Debbie Dance Uhrig
Wow, I was enjoying this day so much that I almost forgot to pen my weekly column!!! Since I haven’t been off for Mother’s Day in like 10 years I celebrated it today with my husband, Ervin. A little rotation at work had me taking Father’s Day off this year, it’s an unexpected that I’ve really enjoyed. Not only did I spoil
Mr. Ervin, but I too enjoyed time at home, with my family and home cooking.
I am very pleased with my recipe for homemade breakfast sausage. Or, ‘anytime’ sausage, as far as I’m concerned. At first glance some will say to themselves: ‘Why has this gal put butter in her sausage?’ How about we cover that situation first. When I first started making this sausage it was made with 100% ground pork with absolutely no fats added. Rather like buying pork tenderloin on sale and having it ground. It was so lean that I had to fry it in oil because it was so dry!
After much pondering I came up with the idea of melting butter and drizzling it over the meat. This also became a great vessel for the tiny bit of maple extract to be blended into and spread. The butter added both the flavor and oil I was seeking.
One of the key factors we have to remember when working with any ground meat is to keep from overworking the product. Much like pastry and yeast doughs we can break down the meat or pastry, with the heat from our hands.
The days of pounding burgers and balling up the meat and patting out again are behind us. Take the pound of ground pork and gently spread it onto a dinner plate. With your fingertips make little indentations all over the meat. You will drizzle the butter and blended maple extract first. Follow with a gentle sprinkling of the brown sugar and spices, evenly across the top. Try to brush aside any desire to ‘work’ with the product. Cover the plate with saran and refrigerate until morning. It should hold for a couple of days if necessary. When you do make the meat into patties do so with as little handling as possible.
Not a pork fan? Try the recipe on ground beef or lean chuck and see what you think. With even leaner meats like turkey I usually insert finely chopped onion, peppers or even fruits. It’s surprising what grated carrot or zucchini can do. My spice ingredients also differ with the turkey or ground chicken.
After making my own sausage it’s not so easy to go back to pre-packaged!
It’s re-assuring knowing what’s inside the foods that we eat. This past week I’ve been busy canning stew, seasoned beef, chutneys, jellies and pinto beans. I don’t want to hide the jars because I enjoy gazing at them so much. Again, it’s a nice feeling knowing just what’s in the jars! By the way I did all that preserving at work. I’m doing a canning class every week through summer. This week it’s spaghetti sauce and seasoned beef.
On the home front I’m working on projects. With a couple of low humidity days ahead the refinishing projects will finally get done. I’m looking for a sand-blaster, which is not an easy feat. And I’m repairing a double rocking chair. My neighbor growing up always said: “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Well, I’ve remembered that saying, and made it the core of my lifestyle. Godspeed my friends.
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
1 lb. lean pork, ground
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dry parsley
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground sage or sage flakes
Spread the sausage on a plate or flat bakeware. Melt the butter & maple flavoring and pour evenly over the pork. Combine the spices and distribute over the first mixture. Using your fingertips push the ingredients into the meat without working it too much. Overworking ground meat can make the patties tough and a bit too dry.
Cover with saran and allow to set overnight or at least 8 hours before making into patties and frying. The butter in this recipe was implemented for flavor and moisture. Should the meat begin to stick use a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of vegetable or canola oil during the frying.
A pound of pork will yield about 5 sausage patties.