The Keebles are no ordinary farming family. Despite working 7 days a week, 364 days a year, this unusually attractive bunch of sausage-makers still manage to sit down together for breakfast (sausage sandwiches, obviously) and make a countryside picnic appear something like a scene from Made in Chelsea.
It’s certainly all very quaint, but that’s not to say these aren’t a family of proper pig farmers who have worked their patch of land for over 350 years – they just happen to do it in Hunter wellies and cycle about on classic Pashley bicycles. Because why not add a bit of poshness to the process? Britain has become a nation of foodies and our newfound appetite for high-quality, locally-sourced produce means there’s no reason why the good old British banger can’t be the latest food to be given the gourmet-treatment.
Heck is the Keeble’s second sausage venture, and their experience in the field is evident with every ingredient carefully sourced and combined with gluten-free breadcrumbs to form a properly great British banger.
The simply named ‘HECK! 97%’ is the most traditional pork sausage in the range. Boasting a 97% meat content, it’s been dubbed the brand’s ‘Bratbest’ and, like any good German sausage, is best served with hot mustard and sauerkraut. The satisfying, if not all that exciting, lean texture and profoundly porky flavour makes this the perfect butcher’s sausage for breakfast sandwiches, sausage rolls and other properly stodgy, traditional sausage fare.
For those who like a bit of spice with their sausage, look no further than the rich and robust HECK! Smoky Chorizo-Style. As with all Heck sausages, the meat content is high (again, 97%) with natural meat casings that cut easily to reveal a juicy (but not overly fatty) gluten and dairy free sausage. Here the hearty ingredients can handle other strong flavours; the vibrant colour and kick of paprika creating a sort of perfect fusion between chorizo and your classic pork sausage.
Given the choice, I’d opt for a sausage over a burger any day but with HECK! Fair & Square there’s really no need to make such a compromise. I was happiest enjoying the novelty of a square-shaped sausage when served like a burger in a bun, but ingredient-wise they’re really no different to the HECK! 97% and can just as easily be enjoyed in a creamy chilli pasta or fried up into a risotto.
Proving there’s no reason for pork to get all the glory, HECK! Chicken Italia sausages may be the lowest in fat and calories (only 72 Kcal for two) but there’s no doubting these finger-sized chipolatas aren’t every bit as big on flavour. Mozzarella, basil and sundried tomatoes lip-smack of the Mediterranean and offer up a far better alternative to chicken than chicken will ever be.
But the best bit? At only £3 for a pack of six fat juicy sausages (or ten of the Chicken Italia), Heck aren’t the sort of posh sausages for big budgets and special occasions alone. In fact, what’s so impressive about these gourmet sausages is their very accessibility. Not only are they stocked by all the major supermarkets, Heck has been created by a family, with families in mind. Because for the Keebles, ‘making damn good sausages is in our blood’. And their taste for the finer things does actually mean they make one heck of a damn good sausage.