Pricking sausages with a fork has been said to have been necessary in post-war Britain, when meat was scarce and the sausages were bulked up with cereal. The extra water involved in using fillers would cause the sausage casings to rupture when subjected to heat. And sometimes it is said to have given off a bang in the process, hence the term 'bangers'. Pricking the sausages was said to relieve the pressure and to prevent the snags from exploding.
Me? I never prick. My kitchen's a prick free zone.
I parboil, in fact my technique is similar to cooking a Gyoza or Pot Sticker. I warm some oil in a fypan, toss my in snags to brown quickly then add a little water and cook down until evaporated.
The story goes that the sausages pictured above were on sale in Ireland for two weeks before being withdrawn from sale. I really love dodgy packaging, but this particular snap was actually a fake.
It started with a wisecrack by Barry Cryer about Anthony Worral Thompson in 2005, but the person who created the picture above decided to extend the joke and adapted it to an existing pack of Ainsley's Bangers, then posting it in an online forum. The image has now been circulating by email for a couple of years, and it always brings a smile to the face when it lands in my inbox.
Just a small prick in the conscience to remind me not to take life too seriously.