Cracked pepper sausage a spicy breakfast dish

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

My inspiration for the following recipe? I have been in contact with certain members of the cast of The Waltons with the hopeful opportunity of writing a Walton’s Mountain cookbook. And the  first recipe that comes to mind? Sausage!

I remember the episode where Martha Corinne comes to the mountain to cook some sausage patties, using too much black pepper. And much to the chagrin of  Grandma Walton and Olivia, John Boy loves it. Here is my rendition of a classically peppery breakfast sausage that is far better than prepared varieties.

I probably should call this Spicy Breakfast Sausage on one hand, but on the other, I believe that all breakfast sausage should have the peppery kick so often not found in today’s prepared, supermarket sausage. It is the crunch and immediate flavor of black pepper that should be tasted upon the very first bite. But if you don’t have cracked black pepper available in your spice rack, substitute ground black pepper.

homemadebreakfastsausagee1 pound ground pork *
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon each salt and cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon each sage, savory and Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds, optional
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Simply place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well before forming into patties and cooking.

* If you truly want to start from scratch, pulse 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks, in your food processor with all ingredients until it resembles sausage. This way, you can trim any amount of fat from the pork, but remember to leave some.

For Maple Breakfast Sausage, simply add 1/4 cup maple syrup to the recipe.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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