Taste Testing Recipes
In this weeks video we have a great time trying out breakfast sausage recipes from our favorite youtube chefs. The variety of flavors, spices and additives gave us a lot to think about when it came time to develop our own recipe!
Schraver’s taste buds are finely tuned to the familiar, which is why he picked a copycat version of a well known breakfast sausage as his number one. I chose a recipe that has a more nuanced sweetness with just a bit of heat, something with distinctive breakfast sausage properties.
There are a lot of things to consider when making up your own sausage recipe. Planning a mini taste test like the one we did is a great starting point. Below are a couple of things I found helpful to know before attempting to make your own sausage.
Binders do exactly what it sounds like they do (help keep your ground pork together), but they also help to retain fat and moisture during the cooking process. Binders generally have an affinity for water, which is what keeps all those lovely juices inside of your sausage. They also help to distribute the fat molecules evenly through your mixture, giving you an even consistency.
One of the recipes we tried from That 1870’s Homestead contained some non-fat milk powder. Non-fat milk powder is common binder in homemade sausage making. Other common binders you’ll find in store bought sausages include Soy Protein Concentrate, Maltodextrin and Carrageenan gum (red seaweed gum). I tried to see if there was any difference in texture during our taste test but there was no perceptible difference in mouthfeel between the recipes.
I didn’t find any discernable difference between the recipe that had the milk powder and the ones that didn’t. Granted, I used regular grocery store ground pork, but I have since used this recipe with fresh ground pork from the butcher and I have had no issues in texture or juiciness. Either way, the choice to use a binder is totally up to you, but it’s something I’ll keep in mind if my sausages are turning out dry and crumbly!
Dried vs. Fresh Herbs
We conclusively agree that the fresh herb recipes were better than the dried herb recipes. The flavors are more well rounded, have a brightness to them and overall the sausages just taste higher quality. Dried herbs give off generic grocery store sausage vibes. That’s not to say that everything in our two favorite recipes was fresh, they both still contain several dry herbs, but the added punch from a few key fresh herbs really makes the difference.
I haven’t tried freezing this specific recipe for any length of time yet to see if the fresh herbs cause any issues. I do freeze a lot of other recipes that contain fresh herbs with no detrimental side effects thus far.
Todd from ‘That 1870’s Homestead’ did extensive research into what ingredients are used in published breakfast sausage recipes. He created a whole recipe based off of the most common ingredients and amounts (Check the video out here). For me a breakfast sausage has a touch of sweetness to it that isn’t found in most other types of sausages. This sweetness can be provided by maple syrup and brown sugar, and is balanced well against the typical salty sausage profile.
The most common herbs I see are Sage, and Thyme. I like the addition of Rosemary to round out the herb flavors (I also just love Rosemary). Most sausage recipes have some form of what I call “Christmas spice”. It’s a spice you’re guaranteed to find in almost every Christmas candle. This includes allspice, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. I’m not a fan of nutmeg but I found I prefer nutmeg to allspice in my breakfast sausage.
I don’t mind a bit of heat in my breakfast sausage and it can be added with either cayenne pepper or red chili flakes. I think this recipe is definitely on the low end of the spicy scale. Schraver suggests a spicier breakfast sausage would go well in a breakfast burrito but if you want to serve plain patties, keeping the spice level down is probably wise.
Lastly, I can’t forget the elephant in the room of culinary flavorings. MSG. I’ve included MSG in my recipe mostly to make Schraver’s taste buds happy. We also happen to have it on hand. I personally could take or leave it. If you do add MSG, reduce the added salt by a 1/2 tsp to prevent over salting the recipe.
How to Make Your Own Breakfast SausageCourse: BreakfastCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Easy homemade Breakfast Sausage recipe. Delicious balance of maple sweetness and slight heat perfect for sausage patties or on a breakfast sandwich.
Ingredients Per 1lb Ground Pork
1 1/2 tsp. Thyme (fresh)
1 1/2 tsp. Sage (fresh)
1 1/2 tsp. Salt (Use 2 tsp if not adding MSG)
1/4 tsp. MSG (optional)
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Rosemary (fresh)
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Red Chili Flakes
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- Place the ground pork in a large bowl.
- Finely mince your fresh herbs.
- Add fresh herbs to bowl along with all the other spices and seasonings.
- Mix thoroughly until combined.
- Place in fridge to rest over night before shaping into patties.
- Cook right after forming patties or if you made a large batch place onto small squares of parchment paper and freeze until needed. Enjoy!
Tired of plain old sausage patties for breakfast? Try this fabulous recipe for Shakshuka, a rich and hearty breakfast dish!