Making your own freshly ground breakfast sausage is easier than you think, with your stand mixer and a grinder attachment. Don’t want to grind your own meat? No problem! Just mix the spice blend into ground pork from your Mega Market!
Once I got it into my head that I want to make my own breakfast sausage, I researched all the ways to make it. I tried it once without grinding my own meat, buying ground pork and adding my herbs and seasonings. It was very good, but the challenge of making my own grind was in my brain. I looked up making ground meat with a food processor, but the method had more than a few sketchy reviews. I happened to have balance left on a gift card to our Interweb Overlords, so I ordered the fancy all metal meat grinder attachment to my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. (Actually, it belongs to Daughter #1, but I’ve semi-permanently borrowed it 😉.) If you don’t have, or don’t want to invest the money in a meat grinder, I totally respect that. It isn’t cheap, and you might not feel like you’ll get your money’s worth out of it. Pre-ground pork makes a perfectly delicious sausage, although you might need to add more fat when cooking, as it tends to be leaner. And if you feel you can handle the food processor technique, I say DO IT! Let me know in the comments how that goes. I just wasn’t sure, so I went this route. Go with the meat grind of your choice and season away!
As you read through the ingredients, you’ll see that most of the fresh herbs are repeated with a dried version of the herb. This is because I found that, although I got a fantastic fresh herb flavor, and those great specks of herbs in my sausage, adding the dried versions reinforced the flavor. This is because dried herbs are usually more concentrated. Having both dried and fresh herbs gives me the best qualities of both types. SO, let’s make some sausage!
- 2 1/2 lb well marbled pork shoulder
- 1 tsp fresh marjoram
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp lightly crushed fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg (Please use fresh grated nutmeg. It has a much stronger flavor.)
- 2 tbsp fresh sage
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- pinch of ground cloves
- Cut your pork shoulder into about 1/4 inch cubes. Place in a bowl in the refrigerator while we get all our herbs and seasonings together.
- Gather and measure all of your not-meat ingredients. The fresh herbs get a rough chop, but don't go too crazy since this is all going into the meat grinder! (if using dreied herbs, use about 1/3 of the fresh amount.) You don't have to put them all in a pretty arrangement on a white plate like I did, but I sometimes feel proud of all my ingredients and want them to feel good about themselves. Look at you guys!
- Add your carefully curated herbs and seasonings to the cubed pork and mix well.
- Lay the seasoned meat on a sheet tray in a single layer, and place in the freezer for at least one hour. While you're at it, place all the pieces of your grinder in the freezer as well. Having everything very, very cold will make it so much easier to grind your meat. You want the meat to be frozen enough to be hard to the touch, but still able to be pierced with the tip of a knife.
- It's really all smooth sailing from here! Attach the meat grinder to your stand mixer (I prefer the medium grind plate for most sausage.) Place a bowl directly under the grinder face to catch your gound meat. Place a heap (exact measurement) of seasoned meat cubes on the tray of your meat grinder. Turn the stand mixer to #4. Drop cubes of meat into the grinder and, using the meat pusher stick (technical term) gently guide the meat through. Don't use it as a battering ram, the grinder will get angry and possibly jam. Try not to freak out as GROUND SAUSAGE starts just coming out of the front of the machine like magic!
- Now look at what you have created! Breakfast sausage! If you're not using the sausage right away (umm...why not?), wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and then place in a ziploc bag and refrigerate. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge, or you can freeze it for about 3 months.
- Form into patties for delicious breakfast sandwiches or use in my recipe, because life is short - EAT BISCUITS! So, we've made our first sausage. I can't wait to see what we do next with our meat grinder! I'm thinking Italian sausage for The Boy. Stay tuned!