Tesco Finest - Pork, Red Leicester & Jalapeno

I don't know about you but I am rather partial to a hotdog, or two come to that! OK certainly not the type you get in the cinema and perhaps not the one you get at a "bier fest" with the breads that are impaled on a heated spike and a cheapo "foreign" sausage stuffed in to the hole with some mustard or chilli sauce...

We saw these Tesco Finest originally in the store and as I had need of some chilli sausages to take fishing - no not as bait - to cook up for a boys only lunch on the bankside, in to the basket a couple of packs went! 

Well we were (my angling friends) that impressed with both the taste and texture, another pack found it's way in to our Tesco Click & Collect the following week for the Sausage Review kitchen.

At this point I will be honest, one of the senior team said that she wasn't sure she would really like molten Red Leicester cheese squirting out and burning her mouth as previously experienced with jets of molten cheese from some Käserkrainer sausages we tried once before! Well fingers crossed I said that won't happen. Just a "hmm" was her response.

72% British prime cuts Red Tractor certified pork with 7% Red Leicester cheese, and 3% Jalapeno chilli...and prominently labelled as "Gluten Free" too...in natural sausage skins I hasten to add.

Anyway, the other ingredients on the packaging are interesting too.  With these sausages being gluten free we notice that rice flour and potato starch are used in the mix. However, we also notice the label lists, "Bamboo Fibre". What the heck is that in there for? Well after a bit of research it appears that bamboo fibre is made from bamboo shoots, it’s light in colour, tasteless and consists of 98% dietary fibre. When used produces a smoother dough in baked products and in the sausage mix it would appear that it binds with water or fats and is therefore used to enable more liquid to be added, a way of reducing costs perhaps? I stand unsure about that but bamboo fibre is something that appears we are informed in many available gluten free products.

So what are they like to eat?  Well think more of your traditional English sausage with cheese and chilli rather that what you might expect when something is described as a "hot dog". The name hot dog does imply more of a bratwurst or frankfurter type sausage rather than what we have here.

The natural skins worked well and browned nicely as you might expect for a proper clad sausage.  No splits or bursts even pan fried as we do for sampling.  In fact very little additional oil found it's way in to the pan which tends to indicate a reasonable quality of filling.  No jets of molten cheese thankfully either!

As it happens the cheese seems to be quite well distributed through the filling and we found little evidence in this sample to suggest large pockets of molten cheese which would pose a threat of high pressure venting! OK OK it's hot runny cheese, please be careful if you do try these yourselves.

Texture-wise the meat was on the smooth-side, but with reasonable bite.  The chew was good but as the sausages do hold quite a succulence with the cheese, that was soft-ish.  Taste-wise though the cheese and the jalapeno chilli works really well.  I was genuinely surprised I can say and for £2.50 for a 4 pack, not bad at all!

So to the chilli. We'll don't worry, it my be jalapenos that have been used but the chilli heat is well under control and you'll get a good buzz, but no real stinging lips.

We ate them as part of a sausage and mash (yet again, yes we like that), however in a long roll BBQ style that would work well too. 

Not bad sausage as it happens for a supermarket style one.  Marking these with a 4 is sticking our neck out at bit agreed, but these are certainly not a cheap and cheerful supermarket sausage.

Would we buy some again? Yes for a garden BBQ, or a boys lunch out whilst fishing, we most definitely would.

Tesco Finest - Pork, Red Leicester & Jalapeno
(Sep 2021)

Here's the sample details:
140x30mm before cooking, 120x30mm after.
100g before cooking, 92g after.
That's a shrinkage of 14% & weight loss of approx 8%.
4 sausages in a 400g pack £2.50 (£6.25/kg)