Oxford Sausages or Regional Snorkers Part 1

An inadequate Google image I’m afraid, but you get the drift

I love sausages of all kinds and they really do come in all shapes and sizes.  Different regions have their own specialities and the recipes often develop from ways of using up leftovers or utilising cheap cuts of meat.

Today’s recipe and its accompaniment are from Oxfordshire.  Oxford Sausages traditionally contain pork and veal, although the veal has latterly been replaced with lamb.  Once upon a time I would have agreed with this substitute, as the practice of veal crating was utterly abhorrent.  Nowadays, however, many British dairy farmers are keeping the male calves, which would previously been slaughtered, to produce very high quality, high welfare and very delicious rosé veal. 

References to the “Oxford” style of sausage date back to at least the early 18th century, but it was more widely popularised by its inclusion in Mrs Bloody Beeton’s Unspeakable Book of Household Management in 1861.  I am not a fan.  However, with the rise of mass food production the Oxford sausage fell out of favour, as did many regional foodstuffs. The modern enthusiasm for local food has resulted in the Oxford Sausage being revived, albeit often in revised form.


1 x large mixing bowl
1 x grater
1 x large frying pan
Kitchen roll for absorbing excess oil
1 x lemon squeezer
Blender or a stick blender

1 lb / 480g ground/minced pork
1 lb / 480g ground/minced veal or lamb
12 oz /360g shredded suet
1 mugful fresh breadcrumbs
Rind of 1 or 2 lemons – finely grated
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped, mixed herbs or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp fresh chopped sage
salt and black pepper
a little flour for coating
a little lard, goose fat (ideally), or oil for frying , but if you use butter always add a drop of oil to stop it burning

Mix the meats, suet, breadcrumbs, lemon rind, nutmeg and herbs in a bowl – use your hands, get in there!
Add the egg and mix thoroughly
Lightly flour your the worktop and your hands and form the mix into sausage shapes
Coat each sausage with flour and shape into a C
Heat the fat in the frying pan until it is quite hot (a drop of water should fizz but not scar you for life)
Fry for about 8 minutes until nicely browned and cooked through
Blot with the kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil

Oxford Sauce

1/2 pint / 300ml Port
4 tbsp redcurrant jelly
the juice of 1 orange
the juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp Oxford Marmalade (Frank Cooper’s ideally but any rich marmalade will do)
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp cooked shallots
1 tsp mustard
cayenne pepper (to taste)
ground ginger (to taste)

Mix all the ingredients together in a blender



Filed under Food, Recipes, Regional

7 responses to “Oxford Sausages or Regional Snorkers Part 1

  1. I have now decided to donate my Delia books to charity and follow your meal suggestions. (I’ll keep Mrs. Beeton though as reading it makes me laugh and I’m quite fond of Invaild’s Jelly. Well, reading about it anyway.)

    I might even have a go at sausage casserole tonight.

    O.S.M. B:52

  2. Unmitigated England had a Sausage Referendum earlier this year. Although an attempt was made to rig the ballot, the conclusion was that Wall’s Straightforward Pork Bangers were by far the best. No matter what was in them. Forget all this Pork ‘n’ Stilton and Cranesbill ‘n’ Tweed stuff and get frying-up a fat pack of Wall’s Wonders.

  3. wartimehousewife

    OSM: Quite right – consign Delia to the bin. I suppose Mrs Beeton comes in handy if one needs to know how to handle the servants.

    Peter: To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. I have nothing else to add. Actually, yes I do. I bet you eat tormented chickens as well, huh? HUH? And All Day Breakfasts.

  4. I think you are too harsh in your judgement of Isabella Beeton. After all, this is the woman who wrote:

    “From the grossness of his feeding, from the large amount of aliment he consumes, his gluttonous way of eating it, from his slothful habits, laziness, and indulgence in sleep, the pig is particularly liable to disease, and especially indigestion, heartburn and affections of the skin. To counteract the consequence of a violation of the physical laws, a powerful monitor in the brain of a pig teaches him to seek for relief and medicine.”

    Anyone who draws attention to powerful monitors in the brains of pigs is worthy of praise.

  5. Never pay less than £25 for an all-day-breakfast.
    This will ensure that all the donors were smothered to death will fluffy pillows.

    O.S.M. B:52

  6. Having been tormented by a bantam every time I stepped out of doors a few years ago, I refrain from going too near poultry. Game for me, a nice slice of Hooper Swan or Bittern with quince jelly. And yes, I’m not ashamed to say that the odd tin of All Day Breakfast or Full Monty has indeed graced the Unmitigated Pantry now and then. Only for emergencies of course.

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