I've tried plenty of Waitrose's premium sausages for this ongoing S&M Rodeo of mine, but all of them so far have been comprised largely of some kind of pork.
Not so, this time. The moment I set eyes upon a pack of eight beef sausages, I knew they were something I'd have to try, not least to further my experimentation with beef.
To accompany this sausage, I decided to do my usual thing of playing about with instant mash, but had trouble deciding how to embellish it this time round. My first thought was to mix in some grated cheese and make a proper cheesy mash, but I'm not a massive cheese fan, and wasn't sure what I had in my fridge that would suit. The second idea was to make use of some of the large tub of crème fraîche I recently picked up for another purpose... But then, creamy mash is still just mash, so I still needed to pick something to add a bit of kick to it.
Rightly or wrongly, I chose the latter option and added two tablespoons of crème fraîche followed by one teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
In retrospect, I think maybe a wholegrain mustard would have been a better fit, but Dijon worked well enough... and, thinking about it, even getting grated cheese to melt in with instant mash could have been a bit of a stretch, so it was certainly the easier and surer option.
The sausages come packaged in some kind of faux waxed paper, as you might expect with Choicest Cuts of Beef from a butcher. Also just like choice cuts of beef from a butcher, it has that authentic gory seepage of a good steak. Undeterred by this, I planned to use my usual sausage-cooking method - grill at about 180C for a total of 24 minutes, rotating every 6 minutes (half turn, quarter turn, half turn), but completely failed because I forgot to start the timer after the first turn.
And then got distracted.
Because, y'know, if I'm cooking on a timer, I can happily get on and do other stuff until the alarm goes off.
Assuming the alarm goes off.
Thankfully, 6 minutes on one side, followed by who knows how long on the other, followed by another couple of minutes back on the first side seemed to do the job fairly well. The skin wasn't quite so evenly browned and crisped, but the sausages were thoroughly cooked.
What they weren't was particularly tasty. Succulent, yes. Meaty, certainly... but minced beef in sausage form seemed to have about as much flavour of its own as the average junk food burger. Granted, most of their flavour tends to come from the salt rather than the meat, but that just makes it all the more perplexing that beef sausages, particularly from Waitrose, should taste like generic dark meat of uncertain origin.
Perhaps it's one of those situations where some kind of herb addition to the meat would bring out the flavour better, but I was certainly glad that I hadn't decided to keep the mash plain and simple on this occasion. I may take the remaining sausages and fashion burgers out of them... Then, at least, I could add a slice of cheese (processed, natch), or some kind of pickle and slap the result in a bun.