Friday 28 June 2013

The Happy Sausage Dealer

The happy sausage dealer

I put in an order with the German Butchery in Haruru Falls in the Bay of Islands for a few feeds of their fabulous smoked pork bratwurst (see review dated 13 May 2013).

These arrived today in two polystyrene boxes. I was in sausage heaven. Great smoky aroma, the stack of newly made sausages and the anticipation of a great feed to come later in the evening.

Various friends and workmates meant put in orders and I arranged for 40kg of the beauties. With the help from my super hero son, Sausage Boy, we cut packed and delivered to the expectant sausage purchasers. It did occur to me that I had ordered more than the body weight of my son in sausages. When the stacking was completed 306 sausages were on display on the bench. They were then packed into one or two kilo bag lots.

Luckily the weights and measures police were not present. Fifty grams either side of the kilo was fine by me.

For dinner I cooked sausages and went down to Castaway Fish and Chip Shop in the Northland Shops. This is a very good chippie. A very pleasant feed of sausages and chips was had by the family. The sausages were as good as I remembered from our visit up north.

I performed the sausage delivery to friends last evening, and again this morning at work.

Thanks to Michael and Patrick at the German Butchery.

Then tonight I got this email

OMG the smokiness!!!!!!!!!!!
From the Angels. I think it could have been the best sausage I’ve ever eaten?
Count me in for your next order but make mine a double.


The first of many satisfied customers….

And then the second email.....

Stu reckons that your sausages are the best he has ever tasted!!

When you put in another order can we order some more please?


Friday 21 June 2013

Almost a sausage crisis

Almost a sausage crisis

I may not have confessed this up until now but I have a "not so secret" stash of sausages. They are kept in the deep freeze, in our shed. I don’t want to give anyone ideas but it’s unlocked, behind the garage. There is also a mountain bike, lawn mower and various garden tools in there. So burglars and nefarious thieves, you know where the good stuff is.

Over the last 24 hours Wellington has through the eye of a big storm. They say it was worse than the Wahine storm of 1968. There were fifteen metre waves in Cook Strait, which you can see from our house if your eyesight is good. There were two hundred kilometre an hour winds on Mt Kaukau, which you can see from our place, even if your eyesight isn’t so good. We are on a ridge and, to put it mildly, we do get the wind. Needless to say it was a little breezy last night. With the wind coming from Antartica, the mercury was low.

The power went off for short time around 6pm. Then at 6am it went off again. Schools were closed and we had one kid at home, as his school was closed. He was closely supervised at all times by my wife, well apart from when she ran off with friends for coffee….. After six hours and a visit by the electrician the power was back on. What was my main concern? The sausage stash in the deep freeze defrosting....

I am pleased to report that the stash remained intact, phew.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Mittelgrobe Bratwurst

Mittelgrobe Bratwurst

We ate these sausages on our trip to the far north of New Zealand. They emanate from the German Butchery in Haruru Falls in the Bay of Islands. I bought a few packets to take home and put in the freezer. These were eaten last night. As one of the kids said, "Dad is happy, it is a winter evening, the fire is going, sausages for dinner and the All Blacks are playing." My kids are quite perceptive, and my needs are quite simple - warmth, food and rugby. It’s quite good when the whanau are being nice to me as well!

I cooked the classic sausage and bean dish. An old standby - a recipe of onion, garlic, cannelloni beans and tinned tomatoes, with a splash of balsamic vinegar to add some acidity to the dish, with capsicum to round off the vegetable component. Good solid, warming winter comfort food.

I also used sremska from Park Avenue Quality Meats. These are the new longer version that Gordon the butcher is making. He says he sells more of this sausage in the thinner longer form. (see review 24 Nov 2012) This offers a choice for the kids. A mild sausage and a very spicy sausage. My boys thought the sremska was too spicy, however they did try it. My daughter thought it was spicy, but nice. My wife liked it. The education of the children in the pleasures of spicy sausage eating does not occur over night, and while they still prefer the milder sausages it is more for me.

The guys at the German Butchery in the Bay of Islands are friendly and, more importantly, they know how to made excellent sausages. The mittelgrobe bratwurst is a mild sausage with a pleasant meaty taste. Mittelgrobe translates into medium coarse bratwurst, with bratwurst being German for sausage. The meat used is pork. It is a precooked sausage with one third being a coarse grind and two thirds being a fine grind. Only pork is used - there is no filler. This is reflected in the taste. The sausage is lactose and gluten free. There is no colouring or chemicals used. It is made in the bowl cutter at the butchers, meeting the specifications for a 100% German bratwurst. The Germans are very good at ensuring that the standard is maintained for important products as sausages and beer.

Patrick and Michael the butchers tell me that this sausage was entered into a competition in Germany in 2002 where it won its class. 

But the key issue is what does it taste like? It is good, it has softer taste and will appeal to a wide range of people. It is a meat sausage as opposed to a spiced meat sausage. The kids really liked it. My wife was very keen. I was keen. I would definitely buy this sausage again.

I cooked six for the evening meal and six for Sunday. The sausages all disappeared from the fridge by lunchtime. A favourable verdict from the kids. They had eaten five of them before I got to fridge to consume the last one.

Cost per kilo: $16.95

Sunday 2 June 2013

Celebrating the Ascent of Everest

Celebrating the Ascent of Everest

Last evening we went to a friend’s house for an excuse to enjoy fine food, wine and convivial conversation. The 60th anniversary of the ascent of Mt Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary was the focus. This required dressing for the occasion. I wore shorts, a polyprop and a tramping shirt - ideal clothing for a climbing expedition. My wife decided to wear clothes that celebrated the royal coronation of May 1953. The diamonds were worn. This bracelet is not made of faux jewels; it must have tens of carats of diamonds set in platinum.  
She also wore black spotted tights, she thought they symbolised a snow storm. I thought they were the beginning of frostbite and gangrene.

We had to take food. I did the old standby of sremska and blue cheese on crackers. See review dated 24 November 2012. Gordon at Park Avenue Quality Meats has started making sremska in a longer thinner casing. He tells me that he is selling more of them in this casing. I had four of these highly spiced sausages in the freezer. Here is a photo of the plate next to my pack with ice axe and crampons. You never know what the snow conditions will be like on the western face of Creswick Terrace, Northland in Wellington.

I made my entrance to the soirĂ©e, by tackling the technically difficult western face, this involved ascending a retaining wall and clambering over a fence onto the host’s deck. On a scale of difficulty in climbing, this has been compared as comparable to the Hillary Step, just below the summit of Everest. I did not have to use the ice axe or crampons, but was glad I had them in case of an unexpected blizzard. I had offered my wife the role of lead climber on the expedition. She declined. Although I would have enjoyed her company, the satisfaction of completing a difficult technical solo climb was immense. All other guests had taken the easier eastern route made up of a concrete path and steps. Needless to say the other guests were surprised when I entered the room through the western door.

My wife made a dessert, a mountain of meringues, hazel nuts and chocolates. This was chewy, gooey and delicious. As guests tucked into the dessert I thought, as the last of it was consumed, the words of Ed Hillary resounded around the table, and "We had knocked the bast@rd off."