By Heck (sausages)

Sausages.

I’ve spoken long and firmly about my adoration of these tubes of meat. Maybe it’s my northern upbringing, or the discovery of sausage, chips and gravy in high school? Or maybe just that my mum only approved of good sausages and we avoided those that tasted something more akin to chewing a tube of meat flavoured plasticine.

On a side note, I think my first encounter with a ‘bad’ sausage was when I first moved into my flat on my own. Obviously trying to keep costs down, I tried a cheaper pack of sausages. Once tried, never forgotten and not in a good way.

And on the sausage scene, I’ve been lucky enough to sample some of the best – and in the case of Bobby’s Bangers, help make some of the best. I know a good sausage when I see one. So when an invitation appeared for myself, Keeley and fellow blogger Vicki to visit Heck Food in Yorkshire, I was intrigued.

Heck Food claim ‘We do damn good sausages!’ and, having visited the farm, met the family and tasted them, I can only agree. They even do great sausage dogs, as we were greeted by four of the gorgeous creatures on our arrival.

Heck are a family firm, where the emphasis is on quality, their sausages have a very high meat content – ranging from 85-97% – far higher than your average high street sausage. This means for someone like me, who spends a lot of time training and on a high protein diet, it’s perfect. For those on a healthy eating plan, it’s great. For everyone else, they are just damn good sausage.

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We were lucky enough to head home with a bundle full of sausages and some fresh farm eggs. Of course, there was breakfast taken care of, with homemade bread, poached eggs and some of their Fair and Square sausages going together to make a breakfast fit for a king. Or for me anyway.

The square sausages, unlike a classic Scottish Lorne sausage are a pork sausage, 85% meat, and the reason for the shape?

They not only cook quicker than a round sausage, but they fit so beautifully into sandwiches. The ultimate sandwich sausage.

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We were also lucky enough to try their Chicken Italia sausages. Now, before you imagine the processed chicken flavour meat products a certain diet company may flog you, these are nothing like them. With chicken breast and thigh, mozzarella, and sundried tomatoes, these are full of flavour and again low in fat and high in protein.

They’re so good in fact, I headed over to a favourite Nigella Lawson recipe of mine, her white bean mash. It’s easy, tasty and went beautifully with these and some simple roasted vegetables.

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What I really wanted to do, though was a recipe of my own and as soon as I saw the Smoky Chorizo Style sausages, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. This is all the fault of Bakerie and Keeley’s obsession with their chicken and chorizo stew.

So, here’s my stew, taken with inspiration from all three, is high in good protein, low in carbs and fat and goes beautifully with a little home made bread.

Chicken and Smoky Chorizo Style Sausage Stew

Serves 6-8 (dependent on how hungry you are)

Ingredients:

1 pack Heck Food Smoky Chorizo Style Sausages cut in half

2 chicken breasts sliced/diced (you can easily use leftover chicken from a roast instead)

2 400g cans tomatoes (I prefer to pulverise plum ones, but chopped if you prefer)

1 500g carton of passata

4 cloves of garlic

200g roasted peppers

1 large onion, diceed

1 tsp chilli flakes (or more or less to taste)

Glass of red wine

Optional black olives to taste (I put in a good handful)

Oil for frying

Method:

Splash a tablespoon or so of oil into a good size pan/oven proof casserole pan (I used some of the oil from the roasted peppers as it’s beautifully flavoured) and brown the sausages over a medium heat. Once browned, remove from the pan and pop to one side.

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With the pan still on the heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking the onion until translucent and the garlic is golden. Then add in the chicken breast and roasted peppers and chilli flakes. Cook until the chicken start to  cook through.

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Pour in the glass of wine to deglaze the pan, then add in the tomatoes, passata and olives.

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Put on a low heat, either on the hob, or in a low oven, for around an hour, so that everything has gently cooked through and the sausages and chicken are tender and delicious.2014-04-21 17.50.24

Season to taste and serve on it’s own, or with a nice thick hunk of fresh bread.

And a glass of red wine.

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Perfect.

This can be reheated and served again and, for me as a very lazy cook, is an ideal Sunday one pot meal that will keep myself and Mr GFB going through the week.

I hope you enjoy.

The sausages were supplied by Heck, but without obligation. I’ve loved using them in this simple recipe and will continue to buy them as and when I can (my local supermarket does not stock them).

With thanks to the Keebles for their hospitality and sausages!

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