The Sizzling Sausage.

May 11, 2014 by The Co-op Observer 32184

The sausage seems like such a British food. Bangers and mash has to be one of our great comfort meals. Yet the sausage is actually made the whole world over.

It’s probably our oldest processed food and originated from a combination of efficient butchery and the need to preserve food by salting or curing.

Today sausages vary from the American pickled sausage that we know from cinema hot dogs, through the delicious smoked kielbasa of Poland, Spanish chorizo style which you’ll find lots of in South America too, to the vast range we enjoy in Britain.

If ever there were to be a crown for the biggest range though it would almost certainly go to the Germans – on Wikipedia there are 39 pages of German sausages listed by type! You only have to see the Brits queuing up at the Christmas markets to know how good they are.

In the new Co-operative Food Magazine there’s a good feature on the farmers and producers who rear the pigs for the delicious Truly Irresistible range of sausages, all made from 100% British meat from Red Tractor farms for great British bangers.

You’ll meet the breeder, third generation pig farmer Craig Ranyard. Craig and his team of nine manage and look after a herd of 1,900 breeding sows and up to 2,500 piglets on a Cranswick farm in Nottinghamshire. That’s a heck of a lot of pigs – if you have ever heard just a few squealing when they are running around then you’ll be able to imagine the noise when that lot get excited.

The pigs are all Hampshire sired and the sows live outside for their whole lives.

The young ones are outside for the first 6-8 weeks before they go off to their second home where they grow from about 35kgs to about 110kgs, that’s over 17 stone in old weights. The farms have both Little Red Tractor and RSPCA Freedom Foods standards, both designed to ensure the animals live a good life. The farm where they are reared near Hull is also a LEAF Marque accredited farm. The LEAF Marque (Linking Environment And Farming) recognises farms that have made particular efforts to work in harmony with the environment.

The Truly Irresistible sausages are produced by Cranswick Foods, an established producer of quality pork products and gourmet sausages. Jonathan Healy from Cranswick is a fan of the good old fashioned Cumberland sausage, and I have to say that the peppery sausage scores well with me too.

While there are many varieties of Truly Irresistible sausage, including several limited edition specials, the standard pork sausage remains the best seller – it’s good on the barbecue, in a sandwich, and with a fluffy cloud of mash. It takes some beating.

What is your favourite sausage? Do you like them for breakfast, or any time of the day? Mustard or ketchup? Or indeed both?

For some great recipes follow this link, I particularly like the sausage and lentil casserole, although toad in the hole is special too.

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