You don’t have to be Abe Froman*

Halloween is coming up, and among other things, that serves as a reminder to avoid scary food! With all the press lately about what’s really in a lot of what we eat, I like to take control when I can and make my own. Something historically scary (thanks, Mr. Sinclair) are sausages. What’s in those things, anyway? Who can say. However, when you make your own, you know what’s in them. Pork, garlic, sage, ginger, salt, pepper & water.

The easiest entry into homemade sausage making starts with these tasty breakfast sausages. I make them a few times a year. I make patties – not links – I have no desire to deal with casings – and the patties store well and fit nicely on a toasted English muffin for a delicious breakfast sandwich.

This is adapted from Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman. His recipe makes 5 pounds. I make this for one person – I am not making 5 pounds. So I reduced it. I highly recommend using a scale (for almost everything cooking-related, not just this recipe) but I included measurements for non-scale cooks as well.

Since this makes 1lb, I also find it easy to buy some regular pork chops, not a whole shoulder. This will also result in lower-fat sausages.


  • 1 pounds boneless pork, diced in 1 inch pieces (or use pre-ground pork)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons (8 grams) kosher salt (NOTE: be careful – if you are not using kosher salt, 1 3/4 teaspoons will be too much. 8 grams, however, is 8 grams – see how easy the scale makes it?)
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 heaping tablespoon (8 grams) minced fresh sage
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1-2 grams) ground white pepper
  • 1/5 cup (50 ml) ┬áice water
  • ice cubes or ice packs (for bowl under ground meat)

Step 1 – cut/mince/dice all the ingredients and toss in a bowl. Chill until ready to grind.

Step 2 – Put the water in the fridge/freezer. You want it cold when you need it.

Step 3 – set up the grinder and bowls. I use nested bowls with ice packs in between. Ice cubes work as well. Again – you want everything cold.

Step 4 – grind. Grind the pork mixture into the cold bowls.

Step 5 – test. Make a tiny patty and cook it, check for seasoning and flavor. This is the time to add more salt/pepper/etc as needed.

Step 6 – water. When you’re happy with the seasoning – mix in the ice water. Just stir it all up.

Step 7 – portion and cook. I make English muffin sized patties. I use two squares of wax paper – one for top and one for bottom – for each patty. These freeze very nicely. If you are leaving a few out to cook now – leave them on ice until ready to cook.

Remember to keep the ingredients, bowls, and grinder cold – and enjoy the fresh taste of homemade breakfast sausages. They also go well with French toast, waffles, pancakes, omelettes… anything breakfasty, really. Give it a try – you won’t be disappointed.

*Just in case you don’t know, Abe Froman was the never-seen “Sausage King of Chicago” from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

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One Response to You don’t have to be Abe Froman*

  1. Jill Dater says:

    I was just about to write, “the sausage king of Chicago” when I noticed the post script. Good flick! I’ll have to keep homemade sausages in mind.

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