Homemade breakfast muffins

Posted on April 4th, 2010 in Engineerboy,Recipes by EngineerBoy

The preparation and the finished product

I’ve always been partial to McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin with Egg, but I prefer to avoid fast food whenever possible, and I prefer to eat healthy ingredients.  For the sake of this article, “healthy” refers to the ingredients being as natural and pure as possible, and as free of chemicals, hormones, pesticides, preservatives, cruelty, and “modified” ingredients as possible (and not necessarily “food pyramid” healthy).

So, over the years I have learned to make breakfast muffins at home, and have refined the recipe to the point where I can barely eat fast-food muffins any longer, since they pale by comparison (if I do say so myself).

The recipe below is for three muffins, the ingredients are:

  • 3 farm eggs
  • 1/3 lb of natural pork breakfast sausage
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 3 slices Kraft Deli Deluxe American cheese, 3/4 ounce per slice
  • 3 Bays sourdough English muffins
  • 2 tbs of pure maple syrup (not Log Cabin or Butterworth type, but actual pure maple syrup)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Tabasco to taste (optional)

A few words about the ingredients – we get our eggs and pork from Yonder Way Farm, which we are lucky enough to live a 10 minute drive from.  If you live in or around the Houston area we highly recommend either driving out to the farm (just outside of Brenham), or getting your order from one of their many delivery locations in the area. See more about Yonder Way Farm at the bottom of this article.

Also, if you’ve never had farm eggs (or if it’s been a while), they are amazingly better tasting than store bought eggs.  The yolks are almost orange, instead of yellow, and the eggs are naturally a variety of shapes and colors (see picture above).

One other ingredient note – the cheese we use is specifically and only Kraft Deli Deluxe American.  Don’t confuse this with the individually-wrapped “cheese food” versions of American cheese, the Deli Deluxe American is actually cheese, not a chemical concoction, and is significantly better tasting than the disgusting “cheese food” versions.

The gear is as follows: 

First, leave the cast iron skillet cold for now, but put the stainless steel skillet on medium-low heat (setting 3 out of 10 on our electric stove) with the three stainless steel egg rings in it, to pre-heat.

Now, in the COLD cast iron frying pan, we need to create the sausage patties in place in the pan.  Lay the larger, non-stick egg ring where the first patty will go, then take enough of the breakfast sausage to roll into a ball about 1.5″ in diameter.  Put the ball in the ring, then gently work it flat until if forms a thin layer at the bottom of the ring, all the way to the edges.  We like our patties as thin as possible without falling apart, which means starting with about 3/8″ thickness of the raw sausage.  When finished, lift the ring off the sausage, leaving the patty, and move the ring to the next position, and so forth until you have three patties.

Now, put the cast iron skillet with the three patties in it on a burner on medium heat (5 on a scale of 10 on our electric stove).  Now reach over and turn down the heat under the stainless steel skillet to low (2 out of 10 on our stove).  Crack the three eggs into the coffee cup (or small bowl), salt and pepper to taste (and add Tabasco if so inclined), then use the fork to lightly stir to break up the egg yolks and even out the seasonings.

Put a pat of butter in each stainless egg ring to melt, use the tongs to move the rings around to spread the butter evently.  Pour an equal amount of egg into each egg ring.  Let everything cook for a minute or two here.

Now, about the English muffins.  Unless you have a six slice toaster you’ll have to do multiple batches to get all three toasted.  Now would be a good time to start dropping the muffins to toast – you’ll probably have to experiment to get the timing correct for toasting the muffins, depending on the number of slices your toaster holds, how fast it toasts, how brown you like it toasted, etc.

Now, flip the sausages, they should be pretty browned up on the cooked side by now.  Watch the eggs, you’ll be able to see the cooked part solidify in the bottom and along the sides, when it looks cooked about halfway through (bottom half solid cooked, top half still runny), use the scissor tongs to hold the tongue of the egg ring in place, use a butter knife to run around the inside edge of the ring to loosen the egg, then use the butter knife to lever up under the cooked part of the egg, letting the runny part run back down into the bottom of the ring, then flip the cooked part of the egg over and set it back down inside the ring, covering the runny part that just ran into the bottom.  That’ll put what was the cooked bottom of the egg on top, and allow the rest of the egg cook below it.

It’s a bit tricky to do the egg flip maneuver, but with practice you should get it.  I sometimes have egg run out under the bottom edge of the ring, or slide out over the top edge of the ring – if that happens, let the escaped egg cook for a few seconds to get slightly solid, then scoop it up and put it on top of the source egg to maintain egg volume.

After a few more minutes the sausage should be done, flip to be sure, it should be browned on the other side, too.  Remove the sausage to a plate, and pour a small portion of maple syrup onto each patty, and spread it around a little to cover the top.  You’ll probably want to add the syrup to taste, but my recommendation is not to put to much on, or it’ll drip on you while you eat it.

You should also be able to remove the egg rings from the eggs now, again using the tongs to grab the tongue of the ring and using the butter knife to run around the inside of the ring to loosen the egg.  If you do this too early, you’ll get some runny egg leaking out from the middle, and you’ll have to learn the timings for your stove, tools, and methods.

Flip the eggs again, and then at this point I use the spatula to flatten them out a bit, which spreads them out and makes them “English-muffin sized” and a better fit when put together.  At this point I also turn the heat under the eggs up to 5, to prepare it for grilling the muffins and to finish the eggs.  I also cut the corners off the cheese slices to make them octoganal and a better fit for the sandwich…if you leave the corners they tend to droop and “over-cheese” the taste.

Remove the cooked eggs to a plate, and put a cheese-octogan on each one – the cheese will melt slightly during the rest of the process.  Add a bit more butter to the pan, then grill the English muffins (insides only, not the outsides) in the pan – this crisps them up and makes a nice grilled taste.

Now assemble the muffins – muffin bottom, egg with cheese on top, sausage patty with a hint of maple syrup, and muffin top.  Voila, ready to eat…enjoy!

About Yonder Way Farm

Marie and I are not health nuts, but we do try to eat natural and healthy foods as much as possible.  We have been astonished at our luck in living so close to Yonder Way Farm, and the great folks and products there.  We drive out every couple of weeks to pick up our eggs, sausage, pork chops, steaks, hamburger, chicken, ham, etc.  If you go out to the farm, you pull through the gates and drive right up to one of the outbuildings, and you pass free ranging chickens, wandering cows, and un-penned pigs – including the cutest packs of running/playing piglets that you’ll ever see. 

We lean towards vegetarianism, for animal-cruelty and unhealthy additive reasons, and Yonder Way Farm addresses both of those for us.  They process their own chickens, and use local processors for the beef and pork, and don’t send their animals off to large, commercial processors where the necessarily gruesome end is an inhumane nightmare.  The animals are finished on the farm, not at the processing plant, meaning that the animals are fed their healthy diet and treated humanely until just before they are processed. 

Most “organic” or “natural” meat available from grocery stores comes from animals who, although perhaps raised a bit more healthily at first, are sent off to commercial processing plants in a process that can take days or weeks, necessitating that the animals are fed whatever crap the processor uses to keep the stock alive until processing – definitely NOT natural or organic feed.

So, if you live in the Houston area we highly recommend getting your eggs and sausage from Yonder Way, and if you live elsewhere you may want to check with Local Harvest to find fresh, natural, humane farms in your area.

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