Jolly Hog (Bristol) - Proper Porker

Getting a couple of emails recently prompted us to have another look at these Proper Porkers from Jolly Hog. We'd last tried them in Feb 2017 and they were an OK everyday sort of sausage as far as we were concerned. Surely they cannot have become less than a "proper porker"?...

I popped in to Tesco and picked up a pack this time. 3.75 a pack but only 3 with the old club card. Last time we had a pack dropped in to us from a neighbour who commented that they were likely to be JASS..."just another supermarket sausage"!

Jolly Hog HQ based at Bristol, a brotherly run business it would seem, supply mainstream supermarkets and have had a presence at the likes of Glastonbury and at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.  To add to that evidently a couple of TV chef types commented positively in the past too regarding the produce. So there you go.

The packing is different, and the recipe now says with rubbed sage. Not sure what that is to be honest...but the makings are still 84% outdoor bred RSPCA assured pork in natural pork casings containing a gluten free mix using a rice flour ingredient as a substitute to breadcrumbs. So far so good...

We do our sampling as we normally do by pan frying for consistency, however the chaps at Jolly Hog do suggest oven cooking to get best results. This does differ from the 2017 produce, where the makers recommended grilling, however we'll place the results before you, cooked our way...

In the raw these sausages looked pretty good, with consistent colouring and had skins that were filled evenly. Not too baggy and not too over stuffed. The skins we note are cut carefully at the ends too, so that as soon as they heat up you avoid the bursts and eruptions we see quite often.

Well cooked up you do get a very succulent result but you do also get quite a bit of residual oil left in the pan. We cooked up the whole pack and measured the additional oil at close to 22g which is rather noticeable. Given the weight loss of close to 20g per sausage that does make us pause for thought. So how much "lean" meat actually makes up the 84%?

The texture was medium and a good bite and chew was had.  Seasoning was good, but as for the rubbed sage? You can make it out in the sliced sausage though. No gristle found.

The quality of product is OK for the price at 3 a pack, but these are not what you'd call premium sausages, so yes they are what our neighbour referred to earlier as JASS.

Any way up, we found them just about OK and an everyday sort of sausage, so apologies Steven we cannot say we experienced what you found (this time) but thank you again for your comment. However with regard to comments from Grace, we did try oven cooking as recommended on the packaging and you are right (and thank you too for your comments), the skins do get rather tough (and wrinkly). Pan frying we would say (but we are biased), does produce a better result in comparison.

Jolly Hog (Bristol) - Proper Porker    (Feb 2017 / Feb 2024)

Here's the sample details:
95x28mm before cooking, 82x30mm after.
66g before cooking, 46g after.
That's a shrinkage of 7% & weight loss of approx 30%.
6 sausages in a 400g pack 3.00 with a Tesco Club Card  (7.50/kg)



 Feb 2017    Feb 2017

Feb 2017

Reviews & comments from others:
"Bought them as a treat and was so disappointed in the taste and quality!
Tasteless and chewy and the skins are so thick you need a steak knife to cut them!"
Grace Fowler (Feb 2024)

"Full of grizzled bits, hardly no meat. I had to check pack to see if they were veggie.
No taste or flavour. I've had far better cheaper sausages. These are a massive con.
1 out of 10" 
Steven Rees (Dec 2023)

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