Breakfast Sausage

This is the recipe I use to make breakfast sausage when I have game such as elk or deer. I also use it with fresh pork as well when that goes on sale. The advantage of making your own breakfast sausage you not only have a tasty use of your game, you have a chemical free sausage that is far healthier than store bought sausage. I call for a ratio of ~25% pork fat to game but you can adjust, If you are making breakfast sausage from pork, just use the fat that comes with that, otherwise you have to find an outlet for pork fat, which is getting harder every day. I have a Mexican grocery store nearby that still processes their fresh meat so they always have pork fat for sale. There are a lot of spices called for in this recipe, which you can of course adjust for personal tastes, either way this is a basic recipe to get you started.

Note: for an ingredient list factored up for game processing see list at bottom of post.


  •  1.5 lbs ground meat – elk or deer
  • 1/2 lbs ground pork fat
  • 1 TBL brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dried sage leaves
  • 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 0.5 tsp dried rosemary leaves
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg – optional
  • ¼ tsp dried marjoram
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper – optional
  • 1 pinch ground cloves


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare you ingredients prior to staring
    1. Cut meat and pork fat into cubes a size that fits into your grinder.
    2. Grind the meat and fat alternating between both to get a mix using a fine blade.
  2. In a small, bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Sprinkle dry mix over ground meat/fat, and mix well with your hands. It’s a good idea to wear gloves for this step.
  4. Cover bowl with film and leave in fridge for 24 hours to marinate.
  5. Either form into patties or form cubes the size you use in a single meal prep. I usually form into 1 lb cubes because I like my cooked breakfast sausage to be loose rather than patties, that way I can use it in breakfast burritos or cook in green chili.
  6. Wrap using freezer paper or vacuum seal bags. FYI: it’s better to vacuum seal to prolong freezer life.
  7. Make sure to mark your bags with the type of meat used and when you made the sausage, and strive to rotate your sausage so you are using the oldest stuff first.

Game processing recipe for when you’re planning to make a lot

  •  20 lbs ground meat – elk or deer
  • 5 lbs ground pork fat
  • 195 g brown sugar – 13 TBL
  • 7.8 g dried sage leaves – 26 tsp
  • 35 g dried thyme leaves – 22 tsp
  • 7.8 g dried rosemary leaves – 6.5 tsp
  • 138 g Kosher salt – 26 tsp
  • 35 g ground black pepper – 13 tsp
  • 9 g grated nutmeg – optional – 1 tsp
  • 5 g dried marjoram – 3.25 tsp
  • 6 g crushed red pepper flakes – 3.5 tsp
  • 9.5 g cayenne pepper – optional – 3 tsp
  • 1g ground cloves -.25 tsp