How to cook the perfect (or near perfect) sausage patty

I usually grind my own sausage because I like to know exactly what is in my food.
Fillers contain some suspicious ingredients and I avoid them.
I also like an “old-fashioned” flavor that is heavier on sage and fennel than any commercial product I have encountered.

Cooking sausage can be tricky if you want to have a tender, less greasy result.

I simply can’t stand the typical “brillo-pad” effect one gets with simply frying sausage patties so I prepare them the way I learned many years ago, which also keeps them from shrinking to half their size. This also works with sausage links and is the way I pre-cook bratwurst before putting them on the charcoal grill. This prevents the rubbery texture from developing.

I also wanted a smoky flavor but really didn’t have the time to smoke them.
So, first I brewed some Lapsang Souchong tea:

I put the brewed tea in a skillet and brought it to a boil then added the fairly thick sausage patties:

The advantage to this, while it takes quite a bit longer to cook, the sausage is cooked all the way through and yet remains tender:
This photo shows there is still some color to the liquid escaping from the interior.
I turn the patties several times, piercing them with a fork on both sides so some of the fat is extracted.
You can see that some interior juices are still reddish indicated it is not yet done.

The juices are now clear and the patties will begin to brown on both sides.

The patties are now completely cooked but still moist and tender. And you can see that the shrinkage has been much less than when they are fried.

Here’s the “money shot”

The interior may look a bit pink in this photo but that is due to the lighting.

These were served with biscuits and an omelet. Sorry, forgot to take photos of the other stuff.

And the slightly smoky flavor from the Lapsang Souchong added the perfect finish to the sausage.

11 Responses to How to cook the perfect (or near perfect) sausage patty

  1. Jack Tanksley says:

    I would like to pre-cook the patties and freeze them. This way final cooking is much faster because if my kids (18 – 27) won’t go through the entire process you described. It’s the old instant gratification. I am making venison chorizo from some venison my step-son shot. The meat is very lean and so I’m adding some ground pork and fatback.

    Any tips are appreciated.

    Thanks, Jack

    • asenjigal says:

      You can cook them as I describe up to the point where there is still a little water in the pan.
      Remove them, pat dry with a paper towel, allow to cook completely, then freeze removing as much air as possible – if you have a vacuum sealer, even better.
      The night before serving, transfer them from freezer to fridge and in the morning just brown them in a skillet or on a griddle or even heat them in a microwave-briefly, should take less than a minute.

  2. Denise says:

    I’m entering a cooking competition and will be making a german sausage slider. The problem is that contestants have no access to a kitchen on the day of the event (?!?!?!), so I have to either…pre-cook them and try to keep them warm, par-cook them and use a “hot plate” to finish them on site, or…I don’t know what else!!! Any suggestions? Could there be any benefit to boiling the patties first? Thanks.

    • asenjigal says:

      Cooking them in this manner, removing them as soon as they are slightly browned, they can be refrigerated for a day or so, then reheated and served with little change in texture and none in flavor.
      They can be reheated in a skillet with just a tiny bit of water or in a microwave for no more than 30 seconds – depending on the microwave wattage.
      It’s best to use a probe thermometer to make sure that the patties reach 160° F., before serving.

  3. Gerry says:

    Hello Asenjigalblogs,
    Thanks you for your post, Pork roast are very easy to cook, but my experiences tell me that not many people know how to cook them. The biggest problems I see when eating someone’s pork roast is there is not enough seasoning, the roast is over cooked and dry, or the meat is greasy. All three of these problems can be remedied without much work.

  4. Sarah S. says:

    Do you ever make all duck sausage using duck fat instead of pork? I am looking everywhere for sausage recipes that use any fats other than pork. Since I am going to be raising ducks for meat it makes sense to use duck fat if possible but other fats could be gotten too. Please let me know if you know about this. Kindest Regards 8)

    • asenjigal says:

      I’ve made duck sausage a few times but not recently. The reason for using pork fat or “fatty pork” is because pork fat is a bit more stable and denser than duck fat, which tends to render out of the meat easily and will render out of the sausage and leave you with a dry result. The pork fat will bind the small bits of duck together and provide a much better texture.
      An alternative for those who do not eat pork products, is beef kidney suet. It is much denser and “cleaner” than other fats on the animal.

      If you want to use duck fat, you should freeze it prior to grinding and you will have to use a “binder” and the best one is cooked white rice, ground in with the meat and fat. Some people use oatmeal but it is not as satisfactory.
      WEIGH the meat, the fat and the cooked rice.
      The ratio you need is for 4 pounds meat 1 3/4 pounds fat 3/4 pound rice.
      herbs and spices can vary – domestic duck meat does not need as heavy a hand with the spices as wild, gamy duck.

      2 level Tablespoons black pepper
      2 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt – if you use table salt, 2 Tablespoons
      1/4 cup dried marjoram
      2 teaspoons Coleman’s mustard
      1 teaspoon ground allspice
      2 tablespoons minced garlic – I prefer the dried garlic flakes, finely ground.

      You can also use up to half a pound of dried fruit – apples, cranberries, etc. Though do your first batch plain then try the options.

      Cut the meat and the fat into chunks or strips and lay out on a sheet pan and put in freezer for at least an hour.
      Meanwhile, prepare your casings.
      distribute the cooked rice over the meat and fat
      mix the pepper, salt, herbs and spices together and sprinkle over the meat.

      Grind the meat in a meat grinder – I don’t like the texture with a food processor
      first on the coarsest setting, mix the stuff well, pat it out into a slab on sheet pan and put it back in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
      Switch to the fine die and grind it again
      knead and work it with your hands (gloves are important) until it hold together nicely when squeezed.
      cover the pan or bowl and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours
      get some rest

      Prepare your sausage stuffer, load on a casing and start stuffing, tie off each sausage and don’t be terribly concerned about size your first time.
      Some people use the “twist” method – I use twine.

      After they are stuffed, they need to dry a bit – hang them in loops and turn a fan on them or hang them in the fridge if you have room, for at least 24 hours.
      Freeze them for long term storage
      if stored in the fridge they should be used within 5-6 days.

  5. cheryl s. says:

    if you don’t have tea what other kind of liquid would you use? I like the idea of tea but don’t have the kind you mentioned.

    • asenjigal says:

      You can use any kind of tea – or plain water, or apple cider or juice.
      I would use something with a strong flavor, like grape juice, but some fruits are very good with pork. Pineapple juice too would work – I’ve used it for pork chops many times.
      I just wanted a smoky flavor which is why I used the Lapsang Souchong.

  6. Tom O. says:

    I too make my own pork sausage patties. However when I cook them, the meat turns white rather than brown. Am I missing an ingredient or using the wrong cut of meat?

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