What Is Country Pork Sausage? (According To Experts)

Are you a fan of breakfast sausage? If so, you may have heard of country pork sausage.

But what exactly is it?

Country pork sausage, also known as breakfast sausage, is a type of fresh pork sausage that’s commonly served during breakfast in the United States. It’s seasoned with black pepper and sage, and sometimes with maple syrup or cayenne pepper.

This delicious sausage originated as a way for farmers to make use of as much of their livestock (usually pigs) as possible. Scraps and trimmings were ground, seasoned, and consumed by the farmer as an inexpensive, high-protein morning meal.

In this article, we’ll explore the history and variations of country pork sausage, as well as how it’s prepared and served.

So grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!

What Is Country Pork Sausage?

As mentioned earlier, country pork sausage is a type of fresh pork sausage that’s commonly served during breakfast in the United States. It’s made from ground pork that’s been seasoned with black pepper and sage, and sometimes with other spices like maple syrup or cayenne pepper.

The sausage can be found in various forms, including smoked or fresh patties, links, or loose sausage meat. It’s a popular breakfast item in traditional American “farmer” or “country” breakfasts, and can be found in most diners, fast-food restaurants, and family restaurants across the country.

Country pork sausage is also used in recipes calling for any variety of different types of sausage and served any time of day. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used to add flavor to a variety of dishes, including pizza, soups, pasta sauce, and more.

The History Of Country Pork Sausage

The origins of country pork sausage can be traced back to rural America, where farmers found ways to make use of as much of their livestock as possible. Scraps and trimmings from butchered pigs were ground, seasoned, and consumed as an inexpensive, high-protein morning meal. This practice allowed farmers to make the most of their resources and avoid waste.

In the 1840s, Elizabeth Ellicott Lea’s sausage instructions implied that she had access to a “chopping machine,” but it was still a lot of work to cut the meat to fit into the machine. Since she was managing a small farm, she was making massive quantities of sausage. Lea advised that everything should be prepared beforehand, including baking pies, bread, and stewed apples, and having all vegetables washed “so that every member of the family, that is able, may devote herself to the work of putting away the meat which is of so much importance for the coming year.”

By the early 1300s, Germany gave the world Bratwurst. A sausage usually made with pork and fried before eating. It has remained a favorite in Germany throughout the centuries and they go hand-in-hand with a stein of beer.

In North Carolina, Neese’s has been making some of the best sausage in North Carolina for over 100 years. The Neese family story started back in 1769 when George Neese directed his covered wagon onto the Great Wagon Road, riding south to Guilford County. He staked his claim to a few acres of North Carolina land and started his family’s legacy as farmers. As the centuries rolled on, the Neeses stuck it out in Guilford County, working as horse and cattle trading and blacksmithing, but were primarily farmers who ate what they grew, making sausage for their family meals. In 1917, J.T. Neese started selling and delivering sausage from the back of “a prairie schooner” – a covered wagon similar to the one George Neese used to bring the family to the South. J.T. came up with a special recipe for hand-ground sausage that included ham, pork cuts, as well as pepper, sage, and other seasonings that he kept secret.

Over time, country pork sausage has evolved from being made solely from pork scraps and trimmings to including beef or poultry mixtures or even vegetarian options using textured vegetable protein (TVP). However, its popularity as a breakfast staple remains strong across America.

Variations Of Country Pork Sausage

While traditional country pork sausage is made from ground pork seasoned with black pepper and sage, there are many variations of this popular breakfast meat.

One variation is Cajun sausage, which is a smoked pork sausage that offers an American spin on the French Andouille sausage. It differs from traditional country pork sausage in that it is made with shoulder meat, wine, pepper, garlic, and onions, and is spicier overall. Cajun sausage is typically used in jambalaya dishes and is particularly popular in the state of Louisiana.

Another variation of country pork sausage is homemade sausage. Making your own country pork sausage allows you to adjust the seasonings to your taste and avoid any unwanted additives like fillers or MSG. Homemade sausage can be made with plain ground pork or a combination of ground pork and other meats like beef or veal.

For those following a specific diet like Whole30 or Keto, finding a breakfast sausage made without sugar can be challenging. However, making your own country pork sausage with only ground pork and simple seasonings makes it 100% Paleo, Whole30, and Keto-friendly.

Finally, there are vegetarian variations of country pork sausage that use textured vegetable protein (TVP) in place of meat. These vegetarian sausages can be seasoned with similar spices to traditional country pork sausage and can be a great option for those looking for a meatless breakfast alternative.

How Country Pork Sausage Is Prepared

To prepare country pork sausage at home, you’ll need ground pork and a few seasonings. While pork is the default meat for this type of sausage, you can also use ground turkey, chicken, beef, veal, or venison if you prefer. However, keep in mind that using poultry instead of pork will result in a leaner and potentially drier sausage.

To make your own country pork sausage, start by placing a metal mixing bowl in the freezer to keep the pork as cold as possible. Then, prepare your seasoning mixture by combining minced fresh sage, ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes (or your preferred spice blend). You can also add other herbs or spices to customize the flavor to your liking.

Next, pull the cold bowl from the freezer and add the ground pork and seasoning mixture. Use gloved or clean hands to mix everything together as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Form the sausage mixture into a cylindrical shape using plastic wrap to wrap it up tightly and remove any air pockets.

You can then refrigerate the sausage for up to three days or freeze it for up to a month until you’re ready to cook it. To cook the sausage, you can fry it in a pan, bake it in the oven, or grill it on a barbecue. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes or served on its own as a delicious breakfast item.

Serving Suggestions For Country Pork Sausage

If you’re looking for some tasty ways to enjoy country pork sausage, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some serving suggestions to get you started:

1. Breakfast Sandwich: Fry up some country pork sausage patties and serve them on a toasted English muffin with a fried egg and a slice of cheese for a delicious breakfast sandwich.

2. Sausage Gravy and Biscuits: Make a creamy sausage gravy using country pork sausage and serve it over fresh, flaky biscuits for a classic Southern breakfast dish.

3. Sausage and Egg Casserole: Layer country pork sausage, eggs, cheese, and bread in a casserole dish and bake it in the oven for an easy breakfast or brunch dish.

4. Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza: Top your favorite pizza crust with country pork sausage, pepperoni, cheese, and your favorite veggies for a tasty homemade pizza.

5. Sausage and Bean Soup: Use country pork sausage instead of ham in your favorite bean soup recipe for a delicious twist on a classic dish.

6. Sausage and Potato Skillet: Brown some country pork sausage in a skillet with diced potatoes, onions, and peppers for a hearty and flavorful one-pan meal.

7. Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms: Remove the stems from large mushrooms and stuff them with a mixture of cooked country pork sausage, cream cheese, and breadcrumbs before baking them in the oven for an irresistible appetizer.

No matter how you choose to enjoy it, country pork sausage is a versatile ingredient that can add flavor to any meal of the day.