The name sausage comes from the Latin word ‘salsus’ which means salted. But if you are guessing that the Roman Empire were the first ones to invent the delicious all-meat sausage, you would have to actually go back quite a bit earlier and across the Mediterranean Sea, to Mesopotamia, or the area now known as Saudi Arabia.
The Sumerians were the first to make real sausages, but they were not limited only to pork meat. The traditional sausage links back then were dried inside their casings with a heavy amount of salt. It resembled something closer to jerky, than the tender sausage we prefer to cook with today. But it was portable, and satisfying for traveling soldiers, and eventually the sausage became a mainstream food item around the world.
The rich flavors of quality beef, or pork meat paired with just the right seasonings make sausage a versatile protein that can be eaten alone or incorporated in a variety of different recipes. To balance your menu, add a few pork entrees or appetizers for your customers to enjoy. Here are six great suggestions from our team at Miami Beef®.
1. Breakfast Sausage
Serving breakfast to a hungry morning crowd of diners is not only a great way to expand your restaurant traffic, but it is also highly profitable. First thing in the morning, everyone is craving a savory protein balanced with some carbohydrates such as toast, or fried potatoes. Eggs and sausage are a perfect match, for a protein rich entrée to fuel the day, and for restaurants it is quick to prepare.
Don’t leave breakfast sausage off your early bird menu. Consider some different ways to utilize sausage in your own homemade breakfast links, or ground sausage that can be added to breakfast burritos or scrambled eggs. Huevos rancheros anyone? With some house made salsa, you have a low cost, high satisfaction and high-profit breakfast item people will line up for.
2. Meatball Sandwiches
The difference between an average meatball and an extraordinary one is no secret; it is blending some rich ground sausage meat together with garlic, herbs like fresh parsley and spices like salt and pepper. Meatball sandwiches can be a profit center take-out or fast-casual food that is part of your regular menu, or a specialty and limited time offer.
When you add some delicious fresh marinara and some cheese… you’re serving a whole lot of value and satisfaction to your customers. Consider some extra toppings such as sautéed mushrooms, or grilled poblano peppers for customers who like it extra spicy!
3. Spicy Sausage Burger
Hamburgers are a perennial favorite, and the ability to switch from beef to turkey or chicken burgers on the menu is something your customers will appreciate. But what if they don’t feel like a beef or poultry burger? There’s a third option that you can innovate that everyone will love; a spicy scratch made sausage burger.
Pork meat and barbeque sauce are a match made in culinary heaven. Consider some grown-up themes that you could create with spicy ground sausage from Miami Beef®. Like a whiskey infused burger sauce and spicy sausage patty, piled high with onion rings? A definite winner for game-night crowds at your establishment, and easy to do when you start with quality sausage meat.
4. Pan Seared Sausages with Pears and Apples
Now we’re getting fancy! But this great recipe from “The Splendid Table” demonstrates some of the elegant entrée possibilities that you can create for diners with ground sausage meat. A mixture of orange juice and Riesling wine is infused with anise, cinnamon, cloves and fresh ginger and then poured over sautéed apples and pears.
5. Shrimp and Sausage
Whether it is a crawfish bake or a shrimp feast Cajun style, add a few spicy sausages to the mix and lighter proteins become much more satisfying. Shrimp and sausage are two foods that are surprisingly well paired, and if you choose a spicy blend of sausage, those seasonings and the fat from the sausage elevate fresh shrimp to something extraordinary.
Check out this recipe for a Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Skillet and consider trying it as a fresh spring menu item for your customers.
6. Mushroom Sausage Ragu
Sausage goes truly uptown in this delicious and elegant recipe for Mushroom Sausage Ragu, served over Polenta. This recipe features two woodsy mushrooms (shiitake and morel), simmered with water chestnuts and sausage meat, and garnished with fresh parsley. It was featured in “Food & Wine” as one of their ‘Best Fast Recipes’. Pair this entrée with some fresh baked crusty bread (for dipping in the amazing sauce) and a tart insalata with fresh parmesan cheese.
Miami Beef® has established a reputation for almost 90 years as a premier provider of quality meats for the food service industry. We provide a complete line of IQF sausage patties and ground sausage that are made from the finest cuts of meat, and then expertly seasoned for exceptional texture and flavor. Contact us to learn more about our wholesale meat products, and ask us about our premium flavors, including Italian, Hot & Spicy, Country Style, Honey Maple and Chorizo. Protein rich and healthy menu ideas start with Miami Beef®.