My family is deeply involved in sausage. Being of German decent, we both love and make homemade sausage. I’ve never tried my hand at it, but ever since I was born my uncles have made a sausage known simply as “German Sausage”.
A small town (Windthorst) outside of my hometown in Texas makes a sausage similar to my family’s, but not nearly as good as ours. There are a lot of tiny towns in North Central Texas that have a rich German heritage, and sausage plays an integral part in everyday life. Sausage was born out of poverty and economic challenges facing peasants centuries ago. A simple meal for the poor made out of ground lower-class pork cuts & organs plus a handful of spices (mainly pepper and sage) and then wrapped inside of pig intestines. Back before refrigerators were found in every household, farmers and frontiersmen would make pounds and pounds of sausage and then put them in a big pot or barrell of lard to keep them preserved so their family could eat all winter.
My family’s German Sausage is of the grey-brautwurst variety, with a heavy emphasis on ground black pepper. My grandmother always dipped it in yellow mustard after frying the whole spiral-snail-shell shaped log of sausage in a gigantic pan for breakfast. Our usualy sausage breakfast day was on Sunday mornings. Her brother, my great-uncle, was a butcher and wild game processor that always made the sausage for the whole family. It was a fantastic piece of culinary history for our family from the Motherland, and I cherish the traditional recipes my family has inherited and then handed down from generation to generation. Sometime I’ll get my hands on that sausage recipe.
Since sausage is such an influence on my family’s cuisine, I’ve become quite picky about sausage. I can never get enough of hot links—those fire truck red, burn-your-mouth spicy links of pork sausage. I can eat just about any brand of hot links. Breakfast sausage, on the other hand, can never be anything but Jimmy Dean. Biscuits and sausage gravy? Jimmy Dean. Sausage patties with fried eggs and toast? Jimmy Dean. Sausage balls with Velveeta and Bisquick? Jimmy Dean. My mom’s hearty breakfast casserole she makes every Christmas? Jimmy Dean, of course.
I don’t understand why we don’t make breakfast casseroles more often. It’s usually only served over the Christmas holiday. They’re so easy to make and unbelievably tasty…so why do we only delegate a few days out of the year for them?
I decided to break the mold and make my mom’s breakfast casserole in July—a whole five months before the annual breakfast casserole feeding. It literally takes about 10 minutes to put together, and the best part is you can make it a whole day in advance.
Break the mold with me! Make this next Sunday for your family. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Sausage Sunday Breakfast Casserole
- 14 slices white bread (trimmed and slightly buttered)
- 2 cups cooked crumbled sausage
- 8 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 8 eggs
- 4 cups milk
- 1 tsp. ground mustard
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 cups crushed corn flakes
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
2. Slightly beat eggs, milk, mustard, and salt. Pour over bread to cover.
3. Let casserole set at least 1 hour or refrigerate overnight. Cover with crushed corn flakes mixed with butter. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.
This casserole has all of the greatest textures: fluffy (eggs), gooey (cheese), and crunchy (topping). It makes a massive amount of breakfast, probably a good 8-10 servings or so (maybe that’s why my mom only makes it for Christmas?) but it refrigerates well for about 2-3 days. Enjoy!