293: Spiced Maple Sausage Patties with 294: Hash Browns
I’d thought about making sausage patties before, and I just happened across a recipe one day. I had a package of ground pork in the freezer, so I decided to make Spiced Maple Sausage Patties for breakfast for one Sunday morning. I tried to make Hash Browns (#294) to go with them.
Before I get into the more involved process of making the sausage, let me tell you about the hash browns and where I went wrong with them. They did not turn out to my liking. It was from my 2000 Betty Crocker cookbook, and it should have been simple. The recipe took 4 cups of shredded potatoes, 2 tablespoons onion, salt, and pepper. I was supposed to shred the potatoes, rinse them, and pat them dry. Toss with onion, and spread in an oiled non-stick skillet and fry for a little while (10 or 15 minutes). Drizzle with oil, cut the potatoes into 4 wedges, and flip to cook the other side. Sounds simple, right?
I thought so too. However, I started by shredding potatoes on Saturday but I did not store them in water in the fridge. They were very discolored by the time I cooked them. Discoloring is only an issue with appearance, so I cooked them anyway. However, I still didn’t rinse them and pat them dry. I just mixed them with the onion and put them in the pan. My pan is a little old and not very non-stick, so the hash browns came apart when I tried to flip them. While I was making them, I decided that I probably wouldn’t have liked the hash browns very much anyway, even if they’d turned out well. I like my fried potatoes well done – browned edges are my favorite parts. There would have been a lot of non-crispy potatoes with these hash browns. I ended up adding lots of extra pepper and stirring around the potatoes to try to get them a little extra done. I might try a different hash browns recipe at some point – something a little more interesting, and that I cook in a different pan. I’ll also be sure to rinse the potatoes if it calls for it (maybe it gets rid of excess starch?) and will store my pre-shredded potatoes in water.
This sausage patties had to be prepared the night before you wanted to eat. I only had a pound of ground pork but the recipe called for 1.75 pounds, so I had to make 4/7s of the recipe. I chose a not-particularly-precise method of scaling down the recipe – I decided to put in half the seasoning, plus about another third of that half (a third more of what I’d already measured). I didn’t mind if I had a little too much seasoning in the pork as long as all the spices were balanced.
After I thawed my pork, I realized that it was reduced-fat pork. I decided to make the recipe anyway. I ground a quarter of a large yellow onion since I didn’t have small onions. I didn’t have fresh herbs, but generally the way to substitute dried herbs for fresh is to use a teaspoon of dried herbs per tablespoon of fresh herbs. Thus, I used 1 teaspoon dried sage and a half teaspoon dried thyme for my half recipe of sausage. I mixed everything together and made 10 sausage patties, which I refrigerated overnight.
The next morning I heated a skillet and partially cooked them in 2 batches. I put them in the oven to finish cooking, as the recipe instructed.
These were pretty good. Although it was reduced-fat pork, the sausage was still plenty juicy, although perhaps not sausage-like because of that; they were more like sausage-flavored pork. It was not as spicy as what I normally buy in the store, and not nearly as salty. I didn’t care too much for the flavor of the allspice, so I might leave that out if I make it again. The maple flavor was definitely there but not overwhelming. I wouldn’t call this one of my favorite recipes, but I’m glad I gave it a try.