There comes a time in every person’s life—that is, if the person in question likes to cook, and by “likes to cook,” I mean “is slightly unreasonable when it comes to wanting to spend time in the kitchen”—when you’ve just resigned yourself to the fact that, sooner or later, you are just going to have to learn how to make sausage. It’s not because you eat a lot of sausage (you don’t), and it’s not because you think that making sausage will be so much more economically sound than buying sausage (I have no idea if it is or not). It’s because, when you really, really like to cook, sooner or later the list of things you have made in the kitchen starts to seem a little barren when you add up the list of things you’ve never attempted to make.
I don’t mean to make it sound as though I am constantly trying to one up myself in the kitchen. I am not. Even the mere thought of that is too exhausting to consider. But I do like cooking, and I do like learning new things, so it seems only natural that, eventually, I was going to learn about how to make sausage. Because why not?
The first thing I learned about sausage is that sausage can be any number of things, but it is, generally speaking, a mixture of tiny bits of ground up meat and fat mixed with seasonings. That’s it. Does anyone else find that totally fascinating? No? Okay. Moving on. Because the relative simplicity of the very description of sausage, I found it the perfect medium for combining flavors and elements of my choice. Not being a fan of pork, I decided to make my sausage out of ground turkey (the higher the fat content the better), and, because I realize that ground turkey can have a tendency to get sort of dry, I added a shredded pear to the mix to stave off dryness. Because pears love ginger so much, it seemed only natural that I should add some ginger to the mix. Sage seemed like a natural progression after that, and by the time I was done, all I could do was wonder why it had taken me so long to make something so delicious. The bite is tender and juicy, the spices are delightful, and the mix of earthy sage and bright ginger are a perfect match. This took my morning scrambled eggs to a whole new dimension of enjoyment, making the morning seem instantly a bit more special.
Turkey Pear Sausage with Ginger and Sage Recipe
As you can see, this is a recipe for bulk sausage. I have never tried to convert this recipe to make sausage links, so, if you are in possession of some casing and a sausage stuffer and you think you might want to try this out as link sausage, please know that I have absolutely no idea if it will work or not. However, if you do try to make linked sausage from this recipe, please do let me know how it turns out!
1 pound of ground turkey, not lean
1 large pear, shredded using the larger shredding holes on a box grater (you should end up with roughly ¾ of a cup of shredded pear), drained of any excess juice
3 tablespoons finely shredded onion (again, use a box grater for this)
1 medium clove finely mashed and minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon finely minced fresh sage (or scant ¼ teaspoon dried sage)
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of dried coriander
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients (again, make sure the shredded pear is well drained of any excess juice, or else your sausage mix will end up too loose). Gently mix together using a flexible spatula or your hands. Mix until everything is well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
To cook sausage, form patties in the size of your choosing. Heat a bit of olive oil in a nonstick pan or cast iron skillet set over medium or medium high heat, then add the sausage patties when the oil is hot. Cook patties, being careful not to crowd the pan, until they are sufficiently browned on each side and cooked all the way through, about 3 to 4 minutes for smallish-sized patties.
Makes a little over 1 pound of bulk sausage.