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Garlic and Sage Sausage from A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Garlic and Sage Sausage from A Breath of Snow and Ashes

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

“Well d’ye see, Auntie,” Ian said carefully, “we do mean to question the fellow.”

“And we will have answers,” Fergus said, eyes on the spoon with which he was stirring his coffee.

“And when Uncle Jamie is satisfied that he has told us what he can…”

Ian had laid his newly sharpened knife on the table beside his plate.  He picked it up, and thoughtfully drew it down the length of a cold sausage, which promptly split open, with an aromatic burst of sage and garlic.  He looked up then, and met my eyes directly.  And I realized that while I might still be me — Ian was no longer the boy he used to be.  Not at all.

Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Chapter 30 – The Captive)

I’m a big fan of homemade sausage.  I imagine Mrs. Bug and I could have spent a companionable afternoon, chopping, seasoning and stuffing our way to a kitchen-induced bliss.

Here in my 21st Century kitchen, I do have sausage stuffer attachment for my Kitchen Aid, but I never seem to have any casings around when I get a hankering to make a batch.  But I don’t let that stop me!  Instead, I make case-less sausages, aka patties.

This kind of sausage making is more of an art than a science, and the best rule of thumb is to always cook a small piece of your mixture once you think you’ve got it right.  Taste it, then adjust the seasonings before you proceed.


The recipe below is just a starting point.  I kept it very simple this time and tried to only use ingredients that would have been available at the Ridge. (The black pepper might be a bit of a stretch, and there’s no doubt it would have been the most expensive ingredient, by weight, on the list.)

Thankfully times have changed and you have all sorts of exotic spices at your disposal.  As an example, have a look at the Fennel, Mint and Lemon Lamb Sausage I made for Robbie Burns night a couple of years back.  Mix up the meat, the spices and the filler, and you can have a different sausage every week!

If you have grinder, and you really get into this sausage making thing, you could try grinding up your own pork shoulder with added fat, or stewing beef, again with added fat.  I suggest making a 4 or 5 lb batch, and freezing most of it for future meals.  Play with the grind, doing at least part of the batch on a  coarser grind.  Texture in a sausage is a good thing.

If you don’t have a grinder, dinna fash!  Use ground meat as I did here.

The picture below shows today’s recipe, with some added minced red pepper, rolled into 1 oz meatballs and destined for my smoker.  I smoked them at 225° for 90 minutes.  (If you don’t have a smoker, cook them in a 450° F oven for 12-15 minutes.) Those other meatballs on the right side are Andouille-spiced, and are scheduled to appear on my other blog very early next week.

And with that, my friends, I bid you Chi mi a-rithist thu (I’ll see you again).  I’m off on a 3 week Scottish adventure with My Englishman!  We hope to post a few pictures as we go…check out OK’s Facebook and Twitter pages while we’re away.

ians garlic and sage sausage

Make your own Sausage McMuffins at home!  Just whip up a batch of Mrs. Bug’s Buttermilk Drop Biscuits, and you’ve got an addtive-free party in your mouth!

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Garlic & Sage Sausage from A Breath of Snow and Ashes

: A basic caseless sausage that is yours to experiment with and make your own.  Homemade can be easy and is always tastier than store bought.

Yield:  1 lb

  • Ground Pork – 1 lb (500 g) (see notes)
  • Filler – Cornmeal, Ground Oats, Breadcrumbs, etc. – 1/2 Cup (120 ml) (see notes)
  • Garlic, minced – 3 cloves
  • Fresh Sage, chopped – 1 Tble (15 ml)
  • Kosher Salt – 1 1/2 tsp. (8 ml)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper – 1 tsp (5 ml)
  • Mustard Powder – 1/2 tsp (3 ml)

Read the recipe through at least once before you begin.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hands until the meat is a smooth consistency and evenly spiced.

Heat a small pan over medium high and cook a small patty of sausage to taste for seasoning.  Adjust the spices as required then form into patties about 1/2” thick.

Cook in a pan over medium to medium-high heat until golden on both sides and cooked through.  Alternatively, roast them on a rack in a 350° F (175° C) for about 20 minutes, until cooked through.

