Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Scottish Roll and Sausage

Roll and Lorne sausage, fried onions and HP Sauce

Whether you call them Lorne sausages, sliced sausages or square sausages (unless they're round), Scotland's most popular (probably) type of sausage is pretty different from sausages you are likely to find elsewhere. This is because rather than being stuffed in to skins, the sausage meat is compressed in to blocks and subsequently sliced. Consisting usually of a combination of minced (ground) beef and pork as well as a variety of seasonings and spices, sliced sausages are probably Scotland's equivalent to the burger, especially when served on a Scottish morning roll.

As with any such creation, a Scottish roll and sausage is not always the healthiest of food items. The sausage will often contain artificial colours and preservatives, it may be made with very low grade meat and even meat by-products (bone and gristle), then it will be fried at home in lard before being served on a heavily buttered roll with a variety of sugar and salt laden sauces. The good news is that there are several ways in which a roll and sausage can be made healthier and I'm going to look at a few of them below.

Lorne sausage is fried in sunflower oil

The process of making a roll and sausage healthier begins at the stage of buying the sausages. Go to a reputable butcher or supermarket and buy high meat content products. Yes, they will cost more than the budget varieties you can pick up elsewhere but it's simply a case of getting what you pay for.

When it comes to cooking the sausage, many people will grill (broil) it rather than shallow fry it. While this is undoubtedly the healthier option, I find that - unless you're incredibly careful - you can dry the sausage out and make it pretty unpalatable. Instead, I choose to shallow fry it in sunflower or vegetable oil, rather than lard or a similar saturated animal fat. They will take four or five minutes each side (depending upon thickness) over a low to medium heat.

Onions are fried with Lorne sausage

Fried onions are a very popular addition to a roll and sausage. Sometimes, however, the onions are fried to the stage of virtually being cremated and any goodness they once contained is long gone. What I do when I am frying onions with a sausage is slice them moderately thickly and add them at the satge where the sausage has been turned to fry on the second side.  Alternatively, serving the onions raw where you like to eat them this way is an even healthier choice.

Scottish morning rolls

Scottish morning rolls (or rolls as they are more often simply called in Scotland) can be bought soft, crispy and well-fired or somewhere in-between. Personally, I like them as soft as possible and can't even eat them if they're crispy. Either way, slice the rolls open and where you are in the habit of using butter, use instead a low fat substitute made with either sunflower or olive oil.

Lorne sausage is added to roll with sunflower oil based spread

When you lift the sausage from the pan with a spatula, hold it over the pan for ten to twenty seconds to let some of the fat drip back in to the pan before laying it carefully on the bottom half of the roll.

Fried onions are laid on top of Lorne sausage
Cooking tongs are the ideal implements for lifting the onions from the pan on to the sausage. Alternatively, lift them with a spatula and let them drain slightly in the same way as you did with the sausage.

HP Sauce finishes off roll and Lorne sausage with fried onions

HP Sauce and tomato ketchup are common additions to a roll and sausage. I love both but am particularly partial to HP Sauce. If adding sauce, ketchup or perhaps pickle to a roll and sausage, try to cut down a little bit on the amount you add as many of these products are very high in salt and sugar and can effectively negate your earlier efforts to make your roll and sausage a healthier option.

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