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Battered Sausage and Jam

Blackcurrant battered sausage with blackcurrant jam and vegetable crisps

After last week’s jelly experimentation I decided that Sunday afternoon cooking SCIENCE! is something that I should repeat – hence this week’s activities:

Deep fried blackcurrant battered sausage, with blackcurrant jam and vegetable crisps.

At the end of last week, shortly after chomping my way through a small bag of hot cross buns filled with cheese, I noted to the mighty twitterverse that I felt that cheesy hot cross buns were, apart from chocolate covered pretzels and doner kebab meat pizza, the ultimate food. A then random flickr user fired me back a quick response:

Cherry and Sausage?

Thus inspired, I decided that this would give me the perfect excuse to also learn how to deep fry things, and if I could get a coating of jam around a bit of sausage before deep frying it then I could even claim a pretentiousness factor that would make it all worthwhile.

It didn’t quite work.

The jam stuck to the raw sausage, but also mixed with the batter, no matter how thick or thin I made it. I suspect I need two things:

  1. A deeper batter container – a shallow bowl meant a lot of rolling around without full immersion
  2. To ‘jam’ the sausages and then put them in the fridge to firm up the coating a little prior to batter and frying.

My batter did go a pretty shade of purple though.

As for the vegetable crisps, they were not in the original plan but after I was bullied into buying a mandoline (by Dave, the man who lives vicariously through the kitchen purchases of others) they slotted nicely into place. After slicing up a small baking potato, a carrot and a parsnip I had enough super thin vegetable slices to feed a small army and I experimented with cooking them for different lengths of time at different temperatures and in differing quantities. In the end the parsnips (which were the dryest slices) worked the best, crisping up quite quickly at pretty much any temperature around 185degC and I’ll be taking a small sack of those into work to snack on today. The carrots were a bit disappointing and floppy and the potatoes were prone to burning – while I now know exactly how much of a potato goes into a single bag of crisps I also now know that cooking that tiny amount of potato isn’t all that easy…

Recipe:

Ingredients

  • A sausage, cut into 1″ chunks (I used a herby pork sausage, as I liked the idea of the herbs with the blackcurrant. They worked quite well)
  • Some blackcurrant jam (the original suggestion mentioned cherry jam but my local Tesco seems to have run out. My mum suggested Bon Maman cherry and berries jam, but despite having the rest of the Bon Maman range Mr Tesco ‘s shelf was bare)
  • A simple batter (flour and water mixed to a runnyish consistency – no idea on proportions, my experimental procedure only goes so far…)
  • Thinly sliced (using the 1mm setting on my mandoline) root vegetables.
  • A pan of oil, suitable for deep frying, half full of oil.

How?

Heat your oil to 185degC – I used my temperature probe (which is a bit cheap and slightly worse for wear) to measure it, but if you drop a bit of batter in then it should fizz and cook quite quickly when you’re at about the right temperature. Roll your sausage bits in jam, sticking whole black currants on to them if you want, dip them in batter and carefully place them in the oil. Make sure they don’t stick to each other or the bottom of the pan and take them out when they are a dark golden brown colour (the exact colour varies based on how much jam snuck its way into your batter). Drain on a paper towel and serve before the bottom batter has time to go soggy.

For the veggies I dumped them into the oil above and below 185degC in differing quantities and didn’t really get anywhere with deciding what’s best. For the parsnips, cooking a lot of them at a time at just over 185 worked quite well – I kept them moving in the oil and pulled them out when they’d shrivelled up a similar amount to the more successfull crisps from my previous experiments.

I’d serve the sausages with a bit of jam, although I might mix the jam with a bit of balsamic vinegar for a bit of bite if I do them again.

Now to find more things to slice very thinly. Apart from my fingers, I prefer them unsliced. And still attached.

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