Sunday 30 December 2012

Mussels and Chorizo Hotpot


Mussels and Chorizo Hotpot

Tonight my wife made a dish from a magazine she had been reading. It was a mussel and chorizo hotpot.

The chorizo she used was a Swiss Deli Spanish Chorizo. This was purchased from Moore Wilsons. This maker is not known to me. They are based in East Tamaki in Auckland. The chorizo is nice to eat, the dried smoked red peppers give the sausage its colour, coupled with paprika for strong flavour it makes for pleasant eating. The initial flavour on the palate is mild; although it does have a stronger, and pleasant after taste. The texture of the sausage was a medium to coarse. The mussels are New Zealand green lipped mussels.
 

The mussel and chorizo hotpot is an easy dish to make. The chorizo sausage was an adjunct to the dish, not the primary focus or flavour, this belongs to the mussels. Coupled with summer salad of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and sun flower seeds a pleasant meal was had by all. It would also be good accompanied by crusty bread to soak up some of the juices.
 

The link to the recipe is http://www.nzlifeandleisure.co.nz/taste

Cost per kilo: $35.71

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Satiated at Christmas


Satiated at Christmas

A good day was had by all yesterday. We had lunch at my sister’s home. A glorious Wellington day, the hottest since 1934 according to the paper, it was a humid 29 degrees. A running commentary on the cloud structures over the Orongorongo Ranges and the Wairarapa by brother in law the meteorologist meant any chance of thunder storms would be identified well in advance. The weather was fantastic. The kids ended up having a water fight, a great day to run around outside and get wet. As my boys realised you shouldn’t worry about water pistols or spray guns, the bucket is the most effective method of transferring a bulk amount of water onto a target. One adult was drenched; the rest escaped such a deluge.
 

I barbecued sausages and steak. The steak was sirloin marinated in red wine, fresh ginger and an orange and tarragon mustard. The sausages were Island Bay pork and fennel, and Park Avenue kolbaz.
 

For review of the kolbaz refer to my blog post on the 11 November 2012. I have decided that kolbaz is best eaten cold; I had one sausage for lunch yesterday, and three for breakfast this morning. I have to get up increasingly early to beat my sons to the fridge!

I washed the food down with a beer, Emerson’s Bookbinder. This is a brown ale that is full of a malty flavour and refreshing on a hot day. My father in law, a man in his eighties said it tasted like Tui Beer used to taste like. He grew up in the Wairarapa in the 1930s and 40s. He said Tui used to get better with age. Tui is now a pale insipid beer that I try to avoid.




The Island Bay Butcher’s pork and fennel are a thin sausage, the fennel flavour is mild and compliments the finely ground pork. You can see the green flecks of the fennel interspersed within the meat, if seeds are used they have been finely ground. These were popular with the family and all the sausages were consumed and enjoyed.  


The other meats available for lunch were ham and salmon.
 

The barbecue was enjoyable and sausages we ate were appreciated. We all arrived home replete and satiated from another fine Christmas lunch.

Monday 24 December 2012

The Mircomanagement of Sausage Selection


The Micromanagement of Sausage Selection

After some thought I decided to bring two varieties of Park Ave Quality Meats sausages for the Christmas lunch. Kolbaz and lamb and mint, which would satisfy those seeking a flavoursome sausage along with a sausage with a more elementary flavour.

In a phone conversation with my sister, which my wife was listening in to, I was informed that they both thought I should be bringing pork and fennel sausages. Knowing the dynamics of my family, pork and fennel sausages it is. Not that there is any micromanagement going on here!

I went to Moore Wilsons and purchased some Island Bay Butcher’s pork and fennel sausages. These are a thin sausage and I chose them over the Harmony pork and fennel due to the size of the sausage.

Our whanau is fortunate that on Christmas Day we are able to bring a large range of quality food, and if late additions are requested they can easily be accommodated. Many people are not in this position. Although Christmas is time for family and eating, we must also remember that not all members of society have this privilege.

The post Christmas posting will give you the response to the sausages.

Merry Christmas. Happy blogging.

