I love throwing theme cookouts, especially in the frigid New York City winters as they stick out. My all time favorite cookout party is my annual Sausagefest! The premise is simple – an entire table of various different sausages, lots of beer, and an entire evening worth of immature humor. I seriously could not imagine a better time. To hold a proper sausagefest, you need a retarded amount of sausages, beer and a grill. Everyone brings their own and the generic sweet Italian is banned. Not that there’s anything wrong with our beloved sweet italian sausage but unless this rule is in place, everyone will bring the same generic sausage. The key is that there has to be too many sausages to finish, otherwise it’s just a cookout.
The one great thing about New York is how ethnically diverse we are. So it’s pretty easy to get different types of ethnic sausages. (see my spread above).
Originally in this post I was writing a bit on all my favorite sausages but it was turning out to be my longest post ever So I’m breaking it down into a series as a lead up to my party. Today we start with Ye Olde England!
BRITISH – I get mine at Myers of Keswick
Cumberland – A very long coiled course ground sausage flavored with spices like sage, mace, or ginger. It comes from the region Cumbria where they’ve been making this regional favorite for the past 500 years! It’s normally sold as one long coil and not made into links. We’re actually very luck to have Myers use a 100 year old recipe here in NYC for cumberlands. There’s a theory that sausage was invented during reign of Elizabeth I by German miners who came to Cumbria for work.Originally made with the Cumberland pig, which became extinct in 1960 and then “Recreated” in 2008.
Chipolata – A short fresh sausage that’s often used to garnish fowl dishes in England. Pretty much what we associate breakfast sausages with. What I love about this sausage is that in England, it’s a SIDE DISH!! So you get your Sunday Roast (weekly meal that involves a large roasted joint of meat) and you get a side of sausage. If there’s anything more amazing than getting a side dish of sausage, I don’t know what it is.
Bangers – Myers sells a separate “banger” sausage. From my understanding cumberlands or any generic pork sausage can be used for bangers and mash. Interesting enough, I’ve had an incorrect belief that “bangers” had a cruders meaning. Turns out it’s from badly processed casings bursting during cooking with a “bang” sound.
Black Pudding – I have a thing for blood sausages. I love the textures, the richness, and that deep metallic flavor. Most blood sausauges are divided into the “custard” vs “crumbly” style. This one leans more towards the crumbly style. The flavorings are basically onion, pepper, and pork fat. For me, it’s mainly a texture thing. Now in England, there’s actually a World Black Pudding Throwing Competition held every year. In this competition, athletes take blood sausages, stuffed in a pantyhose (no judgement), and toss it at a stack of British popovers known as Yorkshire Puddings. Whoever knocks the most down wins. Black Pudding is also part of a full English and Irish breakfast.