Weekends are a good time to eat the kind of breakfast you really shouldn’t eat all that often – for reasons of time or health. I admit we only have this kind of fry-up a couple times a year, but my husband’s father was English so I have to give in once in a while.
Many disagree over what goes into the proper fry-up. My husband’s father always scrambled his eggs, and served them alongside bacon, sausages, mushrooms, beans, fried tomato, and toast fried in the bacon fat. My family lived in London as well and always served up a sunnyside-up egg, but dispensed with frying either the tomato or the toast. In any case, in England the bacon was usually rashers of back bacon, and the breakfast also involved crisp-fried slices of black pudding and a bottle of brown sauce.
Here’s our impromptu fry-up. Smoked belly bacon, and it’s well past tomato season so you won’t find that on the plate at this time of year. The mushrooms are hen of the woods, sautéed with garlic confit, a pinch of truffle salt, and a squeeze of lemon. The beans are Heinz, out of a can, from the British imports section. They inspired the breakfast.
These are on the very bready side, to my husband’s preference. You can reduce the volume of bread anywhere from this level down to zero if you don’t care for a bread sausage. If you do, reduce the salt slightly as well (1 tsp per pound of meat, generally). When you cook them, cook slowly on the stovetop, and turn frequently. Don’t prick first, and don’t let them stick to the pan – the juices should stay in the sausage.
2 lb pork shoulder with the fat cap, skin removed (weight after removal), cubed 1″
1 loaf bread, cubed and dried in oven at 200F, measured to 1/4 lb
2 1/4 tsp kosher salt (if using Morton’s Kosher)
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
12 cloves garlic confit
leaves from 4 sprigs thyme
In a large bowl or hotel pan, season the meat evenly with all the remaining ingredients except the bread cubes. Cover and refrigerate for a day.
Soak the casings well in several changes of water at least an hour before grinding and stuffing. Rinse inside and out. Crush the breadcrumbs (a sealed bag with a rolling pin works well).
Spread the mixture onto a sheet pan in a single layer (use multiple pans if necessary) and freeze until half firm. Grind using the coarse die, into a bowl over a pan or larger bowl of ice to keep it cold. Combine the meat with the breadcrumbs quickly – do not overmix or allow to become less than ice cold. Cook a test piece and taste for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, or nutmeg if necessary.
Attach the casing to the grinder and stuff the sausage. Do not overstuff. Pinch off links of the desired lengths (from short to very long, if desired) and twist off the casing, tying with kitchen twine.
Cook sausages over medium-low heat.