Sausages and Ciders ahoy
Hi Guys – this article was first posted around about St George’s day 2017, but it’s national sausage week so we’re bringing it back – and we’ve added a few special ingredients (Cider – shhhhh)
The Welsh may have their leeks, the Scots their Haggis, and the Irish, er potatoes, but what do English Northamptonshire types have to celebrate on our patron saint’s day? Dragon burgers? Nope – sausages.
I’d like to claim that the common sausage was English, and specifically – from Northants but it’s not, so bear with me dear reader. The manufacture of sausages began over two thousand years ago… The modern word “sausage” comes from Old French “saussiche”, which is derived from the Latin word “salsus” meaning “salted”. The term was probably used to describe just about any type of salted or cured meat.
So although we can’t lay claim to the sausage as our own, we can at least try some of the best made from within the county. We’ve got some amazingly talented butchers only a short car journey away, such as Waterloo Cottage Farm, CR Potter and of Stanwick and Muddy Awards 2017 finalist The Butchers Block to name but a few. So yours truly has taken the opportunity to explore some of the tasty sausages on offer and (in my head at least) create a battle of the bangers to celebrate St George’s day on Sunday 23 April.
On my short journey I’ve met some amazingly talented craftsmen and women and discovered there’s a lot more to making a sausage super, than I might have originally thought. Also dear reader, note that I am not the connoisseur of the pork banger in our household, but I have three pretty good judges of “delicious” and they were eager to assist. So Muddies let’s take a look at three of the best shall we…
Bakers Bangers – Super sausages and “the best” hot dogs – just in time for sunshine and BBQ
My golly gosh there are super tasty sausages on offer at Bakers Bangers based at Pipewell Hall, just outside of Corby. BB is the family run business headed up by Shawn Baker and ably assisted by his daughter Daisy (currently on sabbatical as she undertakes a career as a full on chef in Stamford). Shawn has spent years handcrafting artisan gourmet sausages and smoked meats from his family home where sausage making is considered an art form. He hails from a long line of farmers and he himself is a butcher by trade, he has been improving and building on old family recipes and has carried the family tradition on; creating each and every gourmet sausage with handmade care, always using the best locally sourced ingredients including his own herd of pigs at Pipewell.
During our visit we had a sneek peak into the prep room, and were given some inside knowledge on his specially sourced kosher salts; learned about the difference between cold and hot smoking, and also how carefully the meat is treated. It’s art and science combined, and Shawn is truly a passionate man on the subject. Bakers Bangers doesn’t do mass production. They don’t do artificial either – they smoke all their products using natural hardwood. They’re able to boast of a wide range of delicious sausages with something for every taste from their traditional breakfast banger to a more adventurous continental spicy Italian sausage.
Bakers Bangers most popular sausage is the Austrian cold smoked cheddar hot dog. It’s a foot long my friends – and it’s so scrummy that maybe a foot isn’t long enough.
The great news is that Baker Bangers regularly attend many of the county’s food and drink soirees that Northants has to offer so you’ll be able to meet them in person at most Food Festivals, Country Shows and Game Fairs. It’s here that you’ll also be able to sample some other products in Bakers Bangers range which include Breakfast Banger, Italian Venison, Bratwurst and Lamb Merguez and Beef and Guinness. So if you are planning to meet Shawn and his lovely family at any of the events, perhaps skip your breakfast that day?
STOP PRESS: Here come the girls…..and the boys. Shawn’s passion for brilliant rural product has led the team to a new “Trudy” scrumptious cider. Now the harvest is in, the bottles of Bad Boy cider and Bad Bitch rosy cider are starting to arrive. Glug on dear friends – it’s delicious and I’m drinking one now as I type. It’s fantastic to have another great Cider to enjoy, alongside the delicious Saxby Cider, and of course on the other side of the county in Potterpury the Wharf distillery. Yummy.
If we’ve tempted your tastebuds you can order your sausages on line via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bakers Bangers also offer a butchery course for £125 a day so you can learn how make your very own sausages, salami and black pudding (Mr Mudy is very keen)!
Muddy Verdict: It’s not just your average bangers from Bakers. Great local and international sausage recipes are complemented with some gorgeous tasting “dogs” – perfect for the BBQ. Some of the best we’ve had.
Bakers Bangers @ Pipewell, NN14 1QZ
Squ!sito Deli – Fine Italian sausages – grown and made in Northamptonshire
The multi award winning Squ!sito is hidden away in the lovely village of Yelvertoft, and it’s a haven of good taste and artisan foods with a distinctly Italian theme. Perhaps even more remarkable is that owner Alex Chambers, isn’t Italian – he just has a great feel for food to make people happy, and his heart lies in the family led, flavoursome, quality and farming that accompanies his tasty offering. For this feature he rolls out the Brixworth sausage which is a simple recipe to satisfy sausage purists. It’s delicious, but the more adventurous Northamptonshire palate could venture towards the spicy Viagra – a spicy powder keg of a sausage made with flavoursome chilli – the natural equivalent to Viagra we’re led to believe. Then Muddy tries out Napoli and Tuscan sausages so delicious, great cooked with a can of tomatoes or with chick peas/beans.
So at Squ!sito every sausage tells a story. Alex almost single handedly produces a unique range of over 150 handmade sausages from Tuscan to Napoli and Luganega to N’duja plus over 100 specialities from around the world from South African Boerevors to Mexican Chorizo, Northamptonshire Beer & Rosemary to Worcester Apple & Perry. All of their sausages are produced from family recipes using Italian cuts and methods so they contain absolutely no additives, no artificial preservatives, no water and no gluten – “No Hooves & Eyelashes”.
Muddy Verdict: Good gracious me, multiple taste sensations on offer in Yelvertoft and certainly had our pulses racing. These sausages sizzle – they don’t bang.
Squisito Butchers & Provisions, The Butchery, 46 High Street, Yelvertoft, NN6 6LQ
Sauls of Spratton – Low fat sausages and much more
Sauls of Spratton are jacks of many trades and equally masterful. You may remember Muddy’s pie haul from them during the recent British Pie week. There’s also a full range of sausages on show (!) in amongst all of the other goodies, including the delicious pork pinwheels (which our Mudlets love), traditional favourites such as Cumberland, plus tasty Tomato and Basil or garlic and oregano.
Of special mention are the Saints low fat chipolata sausages made with a much higher percentage of lean pork making them lower fat – seasoned with sage – a perfect protein hit for top performing athletes and a tasty, lower fat supper for those just watching their calories! All Sauls of Spratton sausages are homemade by them to a family recipe and use only English red tractor pork. Notably, Sauls offer an on line ordering system for those of us who like our home cooked food, but haven’t got time to nip over to Spratton and collect – delivery is free.
Muddy Verdict: Locally farmed produce makes for super sizzlers to savour. Also look out for Saul’s new venture at Smiths Farm Shop, Chapel Brampton.