Let’s face it… public perception doesn’t exactly rate sausage very highly on the scale of clean and healthy meat (which we hope exists somewhere).
While a defensible tale likely exists behind the phrase, “you don’t want to know how the sausage is made,” we believe this expression is best reserved for industrial sausage production.
Still, meat eaters deserve to know how their meat is produced, what part of the animal their meat comes from, and whether or not it’s clean and ethical.
Farmer Girl Meats is giving you a look behind the curtains so you can see exactly how our sausage is made. We have nothing to hide. No pink slime, no strange animal parts, and no caustic vats of glowing ooze. Some may not be concerned with seasoning when considering the merits or shortcomings of sausage.
However, this is one area in which local processors can prevail with all natural methods. Our breakfast sausage recipe is handmade just for Farmer Girl Meats by Palmer House Foods (learn more about our farms and partners). Founder Leslie Moore tracked down Palmer House Foods, remembering they seasoned the breakfast sausage she ate as a child.
Farmer Girl Sausage
“I remember when [Leslie] first contacted us, she told me she had remembered having sausage made with our seasoning from her childhood,” Maureen, of Palmer House Foods, says. “I love the calls like that!”
Maureen explains the predominant spice flavor in the breakfast sausage is sage, but the spices also include black pepper and cayenne. It’s a simple, traditional recipe, she says.
“If you’ve eaten this sausage, you’ll have noticed that the spices/seasonings are more of a background flavor; the primary flavor is the pork,” Maureen says.
“Which is awesome when the sausage is made with very good meat.”
Farmer Girl works tirelessly to provide only the best meat, even when it comes to sausage. While the USDA allows for some sausages to come from byproducts such as heart, kidney and liver, we take a different approach to ensure tastiness. Farmer Girl makes use of trimmings from premium cuts in our sausage. That means that while your sausage might come from different parts of the same animal, all the meat within comes from familiar cuts everyone is comfortable with.
To beautifully present our meat, excess portions are chopped off. This allows for cuts to be more uniform and provides an abundance of good meat to be ground into sausage, hotdogs, ground beef, ground pork, etc.
Palmer House Foods
Palmer House Foods was founded in 1981 by Bob Palmer, who grew up in small-town Wisconsin. In the 1930s, he started making a profession of blending sausage seasonings for meat lockers serving rural communities in the Midwest. Bob worked together with local sausage makers to perfect recipes.
“It reminds me a bit of memories of my mom and aunts and grandmother making gravy. Endless tastings, endless advice, endless adjustments,” Maureen said of the stories of Bob. “Though a decidedly male version of that kind of culinary collaboration… sounds like it involved more beer than my grandmother’s gravy.”
Maureen said it was these experiences through which Bob crafted the recipe Farmer Girl Meats uses for breakfast sausage today.
“The exact recipe we use to make [the breakfast sausage] was developed probably 30 years ago, but it’s based in this Midwest heritage of rural small-town meat lockers making sausage according to the old country traditions of their communities,” she said.
While a lot has changed in 30 years of sausage making, many traditions remain the same, such as the rustic and community-driven means by which such good food is made. “What we do is pretty simple,” Maureen says. “It’s pretty much the same thing you do in your kitchen when you cook according to a recipe… The main difference is that my mixers will hold 600-700 pounds of dry ingredients.”
It’s important to remember that our clean, healthy, yummy sausage is unlike conventional/industrial sausage in three important ways.
No undesirable additives
Many conventional meat producers will add monosodium glutamate (MSG), fillers, and unnatural preservatives to their sausages and hotdogs. Here at Farmer Girl Meats we try our very hardest to keep all of that yucky stuff out of your sausage. As a traditional preservative, salt is added to the meat, along with sugar to balance the salty taste.
Most bacon and hotdogs are made with chemically-derived nitrates… And lots of ’em to boot! Not us!
Our bacon and hotdogs utilize good old nature to make our products, as in celery juice powder. Yep, we utilize celery juice powder, with its naturally occurring nitrates, to make our bacon, ham, and hotdogs.
All Natural Seasoning
Sausage seasoning can vary greatly. One look at the ingredient list on a pack of grocery store hotdogs shows corn syrup way at the top, followed by a number of fillers, then a list of sodium variants you’ve probably never heard of. Again, we stick with nature and simplicity when it comes to breakfast sausage. It’s proven to be best.
Unique Breakfast Sausage
Our breakfast sausage recipe is one-of-a-kind. It was developed 30 years ago, discovered by founder Leslie Moore as a child, and resurrected with all natural ingredients, processed locally.