RECIPE: Cheddar Pork Sausage Mushroom Strata
Fathers Day was Sunday and for my hubby, he loves fly fishing. We decided to do a long weekend over Fathers Day for his benefit up on the Pere Marquette river. My husband loves stratas for breakfast, so when we were left with a ton of bread during dinner at one of the local restaurants, I asked to bring it home to dry out for a strata. The cottage we were staying at was not as well equipped as my home kitchen so I had to keep things simple. The same can be said for the small grocery store in town. But sometimes simple is better. The pork sausage was easy to find at the local grocery store as well as mushrooms, and the pork does the heavy lifting in the yummy, uber simple egg bake.
This serves 12, so freeze extra squares for weekday breakfast or make it for a crowd that’s over for brunch. One of these days I am going to help make some stratas at my next girl scout leader weekend. It’s a perfect way to use up left over vegetables the night before. Just throw things together the night before in a big pan and let them sit. Wake up, yawn, pull out the strata, let it sit out for 30 minutes while you make coffee, and in it goes for an hour!
Cheddar Pork Sausage Mushroom Strata
1 ¼-1/2 lbs. bulk pork sausage
9 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
a small 12 inch loaf of bread, cubed and dried out for a day (roughly about 4-5 cups)
1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp garlic powder
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
½ cup diced onion
½ tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Grease a large 3 qt. pan. Set aside.
In a large skillet, brown the pork sausage until it’s no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork (draining as you go) into the bowl with the bread cubes. Discard the dripping BUT reserving about 1 tablespoon left in the pan.
Heat up the drippings over medium heat and add the onions and garlic powder and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until beginning to release their juices. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Once the mushrooms have browned, add everything in the pan to the bread bowl. Give everything in the bread bowl a good stir. Let things cool down in there while you prep the eggs.
In another large bowl, beat the 9 eggs with the spicy brown mustard. Add a dash of salt and a couple grinds of pepper and add the milk. Whisk well.
Add half the cheddar cheese to the bread bowl and mix well. Pour everything in that bowl into your prepared baking pan, making and even layer with the bread and trying to distribute ingredients evenly. You may need to move things with a spoon. Finally evenly pour the egg mixture over everything. Using the back of the spoon press down in areas so the bread gets saturated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350˚.
Let the strata sit out for 30 minutes before baking to take the chill out. Sprinkle the top with the rest of the cheese and bake for up to an hour. Mine took only about 45 minutes because I think the cottage oven is hotter than my home oven. You want the center to be as nice and puffy as the edges, and you are looking for a golden color all over. I rotate the pan once during cooking for even doneness.
Let sit 5 minutes before serving.