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. Uniformly sized patties cook more evenly so 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. Dual-use kitchen gadgets make me happy.
And as luck would have it, I recently found the grinder attachment on sale, 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!).
Meat Buying Benefits
Buying meat in bulk when it’s on sale is a great benefit as is the ability to control the fat content. To create a leaner sausage I used a tender pork chop cut that was on sale. I didn’t weigh the meat or fat but eyeballed to make sure the fat content was around 10-15% of the mixture. 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.
To firm the meat before grinding, I cubed the meat and placed into the freezer for 30 minutes. Because the meat is firm it 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. As I dropped in a handful of meat into the grinder, it effortlessly churned out coarsely ground meat. It was surprisingly quiet and not messy at all. I secretly feared it would splatter meat onto the walls.
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:
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 2 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground marjoram
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- Mix the ingredients in a medium sized bowl until spices are evenly distributed.
- Form into 16 2-ounce patties. You can shape by hand or use a patty press or even ice cream sandwich molds!
- You can cook immediately or freeze for later use.
I feared that maybe I had made them too lean. However, after frying my first batch, I discovered 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:
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