We were blessed this season to end up with a freezer full of wild pork. We have roasts, ribs, shanks, pork belly, and lots of ground meat.
I was particularly excited to have the ground pork. Last year, for the first time, I bought several of the pan sausage mixes. With some tweaking, I was pleased with the results. My pigslayers love breakfast sausage and I got thumbs-up all around.
One of the things I discovered from using the mixes is that my family prefers more intense flavor in the sausage than the recommended amounts suggested in the directions. Luckily, I learned a trick from a friend of mine that allows for the doctoring of the recipe before an entire batch of ground meat is wasted. Prepare one pound according to the directions, let it rest for about an hour in the fridge for the flavors to mix and absorb, then make a small patty and fry it up. Give it a taste test. If the intensity of flavor is to your liking, then you’re good to go. Prepare as large a batch as you need. If the flavor is lacking, tweak it up, make a patty, fry it up, taste again.
Usually, I prepare a only a couple of pounds of sausage at a time. Even though we have more than 20 pounds of ground wild pork packaged in one-pound bags, I like the versatility of having the plain ground meat in the freezer. I can pull out, thaw, and season up just what I want for the next week or so.
Maple Wild Pork Sausage
1. First of all, double, triple, or quadruple this recipe as desired. Second, don’t be afraid to adjust the recipe. Pork is very forgiving. You know what I mean! Combine maple syrup, seasoning mix, and salt & pepper mix in a measuring cup. In a bowl, add to ground pork using a fork or your very clean hands. Because of the maple syrup, the mixture will remain very sticky. Cover with plastic wrap.
2. Let flavors combine in the fridge for at least an hour. Make a small patty, fry it up about 4-5 minutes per side in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until beautifully browned and fully cooked inside since it’s pork. Do a taste test. If the flavors are too intense, add more ground pork. If too mild, add extra stuff.
3. Once you have achieved the desired flavors, fry up as in step 2. Or you can divide up into one pound rolls, roll up in plastic wrap and freeze.
This is the perfect thing to prepare for Valentine’s Day. Who needs chocolate when you can have pork?
* See recipe in “A Thing or Two about Game Birds”