Sausage meat is an extremely important part of English cuisine. But in my view, it is important to source your meat from a quality butcher who specialises in regional variations. Not only is this much tastier, it is much better quality.
Pigs intestine filled with sausage meat. The English sausage is usually, but not always made from pork mixed with breadcrumbs, herbs and spices. Texture and flavour can vary significantly from butcher to butcher never mind region to region. Lamb sausages are common in upland areas where sheep are more plentiful than pigs. You can also get beef sausages.
Sausages can be grilled, fried or barbequed. I usually bake mine in the oven with a little water to draw the fat and salt out. They can be eaten on their own, in a bun or sandwich, as part of a fried breakfast, an accompaniment to roasted chicken or a pork. Or they can be eaten as a dinner in their own right, the most famous version being bangers and mash. Cumberland sausages often come in distinct ‘rings’.
Sausage with an apple and cider sauce
Sausage casseroles are very tasty, with or without a little cream.
Toad in the hole
One of those strangely named dishes, but don’t worry this is popular dish is just sausage cooked in a Yorkshire pudding batter. Honest, no toads involved!
Sausage in a bun
It’s a hot dog Jim, but not as we know it. We’ve been putting sausages in a bread roll and adding fried or boiled onions with sauce or mustard for generations!
Marrow stuffed with sausage meat
This is one of my favourite dishes. The filling can be either wholly sausage meat or half and half with minced beef. I peel the skin off the marrow and scoop it out so that it remains whole and then add the filling.
This is a traditional way of serving sausage meat, the filling often having apple in it as well.
Usually a small puff pastry with a sausage meat filling, served as a canape. Larger versions can be eaten for lunch.
Sausage meat patties
I guess these are a sort of rissole, or even burger. They can be wholly sausage meat of a mix with minced beef. Usually pan fried, baked or barbequed. They cab also be baked as a sort of meatloaf.
This is a very traditional meatloaf originating in Lincolnshire, where it is pronounced ‘hays-let’ as opposed to ‘has-let’. It is made from stale white bread, ground pork, sage, salt and black pepper. Usually eaten cold and thinly sliced, it makes great sandwiches and is almost mandatory in a Lincolnshire cold meat salad. It should be noted that English haslet is different to American haslet.
Another essential part of the cold meat salad, this is very much an English dish despite its name. Sausage meat wrapped around a hard boiled egg, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. They are usually eaten cold, but can be served hot particularly if you make them yourself. Most people don’t though as the commercial versions are good. Go really well with salad cream, piccalilli or coleslaw.
Chip shop sausage!
Similar to a frankfurter and quite different to the usual English sausage. They can be boiled and eaten like hot dogs, sometimes with pease pudding. But, in England at least, they are most commonly served in fish and chip shops with batter around them.