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Oxford sausages

These sausages are a good introduction to charcuterie; they are fresh instead of cured and do not require casings. They also are characteristically British in the combination of meats, addition of breadcrumbs and use of citrus. Various recipes for Oxford sausages show only minor variation.

Oxford-8 oz ground pork
-4 oz shredded suet
-8 oz ground veal
-4 oz fine breadcrumbs
-about ½ teaspoon teaspoon dried marjoram
-about ½ teaspoon dried sage
-about ½ teaspoon dried thyme
-about ¼ teaspoon mace
-1 teaspoon salt
-½ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
-flour for dredging the sausages before frying
-about 1 Tablespooon neutral oil or unsalted butter for frying

  1. Mix everything but the flour and oil or butter together and then shape the mixture into patties or cylinders. The shape and size are up to you.
  2. Chill the sausages for at least eight hours to ‘settle’ the flavors and allow the sausages to adhere.
  3. Dust the sausages with a little flour and fry them until evenly browned.

Notes: Some recipes call for nutmeg instead of mace; the mace is a more traditionally British spice.

-Older recipes usually mandate a higher percentage of fat. It is unnecessary.

-It is not, strictly speaking, traditional, but we like to add a splash of Worcestershire to the sausage mixture along with a drip of lemon juice.

-You obviously could substitute fresh for dried herbs but we prefer the texture and flavor of the dried ones for these sausages. If you do want to use fresh herbs, add half again as much of each herb to the mixture.

-Oxford sausages appear in a wonderful American imprint from 1886 donated to bfia by S.K. Dearmont, one of our contributors. The book is Mrs. Rorer’s Philadelphia Cook Book; according to the text, its recipe originated with “Warne.” It is virtually indistinguishable from ours. Why is it interesting to us at bfia? It is interesting because Mrs. Rorer included only five recipes for sausages in her Philadelphia Cook Book and one of them was British, an indicator; British foodways had survived in the United States through the end of the nineteenth century, even in Pennsylvania, a state populated with lots of other ethnic groups virtually from its origin.