The town of Elgin is known as the Sausage Capital of Texas. It also boasts the first – or one of the first, depending on who you ask – barbecue joints in Texas.

Of course, when in the neighborhood near Elgin, no barbecue tour would be complete without a stop at the home of Elgin sausage – Southside Market. Understanding the difference between the German-recipe (where black pepper and cayenne are the main spices) and the Czech-version (containing garlic) that are both popular in central Texas provides a glimpse into the history of the area.

William Moon began making German sausage in 1882. Moon would sell his butchered meats door-to-door, but what was left over at the end of the day had to be preserved or spoil. He made sausage out of course-ground beef with the traditional German recipe of spices including cayenne, salt, and black pepper, then stuffed in a pork casing. The sausage was smoked for preservation.

Moon opened his first brick and mortar store in 1886 in town, where folks riding on the train could grab a bite to eat during a water stop. The reputation of Elgin’s “hot guts” sausage spread far and wide.

Lee Wilson bought the business from Moon in 1908, where he continued to serve the Elgin community as the small-town butcher shop that sold BBQ in the back. Rumor tells that Wilson lost and won the restaurant many times over poker bets.

In 1968, the Bracewell’s bought Southside Market and began to sell the traditional Elgin Hot Guts Sausage to a small H. E. Butt Grocery Co. The legend of Elgin sausage began to grow. Southside Market moved to its current location in 1991, adding a pit room, kitchen, meat market, and meat plant.

Southside’s sausage has a delicious beef flavor with the perfect snap of the casing.  The spices provide a great background for the beef flavor without overpowering. Just because the sausage is beef and not pork does not mean it is dry. In fact, the juices from Southside’s all-beef sausage run down to your elbow if you let them.

Southside Market gives recipes on their website and I found this one that sounds great!

Southside Country Sausage Breakfast Muffins

  • 4 links Southside Country Style Sausage – remove casings and dice sausage
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/3 cup diced white onion
  • 1/3 cup diced green onion
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp Southside Oak Smoked Black Pepper (or, to taste)
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350F. Liberally coat muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. Cook Southside Country Style Sausage in skillet over medium high heat for approximately 5 minutes. Add diced white onion and continue cooking for 5 more minutes until sausage has browned and onions are translucent. Remove from heat and allow the sausage and onions to cool slightly. Meanwhile, beat eggs in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper, cheese, and green onion to eggs and mix. Add cooled sausage and onions to eggs and mix. Pour mixture into muffin tin, dividing evenly (about a ¼ cup for each muffin). Bake 15 – 20 minutes at 350F just until set. Allow muffins to cool about 10 minutes and then remove from muffin tin. Serve warm or freeze and store for later use!

Make these your own with different cheeses, mushrooms, or other veggies. Spice these up with cayenne if you like more heat!

Makes 12 muffins.

My mother-in-law Sandy used to make this for breakfast on Christmas morning. It was so easy, but rich and warm. It was a fast favorite of mine after opening presents. It is also easy to make when travelling for the holidays because the ingredients are easy to get and available. The cottage cheese gives a light and fluffy texture that makes this a memorable breakfast, but also adds a good amount of protein to compensate for the remainder of the day’s indulgences. You can also make these in muffin tins and freeze for an easy on-the-go breakfast.

12 eggs

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup melted butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 16-ounce container small curd cottage cheese

1 pound grated Monterrey Jack/Colby Jack Blend Cheese

2 4-ounce cans diced green chilies

Beat eggs. Add other ingredients. Mix well. Pour into 9×13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350ºF for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

This recipe is another of my family’s recipes, handed down through many generations to my mother. It is a staple in our home at the holidays and pretty much anytime that blueberries are available. In Maine, the area of the eastern part of the state is called “down east” where the small, sweet blueberries grow wild. On the rare occasion that I can get fresh wild Maine blueberries, this is the first thing I make. But even using frozen berries, it is still delicious. The bigger blueberries grown in other parts of the U.S. are still good, just not quite as sweet and will add a considerable amount of water to the cake. For this recipe, the small wild blueberries are the best.

1 ¼ cups sugar

½ cup butter (1 stick)

2 eggs Dash of salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ cup evaporated milk

1 ¼ cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Cream together 1 cup of sugar (reserve remaining sugar), butter, eggs, and salt. Add milk and vanilla and combine. Fold in 2 cups of the flour (reserving the remaining flour) and baking powder. Roll blueberries in the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. This will keep the blueberries from sinking to the bottom. Gently fold blueberries into the batter. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Combine the remaining ¼ cup sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of cake. Bake in oven at 350 degrees until done – about 40 minutes.

Thanksgiving morning almost always started with a batch of homemade buttermilk biscuits for breakfast. This recipe has been passed down through at least four generations of my family, with minor adaptations that I have made over the years to modernize and simplify it. Of course, I make biscuits throughout the year, not just at the holidays. When I make pot pie, either using turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving or a traditional chicken recipe, this biscuit recipe becomes my topping.

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons cold shortening (I keep mine in the refrigerator)

1 cup buttermilk

Sift all dry ingredients together. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender or fork or two knives criss-crossing until crumbly. Add buttermilk and stir until combined. Flour surface and knead dough. Pat down and cut with round cutter. Place biscuits on well-greased sheet. For soft and fluffy biscuits, please them close together and touching. If you prefer crustier biscuits, space them about a half-inch apart. Top each biscuit with a dab of butter. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutess until browned.

I love to make this recipe on Sunday mornings to enjoy a relaxed breakfast over coffee but also use up some of the meat or veggies leftover from the week.

Prepared pie crust

14 eggs

5 ounces milk

Pinch salt

Pinch pepper

½ cup cooked veggies

1 ¾ cup shredded cheese

I used a prepared pie crust – it’s just easier. Stick it well with a fork and bake at 400 degrees for about 7 minutes until it is just flaky. I don’t like to brown it because it will overcook when you bake the quiche. Check the crust while it is baking to make sure it doesn’t bubble up. If it starts to bubble up, stick with a fork and pat it down then finish baking.

For the quiche base, use 14 eggs + 5 ounces of heavy cream. You can substitute 5 ounces of milk for the cream, but if you do, you need to add 2 more egg yolks. Add pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Mix in blender for a few seconds until well whipped.

Sprinkle ¾ cup of the cheese on bottom of baked pie crust. Spoon veggies over the cheese evenly. Pour the quiche base into crust, making sure not to overflow. Top with remaining cheese. Reduce heat of oven down to 350 degrees. Bake quiche for 45 minutes. Check for doneness after about 30 minutes due to the differences in ovens. You know it’s done when it is lightly brown in color and firm to the touch. Rest for 5 minutes and serve.