When I saw news of a new sausage brand called Heck, I was intrigued because I'd never heard of them. When I clicked through for more information, I was delighted to see that this is the new venture of Debbie and Andrew Keeble. The press release explained : "HECK is their second sausage venture - their first, the popular Debbie & Andrew's, went pear shaped after being bought by a bigger company and the couple walked away last year. The move has given them the freedom to go back to the kitchen table and start again, this time making sausages with their four grown up children, Jamie, Guy, Roddy and Ellie. Being a small, independent producer once again means they can call the shots, be more creative in the kitchen and stay true to their own recipes, ideas and integrity. The company name comes from their 'what the heck' attitude to life - getting back up when life knocks you down and giving things another go." I used to love Debbie & Andrew's sausages because they were such great quality so hearing that they've started over, staying true to their values, is great news.
I love the way they lay out their guiding principles on the back of the pack, promising to "pull out all the stops to bring farmers' market quality to your supermarket shelf" and using the finest ingredients in small batches to maintain the high quality. But the proof of the pudding (and the sausages !) is in the eating so it was time to get taste-testing.
I started off with the 97% Pork sausages, which also have the added bonus of being gluten-free. (I love the cheeky pig flying past with a "sausages you can swear by" banner on the cardboard sleeve !)
The sausages look thick and plump with a healthy pink colour (unlike many supermarket sausages which are extremely pale).
However plump they were, six sausages wasn't going to be enough for a family of five so I also cooked up the Chicken Italia ones, which are made with juicy British chicken breast and thigh with basil, tomatoes and mozzarella. These are smaller, skinnier sausages so you get ten in a pack. These are labelled as gluten-free and low fat, with each sausage providing 117 calories and 2.6g of fat, of which only 0.7g saturates.
A few minutes later, they were sizzling in a pan and they smelt so lovely that every single member of the Madhouse Family honed in on the kitchen to ask how long it would be until lunch ! My usual shop-bought sausages (whatever the brand) throw out vast amounts of fat so I didn't add any oil to the pan at all, expecting the sausages to provide enough fat. These being superior quality sausages though, they weren't packed with fat and the frying pan stayed totally dry, so I did drizzle over some olive oil to help them cook and prevent them from sticking.
Look at that sausage - it looks nothing like any other sausage we've ever eaten because it is basically solid meat with no lumps of fat or gristle at all. Tastewise, they get top marks too.
I still have two packs in the freezer - Family Favourite Pork and the rather clever Fair and Square (square sausages to stop them rolling off the grill) - which we can't wait to try out. It's great to see that Debbie & Andrew have made such a great comeback - I'll definitely be buying these again.
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £2.99 for 400g
for more information : http://heckfood.co.uk/
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.
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