Saturday 22 December 2012

The Punter Knows Best


The punter knows best

Today I went to collect some of my holiday supplies of sausages from Park Ave Quality Meats. I had ordered 3 kilos of kolbaz sausages. I arrived at the shop around 10am. While people were not queuing onto the road, this situation was almost reached. There were 14 people in the shop. The counter allows roughly 4 people to be served at once. As I observed, people like quality and will support a business that meet their high expectations. It took a while to be served, most people were buying non sausage products and wait was worth it.
Out of the bag:
 

I will be taking the kolbaz away on holiday, my sons and I are also going tramping in Nelson Lakes National Park for 6-7 days. These sausages will be part of the diet while in the hills.
 
Cut up ready for packing. For a review of kolbaz see this link.

Monday 17 December 2012

The Christmas Dilemma


The Christmas Dilemma

Each Christmas our whanau gathers at the home in Wellington, for a Christmas Day lunch. The style of the function has evolved over the years. In the late 1980s and 1990s it was the older generation with their adult children, then the adult children started to have their own children. Cousins have attended, but as their family grows, they have now dispersed with people in Wellington, Auckland and London. This year no cousins will be in Wellington over Christmas. For a period of time there was the high excitement of presents and young kids. Now the youngest child is eight and our daughter is oldest of her generation at seventeen. The babies who belong to the cousins will be Wanaka and Auckland. So a relaxed Christmas lunch with the whanau; fine food and drink, joyous conversation, and hopefully good weather, will embrace us all. A wonderful Wellington day with us sitting outside and having lunch is my ideal.

Lunch this year is at my sister’s home. Her husband is a meteorologist. He will cop the flak for his personal responsibility for any inclement weather.

I generally offer to bring meat for the barbecue, one component of the meat is sausages. This year I bought a sirloin steak, I will marinate this and cook on the barbecue. There will be fourteen people for lunch and the steak should feed them all. However the vexed question is: What sausages do I bring? Just as life is diverse so are my relatives’ tastes in sausages. The older generation are in their eighties and all of them like a simple sausage, my nieces and nephew are not keen on sausages that excite the taste buds. And you know what I prefer. So with the aim to please them all; but also trying to educate the whanau on the wider points of sausage I appreciation so I need to put some thought to this.

Look out for a further post on the outcome of the great sausage decision.  

 

Cacciatori


Cacciatori

These sausages were brought from Moore Wilsons.

They are a large fat sausage. These sausages can be bought as either medium or hot, so for those who are regular readers you will know I purchased the hot variety.
 

I made a sausage and bean dish, one of our family specials. Spiced sausage and cannelloni beans; tomatoes and bit of balsamic vinegar for a slightly acid taste to the dish. I cut the sausages in different ways so the eater can identify the type of sausage they are eating. I also used kabonosy from Park Ave Quality Meats in the dish.

The cacciatori are a chunky coarsely ground sausage, this is a texture I prefer. They are spiced with a variety of seeds and spices that you can see in the texture of the sausage. They are also hot for my palate. So to have bite size pieces is a preferable method when eating them. They were very hard to chew. The mandibles received a very good work out before the sausage slid down the gullet. While these sausages were pleasant to eat, I would give them an average rating within the context of hotter spiced sausages. My wife ate couple of pieces and then decided to concentrate on the kabanosy. The kids just stuck with the kabonosy.

 I was able to enjoy the left overs the following day.

Cost per kilo: $29.90

Friday 30 November 2012

Smoked or lightly spiced?


Smoked or lightly spiced?

Today we had a visitor in our house. A ruru, or morepork, a New Zealand native owl. They are magnificent creatures. I have seen them in the wild when I have been running at dusk. They fly silently, their feathers have variegated edges, which means they can fly without sound. Good for the ruru, bad for the prey they hunt. I have been running through the bush a bit after dusk and  ruru have glided past me, settling on branches where I have been able to observe them from about two metres away. This was on Johnson Hill, above Karori. The ruru is in a room above our garage, it must have flown into the garage when left the side door open one night, up the stairs and into this room which is usually my wife's sewing room, but appears to be a multipurpose room, in that it is also a avairy.

However what place does a ruru have in a sausage blog? Well it has decided to camp with us, so if it stays I have some tough decisions to make. When transforming it into sausage, do I smoke the sausages or go for a more delicate flavour?  Thoughts?  
 

This ruru may be very intelligent. He has settled on a box of 4’n20 Pies. Although the ruru is not a blackbird, the flavour may be very similar.

Of course as the parent of 14 year old twin boys, there are more questions to consider. Has the owl from Hogwarts arrived for one of them? Have I fathered a wizard? As a child of a muggle one of them, or maybe both, will have a lot of learning to do in the new subjects of witchcraft and wizardry when the new school year starts.   

