Breakfast Sausage with Fresh Ginger and Sage

from Charcuterie, by Ruhlman and Polcyn, with additional commentary

Ruhlman and Polcyn are not kidding when they refer to this as Da Bomb.  This sausage has complex flavors that wake up your whole mouth.  I don’t want to be without some of this in my freezer.


  • 5 pounds/2.25 kg boneless pork shoulder butt, diced in 1 inch pieces
  • 1.5 ounces/40 grams kosher salt (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 5 tablespoons/50 grams peeled and finely grated fresh ginger (we minced ours)
  • 5 tablespoons/ 30 grams fresh sage leaves, chopped finely.
  • 1 tablespoon/18 grams minced garlic (about 5 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons/ 6 grams ground white pepper
  • 1 cup / 250 ml ice water
  • 20 feet / 6 m sheep casings or 10 feet/3 m hog casings, soaked in warm water for AT LEAST 30 minutes and rinsed
  • ice cubes (for bowl under ground meat)

Prep (can be done a day or more in advance)

  1. Put the bowl from the stand mixer in the freezer.  Put the grinder attachment in the freezer.  Let them stay there as long as possible before grinding the meat.  I have the luxury of freezer space, so I put them in a day in advance.
  2. Dice the pork shoulder butt in one inch cubes.  Put these in a large mixing  bowl, cover with plastic, and put in the refrigerator and allow to chill as long as possible.  I found chilling it overnight works well.
  3. Soak the casings (if you’re going to use casings) in tepid water for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.  I’ve found that soaking overnight, and then changing the soaking water helps relax the casings so that they are easy to work with.


  1. Combine all ingredients except the water and toss to distribute the seasonings.  Chill until ready to grind.
  2. Grind the mixture through the small die into a bowl set in ice.
  3. Add the water to the ground meat mixture and mix with the paddle attachment until the liquid is incorporated and the mixture has developed a uniform, sticky appearance, about 1 minute on medium speed.
  4. Saute a small portion of the sausage, taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  5. Stuff the sausage into casings and twist into 4 inch / 10 cm links, or shape into patties.  Refrigerate or freeze until ready to cook; or roll into a log, wrap in plastic and freeze; slice into patties.


  1. Gently saute or roast the sausage to an internal temperature of 150 degrees F / 65 degrees C.  If you are using this loose, or in patties, saute until cooked through.
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One Response to Breakfast Sausage with Fresh Ginger and Sage

  1. Jeff says:

    I think you missed the sage in the ingredients 🙂 I was looking for this recipe online because I was sitting with a laptop on my unlit patio and wanted to see if I had something, and something didn’t seem quite right…

    I went and grabbed my copy of Charcuterie for ya. It’s “5 tablespoons/30 grams tightly packed finely chopped fresh sage.”

    I’m thinking about adding some rosemary and thyme to my next batch, but this truly is Da Bomb. And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

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