Raw sage is too intense to eat; you have to cook this herb to both mellow it and release the flavor. We adapted this recipe from American Cooking: Southern Style (Time-Life Books, 1971) by Eugene Walter.
- 2 lb. boneless pork shoulder, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pinches ground cayenne
- 3 tart apples
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
Put pork, sage, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and cayenne into a large bowl; gently mix together with your hands. Form mixture into 16 patties.
Fry patties in batches in a large skillet over medium heat until well browned, 3–4 minutes per side; transfer to a plate as done. Meanwhile, peel and core apples, then cut into 6 wedges each.
Cook apples in same skillet, turning as they brown, until just soft, 8–12 minutes. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over apples and cook, shaking skillet, until apples are glazed, about 5 minutes. Return sausage to skillet to warm through. Garnish with fresh sage.