Tag Archives: sausages

Making your own sausages

As part of Farmhouse Breakfast Week, confirmed carnivore Eleanor Gaskarth takes her love of meat to the logical next step – making her own sausages.

If you’re not in the mood to play animal lucky dip each time you consume a meat product, you seem to have two choices. Either buy from a trusted, reputable, preferably local producer who takes pride in the quality of their goods (and knowing exactly what’s in them)… or make them yourself.


Continue reading Making your own sausages


Competition time: Win Kernow Sausage Company sausages and bacon to mark Farmhouse Breakfast Week

The very lovely people at Kernow Sausage Company in Cornwall have very kindly given Foodies South West some goodies to give away to mark Farmhouse Breakfast Week, which started yesterday.
If ever there was weather that makes you hanker after a good filling breakfast it is this snow and ice sweeping the country.
The Westcountry may have missed out on the worst of it this time but you should still finally listen to your mother’s (or father’s) advice and leave the house only after something more filling than depressing muesli or, urgh, a Kellogg’s Pop Tart.

Continue reading Competition time: Win Kernow Sausage Company sausages and bacon to mark Farmhouse Breakfast Week

Surrey it had to start this way

Seven year of living in Devon and Cornwall have left me utterly spoilt in food terms, if my experience at the Loseley Park Food Festival are any indication.

Loseley is a tremendous location a Tudor manor house near Guildford in Surrey in hundreds of acres of land.

It’s a pretty ideal location for a food festival to show off the best of the local area.

Unfortunately, it was a big letdown for me.

The main problem was, there was no local food or drink there.

I’m used to large marquees full of stalls brimming with local produce.

What defines “local” does vary – but for example a food festival in Cornwall would feature a majority of produce and retailers from Cornwall, some from Devon, some from Somerset and Dorset, perhaps a few more from a little further afield. The same applies to those in Devon, Somerset etc.

I went to the Loseley event with my sister and parents expecting a similar thing, if I’m honest slightly more pretentious in a Home Counties sort of way.

What I got was a food festival for hire. The only stall from Surrey was a guy from Kingston selling burgers made from African game animals (ostrich, springbok etc).

The other stalls were from all over, including a Cornish pasty seller whose wares were made in Bodmin. The beers in the bar were Carlsberg and Tetley, plus craft ales from Oxfordshire and Stockport.

That isn’t to say the stalls were crap, they weren’t. I brought some excellent sausages from some men from Romford in Essex and the other ones were decent enough. My springbok burger was tasty without being outstanding.

But having got used to festivals with a sense of place, it was a massive disappointment – clearly from what I have read on the company’s website it is a travelling show going around to various location like those awful German Christmas markets.

Knowing for a fact there are several local breweries of note and several other foodie businesses off the top of my head it was sad not to see any here.

I have no doubt there are better shows around the same area, but as my first living back up this way, it was a downer.

And though the rain may have played a big part, the crowd wasn’t huge either.

Then, as we were leaving, this piece de resistance below.


Bath and West banger

A unique sausage creation entitled ‘The Beast’ – a West Country pork sausage featuring Devon farmhouse cheddar, sweet caramelised onions and smooth Dark Bath Stout, which was created by a food lover from Devon – has won a national competition to go into production in celebration of the Bath & West Show in June.

After being put to the taste test by an esteemed judging panel including some of the region’s leading foodies, ‘The Beast’ beat off competition from over 300 innovative entries to the ‘Bath & West banger’, a competition that gave the public the chance to create a limited edition sausage flavour for this year’s Bath & West Show, which they felt best encapsulated the strong food and drink heritage of the West Country.

Award-winning West Country sausage manufacturer Westaways, who are now developing and producing The Beast sausage, are using ingredients from some of the region’s most celebrated food producers in the winning recipe, including prime cuts of pork from Farm Assured West Country Farms, Extra Mature Farmhouse Cheddar from renowned Devon cheese makes Quickes and an impressively smooth Dark Side Stout from one of the region’s leading independent Brewers and Publicans, Bath Ales.

