We just made some pork sausage and fryed up a patty to check the spicing. The taste is fine but the patty is rubbery in texture. What did we do wrong or not add to the mix?
I agree with what has been said above. Over working meat can really have an adverse effect on the texture. There are a few ways I avoid this problem. First, make sure everything your working with is very cold (i.e. meat, seasonings, grinder itself, bowl). The colder it is the less the fat will melt and make a sticky mess that I find makes me more prone to over mixing. Second, I always season the protein first before grinding so that i don't have to mix rigorously to incorporate seasoning post-grind and make the texture poor.
Also, if your cooking from fresh, i find it best to just take a portion of meat from the ground mix and gently shape it into whatever shape you would like and then using a spatula compress it in the pan while it's cooking, this, I find, give me the nice crumbly texture of ground meat rather than the rubbery, spongey texture you are encountering.
Part of the problem I've encountered with rubbery meat is the terrible quality you find at the stores such as Hy-Vee, Walmart, Target, Aldi, etc. They are using pork that is mixed with 11% "added ingrdients". Most of it is made by Hormel. I hate the stuff. It won't brown right, tastes salty, and has a nasty, overprocessed texture that is rubbery.
I now buy pork at the Fareway grocery store - they use only all natural meat and it cookes up a lot better. The local meat locker (where farmers have their animals processed) also has much better quality pork - not pumped full of salt water. The texture and flavor is delicious.
I used Hormel ground pork last night and the results were horrible - it had the texture of a cheap turkey roast, rubbery and grainy. I wrote to Hormel and told them how bad the product was. They responded by telling me they're sending free coupons. Puke!