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BadRabbit

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

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I've started to try and work out a good recipe for my own breakfast sausage but so far I've had some problems.

First, my sausage always seems to come out rubbery. I am achieving primary bind with a paddle in my KA. I am fanatical about keeping everything cold and generally follow the steps in Ruhlman's breakfast sausage. I understand the importance of this step in forming a cohesive sausage but it seems to run counter to the process for forming non-rubbery patties (i.e. minimal working to maintain space within the patty).

Is this just a matter of finding the right balance in the primary bind step or are there other things I should do?

Would finding a larger die so that I can chop the meat coarser help?

Would adding more water during the primary bind step help promote tenderness?

Secondly, I am finding that most breakfast sausages contain a lot of ingredients. Is there a better way to work through a lot of permutations than just making a lot of microbatches and changing one ingredient at a time?

I was thinking maybe cooking up some completely unseasoned (except for salt) pork stock and then adding different ratios of ingredients until I found a good mix. If I found the right ratio between the ingredients, then it would just be a matter of finding the right ratio of ingredient mix to ground pork.


Edited by BadRabbit (log)

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For me, the bind for breakfast sausage patties needs to be minimal, the sort you can get by hand in a bowl. I don't even use the KA paddle for 'em.

As for ingredients, I feel like the key item (in addition to S&P) is sage; beyond that, with good pork you're gilding the lily.

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For me, the bind for breakfast sausage patties needs to be minimal, the sort you can get by hand in a bowl. I don't even use the KA paddle for 'em.

As for ingredients, I feel like the key item (in addition to S&P) is sage; beyond that, with good pork you're gilding the lily.

I find that not to be to my taste. I like a heavily spiced breakfast sausage. I found Ruhlman's to be very one note and not at all like what I like for breakfast. I like a southern style sausage with lots of red pepper, coriander, and sage.

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For me, the bind for breakfast sausage patties needs to be minimal, the sort you can get by hand in a bowl. I don't even use the KA paddle for 'em.

As for ingredients, I feel like the key item (in addition to S&P) is sage; beyond that, with good pork you're gilding the lily.

Agreed. My recipe goes something like this:

1) Grind fatty pork

2) Mix in lots of salt, pepper and sage

3) Brown

I've never had a complaint. The only binding that occurs is when I mix in the spices.

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Ok. So problem one is solved.

Any thoughts on the second issue (besides that I'm making it too complicated)? I really am trying to come up with an all purpose technique for making my own sausage recipes so if it helps you can pretend like I'm making chorizo or italian sausage (or anything else that has a lot of ingredients).


Edited by BadRabbit (log)

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Why not grind up a few pounds of meat and then scale it out into, say, 100g portions? Start each batch by salt it according to your preference, and then create scaled spice mixes that you add to each 100g batch. Cook 'em, test 'em, record the results.

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Why not grind up a few pounds of meat and then scale it out into, say, 100g portions? Start each batch by salt it according to your preference, and then create scaled spice mixes that you add to each 100g batch. Cook 'em, test 'em, record the results.

That's what I meant by microbatches. My thought about using heavily reduced stock was that I could use it to get things close and then start experimenting with actual meat. Otherwise I'm going to end up making pounds of sausage (in 100g batches) that I don't like and I really would like to limit the waste. However, if microbatches is the only way to do it, then that's what I'll have to do.

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Well, how about just salting to the right %age, making up the spice mixtures, and then making just one small patty for each mixture?

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There is a good recipe and directions for breakfast sausage at http://www.stuffers.com/

Thanks for that. Their recipe file is huge and nutmeg may be the thing I'm missing from my breakfast sausage recipe.


Edited by BadRabbit (log)

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I think that mace is even better than nutmeg.

I'll try that too. I've got a bunch of it left over from when I mixed up some Ras El Hanout.

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every body like their B.S. a certain way. which is good.

Ive used "fresh" ie brand new can of Bay Seasoning to good effect for me.

plus black pepper to taste.

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.... I like a heavily spiced breakfast sausage. I found Ruhlman's to be very one note and not at all like what I like for breakfast. I like a southern style sausage with lots of red pepper, coriander, and sage.

I use AC Legg #10 seasoning. From their description - "A true "Southern Style" seasoning. It has relatively high level of sage, red pepper and black pepper."

I also get the pork ground at a local market which has a decent meat dept. If, like today, the ground pork in the case is a couple of days old I ask for some fresh ground and mention that it's for sausage so there's a little extra fat. The meat man cheerfully grinds it on the spot and today's 2# cost $6.38.

I'm sure, after some experimentation, better sausage can be made at home but this works for me.

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When I made my post above, with the link to AC Legg's, I hadn't noticed that for each of their seasonings the "Working Instructions" is a link to those. Working Instructions for the No. 10 seasoning, that I use, has the following:

MANUFACTURING PROCEDURE:

1. Grind pork through a 1/2 inch plate.

2. Transfer to mixer, add seasoning and mix for 2 minutes.

3. Regrind through a 3/32 inch, 5/12 inch or 1/8 inch plate.

4. Package in bulk or stuff into casings.

While Legg's instructions are for commercial processing; a coarse grind, followed by mixing in the seasoning, and then a second, finer, grind might also produce good results for those grinding their own at home.

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When I made my post above, with the link to AC Legg's, I hadn't noticed that for each of their seasonings the "Working Instructions" is a link to those. Working Instructions for the No. 10 seasoning, that I use, has the following:

MANUFACTURING PROCEDURE:

1. Grind pork through a 1/2 inch plate.

2. Transfer to mixer, add seasoning and mix for 2 minutes.

3. Regrind through a 3/32 inch, 5/12 inch or 1/8 inch plate.

4. Package in bulk or stuff into casings.

While Legg's instructions are for commercial processing; a coarse grind, followed by mixing in the seasoning, and then a second, finer, grind might also produce good results for those grinding their own at home.

Thanks. I had not thought of that. That's an excellent idea.

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When I made my post above, with the link to AC Legg's, I hadn't noticed that for each of their seasonings the "Working Instructions" is a link to those. Working Instructions for the No. 10 seasoning, that I use, has the following:

MANUFACTURING PROCEDURE:

1. Grind pork through a 1/2 inch plate.

2. Transfer to mixer, add seasoning and mix for 2 minutes.

3. Regrind through a 3/32 inch, 5/12 inch or 1/8 inch plate.

4. Package in bulk or stuff into casings.

While Legg's instructions are for commercial processing; a coarse grind, followed by mixing in the seasoning, and then a second, finer, grind might also produce good results for those grinding their own at home.

Thanks. I had not thought of that. That's an excellent idea.

There's a typo in Legg's instructions for #10 seasoning. The fine grinding plate sizes. It should be 3/16 inch, 5/32 inch, or 1/8 inch. There are no 3/32 or 5/12 (almost 1/2") plates and instructions for Legg's other seasoning have the correct sizes.

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Keep in mind that salt makes some of the meat proteins soluble which results in the binding when the sausage is cooked. Mix just enough to get uniformity after salt addition. Mix too much and you will end up with a hot dog or bologna texture but without the cured color or taste.

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Do you all ever season the meat before grinding?

I do.

Less mixing to thoroughly incorporate the seasonings.

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