Sunday 24 November 2013

Double gold winner Turingia Bratwurst

Double gold winner Turingia Bratwurst

Peter Snell, Ian Ferguson, Paul MacDonald, Alan Thompson, Mark Todd, Danyon Loader, Valerie Adams, Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell have all reached the pinnacle of sport by winning double Olympic gold for New Zealand.

So in the culinary arts, or should that be the science of sausage making, can butchers reach the pinnacle of double gold? The answer is yes. Preston’s Master Butchers in Wellington won the pre-cooked/barbeque sausage category of the Devro NZ Sausage awards for a second time this year. See link. This sausage is sold under the Anytime brand.

I must declare that the pre-cooked and barbecue section is not a category of sausage that I would buy to sample. Those of you who read this blog will know I prefer a spicier sausage.

However, I was doing the family shop during the weekend and came across a stand giving away samples of the Turingia Bratwurst in New World and I got talking to the two guys were cooking up the sausages. They said they were very proud that, for the second year in a row, their snarler had won the gold medal. After the win sales have gone through the roof. They normally make two batches a week, but last week they had their biggest order to date and made 37 batches of the bratwurst.

The bratwurst came in a prepacked sealed package of 9-10 sausages. I brought three packs. When the first package was in the pan, I weighed the other two packs, there was a surprising difference. One pack weighed 508g, the other 639g. This means that the first pack is only 79% weight of the second. This is a big variation.

But let’s get to the nub of the issue: What does the sausage taste like?

The bratwurst is a pale colour and it cooks up nicely. Best of all it tastes good too. The pure pork filling is enhanced with marjoram, parsley and a touch of pepper and garlic. The label gives the content of pork at 82%. Monosodium is also listed as an ingredient.

The sausage is finely ground, and pre-cooked, so only heating is required. This bratwurst tastes good. It has a piquant flavour of the listed herbs and spices. The primary flavour is pork. My kids said they were very good eating, as they headed to the plate to get another one. I was remiss in not quickly taking a photo of the cooked bratwurst, so you can see that by the time I did this there were only two left.

Addenda: 1 Dec 2013. I cooked up another packet. Here is a photo.

If you are looking for a sausage that will appeal to all then this sausage fits the bill. When you fire up the barbie these will please your guests. Personally I prefer these to Island Bay Butcher’s Bavarian sausage, which won the silver medal this year in the same category. Clearly the judges for this category agreed but individual taste is the key component here. The best way to determine your favourite pre-cooked sausage in Wellington is to try them both.

Congratulations to Preston’s Master Butchers for achieving a goal that I don’t think has been done before - double gold in the same category is a fantastic achievement. Roll on great summer weather and many pleasant barbecues.

Cost per pack: $7.99

Thursday 21 November 2013

Viva Mexico meets Fritz's Wieners

Viva Mexico meets Fritz’s Wieners.

I went with a group of friends to the stadium to see the second leg of NZ playing Mexico for a place in the FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014. Four years ago I was present when NZ beat Bahrain to claim a place in the World Cup in South Africa. The place was electric that night. It was the best sporting event I have been to at the stadium. (It probably almost goes without saying that the best sporting event I have been to was the final of the Rugby World Cup in 2011. It was an extremely tense match - that was not enjoyable, but we all had such great delight when the ball was kicked out for the final whistle.)
After a 5-1 trashing by Mexico in the first leg, I went hoping to see a good game. The Mexicans were faster, more skilful and a vastly better team. After banging in three goals in the first half, the game was gone. When NZ scored two late goals after 80 minutes the NZ supporters became wistfully delusional and chanted 8-3! 8-3! 8-3! The Mexicans then reignited their team and banged another one past our goalie to reiterate which team was the quality soccer team.

The packed stadium meant we arrived reasonably early. My son, Sausage Boy, and I brought a Fritz’s Wiener to eat prior to game. He had a mild bratwurst, I brought the spicy bratwurst. Fritz’s Wieners are a franchised sausage operation. The guy behind the barbeque was able to tell me that the sausages were made by Hellers, and they only sold this variety of sausages to the franchise.

My sausage was pork and beef sausage which was lightly manuka smoked. Tasting the sausage you would not know it was smoked. The dominant flavour is hot spice. Biting into the sausage there was reasonable amount of watery fat and you could see small lumps of fat in the ground meat. The amount of mustard placed on the sausage also diminished the flavour, rather than enhancing it. So the dominant taste was hot spice and mustard.

Sausage Boy thought his bratwurst was bland. He said it was like the frankfurters I used to put in the rolls I made for the boys for lunch when they were at primary school. The only thing of substance was the condiment, with the mustard being the dominating flavour. His bratwurst was also smoked, but again you could not taste any smokiness in the flavour of the sausage.

The buns were very good. They were nicely toasted and were a light bread. Within the context of mass produced takeaway food at a stadium with over 30,000 people present the bratwurst was above average. Better than the chips and burgers that are served. I would buy these again, however my culinary expectation would be reasonably low. You are talking about fast food here, and it is an upmarket hotdog in a bun.

Tuesday 12 November 2013



These sausages were purchased at Moore Wilsons, they are variety of sausages made by Mariano’s Spanish Goods from Christchurch. Butifarra is described as authentic Catalan sausage. I like the description of the ingredients; pork 85%, pork fat 15%, along with salt, nutmeg, black pepper and edible casing. This sausage is gluten free, with no additives and nitrates. The pork is free range.

These sausages need to handled with care. They are a little delicate. when cooking they needed a little bit of extra attention to ensure that the sausage remained in the casing. You can tell these sausages are hand filled, I am always keen to eat sausages made by hand. The meat is ground to a medium coarseness, and I like my sausage a little chunky. The quality of the taste is very good, the pork is the main flavour, this is accented the natural sweetness of the spices, there is the taste of pepper and slight hint of nutmeg. These sausages make for very good eating. I will buy these again. The whanau liked the small morsels they had too. A very nice sausage.

If you go to this company’s website you can see that they have won Cuisine Magazine’s Artisan Award for sausages twice. The Malaguena Sausage won in 2012, and in 2010 the fresh chorizo won. I will be buying more of Mariano’s sausages from Moore Wilsons, so watch out for further reviews.

Cost per kilo: $29.84