Addenda: The room above the garage has a narrow staircase up to the room. When we renovated it we put a door into one wall (probably against all building codes) so we could get furniture into the room. We left this door open, after dusk I went up to the room and our visitor had decamped. So there will not be a review of ruru suasages.
 

Saturday 24 November 2012

Sremska


Sremska
These sausages are little beauties. I like a strongly flavoured sausage however these are too strongly flavoured for even me to eat and enjoy as a whole sausage. I prefer to cook these in a dish where they are in smaller pieces and not the primary flavour in the dish, eg the post of the 22nd August. Another way of eating and enjoying sremska is on a water cracker. In this instance I had sliced sremska and blue cheese, which was suggested to me by Gordon. These little morsels were delectable. A strongly flavoured sausage accentuated by the tang of blue cheese. We had people around in a on a Sunday afternoon, a few drinks and these made some nice nibbles.
 

Srem is a region in Serbia, these sausages are spiced with a good quantity of paprika, black pepper, salt and few secret spices. They have a high fat content, when cooking the fat oozes out. Gordon the chief sausage maker at Park Ave Quality Meats also says to make a quality sausage you need to use quality meats.  Although these are not cheap, they are worth the expense. Not an everyday eating sausage rather a speciality sausage for those who like a bit of spice on their palate and in their life.
 

Cost per kilo $34.95

Island Bay Butchers Supreme Sausage Award review


It is great to the see the award for the top sausage in New Zealand returning to Wellington. Island Bay Butchers, one of Wellington’s great sausage shops won this award for their smoked kielbasa.
 
This is a lightly smoked sausage, the smoky flavour is present but not intense. The sausage is ground to a fine medium texture. They are pleasant on the palate and taste good. I find some sausages made by Island Bay Butchers to contain too much fat; this is not the case for these sausages. For someone who is looking to try an Eastern European sausage, I would recommend these. I prefer a more flavoursome sausage but my wife prefers these. We served these cut into slices as nibbles when we had people around on Sunday afternoon and they were enjoyed by all, with much discussion on the qualities of sausages with our German neighbours.

 

Cost per kilo: $19.95

This award got me thinking, and researching. The first Wellington sausage maker I can remember winning this award was Bells Smallgoods, with a bratwurst.  This sausage had a regular diameter and was small in length. It was medium to coarsely ground and it had a very good meaty taste. Bells Smallgoods were based in Newlands(?). At the time there was limited supply of quality sausages that a sausage aficionado could purchase. Many years ago they rebranded and became Luscutto. I have not seen Luscutto products for sale recently. The website www.luscutto.co.nz has been parked. I have gone back into archived websites and discovered that in 2006 and 2005 they won the supreme sausage award. A fantastic achievement. In 2005 it was for the Thuringer Bratwurst, followed by the Luscutto Hunter Sausage in 2006. The web archive did not go back past 2006 but I think that another bratwurst made by Bells won the supreme award many years before 2005.   

If anyone knows what happened to Bells/Luscutto, leave a comment.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Island Bay Butchers wins Supreme Sausage Award

The Devro New Zealand Sausage Competition is organised annually by Retail Meat New Zealand and is New Zealand’s premier sausage judging event.

The competition is an annual highlight for butchers and small-goods manufacturers as they vie for their sausages to be named the Supreme Award Winner. Makers can also be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals.

Congratulations to Island Bay Butchery for winning the supreme award at the 2013 NZ Sausage Awards. Other medal winners from Wellington were: Preston’s Master Butchers, gold and Greytown Butchery, a bronze and silver.  

Wellington award winners are below.

Pre Cooked BBQ

Gold
Preston's Master Butchers (Wellington) Turingia Pre-cooked Bratwurst
Bronze
Greytown Butchery (Greytown) Beef pre-cooked

Flavoured
Silver
Greytown Butchery (Greytown) Beef Flavoured

Supreme Award
Island Bay & Strathmore Butcheries (Wellington) Smoked Kielbasa


Watch out for my thoughts on these sausages in later posts.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Can man live by sausages alone?


Can man live by sausage alone?

The world’s great philosophers seek to answer some of the notable questions of our time. Does God exist? Are humans innately good or evil? Will the Hurricanes win a Super Rugby title? While the first two questions are easily answered, the third question is doosey. Many a mind greater than mine has tried to examine this issue. However there is a bigger question than needs to be looked into: Can man live by sausage alone? Seeking an answer, I headed for the hills.

