Tag Archives: sausage

Sausage, barbeque sauce, new potatoes

I feel like sausages tonight, like sausages tonight.. that one doesn’t really fit.
I was shopping this afternoon and struggling to decide what to cook tonight, when I remembered that a week or so back I’d bought a jar of “Sausages Tonight”, on the back of the success of “Chicken Tonight”.

So I went wandering Tesco’s aisles in search of sausages, and was surprised at how many different types of sausages there are. They even had some stuffed with cheese – which sound interesting.
I’ve always liked sausages in fry ups, and also sausage rolls if done well. They’re few and far between, but Parsons stores in and around Bristol do superb sausage rolls.
Sadly, I’ve never been able to cook sausages really. I tried in my old flat several times and huge great plumes of smoke resulted. I’ve since learnt this was likely because I had the oil too hot in the fryer. After the smoke experience, I tried with a deep fat fryer, with less than satisfactory results. I tried grilling them but they seemed to turn out very dry.

So, with that in mind, I browsed the sausages, and picked some ordinary pork sausages.
I considered the organic ones, but they were crazy expensive and all very small. Which is odd. I can understand why some organic things might be smaller, but sausages? It’s all random bits of meat stuffed in a skin anyway – surely organic sausages could be the same size as ‘normal’ sausages?

Strangely enough, sausages are all the same price. Tesco’s own, branded (walls, etc), organic – all seem to be priced around 2-2.50 for 300-400g. Obviously there’s “value” crap cheaper, but I make enough money to eat better these days, and I’m trying to teach myself to appreciate good food, so this is no time to get short-arms/long-pockets syndrome.

The most normal ones I could find that looked like proper sausages (“90% pork” on label), were part of the range offered by “The Black Farmer” aka Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones. These stood out, because I saw a kind-of reality show on Channel4 a while ago where he took inner city black kids and taught them about farming. He claims (or certainly used to) to be the only black farmer in the UK. Was an amusing documentary though – seeing the reactions of extremely white people in Devon, when the local black population has gone up 10-fold overnight.

So ingredients used tonight:
– Knorr “Sausages Tonight” – Ranch Barbeque sauce – with tomatoes, onion, and paprika. Also contains soy sauce, lemon juice, parsley, and a few other bits and bobs.

– The Black Farmer – premium pork sausages.
It says on the top of the (400g) packet “flavours without frontiers”. This set me off in the supermarket singing a rehashed version of “Games Without Frontiers” by Peter Gabriel to myself. “Flavours without frontiers….and without…err….fears, if looks could kill they probably will….” and so on.
Actually “if cooks could kill” would work better. With a bit of work, it could definitely be a cookery song, to go on the tv/radio advert for the sausages.

– New potatoes. Bought in the poncy bag because from the day Tesco started selling pre-packed potatoes, their loose potatoes have become almost non-existent.

So at home, in the kitchen, I go for a wok to fry these sausages in based on moderately good past experience.
Instructions on the sausages says “Heat a dessert spoon of oil in a frying pan. Cook on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, turning regularly. Drain before serving”.
I got the potatoes on, then started heating the oil. I added some sausages, and wait.
This is taking a long time. I’m hoping thats a good thing because I’m told the reason they go black externally, but uncooked internally, is down to cooking them on too high a heat.
They seem to go brownish, so I turn them.

Sometimes its amazing what makes me laugh when I’m bored. One of the sausages seems to have kind-of ballooned in one part so its not quite as sausage-shaped as the others. The fat spitting sets it off kinda rocking back and forth like it’s moving on its own. I mention to a vegetarian housemate in the kitchen at this point how it might not be dead yet, as it’s still moving. Sadly, it stops rocking before she looks, making me look like I’m totally mad.

After a long time of cooking, turning, etc. I’m still not convinced these sausages are done. They’ve browned in some parts, but they still look whiter on the ends. I decide to cut one up and taste it to see if it’s edible. It tastes kind-of hard, but edible.
Still not convinced it’s cooked right, I give it another few mins.

Shortly after, i try again, with another sausage.
Thing is – I’m poking them with a very sharp knife. I ditch it and decide to use a normal dinner/eating-knife to see if it’s harder than I’d expect a cooked sausage to be. Still not sure if it’s cooked.
Rather than risk food poisoning, I decide to cut the sausages up into smaller pieces, as small-pieces-plus-sauce seems to work a treat with the chicken stir-fry.
I give it another few mins frying and although I’m still not convinced the sausage-bites are cooked properly, I’m bored of waiting.

