Bangers and mash, sausage and chips, sausage casserole, sausage rolls, hot dogs, toad in the hole… who can resist the versatile British banger? Not many of us it seems! Sausages are the nation’s favourite meat-based dinner, bought by 87% of British households. In fact we love them so much that there’s even a British Sausage Appreciation Society!
This week is British Sausage Week 2012, championed by comedian Al Murray’s patriotic Pub Landlord. He’ll be touring the country encouraging the great British public to celebrate the great British banger. In addition there is a competition to find the country’s best sausage, won last year, we’re proud to say, by a family butcher from right here in Yorkshire.
According to www.lovepork.co.uk there are over 470 recipes and flavours for sausages in Britain today. Check out their ‘Sausage Facts’ page and you’ll discover all manner of interesting information. For example, have you ever wondered why ‘bangers’ are so called? Apparently they got their name during the Second World War when ingredients were scarce. This being the case, they had a relatively high water content, so when they were cooked they had a tendency to explode as the water turned to steam. Another fascinating fact about sausages is that as a foodstuff they are thousands of years old. They first appeared on our shores with the Romans, but in fact originated in what is now modern-day Iraq around 5,000 years ago.
Whether you enjoy them fried, grilled or cooked in the oven, it’s always important to make sure that sausages are cooked all the way through. There’s nothing worse than biting into a sausage which is brown on the outside, but practically raw on the inside, and it could lead to food poisoning.
If you’re not sure whether the sausage you’re about to eat is cooked properly, cut into it; if there are any pink bits, then you need to continue cooking until they have disappeared. If you are reheating previously cooked sausages, then you need to be sure that they are steaming hot before you eat them. You can find out more about food safety by clicking here.
Here are some tasty recipes to make the most of our Great British Bangers:
Pat’s Sausage Pie
This is a variation on traditional sausage and mash, given to us by a good family friend.
12 sausages of any variety – this also works well with veggie sausages
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
Oil for frying
6 large potatoes
Salt and pepper
Grease a deep ovenproof dish with butter.
Peel and chop potatoes and boil in large pan of salted water.
Fry or grill the sausages until cooked thoroughly.
Chop into pieces and place in the bottom of the dish.
Fry the onion until soft, then place on top of the sausage pieces.
Pour chopped tomatoes on top.
Drain then mash potatoes with butter, pepper and milk.
Put mashed potatoes on top of other ingredients in dish.
Smooth surface of mash and then make ridges with fork.
Place in oven at around 180C (350F, Gas Mark 4) for around 40 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
Sausage Roly Poly
This is from the recipes page at www.lovepork.co.uk:
450g pork and tomato or chilli sausages
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tomato, roughly chopped
300g self raising flour
200ml (approx) cold water
Preheat oven to gas mark 4, 180C, 350F
Heat oil in a pan and lightly fry onion and garlic together. Remove from the heat, add the tomato and allow to cool slightly.
Place flour and suet into a bowl and mix together. Add sufficient cold water to bind the mixture together (approx 200ml). Pull the pastry together with your hands and then place on a floured board.
Roll out to about the size of a baking sheet (about 30 x 25 cm).
Take the sausages and slit the skins of each, remove the sausagemeat.
Spread the sausagemeat onto the rolled out pastry covering all the pastry in a single layer. Scatter with the onion mixture. Taking the longest edge carefully roll up (like a Swiss roll). Tuck in and seal the pastry at each end and lightly shape into a ‘roll’.
Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and place onto it the ‘roll’.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes until crunchy and golden (cooking juices will collect on the tray, carefully pour this away at the end of cooking).
Allow to cool slightly before cutting into thick slices to serve.
Delicious served hot or cold with your favourite chutney.
Toad in the Hole
2 tablespoons lard
4 large good quality sausages
4 medium eggs
225g plain flour
Ground white pepper
Place the flour, eggs and half the milk into a large bowl.
Whisk slowly, gradually incorporating the flour from the edge of the bowl.
Finally add the rest of the milk and whisk well, then add salt and pepper, then leave for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 220C / gas mark 7.
Place the lard into a 25cm non-stick frying pan. Add the sausages and brown nicely.
Pour the batter into the pan with the sausages and quickly place into the hot oven.
Straight away reduce the temperature to 200C/ gas mark 6.
Cook for 25-35 minutes or until well risen and golden around the edges.
When you think they are cooked, leave for a further 10 minutes.
Once cooked remove from the oven and eat straight away.
Delicious with onion gravy.
For advice and training on food safety and HACCP for the food industry, pleae visit Verner Wheelock Associates main website www.vwa.co.uk