Eggs benedict with Alsatian Christmas sausage

Dec 15, 2014 by Capt. John Wampler

Back in the early 2000s, I delivered a Viking 72 from San Diego to the Panama Canal with the owner, his fiancée and several guests and crew. On Christmas Day, we pulled into one of my favorite stops along the Mexican Riviera, Barra de Navidad — rather fitting since navidad in Spanish translates to Christmas.

As a special treat, I made everyone onboard my famous huevos benedictos, otherwise known as eggs Benedict. As a little twist from to ordinary, instead of Canadian bacon (back bacon from our Canuck friends), I made a delicious Alsatian Christmas sausage as a substitute.

For the Alsatian Christmas sausage

5 pound Boston butt

2 1/2 Tbsp coarse salt

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 1/4 tsp coarse black pepper

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Grind up the Boston butt and mix in all ingredients in no particular order. If you don’t have a meat grinder, store-bought bulk sausage will work, as long as it is not seasoned.

Form sausage patties the size of English muffins. Makes about 20 patties. (Trust me, you’ll enjoy any extras.)

For the Hollandaise sauce

4 egg yolks

2 lemons, juiced

1/2 cup (I stick) unsalted butter, clarified

Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice over a double boiler until eggs are slightly thickened, about 130 degrees. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper.

For the eggs Benedict

8 sausage patties

8 slices of brioche or 4 English muffins, split

2 tsp white wine vinegar

8 eggs

16 asparagus spears, grilled and seasoned to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Hollandaise sauce

Brown the sausage patties in a skillet and set aside. While skillet is hot, butter English muffins on one side and grill in pan.

Bring water to a boil, add vinegar and reduce heat to medium. Crack eggs into small bowls or ramekins and gently add each to the water to poach. Cook until egg white is set; 4 minutes for soft yolks, 7 minutes for medium. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Stack English muffins with grilled sausage and poached egg. Top with Hollandaise sauce. Garnish with chives and a dash of paprika. Plate with grilled asparagus and sharp cheddar cheese. Serves 4. Merry Christmas.