Today Michael Dragoo is helping us with an Oxford Kate sausage recipe from Martha Washington’s cookbook. Martha Washington believes this should have been called Oxford Gate sausages after a tavern located near the north gate in Oxford but may have been misnamed.
- 1lb Ham
- 1lb Veal
- ½lb Suet
- 1 Egg Yolk
The recipe originally calls for an entire leg of ham and was 12 pounds of meat, so you can really make as much as you want. Once thoroughly mixed, roll the meat out into the thickness of a finger, about the size of a breakfast sausage. Melt some suet in a hot pan and gently fry the sausages until completely cooked.
Optional Mustard Sauce Dip
- Melted Butter
- Mustard Seed
- White wine
- Dash of Salt
Mix to taste and use to dip sausage in.
Transcript of Video:
[Jon] Hi, I’m Jon Townsend and with me today is Michael Dragoo and we’re making
[Michael] Oxford Kates sausages.
[Jon] Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.
[Jon] So Oxford Kates sausage? Explain that.
[Michael] Well, this is from the Martha Washington cookbook and Oxford Kate, she thinks, should have been Oxford Gate. Oxford, the town, had a surrounding walls and a gate and there was a tavern at the north gate.
[Michael] Oxford Gate.
[Jon] So it’s famous for that.
[Michael] Oxford Gates sausage, yeah.
[Jon] Okay, so it looks pretty simple. What do we have here for ingredients?
[Michael] We are going to mince, she calls for ham or veal, I decided I could use ham and veal. I have a pound of veal. I have a pound of ham, and a half a pound of suet.
[Jon] If you’re looking for suet, it can be very difficult to find, on our website and in our print catalog, we have this wonderful suet that is available. It’s called tallow here but it’s what they would have called suet in the 18th century. It’s rendered kidney fat, not muscle fat.
[Michael] I’m going to be introducing the two meats and the suet together, mix that all up. I’m going to add 1 egg yolk as a binder, and then I’ve got salt, pepper, mace, sage, and cloves. I’m just going to mix that in. This recipe originally called for an entire leg of ham, of pig, and it was 12 pounds of meat put together, so we’ve really reduced these quantities, but they are to taste. Now that we’ve got this thoroughly mixed, the recipe is simple. It just says to roll these out the thickness of a finger, so these are going to be about the size of a breakfast sausage.
[Jon] And they smell good right there, just with the spices and everything.
[Michael] These are wonderful.
[Jon] They look great.
[Michael] It’s surprising how light these sausages wind up being.
[Jon] Right, you would think, oh, they’re going to be heavy, but the fat actually does something completely different than what you would expect, and these in different circumstances, you might just call these a forced meat sausages.
[Jon] Same thing.
[Michael] Yep. Forced meat is taking the meat and making it be something other than what it looks when it’s just a cut of meat.
[Jon] Okay, I’ve got the pan good and hot and I’ve got a good little bit of suet already in the pan. You could use butter to cook these in, but the suet’s not going to burn and smoke the same way butter would, so I recommend either a rendered butter, like a ghee, or the suet. I’m going to be very gentle with these so that they don’t fall apart, because they’re not like your modern breakfast sausage.
[Jon] Okay, the sausages are done and the recipe actually calls for these to have a little mustard sauce.
[Michael] It didn’t say what the mustard sauce consisted of, so simple mustard sauces are just butter and mustard seed. I’ve added vinegar and some white wine, sugar, a little salt. That’s what my sauce is.
[Jon] Well, it looks great. I guess, let’s give these a try.
[Michael] I’m ready.
[Jon] Are you?
[Jon] Mmm, look at that.
[Michael] I’m about to double dip. Ah man, those are excellent.
[Jon] You would compare these with a modern day breakfast sausage right? But they are not the same. These are much lighter of a texture, not nearly as firm.
[Michael] Not as dense.
[Jon] Right, and a mustard sauce, something I would not have expected. Not something I would have naturally put on something like this, but
[Michael] It’s like a heavy stone ground mustard. It’s got that kind of taste to it. These things, the suet just melts away, melts right out of it, so that you have these great little voids and it’s a light sausage.
[Jon] Its got some wonderful spicy flavors in there, the nice quantity of saltiness.
[Michael] I would have told you I hated cloves, but they really add something to this. It’s really low key.
[Jon] This one is great. It’s definitely easy, it’s simple. You should be able to do this in nothing flat and it makes a wonderful little sausage, so make sure to give this one a try. I want to thank you. I want to thank Michael for bring this, but I want to thank you for coming along with us as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.
[Jon] If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.