Sunday, 31 October 2010

In Praise of a Good Sausage

Quite what Craig Revel Horwood has to do with sausages, I shall never know, but aside from being a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, he has been chosen by lovepork.co.uk to be the master of ceremonies for
British Sausage Week (1-7 November 2010).

This week is dedicated to all things sausage. Sausage, that's a word that has me collapsing into a fit of giggles if I have to say it a few times,
I suppose that's what being British is all about. The numerous references in episodes of Blackadder, make it even funnier, especially when enunciated by the magnificent Stephen Fry as Melchett.

On a more serious note, British Sausage Week's aim is to make us all aware of how British pork is the best and encourages us to support our own farmers and producers by buying quality sausages.

There are many regional sausages throughout the British Isles that use traditional recipes that go back many generations.
There's the long coiled Cumberland sausage which is meaty with a coarse, chunky texture and black pepper giving a spicy bite; The Lincolnshire sausage, an old fashioned favourite scented with sage; West Country ones with pork and apple and maybe a touch of cider and Oxford sausages that contain veal, as well as pork. These are just a few of the many varieties made and the list continues to grow as producers experiment with different flavour combinations.

I can't resist a nicely cooked sausage. They should be cooked carefully over a medium heat so they cook slowly allowing the outside to gently caramelise so it becomes slightly sticky and the inside should be juicy. Don't have the heat too high or the sausage will burst and definitely do not prick them, this will make all the tasty juices escape.

In July, earlier this year I went to the Samphire smallholding open day in Norfolk, where Karen Nethercott opens her doors to visitors, showing them how she rears her rare breed pigs. They have a wonderful natural life with space to roam outside, enjoying the fresh air and wallowing in the mud. Her English Saddleback pigs are reared slowly which gives their meat a superior flavour and contributes to some truly wonderful sausages.

On my visit I bought some of the sausages which I put in my freezer awaiting their appropriate outing. They were "The Samphire Sausage",
they have a lovely texture, not too tightly packed – which can produce an undesirable bouncy feeling – but quite light and crumbly. They are seasoned with ginger, mace and nutmeg for a warming background, against which, lighter, fresher notes of sage, onion and coriander, sit happily.

I served them with potato and parsnip mash and some caramelised shallot gravy, just perfect for celebrating British Sausage Week.

For more information on British Sausage Week visit the website: www.britishsausageweek.co.uk
If you're interested to know more about Samphire's sausages visit their website: www.samphireshop.co.uk
Photos: ©childsdesign 2010


Victoria said...

I love Samphire sausages too. I'll be visiting their shop in December when I stay at our family cottage near Holt. In particular I'm looking forward to one of their pies with onion marmalade Next time you go you must try their Tiffin!

Cheeky Spouse said...

Hi Victoria,
I think I'm hooked on Samphire's sausages, so it's just as well they freeze so well.
I love Norfolk too so next time I'm there, I'll have to drop by their shop and try the Tiffin.
You're so lucky to have a cottage there, I always hire a holiday cottage, but it can be pricey and if you leave it too last minute, it can be difficult to get somewhere suitable.
Keeping fingers crossed for a lottery win!

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