What are your sausages like?

I like sausages, so I thought we’d have a thread about them.

The sausages available to me here (in the UK) include:
-The standard British ‘banger’ - in very many varieties - these consist of very finely-ground meat(usually pork), mixed with ‘rusk’ (-some kind of cereal-based thing - hopefully not too much of it), variously spiced, most often with white pepper and herbs like sage and thyme. Smooth and pink in the raw state, light golden brown and delicate-textured when cooked.
-Regional British sausages, such as Cumberland etc - wars have probably been fought over the exact composition of these, but typically, they are distinct from the standard banger on account of a slightly coarser ground meat, less rusk and different blends of spices and herbs (often the herbs will be cut in larger, visible pieces too).
-The ‘Butcher’s sausage’ - available at independent butcher shoppes (with imitation/wannabe versions appearing prepacked in the supermarkets) - a conspicuously coarser cut of meat, often to include beef, less rusk - often available in quite a range of different meats/flavours/spices etc (including ‘traditional’ favourites like Pork and beef, exotic meats such as ostrich, kangaroo etc, and poutlry/fowl such as turkey or duck)
-Black Pudding - pig’s blood mixed with oatmeal, chunks of fat and spices, stuffed into large sausage skins and boiled. To be sliced and refried by the end consumer. What could be nicer? (seriously, once you get over the ‘ick’ part of eating them, they really are delicious).
-Haggis (I suppose it’s a kind of sausage) - needs no introduction
-Lorne sausage - square patties of rather fatty sausagemeat - no skin

‘sausage meat’ is also available and it’s usually sold in blocks or plastic tube/bags, chilled or frozen; variable in quality and consistency, but typically the same as the stuff inside a mid-range ‘standard’ banger.

Imported or absorbed from abroad (listed here even if manufactured locally):
-Any number of variations on the preserved ‘frankfurter/bockwurst’ - style sausage - lined up in cans or jars of brine on the supermarket shelf.
-Salami - any number of varieties; available whole or sliced, prepacked or at the deli counter.
-Other (smaller) preserved sausages - such as Chorizo and Kabanos
Ummm… that’s about all I can think of right now - I’m sure I’ll have missed some, but what kind of sausages do you have in your locality?

I’m particularly interested in the composition, texture, flavour etc of the American sausages that are fried in preparation for biscuits and gravy, but all contributions here are welcome.

Mangetout I keep forgetting you are in the UK.

Anyway… one of my favourite uses of sausage meat is in scotch eggs… of which there is a disturbing lack in my locale (of good ones anyway) You can’t beat a freshly made hot scotch egg where the yolk is still runny. All I can get hold of here is the crappy marks and spencer ones or the slightly less crappy homemade ones from a recently discovered deli.

Another fave source of sausage is from the chippie. Not sure if it’s pork, pork and beef, or just beef but it’s totally different from the rubbish they sell at supermarkets here.

I love salami as a sandwich ingredient. I hate/despise/loath that rubbery thing Americans eat. Can’t fathom how it’s so popular. A normal sausage in a long piece of bread is nice… but that rubbery thing… bleh.

Tonight I had pork chippolatas with mash and peas and fiery smoky barbeque sauce. I have half a dozen beef and black pepper sausages in the fridge as well as a good hunk of hot Hungarian salami.

I used to get Scotch eggs from a deli near my home. They only had them on Tuesday morning for about an hour after the guy who made them delivered them but the idea of a fresh HOT one with runny yolk is beyond my wildest imaginings. WOW.

Oh, lordy. I haven’t had a scotch egg since the last time I visited friends in England. I loved them. Even the less than great Marks & Sparks brand.

Now I’ll be craving them all day. I’ll have to do a search for the recipe in the net.

As a great lover of sausage the choice and quality of sausage is severely limited for the average American. In General, most people get their sausage at a Supermarket and they are made generically on a massive scale by huge meat processing companies with little range in flavor and spice. Invariably, the choice is this:

Polska Kielbasa and Smoked Sausage- These are the standard “dinner sausages”. There is not much difference between the two and they taste practically the same to me and they usually come in pork and beef varieties. It is a standard sausage taste…no particular flavoring stands out …garlicky, salty, grain fillers, very finely ground and rubbery. They come in a package of two, large diameter, “cut” sausages, about 9 inches long.

Hot Dogs, Frankfurters, Wieners- Quite a variety, but really no variety…standard Bologna taste. Some plump when you cook them, some have a casing…not too much of a difference otherwise. Packages of 8.

Bratwurst- Standard grilling Brats. They’re usually pretty good, comparable to the real thing but generally lacking as I have had real German Bratwurst and they are just better quality meat and spices.

Breakfast Sausage- This is probably the true “American sausage”. This is what you get when you order sausage at most American Restaurants. It comes standard with pancakes and eggs. It comes in small links and patties and it is a fairly coarse grind sausage heavy on the sage and black pepper. I like it well enough, but I am not a huge fan of sage.

…and that’s it. (Most of these varieties also come in Turkey or Chicken versions.)

However, if you go to a good butcher or meat market or ethnic specialty store, one can get some really good sausages from around the world. Around here, local specialties include Kielbasa (my absolute favorite), which is basically a coarser grind true Polish link with lots of Garlic and Black Pepper. They cook up white.
We also have Hungarian sausage which is basically a very spicy red sausage, characterized by lots of Hot Hungarian Paprika.
I recently had, what I call a “California style sausage” from a Meat Market. It was a homemade chicken, spinach, and feta sausage. Basically a chicken sausage with feta and spinach and Greek spices (oregano and thyme stood out.). I hate to say it but it was pretty good.