I went tramping for the weekend. A pleasant sojourn into the Tararuas. It rained all day Saturday. The five hours into the hut meant no stops as the weather was not conducive to enjoying the ambiance of the bush environment. On Sunday the day dawned cloudy and rainy. While standing on the deck of the hut you could see three spurs coming down from the ridge, they butted tightly. The misty cloud hanging on the steeply bushed hillside looked very picturesque. The solitude and scenery makes you appreciate the grandeur of the New Zealand bush. On the way out the sun shone and a pleasant lunch was had by the river. The great question about living off sausages was being contemplated and digested.

Prior to heading off I cooked up eight kolbaz sausages from Park Rd Butchers. These are a Hungarian sausage that have smoked paprika as the primary flavour. I really like these sausages. I decided to make these morsels of food the main sustenance of my trip. I had these for lunch on Saturday and Sunday, and also for Sunday breakfast. I consider that it is possible to go tramping on sausages alone.  However I am not one for an intransigent or doctrinaire stance. So the sausages were supplemented by chocolate biscuits and a curry on Saturday night. On a weekend trip I carry extra weight and the sausages are well worth taking. On a longer trip I take cooked sausages for the first few days.

The kolbaz sausages are quite highly spiced although not as spiced as the sremska made by Park Rd. They make for very good eating. The sausage is ground to a medium consistency. The paprika and smoking comes through strongly. I assume that garlic, salt and pepper are part of the recipe too. This makes for a great tasting sausage. An excellent spicy sausage for everyday consumption and enough to keep you going on the wettest weekend tramp. What more can I say?
 

Cost per kilo: $18.99

The sausages and chocolate biscuits diet is well proven. A few years ago I went with a friend to Nelson Lakes. We had four 10-11 year old boys with us and on the last day we had to get to the head of the lake for a water taxi. If we were not there at the required time it was another three hours around the lake. We needed to leave the hut shortly after 7am. It had snowed overnight. It was raining steadily as we left just before 8am. We told the boys, it would be nonstop tramping, and if we did not reach the head of the lake for the water taxi the boys would not be keen for another three hours around the lake. The enticement was we would provide sausages and chocolate biscuits for fuel.  The boys did well and we reached the water taxi in time, after between 5-6 hours of good paced tramping. Because of the rain there was no sitting, and because of the time factor, no stopping. A sausage followed by a chocolate biscuit, Mint Treats, ensured we got there on time. My advice is to try this diet. The variety of sausage and chocolate biscuit can be changed, but as fuel for tramping you cannot beat it.

And the answer to the question? Only a dedicated process of trial and error will allow a great mind to reach a conclusion over this issue but I think mine is almost made up!  

Smoked Venison Sausages


Cold Smoked Venison Sausages

Island Bay Butchery

I was in Island Bay Butchers and I thought I would buy a few of the cold smoked venison sausages. These are made with venison, malt vinegar, Worchester sauce, thyme, mace and caraway seeds. The venison is farmed deer.

The aroma of the sausages reflects the malt vinegar and Worchester sauce. They smell good. The sausage is ground to a medium coarseness. I prefer a sausage that is chunky and has not been ground to a puree, so I like the texture of these sausages. These sausages are lightly smoked, the delicate smoked taste is pleasant on the palate. They taste good without being spectacular. 
 
These sausages when cooked oozed a lot of fat, too much for my liking. I consider that less fat would enhance the flavour and quality of the sausage.

Cost per kilo: $19.95   

Friday 2 November 2012

Country Pork Sausages


Country Pork Sausages  Gluten Free

Cameron Harrison Butchers

My son does not like chicken, so when I was making a dish for dinner I thought I would add a few sausages to it so he would enjoy the meat part of the dish. I went to Cameron Harrison Butchers in Kelburn. I decided to buy a basic port pork sausage.  They had Irish pork sausages and country pork sausages for sale. I asked the butcher what the difference was, told me it was the flavour. I asked what flavour each sausage has. He told me they have different flavours.

Excuse the sarcasm; but I think I could establish independently that different types of sausages have different flavours. Maybe a little, even a small modicum, of product knowledge would not go amiss from the butcher. Or am I expecting too much?

A reader of my blog has asked me to review some gluten free sausages. Well here is a first. So to the reader from Auckland, here is a review of gluten free sausages from Wellington.
 

