Did you know it’s National Sausage week here in the UK?
There’s no denying it, I do love a good bit of sausage *snort*.
But here’s the thing. There’s sausage and then there’s sausage. Or so my husband tells me *cough*.
If your sausage isn’t made with proper pork and the highest quality other ingredients then it probably isn’t worth eating. And it’s almost certainly not going to be very good for you either.
Sausages (along with bacon, burgers, chorizo, salami and cured hams) fall into the processed meats category. When red meats make the headlines and links are made with bowel cancer, it’s nearly always red processed meats that have come under investigation. Many nutritional experts would recommend keeping them to an absolute minimum.
But I’m certainly of the opinion there’s a place in everyone’s life for the occasional proper sausage. I’m careful about what I indulge in and whist I’ve come a long way since oh so worryingly thinking sausages for breakfast four times a week was a good idea (“it’s all protein” – wrong!), I’ll never give them up entirely.
When it comes to sausages, here’s my checklist for making the best choice:
- Where has the pork come from? Does it carry British assurance? A Red Tractor stamp? This makes going to your butcher all the more important – and asking those questions. My absolute butcher favourites have to be Roberts & Edwards’ Wimbledon Royals
- Are the sausages gluten free? I’m not allergic to gluten, but I generally feel better for avoiding it – and as a crude rule of thumb, gluten free varieties are more expensive, generally determining their higher quality and meat content – this is especially the case with supermarket varieties
- If you can’t get to a butcher, there are two supermarket varieties I opt for and these are Black Farmer – traditional, pork-tastic and minimal fat released during cooking (pictured top left) and for something a bit different, Helen Browning’s organic hot dogs (pictured top right). Like proper Frankfurter hot dogs without any of the petrifying additions contained within their more fluorescent members of the ‘sausage’ family. A real coup for the hot dog sausage scene! I’m mad for a hot dog. Except when it’s 2006 and you’re at Take That’s first ever reunion gig. You take a bite from the ‘Mighty Dog’ and wooooooah…. Mustard. All. Down. Your. Cardie. It’s 100% why Gary didn’t ask me for my number. I know it is…
I often feel pork gets an unnecessarily bad wrap. Chicken’s the nation’s favourite, a fillet steak considered the creme de la creme of red meaty treats. But what about gloriously slow cooked pork shoulder that shreds like a dream and melts in the mouth? That teeth testingly crunchy crackling of pork belly?
So perhaps it’s time to think beyond the sausage as a staple and enjoy proper pork more often.
Do you have a favourite proper pork recipe?