Citizens, today kicks off “American Diner Classics” week here on TFD and we are going old-school with this first entry – my personal recipe for breakfast sausage!
Breakfast sausage (or country sausage) is a type of fresh pork sausage usually served at breakfast in the United States. It is a common breakfast item in traditional American “farmer” or “country” breakfasts, as it originated as a way for farmers to make use of as much of their livestock (usually pigs) as possible.
It is perhaps most popular for home consumption in rural regions, especially in the southern states, where it is in the form of fresh or smoked patties or links (the latter with natural casings, synthetic casings, or no casing at all). Most diners, fast-food restaurants, and family restaurants across the country will also offer one or more versions of it during breakfast hours, whether on a sandwich, in a breakfast platter, or both.
The cased link variety is most similar to English-style sausages and has been made in the United States since colonial days. It is essentially highly seasoned ground meat, so it does not keep and should be stored and handled appropriately. In America, the predominant spices used for seasoning are typically pepper and sage, although there are varieties also seasoned with cayenne pepper, or even maple syrup.
Not much to add beyond this, except to reiterate that pretty much every diner worthy of the name in the U.S. has their own version of this dish…
…mine is better. 😀
Battle on – The Generalissimo
2 lbs ground pork, the fattiest you can find
zest of ½ lemon, grated via microplane
2 tablespoons ground sage
2 teaspoons ground thyme
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons ground fennel seed
½ teaspoon smoked (or regular) paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ – 1 ½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you want this)
½ teaspoon light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
A few drops of hickory liquid smoke
Stir all the non-meat ingredients together and then mix with the ground pork until thoroughly and evenly seasoned. Fry a small amount up in a pan (you shouldn’t need much, if any, additional fat) and once it is no longer pink, do a quick taste test. Adjust seasonings to your taste, fry up the rest and serve!