Patton's Hot Sausage Patties
I don't quite get all the praise heaped upon this sausage....I'd heard so much about it for years but had never tried it. One day my son and I went to lunch at Dunbar's and I ordered beans and rice. They were offering a choice of sausages to accompany and I thought I'd try the patty which I inquired about and found out it was Patton's.
Much to my disappointment I found the sausage to be flavorless except of course for the pepper....it's damn hot.
What's with the mistique of this sausage???
Is it even meat??? Heard that it doesn't contain meat.
Hey Liz! Patton's bulk sausage (sold in 5-lb tubs, as well as other packaging) is clearly labeled as "imitation" sausage, right on the packaging. I think it has to do with the amount of soy in the product....it does contain pork, as well as the soy. Patton's makes both patties & links--I dunno if the links taste diff/have diff ingredients than the patties.
Today, it's made in Bogalusa. I recall some story about its lack of availability after Katrina: something like the level of USDA certification held by Patton's meant that it couldn't be distributed outside the state? But please don't quote me, I can't recall the source of the tale for independent verification.
Like anything else, if you grew up with Patton's, it's your ideal sausage. I'm with you: it mostly tastes of grease & pepper to me, but I grew up on (delicious, highly spiced) cajun sausages, often with a heavy dose of garlic & green onions & parsley.
As in any fine product, knowing the ingredient and how to treat it to get maximum flavor is indespensable.
The "link" version (what most people would call 'rope') sausage I buy at my neighborhood market is primarily beef. II does list some soy product and perhaps a cereal as a binder. I don't have a tub on hand to verify. Down here a 5-lb tub at my market is always on special for $9.99. It is ridiculously expensive if you order online. There are some sources in nearby states but even in the city outside the neighborhood it gets pricey. The 1/4 lb. (I think) patties (which, as I recall ARE pork) go for about a buck each retail, even at the market within strolling distance. The sandwiches are sold for $5.00 a pop when the bar down the street pulls out the charcoal grill and does them-and they sell faster than you can pull 'em off the grill and plop 'em on a bun (See note on pre-cooking). Your choices to assemble should include lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle on side, and choice of condiments as well: mustard (yellow is as popular as Creole, and one of the few times I prefer yellow down here) ketchup, and don't neglect the mayo. My favorite is with lettuce, tomato, mayo and yellow mustard. Traditionally the accompaniments and condiments are available for each guest to assemble his/her own sandwich as desired.
HOW it is cooked is key.
Done in the microwave the "link" sausage is remarkable and most of the grease cooks off. I cut it into about 1 1/4" bits before microwaving. It makes more of a mess if you cover it with plastic wrap beforehand (even if you poke holes in the plastic to vent it) than it does if you put it in a soup bowl and microwave it without being covered. Drain off the grease. (I save it to season beans etc.)
I have the luxury of continually experimenting with the link version. I poke holes in the casing with a fork or very sharp paring knife first to let the grease cook out. I then cut them into the desired length, microwave (which can be done earlier in the day), and grill them after pre-cooking.
I hate to be pedantic about this but to get the full flavor (and since you asked) must be done over a charcoal fire, not on a restaurant or home flat grill (griddle) or in a grill pan, not in a pan on top of the stove, not over a restaurant char broiler or any other way, it must be grilled over a charcoal fire. That is where it will assume it's truly remarkable character. The grease will cook out of the patties. It grieves me that you did not get it done properly. Do it over moderate heat to avoid flare-ups.
Most of the neighborhood, especially the bars, will cook the patties ahead of time, set them aside, kept warm (140 degrees) and reheat them on the grill a few moments to serve as people line up for their sandwich.
That having been said (and I hope it's clear) you should know that even in restaurants (maybe especially in restaurants) people who are called on to cook the sausage may not know what I've told you about cooking Patton's. More than likely they won't have eaten it properly prepared, much less seen it done or done it themselves. Few restaurants include it as an ingredient for that very reason-they either don't know how it ought be treated or won't go to the trouble.
The Upperline once had an incredible Hot Sausage gumbo. It was a recipe of the mother of one of the finest cooks in New Orleans-Jerry Curtis. It was a stunner, but only because he knew how it needed to be treated to make it so.
Sorry for the length of this reply but it seems you really wanted to know.
1413 Upperline St, New Orleans, LA
cfortner....I AGREE. I'm from uptown New Orleans and patton is the best. The Upperline have good food.... before Katrina and yes, many people outside of N O do not know how to prepare patton. I use the oven........New Orleans has the best food on the planet....you'll agree I'm sure.
re: Panama Hat
If you want a real good hot sausage po'boy then try Danny N Clydes because they have the best po'boy sandwich in the New Orleans area. There hot sausage patties has flavor, has real meat, and no cereal in it. When cooked it does not shrink up to nothing like Patton's patties do. Since they been opening they have never swicthed brands because of the texture, the flavor, and the way it holds up when cokked.
If you want a very good hot sausage pattie then you might want to try a brand call Laurent's Hot beef patties. It contains meat and no cereal. It's got very good flavor. I have been eating it for over 20 years and never had a problem. You can get a hot sausage sandwich at Danny N Clydes and you will go back that is a promise.
Liz Gober...you don't eat red beans and rice with patties. you eat it with smoke sausage linkes or Patton hot sauage linkes. We like spice so maybe this is a turn off to many. Dunbar is good but they are not as good as before Katrina.......Visit the Gumbo House in New Orleans it's the closest tast to home cooked....they are very good . if we meet I'll cook and show you what REAL New Orleans food is....Not putting Dunbar down because I know and love them but my gumbo ,red beans, dirty rice and no doubt my potato salad is better....and Patton po-boys.