Keto as a Way of Life
DIY Keto Pork Breakfast Sausage
On Keto, you have to be careful about the ingredients in the food you buy at the store. Sausage is one of those food items that has a lot of ingredients.
Often, store-bought sausage contains sugar, starchy fillers, and other carb-laden additives. If you love sausage like we do, the best way to ensure it isn’t filled with a lot of nonsense is to make it yourself.
Mixing up your own sausage may seem a little intimidating, but it’s genuinely easy with the right tools, a little technique, and a good recipe.
I believe I can help you with those things here. So keep reading!
Get the Meat
You want pork, of course. But there are some ideal qualities you’re looking for:
- Hormone Free
- Antibiotic Free
- Good fat marbling
You have a couple choices regarding the state of the pork when you buy it:
- Buy ground pork. It’s easier to manage, but it’s usually the more expensive option.
- Buy a larger cut like a shoulder, boston butt or picnic, and grind it yourself. This is less expensive, but it’s more trouble to deal with. I like that this option provides control over how coarsely I grind the meat. I used an 8 pound pork butt for this recipe.
You also have some choices regarding where to purchase your pork:
- Most grocery stores with a butcher counter, or a free standing butcher can sell you ground pork or whole cuts. The downside to this is it’s more difficult to find meat that has the ideal qualities listed above. The upside is that it’s a little more convenient and often a little less expensive.
- Or you could order from a meat delivery service like Porter Road. We recommend this option, not just because we’re an affiliate of Porter Road, but because we use their products and believe in them. You can tell a difference in the flavor of pasture raised pork. It’s simply superior. And if you’re doing Keto for your health, you owe it to yourself to invest in good quality ingredients.
NOTE: Porter Road sells wonderful breakfast sausage as well as unseasoned cuts of meat. If you don’t want to make your own sausage, they have an excellent selection of different sausages from breakfast sausage to chorizo to andouille links and more. A cool thing about this is they source all of their spices for their sausage from a Family-owned spice company here in Middle TN. The only thing is, their breakfast sausage recipe does contain some brown sugar.
Get it Ready
First, I cut the pork butt into 1 inch steaks, and then cut the steaks into 1 inch strips, leaving all the fat on there. You will have to get creative when you cut around the bone. Just be careful and get as much of the meat off of there as possible. It doesn’t have to be neat or even very uniform. It’s all getting ground up anyway. This left me with several 1 x 1 inch strips of meat (and a bunch of smaller, oddly shaped pieces of meat) that would fit perfectly into the grinder attachment on my KitchenAid Stand Mixer. Click on the images below to purchase your own!
Oh yeah! And set the bone aside. We’re going to use it.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer
By itself, a KitchenAid stand mixer is one of the best inventions since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
The ability to add attachments turns this gadget into a miracle worker.
We use Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer to make our own butter which is super easy! Also, we use ours whip up Keto cake batters, to grind meat for our own Keto-friendly sausage, and a ton of other kitchen tasks.
It's a multi-purpose powerhouse!
KitchenAid Grinder Attachment
The grinder attachment for my KitchenAid Stand Mixer is one of the funnest tools we have in our kitchen.
It’s hard to find sausage in the store without additives or sugar, so we started making our own.
Folks, I’ll never go back to the store bought stuff!
Grind the Meat
Next, I got my KitchenAid Stand Mixer all set up with the grinder attachment. There are usually two grind sizes available; small grind and coarse grind. I like the coarse grind for sausage.
Using the medium speed, I fed all of the pieces of meat through the grinder, catching the ground meat in a large bowl as it came out the other end.
Let it Rest
Don’t mix it further or mess with the ground meat too much right now. This is an important step. Cover the freshly ground meat and refrigerate it for at least a couple hours, though I prefer to let it go overnight. You want to keep the meat as cold as possible to prevent the proteins from breaking down further and becoming pasty. This step will help provide you a pleasant texture in the finished product. If you don’t do this, your sausage could end up with an almost rubbery mouth feel when you finally cook it.
Boil the bone and make a bone broth. Just drop the bone into about 4 quarts of boiling water. Reduce to a low boil, and let that go for about an hour. When it cools, strain the solids out of the water and reserve the broth. Just put that in the refrigerator next to the meat to chill overnight. You can pull off any excess meat you may have left on the bone and give it to your dog for a snack. My dog loves it when I’m making sausage! Then throw the bone away. Cooked bones aren’t good for dogs.
