A Sausage by definition is meat mixed with cereal or bread, seasoning, colourings and preservatives, then packed into casings, usually sheep intestines, but could be from pigs or a synthetic alternative. The size of the sausage is determined by the diameter of the casing and divided by the casing being twisted at regular individuals. If you intend trying to make your own sausages, start with a bigger casing rather chipolata sized.
Lower cost sausages normally indicate a lower meat content, and more 'padding'; or poor quality meat (that salvaged from a pig carcass) and artificial additives or colourings. Always check the labelling before purchasing sausages, strict regulations control the content and labelling of all sausages, however it is still possible to 'hide' some ingredients behind some very generic descriptions.
If you don't know what the ingredient is on the list, I would suggest you don't buy it, or buy it once and Google the ingredients when you get home to see what the 'code' on the lable actually means, add this knowledge to your understanding of food ingredients and decide whether you are happy to buy the ingredient within a sausage again.
Ready-cooked sausages are available in many varieties such as liver, salami, and saveloy's, also cured meats (salted and spiced) are stuffed in to the casings and hung for several weeks to 'dry', both these are usually found in the deli aisle or specialist shops.
Uncooked sausages may also be either smoked or unsmoked like butchers Pork and Beef sausages. The best Sausages are made from pork, as they are regarded as the best flavour. Good served on their own but also try:-
- With Fried Onions and Mashed potatoes
- Grilled Tomatoes
- Apples Sauce and Gravy
- Pasta cooked in tomato sauce
- Toad in the hole
- With Roast poultry
Removed from their skins the sausage filling can be used:-
- In Pies
- Forced meat dishes
All uncooked sausages should be cooked and eaten as son as possible, kept in the fridge or frozen on the day of purchase (for up to three months). Sausages can be cooked from frozen, or defrosted in a fridge overnight.
For cooking, they can be fried, baked, barbecued or grilled. For frying you will need to add oil, (try oil sprays) cook slowly and turn frequently to brown all sides.