The Other First Wild Game Breakfast Option—in a cup!
Whether you’re going out for bear or turkey, pike, trout or bass, there’s one thing you’ll need. And it’s not gear. (Oops, you do need that.) What I’m talking about though, is you, personally, will need energy and while that apple fritter or box of mini powdered sugar donuts will give you a sugar surge, that only lasts so long. For a morning of traipsing in the woods fun, protein is better. It burns more slowly, so provides energy longer.
In most hunting camps, the protein breakfast is known simply as The Second Breakfast, eaten after the pre-dawn traipse. The carb/sugar/jelly lollapalooza is the first, for the simple reason that it’s so easy.
But let’s turn that upside down: there’s an easy First Protein Breakfast. John and I have been doing it for years. (And not just on hunting days.) The best part is it’s infinitely variable, so it’s easily personalized, and you make it in a coffee cup and microwave so there’s no big production just when you want to get out and get going. And no big mess when you return home.
How about sausage and eggs, cooked in 1 minute 10 seconds? Have I got your attention? Maybe it’s not as easy as prying open a box of fried-carb gut busters, but this is fun. Let’s start with a Tex-Mex breakfast. You can use your own sausage, or use commercially prepared sausage, whichever is easier. But if you have some wild pig in the freezer, this is a great sausage to make, and since you’re not going to case it, or cook it on the grill, there’s minimal mixing, and no science class involved. Mix the sausage ahead of time and you’ll save time when you need it.
Let’s get started. The sausage recipe that follows is from my book Sausage Season. (Page 106, if you have a copy.)
*FYI, the sausage recipe that follows is for 1½ pounds; the 5 teaspoon-sized balls for each serving weigh 1.5 ounces. That means you can make 16 servings with that batch of sausage. You just need to multiply the rest of the ingredients to serve a crowd.
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, in small bits
- 5 teaspoon sized balls of Tex-Mex wild pig sausage
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Pace Picante sauce
- 2 teaspoons sour cream
- Beat the egg in a coffee cup. Add the cream cheese bits and sausage balls, and with the fork make sure the sausage balls are submerged.
- Place the cup uncovered, in the microwave and cook one minute and ten seconds on high. Remove from the microwave.
- Top with salt and pepper, salsa and sour cream.
What goes with it? Toast, butter and jelly goes on the side if you want, though we don’t do that. Roll it into a corn or flour tortilla—a small one, wrap one end in foil or a sandwich bag, so the sauce doesn’t leak, and eat it in the truck. Or just drop it onto a toasted roll as in the photo.
Perhaps you’d rather have a Polish sausage with Swiss or Gouda cheese chunks in your breakfast cup? Or even smoked Gouda. We make roasted veggies a lot, with potatoes, onions and carrots and when I have some left over, I add those to my Polish breakfast-in-a-cup. Completely out of time? Perch it on a good hard roll, with mustard and mayo and head out of town.
Add Italian sausage to your breakfast cup with little chunks of mozzarella then a dusting of Parmesan once its cooked. And why not just breakfast sausage?
All those variations are in Sausage Season, as well as a Greek Isle sausage that’s perfect in a wrap with Tzatziki sauce for lunch. Let’s start with the Tex-Mex. Then, once you see how easy it is, you can try other flavors as well. (I had a brunch party once, with several varieties of sausage and fixings and let everyone choose their own pairings. Even the people who couldn’t and never cooked, were amazed how easy it was. I really do need to do that again. It was great fun.)
Tex-Mex Wild Piggy Sausage
Makes 1½ pounds
Only five ingredients, and no fresh veggies to chop. What more could you want? If you don’t have any wild pig in the freezer, ground venison will work too. Out of game? Grind up a commercial pork picnic or butt roast, whatever’s on sale and use that. No extra fat needed for that commercial pig.
- 1 pound ground lean wild pig meat
- 8 ounces ground pork fat
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons non-iodized salt
Combine the pork meat and pork fat in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
To taste test: before adjusting the flavors, chill the mixture 8-24 hours to let the flavors fully develop, and the salt work on the meat protein (myosin).
Once chilled, microwave a ½-inch ball of sausage in a cup for about 15 seconds on high, or fry a small patty until all the pink is gone. If you like it, you’re done. Wrap it up.
But if you get a wild hair to case it, or cook it on the grill, you’ll need to add another step so you get the sausage ‘bond.’ And those details are in Sausage Season. With photos. For now let’s just stick to a simple little high-protein breakfast bowl. A delicious one.
It’s a lot of fun to mix your own spices, and much easier to customize the flavors of your sausage when you make your own mixes. But maybe you can’t find the spices you crave? www.americanspice.com/