Ground Meat for Sausage
For six patties, you will need about 15 ounces of ground meat. While ground pork is traditional for breakfast sausage, you can use any ground meat. A mix of 12 ounces lean ground turkey with 3 ounces ground pork cuts the fat significantly and still tastes great. Or try combining half pork and half turkey. Place the meat in a large bowl.
What turns meat patties into sausage patties is the seasonings. Since sausage heat and flavor are matters of personal preference, start with the spice-herb combination below and vary it as you like. To test the seasonings, saute a tiny bit of the meat mixture, taste it, and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
To the ground meat in the bowl, add 1 teaspoon dried sage, crushed; and 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder; onion powder; freshly ground black pepper; and cumin seeds, lightly toasted. Add 1/4 teaspoon each of crushed red pepper; dried oregano, crushed; and dried tarragon, crushed. Mix the seasonings into the meat evenly with a wooden spoon.
Tip: To lightly toast the cumin seeds, heat the seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until light brown, stirring often so they don't burn.
How to Shape Sausage Patties
Divide the meat mixture into six equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand into a 3- to 4-inch patty.
How to Cook Sausage Patties
Lightly coat an extra-large skillet with nonstick cooking spray or cooking oil. Heat the skillet over medium heat until hot. Place the patties in the skillet and cook about 8 minutes or until browned and 165 degrees F. Serve the sausages hot.
Tip: Because the internal color of a patty made with turkey is not a reliable doneness indicator, it is best to insert an instant-read thermometer into the side of a patty to check for a doneness of 165 degrees F.
Homemade Sausage Variations
- Fennel-Apple: Substitute fennel seeds, crushed, for the cumin seeds and add 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded, peeled apple to the meat mixture.
- Garlic-Onion: Substitute 4 garlic cloves, minced, for the garlic powder and 1/3 cup finely diced onion for the onion powder.
- Maple: Omit the cumin, tarragon, and oregano and add 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup and a pinch of nutmeg. You can also add 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, if desired.
- Mushroom-Red Pepper: Add 3/4 cup chopped sauteed mushrooms and 1/4 cup chopped roasted red sweet pepper to the meat mixture.
- Feta: Add 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles to the meat mixture.