Back when Swine Flu was first making the news, the French press dubbed it “grippe porcine.” I chose, mainly for my own amusement, to translate it as “pork fever,” which sounds like something much more fun to come down with.* So when Nick came home with an entire kilo of chunky ground pork from the Chinese butcher** up the street, I had to figure out what to do with the 800+ grams he didn’t use in his breakfast scramble.
We’ve been talking about breakfast sausages lately, Nick and I, and I realized that that might just be the perfect use for this hand-ground pork. So I Googled “breakfast sausage recipe” and clicked on the first result, a tasty-sounding recipe from Alton Brown. Scanning the list of ingredients, I was pleased to note that I had everything he called for – fresh sage, thyme, and rosemary (check, and from my windowbox, no less!), fresh nutmeg (I don’t use any other kind), and even some of the more oddball (for France) items like red pepper flakes and brown sugar were covered. Now, his recipe calls for grinding the pork yourself, which I’m sure would be even more awesome, but I figured the pork I had was the right texture and fat content, so I went with it. As suggested, I combined the pork and seasonings (plus some minced onion, because I felt like it) and let them sit overnight to get acquainted. I cross-referenced Brown’s recipe with Michael Ruhlman’s sausage Ratio, and the differences are minimal.
The next morning, I pulled the bowl of seasoned pork mixture (which already smelled fabulous) from the fridge and began shaping patties.
See? You can make sausage at home, too! No complicated and awkward casings necessary, just a little patience for patty-making. We fried up four of them that morning, and ate them with fried eggs and breakfast potatoes. The rest I froze and then threw into a ziplock bag for future breakfasts and bouts of pork fever.
* Now, of course, it has much more banal names: H1N1 or grippe A.
** There are no less than twelve butchers on my street. Two are Chinese, three are French, and the rest are Arab. What this means is that even with a glut of butchers, I can buy pork at less than half of them.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.