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Ways to celebrate British Sausage Week

By Sheila McWattie

- Last updated on GMT

Wadworth: Four finalists will compete in a grand cook-off final at the brewery on 23 October
Wadworth: Four finalists will compete in a grand cook-off final at the brewery on 23 October

Related tags: British sausage, Sausage

From messing with mash to customer cook-offs, Pub Food looks at five ways pubs can make the most of British Sausage Week (3 to 9 November).

Customer competition

To prepare for British Sausage Week (BSW), Wiltshire brewer Wadworth invited customers across its managed estate to create their perfect banger by competing to win sausages made with their recipe, courtesy of Devizes butcher Walter Rose & Son.

At every Wadworth’s managed pub, customers were invited to use special recipe cards to list up to eight ingredients representing ‘Wadworthshire’ – a 600 square-mile area of south-west England.

Four finalists are invited to attend a grand cook-off at the Wadworth Brewery in Devizes, on 23 October. Each finalist receives 5lbs of the special sausages made using their own recipe by Walter Rose, while the overall winner’s recipe is to be used for sausages available across Wadworth’s managed pubs during the special week.

The winner also receives a Wadworth’s dinner-for-two voucher and food hamper, while each of three runners-up receives a hamper.

Original ingredients

Creating bespoke sausage flavours for customers is one of the specialities of Lancashire butcher Albert Matthews, where the team like to enter the highly diverse sausages in competitions.

This year, their entries in the BPEX (British Pig Executive) 2014 Foodservice Sausage of the Year competition recently won the top three awards.

The gold award is for the sausage made with a recipe supplied by executive chef Eve Townson at Thwaites’ lease the Eagle & Child, in Ramsbottom, using pork mixed with home-made black pudding and Butler’s Tasty Lancashire cheese. A pork and session ale sausage produced for the Clarence in Bury, Greater Manchester, won silver, while the pork and caramelised red onion sausage for the Church Inn, in Mobberley, Cheshire, gained highly commended.

Sausage-throwing

At Harwich Sausage Festival, in Essex, organised by Tendring Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) on Saturday 8 November, the annual sausage-throwing extravaganza involves “three fantastic real-ale pubs, 12 sublime sausages, an amazing atmosphere and competitors trying to throw sausages as far as they can”.

Next to Harwich’s Hanover Inn, the Producers' Throwing Competition invites each contender to throw a raw sausage as far as possible.

Thrown sausages are all out of date, to minimise food waste. The audience is encouraged to expect “a deal great of athleticism, psychology and giggling”.

A cricket umpire adjudicates, while Tendring CAMRA’s Sausage Marshals measure and record each throw.

At midday each of the three host pubs – the Hanover, the Alma Inn and New Bell Inn – offers four of the 12 sausages donated by local butchers for the anonymous public tasting, plus voting slips.

Visitors are invited to tour the three pubs, sampling sausages and soaking up the atmosphere.

For a vote to qualify, all three pubs must be visited in order to rate all 12 sausages.

Votes are counted and the winner announced in ‘Sausage HQ’, the New Bell Inn.

The combined talents of local butchers, brewers, publicans and contestants are expected to attract a capacity crowd, pushing up all three pubs’ wet sales and promoting all businesses involved.

Last year 250 attended and around 160 voting forms were completed.

Mash and gravy flavours

Five flavours of mash and gravy, combined with five different types of hearty handmade winter sausage made from quality meat and served with fresh locally sourced vegetables, all carefully matched with bottled craft beers, will be key to ensuring celebrations of British Sausage Week stand out at Cheers Café Bar in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire.

Offering an individual sausage dish from Monday to Friday and using all five dishes over the weekend will help to sustain interest and promote repeat footfall.

Flavours include pork & apple sausage with colcannon mash & cider gravy; Cumberland ring with sweet potato mash & onion gravy; Aberdeen Angus & cracked pepper sausage with roasted tomato mash & beer gravy; chicken & stuffing sausage with butternut squash mash & leek gravy; and steak & ale sausage with crushed new potato mash & cranberry gravy (around £6.50 each).

Facebook favourite

Each of Nelson Hotel’s Cheshire-based gastropubs is using Sausage Week as a showcase for its local quality produce, including Red Tractor pork.

The Pheasant Inn in Tattenhall has opened a poll on its Facebook page for fans to vote for their favourite banger. The winning combination will be added to the specials board, along with head chef’s two favourite sausage flavours, during British Sausage Week.

In Delamere, the Fishpool Inn is hosting a ‘Suggest a Sausage and Win’ competition on Facebook, with entrants invited to post their favourite flavour combinations as well as the dish that brings out the best in that banger.

The winning infusion will appear on the Fishpool’s menu during British Sausage Week and the winner will enjoy a three-course dinner for two, featuring their entry.

More than 70 entries were received in the first week, including Stilton, caramelised onion and pancetta sausage; pork, Bramley apple and dark treacle sausage served with butternut squash mash, red cabbage, red onion gravy and Yorkshire pud; and wild boar sausage with Bury black pudding, poached goose egg and cider fried bread.

The Bear’s Paw in Warmingham pairs its favourite sausage dish – venison sausage and ale casserole, with pickled red cabbage and creamy dauphinoise potatoes – with a pint of local real ale from nearby Mobberley Fine Ales, for a month from 27 October.

Nelson Hotels Group executive chef Paul Prescott says: “The importance of using locally sourced, quality produce in our dishes is paramount. We are thrilled to be joining in with British Sausage Week, as it raises awareness of using Red Tractor Pork throughout the UK.”

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1 comment

Harwich sausage throw

Posted by Rottweiller,

Let's hope the unscrupulous rigging doesn't take place again this year. Aniseed and walnuts anyone?

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