“Stir in the sauce and heat through for a few minutes”.
Gives me time to drain the potatoes and put butter on them.
Only realised after I added the sauce, I missed a step listed both on the sausages and the sauce jar, where it said to drain off the excess fat before eating. It’s a bit late to remove it now i’ve added the sauce to it, so I’ll have to put up with it now.

Heated sauce for…3-4mins (not sure what the definition of “a few” is), and plated.

It’s not so bad. It’s not anything like normal HP Bbq Sauce. Probably healthier I guess. It’s not revolting, but my screwed up tastebuds are taking a long time to adjust to eating stuff that doesn’t have more E-numbers and artificial colourings than real things.
I probably poured on a bit too much sauce really as the sausages were drowning in it. I do also wish I’d drained the oil out before adding the sauce.
And even now I’m not sure those sausages were cooked properly. I feel a little weird at the moment, but I’m hoping it’ll culminate in “early night and awake refreshed”, rather than “long night in the bathroom”.
I’ll probably have another go during the week, as I’ve got half a pack of sausages left, and half a jar of sauce to use up.

sausage casserole

Highly unusual for me to want to cook anything after a long Monday at work, but in my excitement of trying new things last week I purchased a load more food than I made time to cook.
So I’ve wound up with some sausages that are best before yesterday’s date that I’ve decided I’m going to chance.

8 pork sausages
Homepride ‘Fred’s Favourites’ Sausage Casserole 500g cook-in sauce

The majority ingredents of the sauce are: tomatoes, onion, peppers, lemon juice and vinegar.

The 500g sauce and 8 sausages is designed to feed 4, but I’m going to use the whole lot for skinny little me, because the sausages are yesterday’s date and if I cook half, sods law says I might want slightly more than half.
Plus the serving suggestion to go with this is mashed potato – I hate the consistency of mashed potato so I won’t be having that with it.

Again, I’ve decided to follow the recipe on the sauce jar, rather than the meat.
The first step of switching on the oven was easy, but right after that I am slightly lost at step 2.
“Gently fry the sausages for 10minutes or until evenly browned”.
If truth be told, the last time I attempted a fry-up, my eyes really hurt from the smoke that remained for several hours afterwards.

I poured some oil into a frying pan, and added the sausages. I had a lot of instant browning, which I think meant the oil was too hot. I removed the frying pan from the heat, and turned the gas down.
Waited a minute or so and replaced it back on the hob but then it didn’t seem like it was cooking at all really.

Apparently people love gas because you can set it to whatever slightly different amount you want – but for me this isn’t helpful. I’m used to computers, commands that you assign to one exact setting or another.

After a lot of turning the dial a tiny bit up higher and higher til it seemed like things were cooking again, I thought I was getting the hang of it, when a spit of fat from the pan caught me about half an inch below an eye.
This seems dramatically more dangerous than yesterday’s wok experience. I think I may have put too much oil in, as the fat leaking out of the sausages plus what I had initially put in, made it look like I was frying a lunch meal for someone from Glasgow and hadn’t added the Mars bars yet.

After about 10minutes of poking and turning, some of my sausages looked brown. Some didn’t. Some looked decidedly uncooked. As I’ve no idea how to tell if sausages are cooked or not, I did the only thing I could think of and cut them all in half, to check if the middle was still pink.
Some were, some weren’t. I cooked the ones that weren’t til they were darker, but then.. how do I know if the remaining half a sausage is each still pink in the middle? I slice through a few more til my expensive butcher’s choice sausages look more like the sort you get on sticks at parties, and then finally decide to take a chance and assume they’re all cooked.

That done, I had to look for a casserole dish. I’m such an idiot.
I ask a housemate if we have one. My housemate says its round with a lid.
I bring him back something.
He tells me “No, thats a saucepan”.
I wasn’t even joking – it was a kinda odd shaped saucepan.

I found it eventually, added what looked like the best-cooked sausages to the casserole dish, poured on the sauce, and whacked it in the centre of the oven.
The sauce says to cook “for 30-35minutes or until cooked through”. How do you tell if a sauce is cooked through? Or maybe they mean the sausages.. maybe the sausages weren’t meant to be cooked fully when you put them in the oven? That seems unlikely.

I gave it about 34mins, took it out, emptied some onto a plate and tasted.
Not bad. It tastes mostly like sausages in gravy. Theres other things in it, but its mostly tastes of sausage and gravy. It’s not really as interesting as the oriental thing yesterday. Then again, I’m always drawn to things that are oriental – electronics, sweets, women, the list goes on.
I might make it again, but I’d have to have something with it – roast potatoes maybe.