Cameron Harrison country pork sausages - gluten free. These are good sausages. A medium ground sausage with country style herbs for flavour. Could be sage and thyme? They worked well when cooked with chicken. I also cooked a few in the pan, they were flavoursome and nice to eat, a good meaty pork taste. The kids liked these. I would buy these again.

Cost per kilo: $18.99

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Haere ra Mr Verkerk and reminiscence of growing up

Haere ra Mr Verkerk and reminiscence of the growing up.


I grew up in Tawa in 1970s. As I have alluded, my mother was a woman of her generation. This meant meat and three veg for dinner. However she was willing to take risks and experiment. This meant the pineapple phase occurred. Many stewed dishes could be made exotic with tinned pineapple.
One thing we knew about in our household was when Aunty Beryl was coming to stay. Half a pig’s head would appear in the kitchen. It was time to make brawn. Mum made brawn with lots of aspic. I grew up in family were you had to eat everything on your plate. As kids we hated brawn. There were five kids in our family; we had an extending dining table. This meant there were rails underneath where the extension slid along. These ledges were a good spot for hiding the brawn. It would be collected after the meal and tossed over the
fence onto the neighbour’s bank.


If there were seconds they went to the person who finished first, I can out eat nearly everybody when it comes to speed due to this practice. Now I have a family of my own I find this way of operating quite peculiar. As my youngest sister says; “How was she supposed to get seconds, I was seven years younger.”  A five year against a twelve year old, no contest. A ten year old against a seventeen year old, still no contest.

My mother also did not let any of her children cook at home.  I left home with minimal cooking skills. We were however experts at cleaning up and doing the dishes.
I used to go tramping with my mates. We would go the supermarket to buy food for the trip. Dave was more worldly than I, he used to say why don’t we buy salami. So we did. This was a new culinary experience for me. I liked it, it was something different to eat, looking back on it, it was my first exposure to salami and more exotic sausages.    

This brings me to the point of this posting.

In Saturday’s Dominion Post the obituary of Aalt Verkerk appeared.  He was aged 89. Verkerk’s salami and smallgoods have been made in Christchurch, New Zealand for decades. He arrived in NZ in 1952 from the Netherlands, worked as a butcher and then started his own business. This business now employs 200 people. The salami range in Woolworth’s Supermarket in Tawa in the late seventies was not large. Verkerk’s salami was
the stock salami. So it was sad to read of the founder of the company death, however his contribution to NZ’s barren cuisine of 1970s suburbia is appreciated.


We always have a salami hanging in the pantry. The one
hanging there at the moment is a Verkerk’s salami.
So haere ra Mr Verkerk thanks for your salami. 



Thursday 11 October 2012

Park Avenue Quality Meats


Park Avenue Quality Meats

It has been a couple of months since I started this blog. I wanted to operate under the radar and get a few posts up on the blog before I talked to any sausage makers. I went out to Naenae and visited Park Avenue Quality Meats. I had talked to the guy who runs the shop before, see the previous posts. I consider Gordon to be the premier sausage maker in Wellington. He and I have similar tastes. As I have stated previously, this is a blog that pushes my views. I will make subjective judgements on my views on the quality of sausages I consume.



The shop is on High St, number 829. On the left hand side as you head up the Hutt Valley.

Gordon likes to make sausages that are spiced and smoky. His sausages have an Eastern European influence. He showed me a new salami he has started to make, it is from Yugoslavia, more specifically Croatia. Called kulen it is very nice to eat. Gordon was the really pleased to get the feedback from an older Croatian customer who said it was just like he remembered kulen tasting when he was a small boy in Croatia.  

Below is a picture of one of the sausage cabinets in the shop. You can see the kabonosy at the centre  back. Gordon tells me they sell about 30kg a week of this fantastic sausage. You can also see the kielbasa, and the kolbaz, a Hungarian sausage. The sremska are centre middle. For a highly spiced sausage sremska is the one I go for. I brought four of them, watch out for the review. They are too highly spiced for me to eat as a whole sausage, however in small pieces they are very pleasant. The other cabinet has the more traditional sausages. Apologies about the quality of the photo and the reflections, if you want a better image, the best thing to do is visit the shop.
 

Wednesday 10 October 2012

How much do you know about sausages?

Check this out. A sausage quiz.

