Friday, March 20, 2009

More fat, please: homemade sausage

I can't stop trying to jam more healthy goodness into everything we eat. It's becoming pathological--some primal desire to maintain the health of my offspring. Or a response to the "holy crap, an infant is no longer draining a zillion calories a day from my boobs so mainlining butter just not OK" belly.

Whichever the case, I'm becoming uncomfortably like my mother in this way, who is a fantastic cook but also regularly made these rock-like clusters she called "nutty nuggets." Pretty much muesli moistened with nonfat milk, formed into lumps, and baked until solid.

(My sister and I also got kefir as our "junk food" treat and swallowed fish oil nightly. My parents were decades ahead of the times on the the functional foods thing.*

Anyway, I made oatmeal carrot cookies with walnuts and dried blueberries the other day. And then tried to sell them to the toddler as COOKIES! FOR BREAKFAST! She didn't buy it. Then she asked for some plain yogurt with cinnamon, which I have managed to convince her is more awesome than sugar.

I am a mean, mean mother who destroys dreams and puts kale in the macaroni and cheese.

So I thought some breakfast sausage would cheer everyone up—and to be honest, decrease the glycemic index of our starchy breakfast.

They tasted great, but lacked that certain something that I've since discovered comes with the generous addition of pork fatback. They didn't have that greasy, crispy goodness, but a denser, herbal goodness. They were OK, not pork-ishly delicious. Our pork is especially lean because it's from healthy pigs who forage and eat mushrooms and tofu. Really.

What is pork-ishly delicious is this same mixture crumbled and fried in olive oil and sprinkled on top of pizza.

Homemade Sausage (adapted from Alice Waters)

1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 garlic clove, pressed
a sprig of fresh sage, chopped (enough to make a couple teaspoons)
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of cayenne
a generous grind fresh black pepper

Gently mix all the ingredients. Form into patties (don't press) for breakfast and fry in skillet with a bit of olive oil, turning once. I think it took us about four minutes a side in a medium-high skillet.

Alternatively, form into meatballs or fry loose in skillet for a pizza topping or to start a pasta sauce.

*Hi Mom! I still love kefir, really. And I wouldn't trade the taste of a sun-warmed tomato for all the Cocoa Puffs in the world, no matter what I said when I was 16.


Jessica said...

I never thought to make homemade sausage...but now that I think about it I'd really rather do this than buy it! Thanks!

Anna said...

Jessica, it's easier than you'd think. At least, it's easier than I thought it would be. Tastes a bit different though--fresher, a little brighter. Not everyone likes that in a sausage. I do.