‘The Beast’ will be available to buy from 1st May from selected retailers including many participating Spar, Londis and Costcutters* throughout Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and parts of South Wales. It will also be available to buy at the Royal Bath & West Show in June.

Cath Burley from Woodbury in Devon, who created ‘The Beast’ flavour, says ‘I am thrilled that my sausage has been chosen to be the Bath and West banger. I’ve always loved food and am a big fan of local produce from the South-West. I am excited about The Beast going into production and can’t wait to see it at the Bath & West Show this June!”

Bath & West Show Manager and competition judge, Alan Lyons says: “Thousands of food lovers descend on our show each year to taste produce from the West Country and beyond, visit the National Cheese Awards or experience the UK’s biggest cider competition. The response to the Bath & West banger competition has been fantastic and sausage-lovers at this year’s show will be in for a real treat with the Beast.”

John Sheaves, Chief Executive of Taste of the West and fellow competition judge added, “I was really impressed by the many innovative ideas the public came up with, which demonstrated the passion people have about the food and drink heritage of the West Country. The Beast is a well-deserved winner and not only tastes delicious, but truly illustrates the wealth of regional ingredients available in the South West.”

Charles Baughan, owner and Managing Director of Westaways, says “A legendary show deserves a legendary sausage and I am therefore delighted to be producing this recipe that not only tastes fantastic but encapsulates the full diversity of this wonderful part of England.”

The Royal Bath & West Show will be held between Wednesday 1 and Saturday 4 June 2011 at the Showground, Shepton Mallet. Advance tickets are available to buy now.
For tickets and show information visit http://www.bathandwest.com.

For more information about the competition, visit http://www.bathandwest.com/banger

Making a coppa ham

A little video about the Italian coppa ham I made while at Westaways. Coppa is Italian for “nape”, which refers to the cut of pork used from the shoulder and neck of the beastie.

Training was provided by the excellent Marc Frederic of Moorish Foods, who as well as wielding a mean knife, has a bad-ass moustache.

Anyway, here’s the vid about my Italian coppa ham. Hopefully in six weeks’ time I’ll be tucking in!

Cornish Food: Hogs Pudding

Where else to start a week of Cornish food reviews but with this, my favourite of all the foods I picked up at the Cornwall Food and Drink Festival – and also the one that had to travel the least distance.

If I picked up the hogs pudding (badly photographed above) I bought on The Market Butcher’s stand I could probably have thrown it and hit the company’s permanent stall in Truro’s Pannier Market, which is just to the side of the Lemon Quay square that was playing host to the festival.

The hogs pudding from said local butcher, the trading name of Roach Fine Foods and run by John Roach, has won awards, as the loudspeaker at the show told me, and it was on offer for the duration of the show. Lord knows I love a bargain.

I’m working on the assumption you all know that hogs pudding is a type of fat sausage. This one was flamin’ gorgeous.

Cornish hogs pudding is a source of pride within the county. Salty and herby it is one of the most moreish substances known to man. I stood watching the Market Butcher’s stand like a foodie voyeur and it was telling.

The stand was giving away cooked slices of hogs pudding (along with some of their excellent bacon). People were coming along, seeing it, trying some, loving it and then going away again. They’d do a circuit of the marquee, squeezing past the thronging crowds, and then make a bee line for the stand again and sweep up another slice of the porcine perfection.

And who could blame them. This was award-winning stuff, just so much taste and a complete contrast to that ersatz crap you get in the supermarket. It only struck me the other day that sausages, hogs pudding and black pudding are nothing but cheap ways to use up the otherwise inedible parts of the pig – making the animal go further.

But with products like this, they are something more. I’d never heard of Truro Pannier Market before I visited at the weekend, nor this butcher. Now, whenever I go to Truro I’m going to make straight for it and order some to steal back across the border into Devon.

If only my maniacal laugh at this point transferred well onto the blog.