Ith gu leòir! (Eat Plenty)


  • No pork?  Substitute regular ground beef in its place.
  • If using oats as a filler, grind them in a coffee grinder until the texture of cornmeal.  Ground almonds also make a tasty, protein-packed, gluten-free filler.
  • To chop the sage, stack the leaves in an even pile, then roll those as you would a cigar.  Fold the cigar in half, then cut the thinnest slivers you can with a sharp knife.
  • OK friend and chef/blogger at, Lori, told me to grate garlic on my microplane…and you know what?  It’s a great idea!  Much faster than chopping and easier to clean than a garlic press

garlic and sage sausage meatball sub

Here’s that meatball sub I talked about a little earlier…smoked garlic and sage sausage meatballs with a quick fresh tomato sauce and lots of cheese…anyone interested?


  1. Anne Hayward
    April 15, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Have a wonderful trip – looking forward to seeing your photos and hearing all about your experiences!

    • Theresa
      April 15, 2013 at 7:46 am

      Thank you, Anne!

  2. Shannon Pike
    April 15, 2013 at 7:45 am

    This looks great! My husband has been making venison sausage and pepperoni and jerky like crazy lately. I will have to get him to try this recipe. Happy trails!

  3. Taking On Magazines
    April 15, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I adore sage and I love garlic, which means this sausage is destined to be on our breakfast table. It looks amazing.

    I hope you have an amazing trip, Theresa. Please do take lots of photos and send us an update on everything you see and do while you’re over there. Safe journeys!

    • Theresa
      April 16, 2013 at 6:59 am

      Thank you Christiane! I’m buzzing with excitement!

  4. Serena Saint-Marceaux
    April 16, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Ooh, I have some spare ground beef in the fridge I have no plans for after tonight’s dinner is taken out of it . . . I think I may be trying a beef-and-ground-oats variation of this in the next few days.

    . . .now if only I can find my coffee grinder for that.

    I hope you have an excellent trip and loads of fun!

  5. Terri F.
    October 14, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Have a great trip! Looking forward to seeing photos.

  6. Molly
    October 14, 2014 at 11:57 am

    So tickled to see your posts come up in the Facebook feed…some of these great ones I’ve missed. Looking forward to making this for weekend brekky.

  7. Dena
    October 14, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    I had to make breakfast sausage for my dad, as salt free as possible yet tasty and spicy. I used half ground turkey and half ground pork, added my spices and chopped onions and jalapeños. Some batches also had sugar. I’d form the patties and freeze them, then pull out and cook only as many patties as we needed. Economical and made to his liking!

  8. Anna Lapping
    August 21, 2015 at 9:15 am

    I make the fennel, mint and lamb sausage fairly regularly, and the whiskey cream shows up on my table to go with lots of other things in addition to the sausage. This one is a winner as well. Love the idea of cooking the meatballs in the smoker!

  9. judy
    August 25, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    This is maybe a silly question, where do you get “added fat” these days? From a special butcher shop? As I have a grinder for my Kitchen Aid, grinding my own has appeal. Back in the 60’s my Grandad made sausage for us, but I’ve no idea what cuts he used. Just that he had the butcher grind up “a roast” for him. I just recall the _Amazing_ sandwiches I had in my lunch box!

    • Theresa
      August 26, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      It’s not a silly question, Judy. In fact, that added fat is hard to find! A specialty butcher shop is your best bet.

    • judy
      August 27, 2015 at 10:43 am

      Thanks, Theresa!

    • Anna Lapping
      August 26, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      I have been having the same problem, and we don’t have specialty butcher shops here, I’m thinking I will buy a pork butt/shoulder and hope for the best in the fat department. I’ll grind it myself.

    • Theresa
      August 27, 2015 at 10:26 am

      You could always throw a half or full pound of fatty bacon in that grinder…not a perfect solution, but it results in darn tasty sausage. Theresa

    • Anna Lapping
      August 27, 2015 at 11:26 am

      I also saw sliced pork belly at Costco last week. I could buy that and divide it into smaller packages to grind into my pork. Think I’ll try that one, but the bacon sounds delish also. I’m a bacon lover!

  10. Bullrem
    December 2, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Oh, lookie what I missed when it was first posted – but I am happy to find it now. This will be on my listed of first things when I get back from a short Florida trip. Yummmy!!!

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