Lou usually beckons me with an e-vite that makes cooking with him nearly impossible to turn down. He refers to me as the “loveliest” in his requests for my attendance for various cooking adventures — homemade pasta, bread, or something more involved like his delicious eggplant caponata. This time he laid it on particularly strong in order to convince me to make sausage patties for our upcoming block party, something he contributes every year.
Since the thought of mounds of raw pork usually makes me want to gag, the sight never mind the idea of touching this much cold and raw meat with my hands, was entirely unappealing. Except I rarely turn down the opportunity to accompany a friend in the kitchen. So, his sugary sweet “request for my presence” to join he and Christina was enough for me to overcome my squeamishness and head on over to his house.
And you’d be proud of me. We had an assembly line going. I’d measure out a precise 4 ounces of meat (which it had to be since Lou was standing over my shoulder watching the scale) and slop it on a piece of tin foil for Christina, who would form it into uniform sausage patties. We did this for a good half an hour while Lou cooked up a few samples. The taste of freshly ground pork mixed with fennel and just the right amount of heat was better than any pre-made sausage one could buy. It made me think that these wouldn’t be a bad thing to mold and keep tucked away in the freezer for a Sunday breakfast. So I asked Lou for his recipe to share with you.
Lou’s Sausage Patties
Makes more than 100
Note: Lou says to make sure I tell you to use coarsely ground pork otherwise the patties will be too mealy. He also says that salt is critical and that you should cook a sample and taste before making the patties. Feel free to scale his recipe down from ten pounds. Or better yet, recruit a few friends and make some patties together using his big bulk recipe. Enjoy!
10 pounds coarsely ground pork butt
1 pint ice water
1 tablespoon fennel
3 teaspoons hot pepper flakes
3 tablespoons kosher salt
Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together in an enormous container or bowl. Weigh 4 ounces of meat and form into patties approximately 4 inches in diameter. Wrap in saran wrap and freeze into ready to cook or cook first and freeze. To cook, either grill on a medium flame or cook in a skillet on medium until no longer pink.