I obviously know sod all about sausages. I scored 2/10 and received the rating silly sausage.

Sausage quiz

Or sausages of the world

Sausages of the world

Blackball Salami Company Pork Sausages


Tonight’s Dinner with Blackball Salami Pork Sausages

Tonight I made pie from the new recipe book I got for my birthday. Dean Brettschneider’s cookbook Pie. This was a sausage, sun dried tomato and potato tart. I turned it into more of pie dish. I went down well with the family. They have requested I make it again. I was relatively easy to make. I had to cook the onions and garlic for an hour. I have never done this before, however the end result was they melted in the pie.

The sausage I used was Blackball Salami Company’s pork sausage. This is a regular sausage, ground fine. They were cooked and then the skins were removed, then they were fried with flour, sun dried tomatoes and tomato puree. I added fresh basil, salt and ground black pepper too. Before the pie goes into the oven mascarpone cheese is added in dollops to the pie. The pie was served with fresh asparagus and broccoli. I love the arrival of new season’s asparagus. This would be my favourite vegetable. Sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese over the top and it makes great eating. And this is how it looked.
 

The pork sausages are fine, however they are a basic sausage that lack any punch or finesse. They are good to use in pie, however I would not choose them if I was eating a whole sausage.
 

Cost per kilo: $13.50

I brought these sausages at Moore Wilsons.

Argentinian Chorizo


Argentinian Chorizo

This is a new sausage made by Park Avenue Butchers. Gordon the chief sausage maker in this quality shop, started to make this sausage after an Argentinian customer provided the recipe. She was given this by her grandmother. The customer was delighted with the result, it tasted just like her family used to make.
 

I purchased nine of these. I cooked them prior to a day tramp into the Tauherenikau Valley with my sons and two of their mates. A quick trip up  to the old Dobson Hut site and then down into the Tauherenikau Valley. Eating sausages in the bush for lunch, next to a nice river, with the sun trying to break through the cloud and add a bit of spring heat to the day. A very pleasant ambiance. The sausages were good too. They are made with paprika, oregano, black pepper and garlic. The sausage has a medium texture. To get an authentic Argentinian sausage I should have cooked them barbecue style, over charcoal. I liked these sausages.
The kids found these sausages a bit too spicy. So I had more to eat. I brought some home and ate them the following day. A win-win situation.

There is an Argentinian sausage maker in Queenstown. I had a sausage he made at a market in January. Nicolas the sausage maker has a kiwi partner, he makes great sausages.  

Cost: $17.99 kilo  

 

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Wild Pork Sauages with Leek and Potato Pie


Wild Pork Sausages and Leek and Potato Pie

Tonight for dinner I cooked Harmony Foods Wild Boar Sausages. These were purchased from Moore Wilsons. They won a Gold Award at the NZ Sausage Awards in 2010.
 

The label on the packaging says: Razor Back NZ Wild Boar. Bred in the open pastures of NZ. Razor Back NZ Wild Boar is the real taste experience. Razor Back NZ wild Boar is best savoured with friends and a full bodied red wine.

Call me picky, but my experience of wild pigs is scrub and bush. I realise the pigs do go down to the river flats to feed, however open pastures is more of a marketing phrase than reality. Or are these wild (?) boar kept in pastures? However this is not the key point.

These are very good pork sausages. They are coarse and meaty. There is a hint of fennel to add to the flavour. You can see the odd fennel seed in the meat. There is also some bacon as part of the meat. They are very good eating.

I really enjoy a cold sausage the following day. These will make great eating cold.  

The kids liked the sausages, one was very keen, the other two moderately keen.
Cost per kilo: $20.95
 

I served the sausages with a new recipe I had not made before, Gooey Leek, Potato and Vintage Cheddar Pie. This came from a cook book I got for my birthday; Pie by Dean Brettschneider. The pie I made used Edam cheese as opposed to vintage cheddar. This went down well with the family. The leeks and potatoes are mixed with a sauce of mustard, egg, sour cream and cheese. It is a gooey pie. And gooey is good.
 
 
The pie held together well, it was very nice to eat. I will make this again. Also in the book is a Sausage, Sun-dried Tomato and Potato Tart. This recipe is a bit more complicated and would take longer to cook, watch for a new posting when this gets cooked.

