The evil deed is done! Sausage—I use the word in its uncountable form—was made this evening, and it was... not bad! In my previous post, I linked to the recipe that I used tonight, and it worked fairly well, although I did alter some proportions along the way. For example, the recipe called for only an eighth of a teaspoon of chili flakes for two pounds of pork. No self-respecting Korean is going to go for homeopathic levels of chili, so I upped the dosage to a full, heaping teaspoon. I also added a wee bit more sugar, salt, and oregano—yes, oregano, because as I discovered through online research, it's actually a cousin of marjoram, which is what the recipe called for. Just so you know: oregano works fine.
I mixed all the reagents together and divided the ground pork into eight portions to make eight sausage patties weighing a bit under four ounces each:
After that, it was just a matter of cooking. I set the fan to blow over my fire alarm just in case things got a little smoky, but I don't think it ever got to that point. Below: my skillet with two patties a-sizzling. As I mentioned a while back, the downstairs grocery's ground pork is super-lean, so there was almost no fat leakage. In fact, I had to add bacon fat to the fry:
Here's a closeup taken after the patties had been flipped:
A gorgeous photo of my patties all piled high on a plate:
I was sorely tempted to taste my patties while they were still being made, but I held myself back because what I really wanted to do was make breakfast sandwiches to see how well the sausages worked in context. I had shopped at Costco for English muffins, but the store only had bagels (Einstein Brothers, imported), so I went with blueberry. For the sake of my sandwich experiment, I took a bagel, split it, buttered it, and pan-fried it.
Here are the halves:
Here are the halves with a sausage patty:
Next: the scrambled egg and American cheese. I had added a generous gloop of heavy cream to my eggs, which is why they came out so light-colored. But the cream also made those lovely little bird abortions quite velvety, so I'm not going to apologize for that.
Next up: a closeup of the assembled sandwich before I finished it in the microwave:
The sandwich spends a minute in microwave purgatory:
The cheese is now melted:
And here's a cross-sectional view:
I split the microwaved sandwich in half. One side, I slathered with maple syrup; the other side, I coated with strawberry jam. I wanted to see which sweet I liked better with the sandwich. Strawberry jam won. After I ate the sandwich, however, I ate a second patty with a second dollop of eggs—and I bathed the plate in syrup. This allowed me to taste the sausage patty more directly, without bread and cheese intervening.
Verdict: not bad at all! With my adjusted proportions, the taste of my breakfast sausage was nearly perfect—very close to a Bob Evans product. The texture, however, was another matter, given how dry the pork was. The bacon fat definitely helped, but next time, I think I'll mix the fat in while I'm kneading the herbs and spices into the meat. Fat is flavor; this is why most of the world charges extra for fatty meats, whereas we nutty Americans think lean meat equates to higher quality. But we're learning: "Fat is flavor" is a constant mantra on the Food Network, and while many Americans might not yet appreciate a "fat cap," they're increasingly charmed by the concept of marbling. We'll get it eventually.
Meantime, I've made a breakfast sandwich to take to work tomorrow.