Breakfast Sausage with Ginger Peach Relish on Black Pepper–Thyme Cornmeal Biscuits

Three Southern classics in one.

Ingredients

For the Black Pepper – Thyme Cornmeal Biscuits
  • 1 1⁄2 cups (about 6 3⁄8 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup (about 4 1⁄2 ounces) coarse yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening, cut into 1⁄2-inch chunks
  • 4 ounces (1⁄2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1⁄8-inch slices
  • 1 1⁄4 cups (10 ounces) buttermilk, chilled
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
For the Ginger Peach Relish
  • 2 teaspoons blended olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced into small rings
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 pound fresh peaches (about 3 medium peaches), finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup (4 ounces) apple cider vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup honey
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
For the Breakfast Sausage
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 4 ounces cooked ham, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1⁄2 cup)
  • 1⁄3 cup soft, fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons sorghum syrup
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Instructions

Make the Cornmeal Biscuits

1. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Work the shortening into the flour mixture by breaking up the chunks with your fingertips until only small pea-size pieces remain. Add in a few slices of the chilled butter and coat in the flour. Press the pieces between well-floured fingertips into flat (nickel-size) pieces. Repeat until all the chilled butter is incorporated.

2. Freeze the flour mixture (in the bowl) until chilled, 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Gently stir the buttermilk into the flour with a fork. Add the thyme. Stir until the dough forms a ball and no dry bits of flour remain. (The dough will be sticky and shaggy.) Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. With floured hands, pat it to a 1⁄4-inch-thick 10-inch rectangle. Add more flour if needed to prevent sticking.

3. Fold the dough into thirds using a bench scraper or metal spatula. Lift the short end of the dough and fold in thirds again. Rotate the dough 90°, dusting the work surface underneath with flour. Roll and fold again into a 10-inch square about 1⁄2 inch thick.

4. Cut out 12 biscuits using a 2-inch round floured cutter. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush biscuit tops with melted butter. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Makes 12 biscuits

Make the Ginger Peach Relish

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high. Add the shallot and ginger. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the peaches and remaining ingredients. Cook until liquid is reduced and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let stand for 20 minutes. Makes 1 cup

Make the Sausage

1. Stir together the pork and the next 10 ingredients in a large bowl; let stand 15 minutes. Scoop the mixture by 1⁄4-cupfuls onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet, and shape into 12 ( 1⁄2-inch-thick) patties.

2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Brown the patties in the pan in batches, until golden brown on 1 side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn, cover, and continue to cook until the sausage is just done, about 4 minutes. Remove from the pan.

3. Split the biscuits. Top the bottom half of the biscuits with a sausage patty and some Ginger Peach Relish. Cover with top halves.

To Drink: White Burgundy, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, red blends, rosé, sparkling rosé, sparkling Shiraz, full hoppy beers, bourbon cocktails, coffee.

About this recipe

“Sage is a strong herb often used in sausage making or with poultry. Though pork has enough fat to tame strong flavors, cheese provides the same effect. Breadcrumbs serve the dual purpose of binding the sausage and developing texture.

Biscuits and cornbread are staples of the Southern table. Erika Council’s are a love child of both. They have the crunchy, nutty-sweet flavor of yellow cornmeal floating in each light-and-fluffy biscuit layer.”


Used with permission from SOUL: A Chef's Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes by Todd Richards, published by Oxmoor House of Time, Inc. 2018.

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Ingredients

For the Black Pepper – Thyme Cornmeal Biscuits
  • 1 1⁄2 cups (about 6 3⁄8 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup (about 4 1⁄2 ounces) coarse yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening, cut into 1⁄2-inch chunks
  • 4 ounces (1⁄2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1⁄8-inch slices
  • 1 1⁄4 cups (10 ounces) buttermilk, chilled
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
For the Ginger Peach Relish
  • 2 teaspoons blended olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced into small rings
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 pound fresh peaches (about 3 medium peaches), finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup (4 ounces) apple cider vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup honey
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
For the Breakfast Sausage
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 4 ounces cooked ham, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1⁄2 cup)
  • 1⁄3 cup soft, fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons sorghum syrup
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 large egg, beaten
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