The reason this is an optional step is because later, the recipe will call for ice water. Rather than simply use ice water, I prefer to use iced broth. I feel like it brings a little more of that rich, pork flavor to the party.
Prepare the Sausage Seasoning
When I first started making sausage, I would throw in each herb or spice one at a time and then mix everything together with the meat. I learned, though, that this is bad practice because you will end up with little pockets of one herb or spice rather than everything being nicely distributed throughout the sausage. Simply measure your seasonings into a bowl or jar and give them a thorough mix before adding them to the meat.
There isn’t much to say about the herbs and spices you use other than, using dried is best. They don’t have to be ground fine or anything like that. You just want to make sure they’re not old. They do make sausage season packs that you can purchase, but I like mixing my own seasons. It gives me more control of the flavors, and I can tweak it however I like.
Mix it Up
Once your ground meat has had time to rest and you have your seasoning mixture put together, it’s time to combine the two.
First, weight out 5 pounds of ground pork. I have to work in 1 pound increments so my scale doesn’t get overloaded. That little bowl just won’t hold 5 pounds of meat without making a mess.
Working in roughly thirds, sprinkle some of the seasoning over the meat along with some of the ice water and then mix everything in. The best way to do this is just with your hands (wear gloves if you like). Then add more spice mix and more water and repeat until everything is incorporated.
CAREFUL! Don’t mix this too much. You will be tempted just to keep mixing and mixing. If you agitate the meat too much, you’ll get that pasty protein thing I talked about earlier. The ice water will help with this, but the warmth from your hands and the ambient heat just from the air will cause “meat paste” to happen before you know it.
At this point, when everything is well combined, I like to put the sausage back in the refrigerator to cool off some more before I patty it up.
Using a two oz scooper, I measure out the sausage and make patties.
Pro Tip: Get one of those two-piece lids from a Quart-sized Mason Jar. Lay it top-side down on your cutting board and press your two-ounce sausage ball scoops into it. Press the ball down with your fingers and it will press into a perfectly shaped patty. Just push the mason jar lid apart and gently peel your patty off the top of the lid. Viola! It’s like a sausage hack. Or, a Patty Whack, as I like to call it because I’m a little daft in the head.
NOTE: I usually don’t both putting sausage into a casing because I typically end up cutting the casing off anyone to reconfigure the meat into crumbles or patties. If you want to do that, though, this is the time to run your sausage through your sausage link attachment on the KitchenAid.
Cook ‘Em Up
Now your sausage patties are ready to cook or to store. You can stack them in your favorite plastic container, separated by parchment paper. They’ll keep in the fridge for a few days and in the freeze for a long time. I personally like to go ahead and just throw the whole batch on the smoker and cook them all at once. That way, Rebecca and I have easy breakfast for the week. Just warm them up with some eggs and/or some Keto bread and it’s ready in just a few minutes.
Traeger Pellet Grill
The smoker/grill I use is the Traeger Texas Elite 34 pellet grill. I can’t tell you enough how much we love this bad boy!
I've cooked everything from cake to ribs on mine. Yes... I said cake! (keto cake, of course)
It makes smoking meats easy, and gets hot enough to grill as well. It's been well worth every penny for us.
You NEED one of these in your backyard.
Thanks for Reading
We hope you enjoy this DIY Breakfast Sausage Recipe. If you give this recipe a try, please let us know how it works out for you. Drop us a line in the comment below, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or join us on our Facebook page where we share and discuss Keto recipes all the time.
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Keto Pork Breakfast Sausage
Per 2 ounce patty - Calories: 125 Fat: 8.6 Carbs: 0.2 Protein: 10.9
If starting with whole pork shoulder; break it down into 1 inch strips, removing and saving the bone.
Feed the 1 inch pork strips through your meat grinder, using the coarse grind attachment.
Refrigerate ground meat between 2 hours and over night. Make sure it's good and cold before you mix in the seasons.
Mix all herbs/spices together before mixing the blend into the meat.
Optional Step: Boil the bone in 4 quarts of water to make bone broth. Leave in at a low boil for an hour. Once broth is cool, strain it and refrigerate.
Sprinkle about a third of the season mix over the meat, with about a third of the iced water (or iced broth if you made it) then mix together. Repeat until all season and water is mixed into the meat.
DO NOT over mix the meat. It will become pasty and the texture of the final product will not be as pleasant.
It's best to refrigerate meat again at least for a couple hours after mixing to prevent the proteins from getting too sticky.
Form sausage into 2 ounce patties and cook them right away or store them.
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