You can get good sausage in America, just not in a supermarket.

You taunt me with your sausages! The only sausages we can get here (well, almost the only) are Armenian sausages, which are small, red, and flavored with some spice (I don’t know which one) which I don’t particularly care for. I would kill for even the humblest breakfast sausage!

Recently, a friend, knowing our desperation and taking pity on us, froze a couple of packs of sausage in the States and brought them with her on the plane. They were mere Jimmy Dean breakfast sausages, as described by devilsknew, but we liked 'em! And we were glad to have 'em! Damn kids don’t know how good you have it!

One other thing, a local sausage that my family enjoys called “Ring Liver Sausage” was once available at almost all of the local stores but it seems to have gone the way of the dodos. I tried finding some for my Mom and scoured several supermarkets but found…I was surprised and quite disappointed. I can understand why it might have been discontinued it was basically a liver and offal sausage that cooked up like a mush. One fries it out of the casing. It’s great with eggs and toast.

Aiming for completeness in UK sausagedom, I’ll mention:
White pudding(which I’ve never been keen on);
Savaloy – a kind of mildly spiced pork sausage in a bright red skin, often sold in chip shops, and delicious boiled and served with pease pudding;
Garlic Sausage – soft-textured and very pink, and full of garlic.

Some of the pubs around here have bowls of free nibbles on the bar on Sunday lunch times: crisps, nuts, pickled onions, cubes of cheese – and cubes of black pudding and garlic sausage. A delicious accompaniment to the Sunday afternoon pint.

Lest I be incomplete, Italian Sausages (fennel flavored pork sausage) and Knockwurst are also pretty popular and available at most American Supermarkets.

I love white pudding - it’s an Irish thing though, isn’t it?

Saveloys I also like - I’d lump the commercial version in with the franfurter genre - they’re more moist and spicy, but the texture and construction is similar. Actually probably closer to some of the sausages they have in Denmark. I think I’m right in saying that the saveloys in some parts of the North are quite different from the generic commercial ones.

up on Cape Cod there is a large Portuguese descended population who make some very good sausages. in particular Linguica, which is a mild smoked pork sausage, red in color and somewhat spicy. Chourico is similar, but has more chile powder in it and is more spicy. I’ve never found them outside of Cape Cod, but I think Emeril mentions them on his show from time to time. Very yummy. And probably related to Chorizo now that I think about it.

Hi all…

Has anyone made their own sausage before? I once had some homemade lamb chorizo (given to a friend by her acquaintance, so no hope of getting ideas from him) and it was sooooo good- of course its not link type, more like patty type sausage. I am picking up my freezer lamb next week- so will have multiple cuts of meat to ground up into chorizo if anyone has a clue how to make it :).

The only South African sausage worth mentioning is Boerewors (lit Farmers’ sausage) of which there are a multitude of regional/personal varieties - all of them made from beef with various spices, and sold in big, thick coils to be cooked over open coals and eaten in a bread roll with a relish of tomato and onion or fruit chutney…

::drools quietly::

I think I’m going to have to track down a butcher this weekend, fortunately there are now enough of us in London that some of the locals are learning the craft.


Technically, meatloaf is a sausage, so millions have made it. I’ve made Italian and Polish before. Locally, we get reindeer (or caribou) sausage, which is pretty tasty.

Given the diversity of the southern California population, I think I could find just about any sausage mentioned here somewhere within a reasonable distance. The only ones I can’t think of a source for are the English and Australian varieties, which don’t seem to have made the leap. I know we have all the usual American varieties, plus the basic Italian, German, Portuguese, Mexican and Chinese styles.

Most markets also sell specialty sausages–the usual Italian varieties plus things like chicken with sundried tomatoes or turkey with pesto or whatever.

The sausage used for biscuits and gravy would look something like this before preparation.

It’s certainly seems to be more popular there than elsewhere – hence it’s inclusion in the traditional Irish breakfast – but I don’t think the Irish can have exclusive dibs on it. Any pork butcher worth it’s name round here will have white pudding for sale alongside at least two varieties of black pudding.

If there’s one of those shops that caters for homesick ex-pats, no doubt they’d have a pack or two of Walls in the freezer, but it’s probably not worth it, except for the curiosity value. There are good supermarket sausages here in the UK, but you’re unlikely to find anything other than the popular, but mediocre ones elsewhere.

My! there’s a lot of fat in that thing - I suppose you need it to make the gravy, but even so…
Is there a cardiac arrest helpline number printed on the pack?

We’ve a good variety of sausage available here in Austin. Elgin (pronounced with a hard ‘g’) is nearby, home to a couple of excellent pork sausage making establishements. My favorite is Meyer’s Hot Elgin Sausage. There’s also Central Market, where a mind-boggling array of cased meats can be found, including a nummy chicken pesto sausage. Mmmm…

I saw the thread title and said, “Nawww, they wouldn’t do that, would they?”

But you did. There are more great out-of-context quotes in here than I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Heh heh. Sausage.

There is always the option of making them at home… my only problem has been a source of sausage casings. I bet I could find them on the internet though.

Grinders are cheap, the base cuts for sausage can be nearly anything you want (I made venison sausages after the one and only deer I’ve shot, [so far…]), same for spicing.

Be creative, make your own!