Breakfast sausage is called what it is for obvious reasons: because you usually eat it for breakfast. But as adamant proponents of the breakfast-for-dinner movement (you could say we wrote the book on it, after all), we believe that breakfast sausage can be enjoyed any time of day.
What characterizes so-called breakfast sausage from other sausages, such as Italian or Chorizo, is the spice mixture: a sweet and savory blend of brown sugar and aromatic spices like sage, thyme, and fennel, with savory garlic powder and a bit of cayenne for kick.
While you can buy pre-made breakfast sausage, it is surprisingly easily to make it from scratch using your KitchenAid® Food Grinder attachment. Not only are you in control of the seasonings, rather than using a package of ‘mystery’ ground meat sourced from who knows how many animals, you get to personally choose a single cut of high-quality pork from your favorite butcher. You know exactly what goes into your sausage, and can also adjust the spices and seasonings to your personal preference. Or, maybe you fancy chicken or turkey sausage, in which case simply substitute boneless skinless breasts and thighs for the pork in this recipe.
The key to light and fluffy sausage is to fold in the spices, rather than stir and smash, leaving the ground texture intact. It’s a perfect excuse to get your hands dirty, but you can also use a large rubber spatula to fold in the spice mixture until evenly incorporated.
The result is a surprisingly light sausage, full of sweet and savory flavors. You can cook it up in delicious, golden brown crumbles, and use the meat for tacos
or sprinkled on pizza,
or form it into patties and serve atop a tender buttermilk biscuit sandwich that could be enjoyed any time of day (or night, for that matter).
Fresh Breakfast Sausage
Makes 1 pound
1 pound boneless Boston pork butt, cut into strips
2 slices bacon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
Run pork and bacon through the fine grinding plate on your KitchenAid® Food Grinder attachment. Whisk together sugar and spices in a small bowl, then mix in to the meat using a large rubber spatula or your hands, and a folding motion rather than squishing. Sausage can be cooked as is or formed into patties. You can also freeze the fresh sausage, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and bagged in a zip-top bag, for up to 3 months. For larger cuts of meat (Boston butt often comes in 2-3 pound pieces) just increase the spices proportionally.
Sausage and Biscuit Sandwiches
Makes 8 servings
For the biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
2/3 cup cold buttermilk
For the sandwiches
1 pound fresh breakfast sausage
4 large eggs
butter, as needed (for cooking)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
To prepare biscuits, in a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and pepper. Add butter cubes and cut using a pastry cut or two knives until butter is distributed in even, pea-size pieces. Pour in buttermilk and mix with a fork until mixture just comes together. Do not over-mix.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead once or twice until dough comes together. Pat into a roughly 3/4-inch thick piece. Cut out rounds using a 2 1/2″ biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter, pressing cutter straight down and pulling it back up without twisting. Arrange biscuits on a non-stick or parchment-lined baking sheet. Dough scraps can pressed back together and cut into more biscuits; however note that these “second round” biscuits will not rise as high as the first round.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until tops are lightly golden brown. Let cool slightly, then gently split each biscuit in half using a fork.
Form sausage into 8 (2 ounce) patties, indenting the center of each slightly with your thumb. Cook in a preheated skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until browned and cook through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
While sausage is cooking, whisk eggs one at a time. Heat a small 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brush with butter and add one whisked egg, swirling to evenly distribute egg in pan. Cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until egg is set. Transfer to a plate and fold in half. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cut each folded egg in two pieces, and place one piece on the bottom half of each biscuit, followed by a sausage patty and top half of biscuit. Serve warm.
Breakfast Sausage Pizza
Makes one 10″ pizza (about 4 servings)
1 ball of your favorite pizza dough
1/2 pound fresh breakfast sausage
1 large potato (about 6 ounces), peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 cup diced)
1/4 large onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup marinara or pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated mozzarella cheese
Preheat a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven at 475 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 10-inch round. Transfer to a pizza peel that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal or semolina flour.
In a large skillet set over medium-high, cook sausage, breaking up any large chunks, until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain.
Return skillet to medium-high heat and add potatoes, spreading into a single layer in the pan. Cook, stirring/overturning the potatoes every 2 to 3 minutes, until tender and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add sliced onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more or until onion is softened and translucent.
Spread marinara sauce in a thin layer on rolled pizza dough. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, then scatter sausage and potato/onion mixture evenly over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Transfer to pizza stone in the oven and bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before slicing and serving.
Breakfast Sausage Tacos
Makes 10 tacos (abotu 4-5 servings)
1 pound fresh breakfast sausage
2 medium potatoes (about 8 ounces), peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups diced)
4 large eggs
10 small corn or flour tortillas
1 large avocado, pitted and sliced
2 ounces cotija or feta cheese, crumbled
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until brown and crispy, about 12 to 14 minutes, stirring to break up any large chunks. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside and keep warm.
Return skillet to medium-high heat and add potatoes, spreading into a single layer in the pan. Cook, stirring/overturning the potatoes every 2 to 3 minutes, until potatoes are tender and golden brown crisp, about 12 to 14 minutes total depending on the size of your dice. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Return skillet to medium-high heat with a splash of vegetable oil. When oil is hot and shimmery, add tortillas, one or two at a time depending on the size of your skillet, until they are hot and barely crispy around the edges but still pliable. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a second non-stick skillet over medium heat. Whisk eggs until uniform in color. Add to skillet and cook, stirring and scraping and breaking up any large chunks, until eggs are firm and just cooked through.
To assemble, divide tortillas among serving plates. Place a spoonful of egg down the center of each one. Top with sausage, potatoes, and avocado slices, and sprinkle with cotija cheese.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*