The Lorne sausage, also known as square sausage, or slice, is a traditional Scottish food item made from minced meat, rusk and spices. Although termed a sausage no casing is used to hold the meat in shape, hence it is usually served as square-shaped slices from a formed block. It is a common component of the traditional Scottish breakfast.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorne_sausage
This is a traditional breakfast sausage patty from Scotland. I’ve called it Lorne STYLE because there is a movement to give this sausage a protected origin status, so it could only be called Lorne if it was actually made in Scotland.
This sausage is one of the main defining ingredients that differentiate a full Scottish breakfast from the fry-ups of the other parts of Britain. It is also commonly eaten on a buttered roll with a bit of brown sauce as a nice basic breakfast sandwich.
If you are a beginner in the world of sausage making, this would be a great recipe to start with, since it doesn’t require casings, nitrates, or any of the other mystical ingredients in most sausage recipes. If you can make meatloaf you can make a patty type of sausage like this. I’m sure it would be most delicious if you do grind your own meat, but I had a medical procedure this week and didn’t feel up to messing with the meat grinder, so I just bought ground meat from the grocery store and mixed it up.
The origin of this sausage is lost in the mists of time, but it most likely comes from the Lorne region in Argyle. The other popular story is that it’s named after comedian Tommy Lorne, who apparently made jokes comparing it to doormats. However, there are advertisements calling it Lorne sausage from well before Mr. Lorne was popular, so that’s likely a myth. Depending on where you are in Scotland you may find this going by other names as well, “square sausage” and “slice” being the most common.
Traditionally this would be an all-beef sausage, but today most recipes use equal parts beef and pork. The most important part is the fat content. Traditionally this was made with waste cuts and contained so much fat that it would literally shrink to half its original size as it cooked. We can certainly use higher quality meat, but you still want about 30% fat. I made the mistake of buying my meat at the grocery store rather than going across town to the butcher shop. Their fattiest ground beef was 80% lean, and the pork was 75%, with comes out to a bit over 20% fat, so my sausage turned out rather dry. It still tasted good, but my jaw got tired chewing it.
The other traditional ingredient is butcher’s rusk. This is essentially dry breadcrumbs. In fact, that’s what I used, and I wouldn’t go out of your way to try to find butcher’s rusk unless you’re planning on making British-style sausages on a regular basis.
I got 12 slices out of this, which is a lot more than I needed for one Scottish Breakfast. Whatever you aren’t going to use in a day or two can be laid out flat and frozen. Once it’s frozen you can pack it into freezer bags for easy access, just like store-bought sausage patties. A little piece of wax paper between slices will keep them from sticking.
Lorne Style Sausage
Yield: 12 slices
Prep: 15 minutes, using pre-ground meat
Chill: 18 hours
1 1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 2/3 teaspoon ground coriander
2 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lb. ground beef (70% lean)
1 lb. ground pork shoulder
~5 oz ice water
1 cup + 3 Tablespoons fine breadcrumbs or butcher’s rusk
1 teaspoon mace
1 lb beef, about 70% lean to 30% fat, to grind your own
Line a 2-pound loaf pan with plastic wrap or wax paper, leaving enough hanging over the edges to fold back over the top once you fill it.
Mix seasonings in a small bowl.
Place beef and pork in a large bowl and add spice mixture. Use your hands to mix. Gradually add water until the mixture becomes slightly sticky and evenly mixed. Add breadcrumbs and mix well.
Take a small amount of the mixture and make a small patty. Fry until cooked and taste for seasoning. Adjust seasoning of the rest of the mixture as needed. Pack into the prepared loaf pan. Fold the plastic back over the top and refrigerate for about 18 hours. Alternatively, you can freeze for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, until partially frozen.
Once the sausage is chilled, remove it from the pan and remove the plastic. Slice about ½ inch thick. Lay out whatever you aren’t cooking immediately on a plastic cutting board or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and freeze until solid. You can then stack the slices with parchment paper between them and store them in a freezer bag, popping out however many slices you need. Allow to thaw before cooking.
To cook, heat a little oil in a frying pan (not much- fat will soon start to cook out of the sausage) and fry 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve as part of a Scottish cooked breakfast, or on a buttered roll with brown sauce.