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two hands wrapping a sage sausage in a hot dog bun in a sheet of aluminum foil

sage breakfast sausage (no casings)

This sage sausage mixture was inspired by Barron's Beef stand at the Baltimore Farmer's Market.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 6 sausages


  • 1 lb pork butt (or shoulder)
  • 1 TBSP fresh sage (minced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • tsp fennel seeds (lightly crushed)
  • 2 tsp diamond crystal kosher salt (1 tsp if using another brand)
  • tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ tsp whole nutmeg (freshly grated, always!)


  • Use a sharp knife to cut the pork into 1" cubes. Leave as much fat on as you can. It's okay if some pieces are entirely fatty. Remove the bone if using bone-in meat.
    Cover and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge so the fat is nice and cool and won't melt when you grind it.
  • Set up your meat grinder and run the chilled meat through the machine. Pause occasionally to make sure the meat isn't jammed or squishing out around the screw-in mechanism holding the grinding plates in place.
    Cover the ground pork and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • While the meat is chilling, prep your herbs and spices. Mix them into the chilled ground pork (do not overmix!) just until well combined and evenly distributed.
  • Heat a small amount of oil in a pan and fry a small 1 tsp dollop of the mixture to taste. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  • If making sausage patties: Divide mixture up into 6-8 equal pieces, roll into balls, flatten, and pan fry over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side.

to make sausage with no casing

  • Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap down on your counter.
  • Dollop about ¼ cup of the sausage mixture in the bottom center of the plastic about 3" up from the edge closest to you. Fold the bottom edge of the plastic (the one closest to you) up over the sausage mixture.
  • Cup your fingers over the plastic and sausage and slide them toward your body, pulling the sausage with them. Don't roll the sausage. Pull it with your fingers firmly against the counter so that the sausage forms a log shape about 1" thick.
  • Now roll the log forward to wrap it tightly with the rest of the plastic. Twist the ends closed as you go to squish as much of the meat mixture tightly in the wrap. You don't want any large air pockets trapped inside. Tuck the twisted ends under the log.
  • Repeat with remaining sausage mixture (use a kitchen scale or measuring cup to ensure they're all the same size) and chill in the fridge for several hours or overnight so that the sausages chill and hold their shape better.
  • To cook, unwrap the sausages from the plastic and cook on a hot skillet, rolling them across the surface of the pan to prevent them from flattening out on one side. Sausages are done when they reach an internal temp of 160°F on an instant-read thermometer.
  • Serve in a hot dog bun or sliced on a diagonal into medallions.



  • For food safety reasons I do NOT recommend poaching these in the plastic wrap. Different brands and types of plastic wrap have wildly varied melting points and it's best not to risk the plastic melting or leeching into your food.
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