I haven’t had homemade breakfast sausage in a very long time, decades maybe. Sausage isn’t something we eat frequently, but that hasn’t stopped me from wanting to buy the KitchenAid Food Grinder Attachment. You see, we always ground our own meat when I was growing up on the farm, and lately I’ve been having farming urges (likely because I live in a high-rise).
From the photo above, you’ll see that I made beautiful 2-ounce breakfast sausage patties. I wanted the patties to be uniform so they would cook evenly. I weighed the meat into 2-ounce balls, then flattened them into patties using my Tovolo Ice Cream Sandwich Molds. Yes, that’s an ice cream sandwich mold! It worked PERFECTLY.
I love when kitchen products have secondary uses.
Anyway, I was lucky enough to find the grinder attachment on sale recently, which started this sausage making journey. The thing I love most about grinding my own meat is that I know the quality of the meat before it’s minced into homogeneous mush (and you’ll know that no snouts or tails were used!).
Buying meat in bulk when it’s on sale is another great benefit, as is the ability to control the fat content. I wanted a leaner sausage, so I used a tender pork chop cut that was on sale. I didn’t weigh the meat or fat, but eyeballed that the fat content was around 10-15%. Regular sausage usually has fat content of 25-30%. I realized that my choice could lead to dry sausage, but I decided to risk it.
I cubed the meat and placed into the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up a bit. Firm meat moves through the grinder much more easily. I threw it into the freezer while I prepped everything else and set up the grinder.
Then, I attached the grinder and turned it on. I dropped in a handful of meat, and the grinder effortlessly churned out coarsely ground meat. It was quiet and not messy at all. I secretly feared it would splatter meat onto the walls.
It did not.
The grinder comes with two grinding blades, one coarse and the other much finer. I ground the meat with the larger blade the first time. It looked beautiful.
Then, I changed blades and used the finer blade for the second grinding. I grabbed a handful of the previously ground meat and dropped it into the grinder. There is a tamper included with the grinder that allows you to push down the meat, if needed. The finely ground pork looked just like it came from the butcher.
Now, it was time to season the pork. I used a basic recipe:
Homemade Breakfast Sausage Recipe
2 lbs ground pork
2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pinch ground cloves
Mix the ingredients together so that spices are evenly distributed in the meat. Form into 16 2-ounce patties. You can cook immediately or freeze for later use.
I stacked the patties, placing waxed paper between the patties, then froze. I feared that maybe I had made them too lean. However, after frying my first batch, I discovered that they were plenty juicy on the inside (which I attribute to the quality cut of meat).
Now, I’m eager to grind more!
More homemade sausage-making ideas from around the web: