Now that the 4th of July has come and gone, I must confess that I had my fill of hot dogs this month. America loves finely ground sausage, whether it is the frankfurter, bologna or many assorted luncheon meats. For breakfast, I wondered if I could take a simple recipe for breakfast sausage and grind it very fine and create a sort of breakfast pâté or loaf. a simple emulsified sausage tasting like traditional breakfast links. What I ended up with resembles many comercial fine grain sausages. Next time I plan to up the anté and add some additional textural components like bacon bits or diced peppers to add color and interest.
When making any sausage it is paramount to keep the meat and equipment as cold as possible. This is especially important grinding the meat to create superior results. Put the cubed meat and extra fat in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to firm up. I like to grind my meat twice, first time through the large die, followed by a short time in the freezer then a final grind using a smaller die. Next we want to process the ground meat in small batches in a food processor, adding the seasoning as I go. If I want to add any textural elements I would do those now before molding and cooking in a water bath.
3 pounds lean cubed pork
1 pound pork fat cubed
3 Tbsp. fresh sage leaves chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves chopped
2 tsp. ground mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: ground red pepper or cayenne to taste
Partially freeze the cubed pork and pork fat then grind using a large holed die. Return to the freezer to firm up and grind using a smaller holed die. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Fry a small amount in a skillet and taste and correct for seasoning. In batches using a food processor, break the mixture down into a thick paste adding a little crushed ice if the mixture is too thick. If you would like to add any additional garnishes (I'm thinking about some precooked bacon bits, or diced veggies) mix in at this time.
Spread the mixture in a greased terrine mold or small loaf pan(s) and cook in a preheated 300 degree oven in a water bath until the mixture reaches 165 degrees (about an hour to hour and a half. Let the loaf cool, de-mold and slice and serve cold or heat in a pan until hot.
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How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
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ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.