Sunday, May 31, 2009

Baked sausages, revised

My objections to baking sausages have been that the heat required to brown them may cause them to dry up, and that the skins often get tough. Being dense, I didn't twig until I read a Jamie Oliver recipe that the obvious solution to the latter problem was to roll the sausages in the oil or fat (I use olive oil, mostly, and rub it over them with my hands) first.

My theory had been that frying sausages on the lowest possible heat was the best way to retain their tenderness and juiciness. But practice has not borne it out. Baking them at what would appear to be the dangerously high heat of gas mark 6/200C for 30 minutes, turning them once, works fine.

For previous - and possibly misleading - entries, start here.


pablopatito said...

Do you think you can have a single rule that covers all sausages though?

For example, could it be that a sausage made from fairly rough and fatty bits of pork would be improved by longer, slower cooking?

I tend to find supermarket sausages are very tender and a bit tasteless, so perhaps quick cooking is fine. But would you do the same for some top quality butcher's sausages?

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Nicholas Clee said...

Pablo - Yes, that makes sense. One point, though, is that the time it takes to bake a sausage and to fry it slowly is about the same (30 minutes). My sausages - described as award-winning - come from my local butcher, Frank Godfrey.

Stan - I'm flattered by your interest, but I don't think this is for me.

pablopatito said...

This reminds me, a couple of weeks ago I used the concept behind your recent chicken recipe to bake sausages. I put some stock and some sliced onions into a baking dish and laid the sausages on top. The sausages were half submerged in stock. The top half of them browned, and I turned them over half way through to let the other half brown. The reduced stock and onions made a decent gravy (I may have added wine, I can't remember).

Nicholas Clee said...

That sounds good. I sometimes find, though, that sausages cooked in liquid (in a stew with beans, say) can acquire a flabby quality. Again, it depends on the kind of sausage, I suppose.