Monday 24 September 2012

Black Pudding at Dockside


Black Pudding at Dockside

We were invited to a friend’s 50th birthday lunch at Dockside. This was on Saturday. What a fantastic day. No wind, bright sunshine, warm spring temperatures. It was a leisurely lunch with no kids. They would have been itching to move on after a period of time, well before we would have been ready. Great weather, even better company. We were there for four hours and when we got back to car there was a present on the windscreen, a parking ticket. No worries it was worth the small price to exceed the parking time.

The group ordered a platter to start. It had tasty morsels of chorizo as part of a wide array of quality food. Lots of nice seafood. A good start.
 

For the main I ordered black pudding with sautéed potatoes and spinach, tomato relish, fresh egg and hollandaise sauce. To be blunt; I was underwhelmed. This was a very average dish. The black pudding was like sausage meat, well it is sausage meat, to put a positive description, I would describe the taste as delicate and refined. The sautéed potatoes and spinach were nice and well done. I thought the egg lacked flavour.

So a great lunch that could have been better if the food matched the quality of the conversation and weather.

As we left we remarked how wonderful it was to have lunch without the kids. The leisurely, unhurried approach to lunch, without children is something we have not done for a long time.  

Thursday 20 September 2012

The best chicken sausages ever


The best chicken sausages ever

Does anyone remember the organic chicken sausages that use to be sold by Moore Wilsons? They were in the loose section of the sausage serving section. They were plump chicken sausages that tasted like real chicken. I think the makers name was Heuval.

Moore Wilson stopped stocking these sausages a couple of years ago, maybe longer? When I enquired about the sausages not being stocked any more the response I received was: They go off too quickly, there is no preservative, so the shelf life was too short.”

This was a real shame as they were by a considerable margin the best chicken sausages I have ever tasted.

I have searched the internet and come to a site of organic chicken farm, Heuvals. The web address no longer works, watch this blog as I attempt to see it these beauties of sausages are still made.
And to add to my woe, the most viewed posting on this blog is the one entitled; And meanwhile my wife just bakes." Just goes to show, there is more interest in baking than sausages.
Happy eating.
 

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Lamb Merquez



Lamb Merquez Cameron Harrison Butchers

These are good (not great) sausages. They come from Cameron Harrison Butchers. A little feed of four sasuages was consumed as a snack, over the last few days. They are mildly spiced. There are some hot spcies used, howeverly this is down sparingly, to arrive at a mild flavour. However I would call these a subtle flavour, certainly down the mild end of the continium. The main spice I identified was red chilli. The texture of the sausage is medium. When I asked the butcher what was in them, he said it was a secret and only his boss knows this information. If the boss dies and this information goes to the grave with him, it would not be a great loss to the culimary world.

I will buy these sausages again, when I want to add more variety to my sausage eating.

No comments from the kids, all the sausages were eaten by me.

Price per kilo: $19.95

Sunday 9 September 2012

Meat and Three Veg




Mediterranean Lamb and Continental Garlic Sausages

Two reviews today.

Both are from the Island Bay Butchery. Dinner was sausage and three vege. Time to let the culinary fare run wild.
 

The Mediterranean Lamb sausages are thin and long. They taste great and have a medium texture. They have coriander; one of my favourite herbs, and cinnamon to complement the flavour of the lamb. I have asked what else in the sausage, the response I received from the butcher was, “Only the boss knows the secret ingredients.” Maybe there is a line in marketing these sausages as 11 secret herbs and spices.    

And of course every review gets a mention of the kids view on these sausages. They will eat them but not all that keen. So you know what that means, more for me.

Cost per kilo: $19.95
 

The Continental Garlic sausages are the size of a breakfast sausage. When cooking these sausages a lot of fat come out. Too much for my liking. You should never pierce the skin of the sausage while cooking. The fat helps the sausage to cook and enhances the flavour.

The Continental Garlic sausage is a finely ground sausage. The primarily flavour is garlic, these are a great everyday sausage to eat.

The kids prefer these and they all disappeared.

Cost per kilo: $19.95

And the serving of the meal is pictured at the beginning of the this post. Although I like food I would not class myself as a gastronome. I have advanced on how my mother, now in her eighties, would have served this meal. She would have boiled all the vege, for a long time, and then served. One of my friends attended cooking classes at a local restaurant, one tip to making quality mashed potatoes was to put the drained potatoes back on heat for 30 seconds to remove more moisture from the pot. I now do this and with the butter, milk and pepper for flavour it makes good mash.

