For the sausage: Chop the garlic, sprinkle it with salt, and smear to a paste with the flat-side of a knife blade. Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the apple, onion, garlic paste, sage, thyme and some salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
Add the pork, maple syrup, cayenne and some salt and pepper to the apple mixture; stir to combine. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
Line a large plate with paper towels. Shape the sausage mixture into eight equal patties at least 3-inches wide. Heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining canola oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add four of the patties, and cook until golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on the paper towels. Repeat with another 2 tablespoons canola oil and the remaining four patties.
For the mustard hollandaise: Put the egg yolks in a medium, stainless-steel bowl set over (not in!) a pot of simmering water. Whisk the yolks until pale yellow and fluffy. Slowly add the melted butter, a few tablespoons at a time, and whisk until thickened.
Remove from the heat, whisk in the lemon juice, the stone-ground and Dijon mustards and the hot sauce, and season with salt to taste. Turn off the heat under the water and set the hollandaise back on the pot to keep warm while you poach the eggs.
For the poached eggs: Combine the vinegar and 3 cups water in a large, high-sided skillet, and heat to a gentle simmer. Break each egg into a cup, and gently add to the water. Poach until the yolks are nearly set, 4 to 5 minutes.
While the eggs cook, toast and butter the English muffins. Put two English muffin halves on each of four plates. Top each half with a sausage patty, a poached egg and a good ladleful of hollandaise. Garnish with thyme leaves, and serve immediately.
For gluten-free Eggs Benedict: Serve two patties topped with eggs, hollandaise and thyme.
Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay
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