Most of my extended family regularly eats precooked sausage patties for breakfast. I don’t really like them eating a lot of mechanically separated meats or otherwise overly processed meat products; that are commercially made from combos of trimmings. So, that’s a big part of why make my own. Additionally, the premium precooked sausage patties made in this post each had a starting raw weight average of 3.66 ounces, with an out of pocket cost of 39 cents per patty. That price reflects using retail priced starting-raw pork.
Pictured above is 60.27 pounds of boneless pork shoulder butts. They still were a little too lean to produce optimally enjoyable sausage; so I took lean from them that equaled 5% of the total meat weight. In this home production run, that 5% worked out to 3 pounds of removed lean. There was also about 1 pound of combined loss from bag purge and trimmed-out objectionable materials. So subtracting those 2 factors, the 60 pounds of purchased pork weight went down to right around 56 pounds of sausage batch pork.
Pictured are most of the non-meat ingredients that were needed for this breakfast sausage batch. In several different posts I have reviewed how to easily adjust ingredients for different meat batch weights. However, if you need clarification about it just ask.
The cooking pot above contains 5.6 TBSP of fine ground black pepper, 11.5 TBSP of rubbed sage, 5.6 tsp of ginger, 5 TBSP of nutmeg, 5.6 TBSP of ground thyme, 4 cups of water and 12 TBSP of purified flake salt. Everything except the salt was heated up to a slow boil for a few minutes, in order to pasteurize the retail dry spices and to help blend flavors. Next, the purified salt was stirred in and the seasoning blend was then put into refrigeration to thoroughly chill. The glass container pictured here holds 5 TBSP of sausage sodium phosphate. The final 2 cups of water (6 total were used, 4 to boil spices) were later used to dissolve the sodium phosphate.
The shoulder blade (scapula) is the only bone in the pork shoulder butt and it appears to have been rapidly removed in these boneless butts. That fast removal process leaves the butts a bit hacked up (which does not matter here) and no doubt leaves lean on the removed blade bone. The meat plants likely mechanically separate the remaining lean from the the blade bones. Above, the subcutaneous fat layer is peeled back off the small muscle (supraspinatus) that sits anterior to the ridge of the scapula (blade bone). I chose this small muscle for lean removal because is has a vein of fairly heavy connective tissue running through it. That connective tissue could leave a few chewy bites in ground product, but gels up nicely when braised to make pulled-pork. As each approximate 1/2 pound piece of supraspinatus was removed, they were gathered in a refrigerated gallon bag.
Here, the supraspinatus has been removed. You can see how hacked up the remaining blade bone area was. This is a very important area to look and feel for blade bone-fragments that need to be removed. Another likely area to find bone-fragments is on the lean side of shoulder butts; where neck bone tips might have been left attache to muscle. Further, bone-chips from meat plant processing cut fabrication lines can sometimes become embedded in the roast’s outside fat layer. Look and feel for bone and heavy connective tissue the entire time while working-up these “boneless” butts.
This is an example of a little bit of bone socket left attached to a pork shoulder butt.
There’s a lymph node, in the anterior (towards the head) section of pork shoulder butts, it should be cut out and removed. Other small lymph nodes, from the jowl separation, and even pieces of the thymus gland can sometimes be left attached to this part of the pork shoulder butt.
This is the objectionable materials removed from 6 pork shoulder butts.
3 pounds of bagged lean and all the striped-up sausage meat. At this point the containers of sausage meat were temporarily placed in refrigeration.
3 pounds of lean that was cut into large cubes and seasoned with salt, pepper, crushed garlic and leaf marjoram. The proper amount of roast sodium phosphate was dissolved in first thing. Sodium phosphate always goes in ahead of salt. Lean chunks were covered and placed in a 250F oven to braise.
Sausage meat ground once through a 3/16 inch plate. Dissolved (using the remaining 2 cups of water) sodium phosphate was poured evenly over the top of the lug of ground meat, and fisted straight down for a minute or two.
The well chilled sausage seasoning blend was evenly spread over the ground pork. Again, start out repeatedly fisting straight down into the lug of meat. After fisting straight down for a about 5 minutes, about 1/3 of the lug of meat sectioned off and removed to another container (a deep steam table pan) to make hand mixing more effective. Hand mixing continued and meat was thrown back and forth between containers until the sausage batch was uniform in appearance and became moderately sticky to the touch. At that point, a test patty was fried up. It was decided that a little more sage was needed; so all meat went back into the lug and rubbed sage was dusted over it. Mixing continued as before until the added sage looked to be uniformly mixed in. A second test patty confirmed that we had achieved a great tasting batch of sausage.
56 pounds of breakfast sausage, covered with plastic then placed in refrigeration.
The oven pork had been cooking for a while by that time; so I poured off most of the cooking purge liquid, separated the pork cubes that were sticking together and then put it back in the oven (covered) to continue steam-cooking.
By that point it was time to eat a real breakfast.
After breakfast I cleaned up what I could, mineral oiled the grinder parts and put the pictured equipment away. I then took a break while waiting for the oven pork to finish cooking tender.
It wasn’t long before the pork was easy to pull apart, using 2 forks.
Pork was hand pulled while still quite warm. 2 small bags of it went into freezer storage and 1 was refrigerated for use in the near term. As I have stated in several other posts, pulled pork is very versatile in several different cooking applications.
In this pic I only cooked 15 patties, the remainder of the cooks I reduced patty size a bit and did 16 patties. Two 14 inch diameter skillets would have been nice, but I went with what I had on hand to use. A meat thermometer was used throughout to monitor optimal meat doneness.
The first time that I made a big batch of precooked breakfast sausage patties they averaged 1.93 ounces (raw weight). Since most people ended up eating 2 at a time and since larger patties are less work, I made larger patties this time around. They averaged 3.66 ounces (raw weight). After cooking all the patties pictured above, I took a break and cleaned out the skillets. I then packed-out these patties to free up the cookie sheets to put the remaining precooked patties on for cooling.
Precooked patties were immediately frozen 25 to a gallon size bag. Patties are easily separated from a frozen state by using a kitchen tool like the one pictured here. This run yielded 245 precooked patties that hold a high quality level well in <0F freezer storage for at least 6 months.