The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.
You might not know this, but when Sara and I were dating, she worked at the Cracker Barrel. You might say I didn’t so much date her as use her as a supplier of delicious cheesy hashbrown casserole.
(Now, before you get all up in arms, I didn’t *ONLY* date her to gain access to cheesy hashbrown casserole: they also had biscuits.)
I don’t remember how we came to make our own sausage, but you should know by now that if there is an easy way to do things and a hard way to do things, I generally choose the hard way.
You guys! You can make your own sausage? Did you know that was a thing you can do? It turns out sausage patties do NOT descend fully formed from Mount Olympus, but are in fact a simple mixture of pork and spices! Who knew?
Anybody who says links are better than patties can just get the hell off my blog right now.
Okay, so now you have the sausage…now what? Eat it, you say? NOT SO FAST.
(Okay, well eat a little bit of it, I mean, seriously)
Now we shall transform that into something EVEN MORE DELICIOUS.
How could anything be even more delicious than homemade sausage? Well, it involves a whole lot of cheese, that’s how. And hashbrowns. CHEESE AND HASHBROWNS.
…and then you bake it and it gets even more magical.
Well, we do like our breakfast food around here.
I daresay this is even better than the Cracker Barrel cheesy hashbrown casserole. I suppose you *could* use your homemade sausage just for eating, and you *could* make this with non-homemade sausage, but…
Recipe adapted from from Bon Appetit:
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1 1/3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/3 teaspoon onion powder (if you have it)
- 1 pound ground pork
Mix sage, thyme, brown sugar, salt, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and onion powder in a medium bowl. Add pork and work spice mixture into meat with your hands until it’s very well blended.
Scoop out ¼-cupfuls of mixture and flatten into about ¼”-thick patties (they will plump slightly when cooled).
Griddle sausage over medium-high heat until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook 2 minutes more.
Do Ahead: Patties can be made 2 days ahead. Stack between parchment paper; cover and chill, or freeze up to 1 month.
Cheesy Hashbrown Bake
Recipe adapted from All Recipes:
- 1 pound 4 oz package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
- 1/2 – 2/3 pounds pork sausage
- 1 onion, diced
- 7 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 8-12oz sharp cheddar, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2 quart baking dish. Place the hash brown potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook and stir the sausage and onion until the sausage is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink; drain. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and pour over the potatoes. Layer with half the Cheddar cheese, the sausage mixture, and the remaining Cheddar cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove cover; return casserole to the oven and bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.