This month’s Charcutepalooza challenge (dreamed up by meat mavens Cathy and Kim) was to try our hands at grinding meat, and then turn it into sausage.

Like pretty much everything we “charcutepaloozers” have thus far created, I’ve always thought of sausage as something mysterious…something that must be too difficult to make at home. Turns out sausage that isn’t stuffed into a casing isn’t mysterious or difficult to make at all: it’s ridiculously easy, in fact. And you don’t even need a meat grinder.

Before this challenge, I had no idea you could use a food processor to grind meat. But you can! So I purchased a 2 pound piece of organic pork shoulder at my local grass-fed butcher shop, chopped it into cubes (make sure to chill them well… it’s really important the meat be cold when you grind it), then threw it in the food processor for 45 seconds as per Cathy’s instructions…voila fresh organic ground pork ready to be seasoned and formed into homemade breakfast sausage patties.

organic pork shoulder

Some sausage recipes call for supplemental fat (aka back fat/fatback) to be added with the herbs/spices. My pork shoulder was pretty fatty so I opted not to add any…it didn’t need it. I think it’s going to depend on the cut of pork that is available to you, and the amount of fat that’s naturally present. Sausage is not meant to be lean, so do add fat if necessary. This recipe from Saveur says you should use a mixture of pork and fat so that the mixture is 70% lean to make sausage…I estimated that my pork was about that on it’s own.

For the sausage seasonings, I used a little muscovado sugar, dried sage, crushed red pepper, fresh parsley, and sea salt. That’s it. You could certainly add more herbs or spices but I wanted to keep this first batch simple. After testing a teeny patty to make sure I liked the seasonings…

…I upped the salt and red pepper a bit, then formed a bunch of patties. I am keeping these sandwiched between layers on parchment in a container in the freezer.

Sausage is delicious fried up and served with eggs, of course…seen here with gluten-free biscuits I made by adapting the scone recipe I created for the gluten-free ratio rally (I used 6 ounces of almond flour, 3 ounces of brown rice flour, 1 tablespoon baking power, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 9 ounces of heavy cream; I let the “dough” sit for 15 minutes before forming the biscuits into rounds and baking them at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes; they’re delicious).

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organic breakfast sausage recipe

For a more in-depth explanation of how to make different sausages, I highly suggest you read Cathy’s incredibly thorough post. And get yourself a copy of Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing – it’s our “bible” for these challenges.


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  1. 1

    Shelby — May 15, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    Pretty impressive! My dad would always make venison sausage, he would make it both spicy and just regular – we loved it!

  2. 2

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

    I am totally making more soon. My husband was dying over how good it was!

  3. 3

    Barbara | Creative Culinary — May 15, 2011 @ 10:01 am

    I remain behind in the challenges but as a sponsor I can’t really compete so I’m just doing it for grins and am so glad of that. On top of learning how easy and how GOOD everything is, I have the advantage of seeing what everyone does before I start! This looks amazing Winnie and sure makes me wish I had it now…but I will try to console myself with my maple bourbon bacon that i just finished.

    Just love your seasonings…might have to try that!

  4. 4

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

    I am totally going maple bourbon with my bacon next time!

  5. 5

    La Phemme Phoodie — May 15, 2011 @ 10:03 am

    Winnie it’s good to know that making sausage isn’t as daunting as it seems. You make it look effortless here. I would love to have a bite of that sausage and biscuit sandwich.

  6. 6

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

    You’d love it…it’s gluten-free!

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    Suzanne — May 15, 2011 @ 10:14 am

    I am inspired! I do have a meat grinder, left to me by my mother – which I suspect was my grandmother’s, and I also have a food processor. You make what I thought would be a “grinding” task seem simple and tasty. I will have to give this a go!

  8. 8

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    It’s super easy Suzanne. Just make sure to keep everything really cold before you grind it.

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    Kimmy @ Lighter and Local — May 15, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

    Oh these patties look YUM! I didn’t make breakfast sausage…. yet. It’s next on my list. I also used the food processor, but broke down and bought the kitchen aid attachment for the next round. The food processor did a great job though!

