Maple Sausage Patties

I have two pork jowls in my freezer.

This should go a long way as to explain why I recently bought Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Thomas Keller and Michael Ruhlman.  Or not; I guess it really all depends on whether or not you know what pork jowls are used for and if you care.

For me, it began when Beloved fell in love with charcuterie while in Charleston earlier this year.  He often has a hard time when he travels because of our diet – so many restaurants cook with and serve crap ingredients and those that don’t cost a small fortune.  Fortunately, both Slightly North of Broad and High Cotton serve charcuterie – basically a delectable collection of various dry-cured sausages, hams, pâtés, mustards, and pickles, and all made in-house at the restaurant (if the restaurant is worth a darn).  At any rate, when I accompanied him to Charleston in early August, I was introduced to the wonderful charcuterie at High Cotton, and one of the things on the platter was guanciale, an unsmoked Italian bacon prepared with – you guessed it – pork jowls.  (If you’ve ever had real spaghetti alla carbonara, you’ve had guanciale.)

It turns out you can cure guanciale, plus a host of other hams and sausages, in your own home if you’re of a mind to; you just need to know how, hence the acquisition of this excellent book.  It also just so happens that you can make sausage easily and quickly in your own home, without any books, special equipment or odd piggy parts.  Fresh sausage, the type most commonly eaten for breakfast, is absurdly simple to make – all you need is ground pork (ground turkey thighs work extremely well if you don’t eat pork) and whatever combination of seasonings for whatever flavor of sausage you want to make.  Maple breakfast sausages seem to be all the rage these days, and this one is better than any commercial sausage you can buy at the store – and it has no MSG, artificial flavors or nitrates.

And don’t worry – I’ll tell you all about the guanciale once I’ve got it going.  You didn’t think I was going to stop at beef tongue, did you?

Maple Sausage Patties

Maple Sausage Patties

serves 8

1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pinch red pepper flakes
few grinds of black pepper
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Gently mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl; shape into eight 2 1/2 inch (2 ounce) patties. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Place patties on a paper-towel lined plate and keep warm until ready to serve.

Nutrition (per serving): 162 calories, 12g total fat, 40.8mg cholesterol, 149.9mg sodium, 174.3mg potassium, 3.4g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 3g sugar, 9.6g protein.

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12 thoughts on “Maple Sausage Patties”

  1. I love a good sausage. Well, there’s actually few foods I don’t love. But this sounds doable and I’ve never made my own sausage. I could eat my way through November with your posts.

  2. Oh, lovely! One thing I might add about making your sausage patties that I learned from my Charcuterie book. You write to gently mix the ingredients together, but I find that mixing them aggressively in a cold mixing bowl will activate the proteins, and make for a smoother sausage, IF you let the mixture rest. The key is that your bowl be ice cold so the proteins can expand. After about an hour rest, (or overnight to let the flavors develop,) you will find your sausages to be more smooth, and pate-like.
    Charcuterie is one of my things, I used to do a LOT of it when I was apprenticing. Nothing is more satisfying than waiting for your sausage to cure, or your pate to set before you pour your gelatin into the mold. Or, when you have made the pate en croute, and are cutting inside to see how your “design” has turned out!

  3. We had hog jowls at Lambert’s in Missouri. I was doubtful, but the waiter brought us a free sample. They were so good! It was just really thick bacon – and a side dish of sorghum.

  4. Our butchers have some amazing sausage flavors: Tomato & Basil, Hot Italian, Chorizo, and our seasonal favorite, pumpkin pie spice and walnut. . Most wouldn’t even imagine challenging White Feather Meats, but this really stood out!

    Amazing dear, as always.

  5. Pingback: Savory Pumpkin Pie

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