The Lincolnshire Sausage
The Lincolnshire Sausage is a one of the UK’s favourite sausages. This celebrated pork sausage is one of the county’s most iconic food exports, alongside Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese and Lincolnshire Plumbread. Whether you’re having a Full English Breakfast, Bangers and Mash, Toad in the Hole, or a Sausage Casserole, using Lincolnshire Sausages will add a whole new dimension to your meal.
The Lincolnshire Sausage even has its very own annual festival held in the grounds of Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral in October. For more information about the Select Lincoln Sausage Festival, please click here.
It is thought that the Lincolnshire Sausage was first created in the 19th Century, but it is not exactly when or by whom. The earliest recorded reference to a recipe for Lincolnshire Sausages was made in May 1886. However, the award-winning John Petit Butchers of Grimsby, claim to have a family recipe that dates back to 1810.
What makes the Lincolnshire Sausage so deliciously different?
There are two things that make the Lincolnshire Sausage stand out from its fellow sausages – flavour and texture.
Flavour: Lincolnshire Sausages are flavoured with the herb sage. It is the sage that gives the Lincolnshire Sausage its distinctive taste. Sage was used in the original Lincolnshire Sausage recipes for two reasons:
There has always been a plentiful supply of sage in Lincolnshire. Originating in the Mediterranean region, sage dislikes prolonged exposure to wet conditions. As Lincolnshire has one of the lowest annual rainfall levels in the UK, sage has always thrived in Lincolnshire soil.
Sage is a good meat preservative. It is rich in the naturally occurring antioxidant phenoxyethanol, and has been used as a meat preservative since Roman times. Indeed, the herb sage may well have been introduced into Lincolnshire by the Romans.
Texture: Lincolnshire Sausages are unique in that they contain coarsely ground pork (other types of sausage use minced pork). The mincing holes that are used to produce pork for traditional Lincolnshire Sausages have to be no less than 4.5mm in diameter.
This coarsely ground pork gives the Lincolnshire Sausage its distinctive, chunky texture. During the mixing process of sausage production, ice or water is often used to reduce the core temperature of the sausage-meat. This, in turn, allows the Lincolnshire Sausage to retain its distinctive, open texture when cooked.
Owing to this coarse texture and high meat content, it is recommended that Lincolnshire Sausages are cooked slowly in the oven, rather than quickly on the hob.
Traditional Lincolnshire Sausage Ingredients
Traditional Lincolnshire Sausages contain just 6 ingredients:
Coarsely ground Lincolnshire pork (minimum70%)
Breadcrumbs or rusk
Natural casings (sausage skins)
The campaign to protect the traditional Lincolnshire Sausage
In 2006, the Lincolnshire Sausage Association was formed, comprising of Lincolnshire farmers, butchers and food producers.
Alarmed by a new type of inferior quality, mass produced, Lincolnshire Sausage flooding the market (containing a lower meat and higher fat content, plus a mixture of synthetic additives), the Lincolnshire Sausage Association wanted to protect the quality and reputation of the traditional Lincolnshire sausage.
It wanted the Lincolnshire Sausage to be awarded the same protected status that foods such as Stilton Cheese, Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, Cornish Clotted Cream and Jersey Royal Potatoes have .
The campaign to protect the traditional Lincolnshire sausage was launched. The Lincolnshire Sausage Association applied to have the Lincolnshire Sausage granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Status, which would mean that the Lincolnshire Sausage could only be made in the county of Lincolnshire, using Lincolnshire pork and the traditional recipe.
Unfortunately in 2012, DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs) turned down the application. Despite having over 150 Lincolnshire sausage makers in the county, DEFRA ruled that as the vast majority of Lincolnshire Sausages were made outside the county to a recipe that could be replicated anywhere, the Lincolnshire Sausage should not be awarded PGI status.
The Lincolnshire Sausage Association continues in its fight to have the Lincolnshire Sausage awarded PGI status.