Sausage History, Squared!

Steak Slice StackWhat’s in a name?

Our Beef Steak Slice is what’s commonly known as a ‘square sausage’ product. Saying that, of course, might cause some contention, because depending where in Scotland (or indeed the world) you hail from you may call it a ‘Lorne Sausage’, ‘Flat Sausage’, ‘Butcher’s Slice’ or even simply a ‘Slicey’.

With all those different names for delicious meaty oblongs, it’s not surprising that various recipes for square sausage also exist!

Having originated on Scotland’s West Coast, where cattle is king, we firmly believe that a genuine, 100% authentic Scottish square sausage should be all about the beef.

Open to interpretation, however, other versions of the square sausage do exist – some butchers prefer a mixture of beef with pork, while others prescribe to pork alone (often defining their creation as ‘Pork Lorne Sausage’).

Beefy Breakfasts

Square Sausage is as Scottish as it comes – we’re talking Billy Connolly, in a kilt, playing the bagpipes while taming a wild haggis kind of Scottish here – and collectively, we just love to eat it in the morning. Featuring in a full Scottish fry, embraced by a freshly baked morning roll, or sandwiched between two slices of plain loaf (with or without spread), it’s a nationally treasured pre-noon staple.

Of course, we can’t keep such greatness to ourselves forever. In fact, we’ve heard our Canadian cousins are partial to a slice of the action too; their square sausage or ‘sausage patty’ goes down a treat with early-risers too!

Sometimes flavoured with maple and served with eggs on an English muffin, the Canadians have made an admirable attempt at making the West Coast’s meaty marvel their own.

Meanwhile, back on native soil, efforts to extend square sausage enjoyment to lunch and dinner long ago led to its inclusion in traditional Scottish stovies – a delicious medley of potatoes, onion, carrot and meat.

Funny Origins

We’ve already mentioned that a square sausage – and so our Steak Slice – is the perfect fit between two slices of Traditional Scottish Plain Loaf.

This is no co-incidence. It’s thought that the inventor of the square sausage was comedian Tommy Lorne; not, as many believe, a butcher in the Firth of Lorne on our nation’s West Coast.

Born Hugh Gallagher Corcoran in Kirintulloch, near Glasgow, in 1890, Tommy Lorne rose to fame as a popular pantomime act and stand up comedian.

Dressed in a short kilt, a glengarry, oversized boots, undersized jacket, and white make-up, Tommy tickled Glasgow and Edinburgh audiences with his high pitched voice and memorable catchphrases like “In the name of the wee man” and “Ah`ll get ye”, and “If Ah don`t get you the coos`ll get ye!”.

Another of his famous sayings was “sausages are the boys”, and it’s often cited that his favourite snack between acts was a sausage sandwich.

Sausage experts widely believe this penchant for sausage sandwiches lead Tommy himself to invent the Lorne Sausage – a flat slice being far more ergonomically pleasing when sandwiched between two slices of bread!

Tommy Lorne or unknown genius, the inventor of the square sausage created a legacy loved by Scots the world over. Who wouldn’t love a perfectly proportioned meaty morsel that fits perfectly in their piece?

The Makings of a Legend

So how exactly is a square sausage made?

Our signature Steak Slice recipe consists only of four simple ingredients: 100% beef meat, breadcrumbs, water, and our special We hae meat seasoning. The mixture is then it formed into a rectangle mould and sliced into pieces the perfect thickness for grilling, frying, roasting or mashing into stovies!

More generally, square sausage should contain ground meat – either pure beef, beef and pork or occasionally just pork – mixed with rusk and spices and set in a cuboid tin. When the mix has set, it’s sliced into equal pieces, hence the name ‘Slicie’!

The main difference between your steak slice, square sausage, Lorne or Slicie and the ubiquitous link sausage? Scottish sausage slices aren’t encased in anything, so must be densely packed to hold their shape!

Has this blog whet your appetite for our Steak Slice? Head on over to our ‘We hae meat’ Facebook page for more Steak Slice banter!