Breakfast Sausage Recipe that Tastes Like Jimmy Dean
Homemade is Better
I love Jimmy Dean sausage as a breakfast food, but would rather not have MSG, corn syrup, natural flavorings (which are usually not so natural), BHA, BHT, etc, etc added to my sausage. Although it takes 2-3 hours to cut and grind your own meat, this recipe is worth it.
I am so thankful that my Dad enjoys cooking and making his own ground meat products. He shared this recipe with me and now my own family and I enjoy it tremendously. I hope you will too.
What You Will Need
- A meat grinder or if you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, a meat grinder attachment. Use the metal attachment plate with the larger holes in it
- Fresh pack of whole pork Boston Butts. I buy a twin pack, usually for about $30, since I freeze most of the sausage I make
- Legg's Old Plantation Pork Sausage Seasoning, Bag No. 25 (Correctly Seasons 25 Pounds of Meat)
- Several large bowls to hold the cut up and ground up meat
- A couple of flat baking pans
- Gallon freezer bags
- Sharp knife
- Griddle or frying pan if you are planning to cook some sausage
1. Cut all of the meat of your Boston Butt off the bone, including the fat. It looks and sounds gross, but without the fat, the sausage will be dry and tough. It will still have less fat than the store bought stuff. Cut the pieces small enough that they will go into your meat grinder.
2. Grind the meat and fat in the meat grinder, using the metal plate attachment with the larger holes. You can try the smaller sizes if you want to, but it clogs up easier.
3. Next determine how much seasoning you will need. I do this using a paper plate and a butter knife. First, I dump out the bag of seasoning on the plate. Next I divide the seasoning pile into four equal parts by making a cross through the seasoning with a butter knife. Next, using a little bit from each of the four piles, I make another fifth pile in the middle until all five piles are about the same size. So now I have five piles and each pile will season 5 pounds of meat. If the total weight of my meat before grinding (including the bone) was 18 pounds, and I want my sausage to be mild, I would deduct a few pounds for the bone and use three piles of seasoning to season 15 pounds of meat. If I wanted really spicy sausage, I would use three and a half or four piles of seasoning to season the 15 pounds of meat I have. Depending on how mild or hot you like your sausage, you can round to the nearest 5 to determine how much seasoning you will need.
Note: I usually have some seasoning left. Instead of throwing it out, since I know how many pounds of meat I can season with it after I divided it up, I store it in a plastic bag for the next time I make sausage. For example, if I have 2 piles left, I would write "10 pounds" on the bag.
4. Mix the seasoning in with the ground meat. This is not an easy thing to do when you are working with so much meat. I use a couple of baking pans to spread the meat out, sprinkle the seasoning as evenly as I can between my pans, and use both hands to mix it all together. I then try to mix some from one pan to the other to make sure the taste will be consistent throughout. You want to mix it thoroughly or you will get some peppery spots in some of your bites of sausage!
5. After you mix the meat and seasoning together, you are ready to cook or freeze your meat. In the past I made nice little patties to freeze. Now I just plop four or five huge handfuls of the ground meat into a freezer bag, squeeze out the air, and freeze as is. Later, after I have thawed it and am ready to cook, I reach in the bag and pull out a small handful and flatten it onto my griddle in the shape of a patty.
Thawing out Your Raw Ground Sausage Meat
To thaw raw sausage, remove the sausage from the freezer bag (may have to cut it out or run hot water over the bag to loosen the meat), place on a microwave safe plate, and use the defrost setting on your microwave. Or you can fill your sink up with hot water and soak the bag until the meat has thawed.
Cooking Your Sausage
You can cook your sausage in a frying pan over medium heat or on a griddle set to about 325 to 350 degrees. Flatten the sausage out in your pan or griddle or it will take forever to cook. Cook the sausage on one side until the top of the sausage is no longer pink, then flip the sausage and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until sausage is crisp on the outside and no longer pink in the center. Remove sausage and place on a plate covered with paper towels. The cooked sausage can be frozen if you want a convenient breakfast food that will last all week. Just warm in the microwave when ready to eat.
The cooked sausage meat can also be scrambled for use on pizzas, breakfast burritos, or in breakfast casseroles.
Note: I'm sure you already know this, but please take all sanitary precautions when cutting, grinding, and cooking raw meat. Clean up after yourself and wash your hands.