12.8.16 Maple Sage Breakfast Sausage
Last weekend, we got our first snow here in Madison. While I tend to get pretty tired of snow and winter by about February or March, the first snow of the year always gets me seriously excited. The fact that this particular snowy day occurred on a Sunday when we had nothing else going on was just icing on the cake.
Besides playing in the snow (a snowy day must), and drinking lots of warm beverages by the fire, I knew we also needed to start a lazy snowy morning with a good breakfast. I whipped up a batch of these amazing raised waffles from Smitten Kitchen (they are so easy, but do require some foresight, as they have to rise overnight). We happened to be out of bacon, but I had some ground pork on hand and figured that with a few additional ingredients and a bit of mixing, I could easily transform it into breakfast sausage. It was a success - plenty of maple syrup and sage make this stuff perfectly sweet and savory; exactly what we needed. Formed into patties, it cooks quickly in a cast iron pan, and made the perfect addition to our breakfast of waffles, hot coffee, and grapefruit spiked with chile infused honey.
Fortified with a delicious breakfast, we managed to get Leo into his snowsuit and boots, and took him outside to play in the snow. He loved it. We spent the rest of the day listening to Christmas music, drinking hot toddies, and building lots of block towers and forts with Leo. As afternoon approached, I started a big pot of bolognese sauce to simmer, and after Leo went to bed, served up big bowls of the stuff with a bottle of wine. It was a good day. Here’s to many more perfect snowy days like this.
Maple Sage Breakfast Sausage
makes 4 smallish patties
- ½ lb ground pork
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 tsp dried sage
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together until everything is just incorporated.
2. Line a plate or baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Divide pork mixture into four equal pieces and form each into a patty. Place patties on prepared baking sheet while you heat your pan.
3. Heat a large cast iron pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the sausage patties, and cook, flipping once, until they are golden brown on both sides and cooked through - about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove sausage patties from pan and serve immediately. (note: some of the syrup will leak out of the sausage as it cooks, resulting in a sticky residue in the pan. I recommend setting the pan to soak as soon as you can to make cleanup easier.)