Sausages

Amongst the food writing I consume, there is nary a word for sausages. I've been pontificating about why this is.

After all, sausages use up the otherwise unwanted leftover bits of a carcass. It has meat fat in it and a long pedigree which dates back to when people made the sausages with the actual intestines of the animal as the casing. For the eco-meat brigade who contend that it is okay to meat so long as we use every part of it and eat it reverently and kill it humanely and make sure to say karakia first, surely the humble sausage has something to offer? But in my reading, sausage does not feature.

For the pro-meat fat brigade, represented on my bookshelves by Ms Sally Fallon herself, you would think that good old greasy sausages would have something to offer. Not according to her Nourishing Traditions. I have been thinking that the reticence of such a book regarding such a useful food is a kind of snobbery. Sausages are fast. Sausages are useful food for busy families. Sausages are foods which ordinary people eat, those common plebians who also eat at Mcdonalds and buy pre-prepared foods at the supermarket. Those people who don't show their love for their family by spending hours every day on from-scratch meals. In a world of middle class time poverty (no, the middle class most definitely do NOT have the monopoly on time poverty, but they are the ones most keen on reading books about food), slow food is the new black, the Audi in the Jones' driveway.

I love sausages. I love it that I can throw them in the slow cooker with some onions, carrots, garlic, herbs, tinned tomatoes and root vegetables in the morning and come home to dinner eight hours later. I love it that I can put the same things in the oven at 2.55pm and come home to dinner two hours later. I love it that I can cook them in the oven on the grill tray without having to watch them too carefully while I look after children/process laundry/ make veges around 4-5pm. I am a bit fussy about the sausages I buy and have a distinct preference for the locally made Blackball sausages, especially if I can buy them in bulk at their shop in Blackball (gluten free to boot) and avoid the sharply elevated supermarket prices for them. But as for eating sausages, I have never ever disliked a sausage at a barbeque. Wrapped in bread, with sauce dripping onto the white serviette, with a beer in the other hand and kids running round us, they taste sublime, the taste of summer and friendship. Served up on plates with salad with maybe a wine and still kids happily cycling and running around us - still fantastic.

My crowning achievement this week was yesterday. I had work to complete for a meeting at 3.30pm. I finished that work at 2.30pm, and as I walked out to the car, I began to consider dinner. I stopped in at the supermarket, bought Blackball sausages (boerwors variety), mushrooms and tinned tomatoes, gave $2 to Robyn on the raffle table to help get her boy to the hockey tournament in Auckland this holidays, drove home and chopped it all up together with herbs, onions, garlic and kumara and put it in the oven at 2.56pm (150 celsius), zipped up to school and got Fionn, drove to kindy and got Brighid, took them both to Sharon our second lovely childminder and then sat down at my 3.30pm meeting back at work with an entire three minutes to spare. That, ladies and gentlemen, is success in my week.

Sausages. From slow food to fast and multiple steps in between, sausages are your friend. No I don't work for the meat board. But if I did, I would want to know about dripping, what they do to the commercial version if you can even get it. Laksmi and I were talking about bread and dripping in the 1930s Depression and a very healthy 83 year old man (with the stature and gait of a man in his fifties) in my town who uses dripping in his cooking and I got to thinking I might play around with it soon.

Comments

Sharonnz said…
Hmmmm...sausages. The preferred meat delivery system for the shortest family member. We like the Blackball but I go for any Island Bay Butcher one.
Corrine said…
My other half being a butcher, has a deep suspision of sausages but only because of what goes into the commercial ones. (water and additives to make the water stay in the meat) We make our own when we have the inclination, and the available meat. Otherwise Backball are our choice as well.
I agree that a good sausage can't be beaten. They are our emergency...forgot to get anything out for tea...meal. Boiled from frozen, and add the spuds and veg, a complete meal in less than 1/2 an hour. And everyone likes them. What more can you ask?
What do you want to know about dripping? You can still get it at our super market. Look by the meat section. It is also pretty to render your own.
Anonymous said…
Jboy14 made pies this week - his pastry was made with a mixture of lard and butter and it was the Best Pastry Ever. We just get our lard from the supermarket.
As for sausages, I agree with your snobbery assertion. The writers appear to ahve forgotten that in your local organic shop there are sausages with all the benefits you mention. True, the cardboard and rubbish ones in the supermarket may not be good for you, but the other variety, the sort it sounds like you can buy, are simply heaven. But then I'll take a sausage over a steak any day!
BTW, we found some of the most amazing sausages throughout Europe - I wonder how those artisan producers would feel about foodies turning up their noses at their craft?!
Rachael
Thank you all for your comments. I'm parochially delighted to read that people are eating Blackball sausages up and down the country.

Corrine I thought I'd read that supermarket dripping was partially hydrogenated and thus did not have it's primal benefits, but I can't find that idea in Fallon and not sure where else I would have got it from. Time to try out the supermarket one, or to do as my mother did (She is still alive, but they live in Canola Country now) and collect the drippings from the roast for later use.

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