Garlic and Sage Sausage

Our late chef, Brandon Foster, was a big advocate for making his own sausage to add to Thanksgiving stuffing, both at home and for Project Angel Heart clients. This simple recipe from Chef Brandon can be made whether you have a meat grinder or not. The recipe is written assuming you don’t have one, but if you do, simply substitute diced pork, grind it first, and follow the recipe from there.

Yield: 2 pounds

2 pounds fresh ground pork
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons nonfat dry milk powder
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

In a large mixing bowl, break up the pork so that it is easy to mix by hand.

Add all of the ingredients one at a time, making sure to disperse them evenly.

Use your hands to mix and fold the dry ingredients, garlic, and sage into the pork. Mix for about five or six minutes, or until everything has been evenly dispersed.

Using a small saute pan, cook a small piece of the pork to check for seasoning. (This is always a good habit to get into when making your own sausage.)

The sausage is now ready to use however you’d like. I usually let it sit overnight to let the flavors really mesh, then cook it and add it to the stuffing the next day.*

You can also use a countertop mixer with a paddle attachment for this recipe if you have one. Simply mix with the paddle on the lowest setting until the sausage is bound and slightly tacky.

* While this is great in stuffing, with the addition of maple syrup it is also a delicious breakfast sausage. Just add one tablespoon of maple syrup during the mixing process.

Chef Brandon FosterBrandon Foster, Project Angel Heart’s executive chef from 2016 until he passed away unexpectedly in July 2020, began his life in the kitchen at the Best Western in Frisco, Colorado, almost 18 years ago. His passion for ingredients and drive to learn technique led him down the mountain to Denver, where he worked in two of Denver’s most fondly remembered restaurants, The Fourth Story and Mel’s. He joined the crew at Vesta in 2005 as a line cook and became executive chef in 2010, focusing on getting back to the roots of cooking through charcuterie and seasonal ingredients. Ultimately, Chef Brandon’s career highlights centered on events like Plates for the Peak, Invest in Kids, and James Beard Foundation dinners where he could play a role in helping people in need–a passion that led him to Project Angel Heart in 2016.