Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cooking The Breakfast Book: Chapter 10: Breakfast Sausage Patties with Applesauce

As we've worked our way cooking through this book for the past five months, somewhat unintentionally the chapters have been lining up nicely with the seasons and the weather.

It's starting to really feel like fall is here lately in San Francisco (we spent this evening weatherproofing our old Victorian flat windows, for example), so a heartier breakfast is just the thing.

When contemplating what to serve this savory sausage with, simple seemed best. Whole grain sourdough toast and homemade applesauce is a menu pairing that will absolutely be repeated. And, I froze most of the patties from this batch, so it will be extra easy to whip up again.

The simplicity of the sausage is key too; by not over-complicating the ingredients, they truly shine through. I used fresh thyme, but had recently dehydrated sage from the last food swap. It still had a sharp and strong odor and flavor, so I was happy to put it to good use here.

Breakfast Sausage Patties
Twelve patties
Adapted from from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham  

This recipe can also be made into links if you feel so inspired. Instead of buying pre-ground pork, ask the butcher to grind it for you on the spot. If the pork is too lean to provide the necessary proportion of 1/3 fat, ask to buy additional fat and have it added in. If you are grinding the meat yourself at home, make sure it is well-chilled.

2 pounds pork butt (1/3 fat to 2/3 pork), coursely ground

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh sage, or 2 1/2 teaspoons crumbled dried sage
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, thoroughly but gently mixing together. You want to avoid having the meat become to "creamy", which won't pose a problem if the meat is chilled. If it is too sticky to form into patties, wet your hands slightly with cold water.

For each patty, use about 1/4 cup of sausage and pat into a round, flat patty. 

In order to brown the meat, place the patties in a hot pan and cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Then reduce the heat and finish cooking for another 4-5 minutes, or until done. Blot off excess fat with paper towels and serve hot.

I highly recommend applesauce as a classic accompaniment to these pork sausages. I just happened to have made some a couple days prior from gifted apples off a friend of a friend's trees. (Thanks Pamela!) They were so perfectly flavorful, I didn't even add any sugar, so the applesauce was an ideal compliment to the richness of the meat.

My Cook the Book partner-in-crime Natasha made the Trout Fried with Oatmeal, a recipe that had also caught my eye. It looks beautiful! If I ever do this again, need to figure out a way of sharing the meals we make among the chefs, or at least inviting more friends over to eat.

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