An aside: The best mashed potato I have ever had was at Ortega Fish Shack. It was fantastic.  

The carrots had honey added at the end. The broccoli was served fresh from the pot.

The family enjoyed the meal.

 


Monday 27 August 2012

And meanwhile my wife just bakes

 
Need I say more
 
Kids need food for their lunches, a minimum of 15 biscuits need to be baked each weekend. And a red velvet cake appeared the following day.

Chicken Sausages



Chicken Sausages Cameron Harrison Butchers

These are nice sausages. They are small. One of the issues with a good chicken sausage is; does it taste of chicken? These do, they have thyme added to create a flavour that is subtle. They are good, however you can get a better chicken sausage in Wellington. I would prefer the sausage to have a greater chicken taste.

One of the great judges of sausages are my kids. They like these sausages.

Cost: $19.99 per kg

Cameron Harrison is a chain of butchers stores, based in Tawa, Ngaio and Kelburn. They make a wide range of sausages. I like their salamis.

I think I may have created sausage snobs out of my kids. The good news is they do not like sizzlers, that product that is not allowed to be called a sausage. They apprecaite a good sausage, at a bbq, they will ask the host questions about the sausage and where it came from. Our friends generally roll their eyes at this point. They do apprecatie a good sasuage, and the good thing is their tastes are different to mine.


Wednesday 22 August 2012

Sausages and Beans




Sausages and Beans

This dish is popular with the family. I use two varieties of sausages. I generally use a sausage that the kids like and another variety that is more highly spiced. Today I used kabonosy and kielbasa. Both sausages come from Park Ave Quality Meats. The sausages have different diameters and lengths. I cut the sausages to different lengths so the person eating them knows what kind they are getting. This means the kids can give me the more highly spiced sausage, they use their fork to put it on my plate. A win-win situation.

The other ingredients in this dish are onion, cannelloni beans, a table spoon  of balsamic vinegar and tinned tomatoes. Easy to cook, the whole family like the dish.

I do not consider I have a career in food photography. Hopefully the quality of the photography will improve as the blog progresses. However I can’t go back and take another photo, the food is gone, and it tasted good, and after all that is what cooking good food is all about.  

Sunday 12 August 2012

Kabonosy



Kabonosy  Park Ave Quality Meats

This is a medium texture sausage that is moderately spiced and smoked. My kids love this sausage. It is enjoyed by the whole family. Great for cooking and eating as a sauasge, or for use in sauasge based dishes.

This is one of my of my current favoutites.

Price per kg: $34.99

My favourtie sausage shops

Quality is hard to find. If you want to buy sausages in Wellington here are my favourites.

Park Ave Quality Meats

829 High St, Boulcott, Lower Hutt

These guys are good! This is the best purveyors of suasages in Wellington. They make a wide range of fantastic sausages. There is a Polish influence is in the sausages they make. I will review their range in later blog posts. I have said them they should market their sausages in other outlets. The response was; "We want to control the quality, if we increased the level of production then the quality may suffer." I only discovered this shop when I was working in the Hutt Valley and drove past and saw the sign advertising Polish sausages. It is a gem of a shop that should be more widely known by sausage connoisseurs.

Moore Wilsons

Corner of Tory and College St, Te Aro

Moore Wilson Fresh is an emporium that sells a wide array of sausages. They bring on sausages from makers from a wide area. A good selection of quality sausages. They have fresh single sausages fro sale and also vacuum packaged sausages.

Island Bay Butchery

127 The Parade, Island Bay

One of the first butchers in Wellington to offer a wide range of quality sausages. More cabinet space is devoted to sausages than meat. The sign of a great sausage shop. Friendly staff, always willing to make a bigger order. Watch out for reviews of these sausages.

Sunday 29 July 2012



Welcome to Don’s Sausage Blog

I am a carnivore loving eater of meat. In particular I am very fond of sausages. This blog will give my views on sausages. I am based in Wellington, New Zealand. This blog will be Wellington centric, and the sausages reviewed will reflect this.

Some people deal drugs. I have been a sausage dealer. A long time ago decent sausages where hard to obtain. I used to get them freighted from the Blackball Salami Company. My biggest order was for 50kg. I then sold these sausages to friends. I had no problem moving the sausages. My business acumen could be questioned, I sold them at cost and did not have a percentage mark up. As time as past, some shops in Wellington now have a wide array of sausages.

Enjoy the sausage eating.