Sadly, I am still no closer to solving the mystery of ‘snags’ as a word for sausages, but as compensation I have turned up some interesting recipes for their use. These recipes are for those amongst you who love sausages in any shape or form, particularly if you live in the northern hemisphere and winter is on the horizon, and especially if you love the words ‘sausage’ and ‘pudding’ side-by-side - but if, and only if, you are absolutely fearless in the face of suet.
In the grand tradition of hearty English savoury puddings, I give you the following recipes, which do not - but should - come with cholesterol warnings.
[A cheap diner for a hard-working man]
A sausage pudding will be much appreciated by a hungry man, and can be made during the afternoon of the previous day, when the housework is done. Quickly brown in the frying pan three or four sausages. (They brown better if lightly rolled in flour first.) Place them where they will cool rapidly, and in the meantime make a good solid paste, line a well-greased pudding basin, lay in the sausages with a dash of pepper, salt, and a little dry mustard; add a little water, cover with crust, tie up in a cloth, and boil for an hour and a half or two hours.
Aberdeen Weekly Journal (Aberdeen, Scotland) March 4, 1891.
You will find a suet paste recipe here.
Procure 2 lb. of Cambridge sausages, and twist into round balls; put these into boiling water on the stove, merely to parboil them for a minute or so; then throw them into cold water and remove the skins.
Line the basin with suet paste, fill it with sausages and pour the following preparation upon them: - Take1 chopped onion, and 3 sage leaves which have been boiled in water for 2 minutes; drain them upon a sieve and then fry them in a small stewpan until they are light-brown colour. Add a teaspoonful of curry paste, season with pepper and salt, and moisten with ½ pint of good broth; stir the sauce upon the fire and when it has boiled ¼ hour rub it through a sieve and pour it upon the sausages.
Cover the pudding with paste, steam it for 2 hours, and when turned out of the basin send to table with plain gravy under it.
The Australian Home Cookery (1917),
If, however, for reasons of your own, you eschew suet crust, the following recipe may be adequate, although it hardly justifies the name ‘pudding.’
Half a pound of pork sausages, two pounds of potatoes, an onion. Parboil the sausages, remove the skins, slice the potatoes, previously boiled, in thick pieces, chop an onion. Put alternate layers of potatoes, sausage meat, and onion in a greased pie-dish until it is full; the sausage must be spread very thinly, but as it is rich and pungent, the flavour will permeate the whole. A few browned breadcrumbs may be sprinkled on top. Bake for half an hour. Variety may be given by using rice instead of potatoes.
Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales) June 10, 1899.
Quotation for the Day.
Cambridge gave the world science and sausage.
Peel six potatoes, lay them in a stewpan with salt and pepper sprinkled over them, then cut in small pieces three small sausages, a small slice of lean ham, minced neatly, the crumbs of two crackers, or a slice of toasted bread, crumbled over the surface, another layer of potatoes, pour in a cup of water with melted butter; stew it slowly.
From The Great Western Cookbook, http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/html/books/book_20.cfm
Sounds good, Shay. Have you made it?
I realize this is almost three years old, but any idea what the point is of all the fussing with the sage leaves? Parboiling, then frying, then baking? Seems rather excessive.
Hi Kate, I think there are a lot of instructions in cookery books that have no logic - people just do things because they have always done them that way!
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