This year why not make your own sage sausage for your sausage dressing for Thanksgiving. You get to control the seasoning then. You can tell everyone you made everything in the dressing, including the sausage.
Homemade Sage Sausage
1 lb. ground pork
½ tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
¼ tsp. sage (flakes or ground) Double if you are using fresh
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. thyme
¼ garlic powder
Mix all ingredients until well combined. Use your hands. Make sure all spices are incorporated.
Fry a small sample of it and taste it to see if you need to adjust the seasoning. You may wish to add a little more sage since it is sage dressing. It is easier to have too little and add since you can’t take it out. I love sage so add more (1/2 tsp. sage total). I dried my sage in the microwave in the fall and have lots of sage to use up. I then put it in a mortar and pestle and grind it.
Double the recipe and make up a double batch to set aside for Sunday brunch. Make biscuits and gravy or sausage patties. You can fry and freeze the patties and have them ready to reheat in the microwave for a breakfast.
Variation - You may make this with ground turkey using the same spices.
Sage Sausage Dressing
Now is the time to pick great day old rustic bread up. Walmart usually has some in the back of the store for sale. The crustier the better. If you want to go the easy route, buy unseasoned dressing croutons that are dried and cut for you. I have been known to do this (I did it this week).
1 lbs. sage sausage
2 tbs. butter
1 small onion
2 stalks celery
1 large carrot
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
6 cups of 1″ bread cubes, from stale crusty bread
Kosher salt and pepper
1 cup chicken stock plus
Preheat oven to 425º. Pulse onion, celery, and carrot in a food processor until finely chopped.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and break it up into small, bite sized pieces, cooking until browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.
Add butter to the grease remaining in the pan, and scrape up the drippings. When the butter is melted, add the onion, celery, and carrots from the food processor. Cook until soft and add the garlic. Cook for one minute. Remove from heat and fold in the sage and thyme.
Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add the sausage to the bowl. Pour the slightly beaten egg over the mixture, add the bread and mix to blend everything evenly. Pour the chicken stock over the stuffing and mix well. Season the dressing with a little salt and pepper. I like my dressing wet, so I add more broth. You can decide how wet you want yours.
Grease a casserole dish and scrape the stuffing into the dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.
My mother has always made the sausage dressing for Thanksgiving so I love it, but I also love oyster dressing so since it is Thanksgiving, I put a little of both on my plate. I’m lucky because my daughter-in-laws mother brings both. That is one of the so many things I am very thankful for on Thanksgiving.
Hope you have a wonderful Monday, be happy and may God bless you and yours.