel and nutmeg, and fresh sage. You can use whatever ground pork you prefer, though for a more transitional sausage you'll want something high in fat-- 20% or even 30% fat. If you prefer a leaner end result, go ahead and use a 10% fat ground pork (the end result will just be a bit drier).
Serves: 4 | Total Time:
- 1/2 apple
- 1 pound ground pork (I prefer ground pork that has more fat for this recipe, such as a 80/20 ground pork, but you can use what ever you like. The leaner the meat, the drier the end result will be)
- 1/4 heaping teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Core the half apple and dice into very small pieces— no bigger than a 1/4 of a centimeter. Place in mixing bowl.
- Add pork, salt, pepper, nutmeg, minced sage, fennel, and maple syrup to the mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix all ingredients until full incorporated.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the oil to the skillet.
- Form pork mixture into small patties, 1-2 inches in diameter, and place in skillet when oil is hot. Cook for 5 minutes on the first side, until the bottom turns a golden brown color. Flip to second side, cooking for 5 more minutes or until cooked through. Serve hot.