If you're new to sausage making, breakfast sausage is one of the best sausages to get started with. The ingredients are common spices and herbs, easy to get a hold of, that you're probably already familiar with. It's often a free form sausage, which means you don't have to worry about the casing part of sausage making just yet, and best of all, you can totally eat it every day... if you're so inclined.
Combine the chunks of pork shoulder and seasonings and toss to distribute.
Grind the mixture, while the meat is very cold, with a 10 mm (3/8”) grinder plate. Grind the ground mixture again. This can be adjusted according to your preference. Transfer mixture to a stand mixer. Working in batches, with the paddle attachment, beat the mixture on medium for about a minute, until the sausage holds together well and becomes tacky to the touch.
Divide the sausage into desired portions, or form into patties. Freeze until ready to use.
To cook the sausage patties, heat a 12" Lodge Cast Iron Skillet over medium heat, place a small amount of grape seed oil in the pan and brown sausage on both sides. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (check the temperature using an instant read thermometer like the Maverick PT-75).
Fresh sage and black pepper are the flavors that really define breakfast sausage. It's a simple combination, but works so well!
If you're grinding your own pork, be sure to use something with a high fat content, like pork shoulder or spare rib tips.
One really important step in the sausage making process is creating the primary bind. As you'll see in the recipe below, this is where the sausage is mixed until it becomes tacky and really holds together. This is an integral part of creating that signature sausage texture.