I usually make my breakfast sausage with a recipe from the Smoking Meats Forum. Pops is a legend there and has inspired many great dishes. His sausage recipe is at this link:
However, I was recently given a box of Hi Mountain Original Mountain Man Sausage Seasonings.
So, not wanting to waste, I gave the commercial product a try.
I started by putting my grinder parts and stuffing parts outside. Why outside? It is really cold here, well below freezing (see the thermometer in the picture). If it is not cold when you are doing this, put them in the freezer. Sausage just works better if every thing is cold. So make sure all the meat and equipment is cold.
I started with a 5 1/2 pound boneless pork butt roast. Unfortunately, they had trimmed the roast of a lot of the fat. Breakfast sausage needs about 20 to 30 percent fat. Fortunately, I had some pork fat that I had trimmed from a prior pulled pork and I added a 1/2 pound of pork fat to the roast.
I cut it into 1 inch cubes. The instructions called for 1/4 cup of the seasonings to be sprinkled over the pork. I transferred the pork from one bowl to another. As I put a layer of pork in the new bowl, I sprinkled some of the seasonings over it. I continued this layering and seasoning until I had all the pork in the second bowl. I added the remaining seasoning and tossed the cubes well.
I put the meat outside for 30 minutes to chill. I then set up the grinder attachment on my Kitchen Aid and ground the meat through the smallest grinding plate. Following the instructions, I added 1 1/2 cups of ice water and mixed the meat thoroughly.
I formed a sausage patty and put the rest of the meat outside to remain cold. I fried the patty and tasted it to make sure the seasonings weren’t too strong. A word of caution, the sausage at
this point will not taste like the finished product. The flavours will blend over time and give a better taste. You are just tasting to make sure it doesn’t have way too much or too little seasoning.
If there is too much seasonings, you would have to add more pork. If too little you can add more seasonings. Good news! The amount in the instructions was fine.
You now have a choice. You can make sausage patties, logs or links. If you choose patties, just form them into the thickness and size you like.
If you want links, you will have to buy sausage casings and use a stuffer to fill the casings with the sausage. I prefer to make casingless sausages in the shape of small logs. I run the sausage through the sausage stuffer into long logs and then cut them to length.
Whichever preference you have, put the sausages on a tray and freeze them for about an hour so they don’t stick together when you package them. Then wrap them in portions sizes you might use at a sitting. I did mine in packages of 8 (4 each for me and She Who Must Be Obeyed). I use plastic wrap to wrap them and then put the packages in large Ziploc bags and just take out one package at a time as I need them.
I must admit, I am biased to doing things from scratch. That being said, these are very tasty. They have a nice texture and a good balance of savoury and spicy. There is just a nice heat with no burn whatsoever and good flavour profile. I love Pops’ recipe but this is an excellent sausage. I will definitely use it as a change from my regular recipe and may try some of their other seasoning packages.
The Old Fat Guy