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Sausage Varieties

  • Dec 05 / 2013
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Sausage Varieties

It is estimated that there are around 400 sausage varieties available in the UK. Most are variety for varieties sake and the majority of sales will be of only 3 or 4 varieties. We have listed the key sausage varieties and types. Whenever we try a new butcher we always buy the butchers sausage first – it is the classic on which any sausage maker should be judged.

What are your favourite sausage varieties? Which part of the country are you from? Use the feedback form to nominate your best (and worst) sausage varieties and remember to tell use which part of the country you are from. We will update this page with the results.

Cumberland Sausages This is considered to be the meatiest British sausage. It is a chunky, course cut sausage spiced with black pepper and made in a continuous spiral. It is traditionally sold by length rather than weight. Looks very impressive when coiled in a spiral and cooked whole
Chipolatas Derived from the Italian word cipolla, meaning onion (something rarely found in a British chipolata). They are thin sausages made from lamb intestines and are thought to be good for children. Given a choice we rarely eat them because the small size means they are dryer than standard sausages
Beef Sausages More popular in Scotland (although beef and tomato is common south of the border)
Beer Sauasges Beer or ‘ale’ works very well in pork sausages and there are many made with the local beer. Beef and Guinness is also good
Boerewors South African for ‘Farmers Sausage’. There are many varieties, in the UK they are usually made with beef and pork fat (but can be made with pork, beef or mutton). Flavourings usually include coriander and vinegar. They are either cooked on the grill or barbeque (braai in Afrikaans)
Black pudding A key part of the traditional cooked breakfast, black pudding is pig’s blood in a length of intestine. It has had a poor press in the UK but in Europe it is a gourmet delicacy. Our pudding is usually bound with oatmeal and rusk with cubes of fat added. It is either boiled or fried in slices. It goes very well with apple and is becoming a fashionable ingredient. Look out for apple, pork and black pudding sausages
Bratwurst Long German sausage made with either pale pork or veal. Onions and egg are often added and they are usually grilled or fried
Breakfast Sausages A mildly spiced pork sausage. Some exotics contain the full cooked breakfast – egg, bacon and black pudding (hmm)
Butchers/plain/farmhouse Sausages The best selling traditional sausage which probably accounts for more than half of all sales. This should be your butchers pride and joy, a simple sausage with mild herbs and spices. It is the benchmark sausage which we always try first
Chorizo Spicy Spanish sausage made with pork, red pepper and paprika. It can be smoked or unsmoked. Smoked can be eaten raw and treated as salami, treat unsmoked chorizo as a raw sausage
Glamorgan A bit of a misfit – the only vegetarian sausage here and as it is skinless not really a sausage. Anyway, this is traditionally made with breadcrumbs, cheese (often Caerphilly), chopped spring onions, egg and seasoned with herbs
Gloucester Traditionally made with Gloucester Old Spot (a rare breed) and flavoured with sage. Increasingly available from local specialists
Gluten Free Sausages A sausage made without cereals, aimed at coeliacs (who cannot eat cereal products) and sausage fans. Either made with no binders and 100% meat or with rice flour as the binder
Cotechino and Zampone Italian boiling sausages, traditionally used in bolito misto and often served with lentils. Zampone is made from a stuffed pig’s trotter
Haggis Haggis is perhaps the best known Scottish delicacy, and it can be wonderful. Like black pudding it is not for the culinary faint hearted but is worth taking the risk! Haggis is made from sheep’s offal (or pluck). The windpipe, lungs, heart and liver of the sheep are boiled and then minced. This is mixed with beef suet and lightly toasted oatmeal. This mixture is placed inside the sheep’s stomach, which is sewn closed. The haggis is traditionally cooked by boiling (for up to three hours) although a part-cooked haggis can be cooked in the oven which prevents the risk of bursting
Hogs pudding This is a West country haggis; it is usually based on groats (unpolished barley) and filled into ox casings, however it can be closer to a meat white pudding (see below). It can be made with meat or pluck (heart, liver and lungs). We like the version made with groats and fry ours so the skin splits, the filling crisps up and the groats start popping!
Lamb Sausages A Welsh favourite, often combined with leek, mint or rosemary. Can be fatty so grilling is often best
Italian Sausages Strong tasting sausages often made with 100% meat and flavoured with pepper, fennel and chilli, They can be spicy and are good for cooking (try them in a sauce with pasta, polenta or with beans). Luganiga is another style which is made in continuous links and can be made with fresh parmesan. As with all Italian fresh sausages it is worth a try
Lincolnshire Sausages Old fashioned herby regional sausage traditionally made with pork, bread and sage (although thyme seems to be creeping in)
Lorne Bit of an oddity, this is Scottish square slicing sausage. It is made with beef and pork, has a smooth texture and is probably destined for either the breakfast table or eaten in a sandwich with white sliced bread and brown sauce
Marylebone A traditional London butchers sausage made with mace, ginger and sage
Merguez A spicy, red sausage from North Africa, made with either beef or lamb flavoured with harissa (a hot chilli paste based on chilli, garlic and olive oil) or paprika, following the north African theme they are good with couscous
Oxford A regional sausage made with pork, veal and lemon. Herbs are usually sage, savory and marjoram
Pork & apple (West Country) Pork with apple and often cider or scrumpy, generally makes a moist sausage. Sage is often used, they are available nationally but very popular in the West Country. Traditionally made with Gloucester Old Spot which where reared in orchards and would have eaten the windfall apples
Pork & leek (Welsh) Attractive green flecked sausages, popular in Wales where ginger is sometimes added, pork and chive also works well
Pork and honey The honey gives a sweet taste, often described as a children’s sausage (our junior tasters agree)
Scottish Sausages Not a flavour but a different style, Scottish sausages are generally smoother and more pate like than the rest of the country. Given the popularity and quality of beef in Scotland, it is not surprising that beef sausages are also more popular north of the border
Suffolk A course chopped sausage with herbs, similar to Lincolnshire
Tomato Pork and tomato, typical 10% tomato gives a distinctive red colour, they are popular in the Midlands. Can be combined with basil and sun dried tomatoes for the ‘Mediterranean’ taste
Toulouse This seems to be the only French sausage we cook with. A firm, meaty pork sausage with course chopped meat, parsley, garlic and red wine. They are ideal for a warming cassoulet,. What we call a Toulouse is actually closer to a French country sausage, the usual French Toulouse is simply flavoured with pepper
Venison Sausages Growing in popularity, venison is very low in fat so many venison sausages contain a mixture of venison and pork fat for succulence. Typical flavourings are red wine, garlic and juniper berries. A grown up sausage
White Pudding This is either in the style of a French boudin blanc with white meat, breadcrumbs, cream and eggs (nice) or just a cereal filling and onions (not so nice). Usually pre-cooked, they should be heated by slow frying or baking, as with black puddings, they can be eaten with apples
Wild boar Pork’s cousin; it is darker, stronger in flavour and gamier. Often described as tasting like an old fashioned sausage (whatever this means), wild boar combines well with apples, red wine and garlic