Six of the best sausages from Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 22:31 10 July 2015 | UPDATED: 13:19 24 October 2015
Posh sausages are the best and Yorkshire has some of the tastiest in the country, says Tony Greenway
There are three strict rules I live my life by. I don’t dance at weddings (no-one wants to see a fortysomething man in a sensible jumper shuffling around to Lady Gaga).
I don’t watch anything on TV that has the words ‘produced by Simon Cowell’ on the end credits. And, most importantly of all, I only buy the best sausages. Because there are sausages — and then there are sausages. If you’re sensible, you prefer the latter.
When I was young and impoverished (I’m still impoverished, but sadly not so young) sausages were a regular feature of my diet and I would buy them from the local mini-supermarket. Once, feeling particularly skint, I opted for an ultra-cheapo, cheapo variety. This turned out to be a bad mistake.
They were disgusting looking pink cylinders filled with suspicious looking pink mush (sorry if you’re eating as you read this) and they tasted like bicycle tyre inner tubes filled with wet leaves.
I immediately vowed to buy only the best bangers from then on, no matter the cost.
Living in Yorkshire makes this a lot easier because everywhere you look there are fabulous posh sausages in delis, farm shops, restaurants and butchers across the county. Problem is, there’s only room for six on this page — but here are our favourites.
The Blue Pig Company
Long Preston-based Blue Pig cross Gloucester Old Spots (which are mainly white) with a Saddle Back (which are mainly black), and the result is an animal that is blue/grey in colour and lives free range. I asked owner Andrew Bradley what his best-selling sausage was and, although it was a tough call, he thought it was probably his Yorkshire Sausage (a blend of herbs and spices including mace, nutmeg coriander and parsley). ‘I’m biased and say you need rare breeds that are kept outside,’ he says when I asked him what made a good sausage. ‘But the sausage has to be made with good quality pork and good ingredients. You can’t cut corners. Make it to a recipe, not to a price.’
Independent company Heck has a connection with the Camphill Estate’s Sausage and Beer Festival: it provides a free sausage sandwich to festival goers. Heck is a young family firm which has had a lot of press, because despite starting off small around the farmhouse kitchen table, it now supplies ‘farmers’ market quality’ to supermarkets, including Tesco, Asda and Waitrose. Their Chicken Italia sausages are 85 per cent chicken and gluten free, too.
Yorkshire Chorizo Company
Chorizo isn’t just great when it comes from Spain. It turns out it’s also excellent when it comes from a farm near Skipton. The Yorkshire Chorizo company produces a fully cured sausage that you can just slice and tuck into — or used in recipes, such as chilli con carne. Top notch.
Cockburn’s of Bedale
Last year’s winner of the Best Sausage Cup at Camphill Estate’s Sausage and Beer Festival (William Hague presented them with their award, no less) — and no wonder. Cockburn’s pork, caramelised onion and cracked black pepper sausages are remarkable; but I also like the sound of the wild boar and pear, plus the pork, black pudding and apple.
Holme Farmed Venison
Holme Farmed Venison in Sherburn in Elmet, produces venison and wild venison sausages (venison is less fatty than beef, so better for your cholesterol levels), plus traditional pork sausages and wild boar sausages.
Blacker Hall Farm Shop
The award-winning Blacker Hall farm shop at Calder Grove, Wakefield, makes a fabulous venison sausage. Its Cumberland ones are award-winning, too.
Lishman’s of Ilkley
Thanks to David Lishman there is now, officially, a Yorkshire Sausage (it’s hard to believe, but there wasn’t such a thing until very recently). Welcome to Yorkshire and David, a butcher from Ilkley, led a series of Yorkshire-wide street sampling roadshows and events where over 3,500 locals helped choose the official winning Yorkshire sausage. You can find the recipe on the Welcome to Yorkshire website and the sausages in David’s shop, naturally. How good are they? Put it like this: he’s even made them for the Princess Royal.
Small business, big name. Paul and Michelle Dennis are the owners of Masham Sausages which are sold to various outlets including a supermarket, hotels, restaurants and farm shops. Paul produces a range of favourites including pork, chicken, beef, venison, wild boar and lamb, plus his pork, stilton and asparagus number is mightily popular. But there’s more. Paul recently won a Gold Award at the NEC in Birmingham for his pork, truffle and mushroom sausage. mashamsausages.com
Debbie & Andrew’s
It’s not just the packaging that looks good, you know. What’s inside is pretty unbeatable too, from garden herb and Harrogate chipolata to Sicilian sausages and pork and apple flavours. Debbie and Andrew Keeble’s sausages are a Yorkshire phenomenon that are now stocked nationwide.
The Ginger Pig
Lamb, pork and beef is reared at The Ginger Pig’s own farms on the North Yorkshire Moors and made into the most divine sausages. Flavours include Old Spot, garlic and juniper, prune and brandy and a spicy merguez. There are seriously good, and there’s a great ‘sausage guide’ page on the Ginger Pig website. thegingerpig.co.uk
Holme Farmed Venison
There might be something better in life than venison and wild boar sausages, I suppose. But, off hand, I can’t think of what that could be. Holme Farmed Venison, in Sherbun in Elmet, produces a fabulous range of speciality sausages including venison sausage and wild boar sausage; but it makes a traditional Yorkshire pork banger, too.
Olley & Olley
Olley & Olley, a small family business in Ripon, makes a beautiful Italian peasant sausage with fennel seed, chilli and garlic. Plus, there’s an authentic fresh chorizo with paprika, chilli and garlic, a simple rustic Toulouse sausage and the Olley & Olley trademark: the Whole Hog pork sausage. Hog heaven.
Is there a posh brand of sausages that really hits the spot for you?
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