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breaking up sausage in the frying pan

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One of Mario Batali's recipies ("weeds" and sausage) has become a family favorite. It calls for sausage to be reomved from the casing and sauted until quite brown. The difficulty that I have is that I am finding it very difficult to break the sausage down once it comes out of the casing and into the pan. I have tried bulk sausage as well and the problem is the same. There has to be a better way than constantly trying to break down the larger chunks into tiny pieces by using the spatula to constantly split the chunks. Any tips would be appreciated.

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  1. I use a wooden spoon and don't find the task difficult. If it's a real problem for you, flatten the raw sausage into a flat patty inside a freezer bag, freeze till nearly solid, then dice it up and saute it over slightly higher heat, from frozen.

    1. I too use my wooden spoon and it's fine. Why don't you try breaking it into pieces using your hands before adding to the pan?

      1. Use a potato masher to squish it up. I think I saw Rachel Ray do that.

        1. I take the sausage out of the casing and break it up by hand. I then microwave the sausage for a couple minutes to drain away some of the fat and then finish it off in a skillet adding back a little of the fat if necessary to get browning/crispiness on the sausage crumbles.

          1. I have used a potato masher for many years to break up sausage and ground round when frying. My cousin gave me that tip back in the early 60s.