  10. 10

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    I am going to borrow a KA attachment for the sausages but I am kind of freaking about the whole thing LOL

  11. 11

    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — May 15, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

    Isn’t it fab how you can use the food processor – I had no idea. And thankfully you can since – ahem – some of us tried using the meat grinder sans blade. Ahem. I love your version of the breakfast sausage patties!

  12. 12

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

    A blade does help ;)

  13. 13

    Jason's BBQ Adventures — May 16, 2011 @ 6:33 am

    Looks absolutely great! I have a very similar post coming up really soon that is pretty close to this recipe, but I added about 1 cup of maple syrup to 3 pounds of pork with the same seasonings for a slight twist.

  14. 14

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

    Mmmm. Love the idea of maple syrup!

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    sippitysup — May 16, 2011 @ 8:15 am

    Oh my. I can just imagine how happy your hens were knowing that thier labor would produce this!

  16. 16

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    Yeah the runny yolk with the sausage was pretty awesome!

  17. 17

    Erin — May 16, 2011 @ 8:42 am

    I had no idea I could use my food processor to grind meat either! Here I was thinking I’d have to buy another attachment for my stand mixer.

  18. 18

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    The food processor worked great!

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    Nutmeg Nanny — May 16, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    I love homemade sausage. My favorite breakfast is homemade sausage patties with soft boiled eggs. Also where is your local grass-fed butcher? Your side of the river?

  20. 20

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    I go to either Jack’s here in New Paltz or Fleisher’s in Kingston….the pork came from Jack’s.

  21. 21

    Lynda — May 16, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

    Beautiful photos, Winnie!

  22. 22

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    Thank you Lynda!

  23. 23

    Memoria — May 16, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

    OMG!!! I’m so glad I read your post. I didn’t know you could grind meat in a food processor either. I hope it doesn’t wear out the blades too quickly. I’ll definitely try this out, though. Your sausage looks amazing.

  24. 24

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

    No worries with the blade- the meat only takes 45 seconds. Do try it!

  25. 25

    Oui, Chef — May 16, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

    I love a good breakfast sandwich, and this one looks superb! Charcutepalooza Rules! – S

  26. 26

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

    Yes it’s like McDonald’s only 1000 times better, right?!

  27. 27

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — May 16, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

    I have made “sausage” with ground meat from the store, but never ground my own. I can only imagine how incredible this must taste!

  28. 28

    Winnie — May 16, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

    We loved it Jen. Never knew grinding the meat was so easy!

  29. 29

    Ben — May 17, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

    Who would’ve thought it was that easy to make breakfast sausage. I’m trying this very soon!

  30. 30

    Cathy — May 17, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

    The brown sugar is a lovely flavor/addition! In fact, I’m going to pack some for Blogher’s Sausage Demo. :)

  31. 31

    Julia — May 18, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    I’m still stuck on that top picture with the broken yolk. So. good. I hope you ate it right away!

  32. 32

    Jeremy — May 21, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

    Wow that looks fantastic. I made bacon bought from the farmer’s market this morning which was delish but I think i need to try your sausage next week!

  33. 33

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  35. 35

    Jill Mant~a SaucyCook — February 24, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

    Hello!! I know this is an older post, but this is my first visit to your blog, so I’ve just been nosing around! Trust me, this will not be my last visit! I think your recipes and your advice are sage and the instructions are wonderful. As someone who is so dismayed to hear people say that they don’t have time to cook, or they don’t know how to cook, I think you are addressing a core need. Also, if people start to experience the difference that fresh, local, whole foods make I really believe they won;t be able to go back.


  36. 36

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  37. 37

    Amanda — March 30, 2013 @ 3:34 pm

    Hi Winnie! I’ve put together a round up of 13 Ways to use your food processor & 20 recipes to prove it. I’ve included your post in the collection, thanks for the great recipe!

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    Mark Viduk — April 12, 2014 @ 10:17 am

    Making sausage is simple but not lose too much time.
    Most importantly you need to have a meat grinder (which is great if electric meat grinder)