Friday 25 April 2014

Gipps St Butcher's Pork and Fennel

Gipps St Butcher’s Pork and Fennel

I purchased these during my recent visit to the Gipps St Butchers in Karori

This is a finely ground sausage, the aroma of the cooked sausage had a pronounced fennel smell. Once you taste the sausage the fennel is not as strong as the aroma suggested. My wife who likes a pork and fennel sausage described it as nice, but says she prefers the Island Bay Butchery pork and fennel sausage. My son concurred with his mother.

The fennel taste is subdued. If you compare this with other pork and fennel sausages previously reviewed, Island Bay, see link, Harmony see link, and Harrington’s, see link, the Gipp St along with Harmony have the least pronounced fennel taste, Harrington's has a stronger flavour of fennel with Island Bay at the top end of fennel spectrum. It then comes down to an individual’s preference for the level of fennel flavour they prefer.
We use to live in  a house that had a steep untamed bank at the bottom of the section. This was were we ran what we called our "organic garden." If the plant was supposed to grow there it did. Once a year or so I would venture into the morass of vegetation and do a bit of a cull, keep the weeds down etc. This included fennel that could grow almost as high as I stand. I do consider fennel to be a bit of a weed.

Personally I would go for a Harmony or Island Bay sausage, but all the reviewed sausages are quality meaty sausages.

Cost per kilo: Need to add

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Polish Kransky at the Marae

Polish Kransky at the Marae

I was at Park Avenue Quality Meats brought some Polish kranksy. This sausage is made from 1/3 beef and 2/3 pork. It is gluten free. The sausage meat has a moderate amount of garlic and black pepper added.

I took these sausages with me when I went to Te Kakano o te Aroha Marae (The Seed of Love Marae) in Randwick, Lower Hutt. This is an urban marae, it was established by Tuhoe and is also affiliated to the Presbyterian Church. The wharenui (large house) is dedicated to Rua Kenana from Tuhoe, and John Laughton, a missionary who lived and worked in Te Urewera in the earlier part of the twentieth century.

During our time at the marae I was in charge of kai (food) for the group who were staying. As someone who likes kai, I enjoyed the time supervising the preparation and eating of the food. Delegation was to the fore and I only helped to prepare one meal, other people staying at the marae were responsible for other meals. I had the role of oversight of the kai preparation. However I was aware that I was a guest in someone else’s kitchen. We had a surfeit of kai during our noho marae(time on the marae), it made for an enjoyable stay.

The sausages were served as part of an evening meal and quickly disappeared. Other people at the marae knew I had brought sausages, and also anticipated and commented that the sausages I supplied would be of high quality. Life it too short to eat a poor quality sausage. Yet again Gordon and his team at Park Avenue Quality Meats delivered. These sausages have an aroma of garlic. When eaten garlic is the first taste which is followed by the pepper. All the flavours are moderate and complement the blend of pork and beef. This is a very good eating meaty sausage that was appreciated by the carnivores at the marae. Many favourable comments were made by people who ate the sausages.

I also made a cauliflower, broccoli and blue cheese quiche. We had a few vegetarians in our group. In preparing for the noho I had establish the dietary needs of our group. I liked the colleague who responded with, "Not too many veges." Now here is a person who will appreciate a good sausage. And he did.

Monday 21 April 2014

Gipps St Butcher's Pork Sausage

Gipps St Butcher's Pork Sausage

I was passing Gipps St Butchers on a Saturday around midday. I decided to pop in. I do not think I have visited this shop for about a year. It is in a back street in Karori, a bit off the beaten track. It has the feel of a proper, or as some people would say a traditional butcher’s shop. There were about six people in shop. All the customers had a chat with the butcher about the meat they were buying, tips for cooking were dispensed. This was good old fashioned service. Not fast, but with a focus on the customer and getting the best out of the meat being brought.

I brought a small sample of three types of sausage. These were cooked up after a Sunday morning run. By 1pm all the sausages had disappeared. In our house a quality sausage will not last long. This review is of the pork sausage.

Pork Sausages:

These are a plain pork sausage. This is not the kind of sausage I would normally buy. It is a medium grind sausage, it cooked up nicely. A bit of sausage meat oozed out of the casing during cooking. A nice level of caramelisation added the flavour. For people who like a nice pork banger they will enjoy this quality sausage. Young kids would love this sausage.
So I recommend that if you are the back streets of Karori, check out the friendly team, and the sausages at Gipp St Butchers.

Cost per kilo: $18.95

Monday 14 April 2014

Harrington's White Pudding with Blue Cheese

Harrington’s White Pudding with Blue Cheese

I arrived home later than usual this evening. The beginning of the cooler weather had set in. We have lit the fire for the last couple of nights. Although I love a great summer’s day, I also like the seasonal change. Winter means comfort food, the slow cooker, fish, chicken and (of course) sausage pies. It also means shepherd’s pie, which was on the menu tonight.

The feisty elder daughter arrived home from university and was moaning that she was starving, unwilling to wait till dinner was ready. As I identified for her, when you go flatting and arrive home, a) the house is cold, b) you have cook the meal, and c) when you go to the fridge to get out the items you intend to cook, you find a "loving" flatmate has already used them. The joys of the flatting.

As an aperitif, I cooked up a tube of Harrington’s white pudding, see previous review, and for variation I added some blue cheese to the top. This become gooey as the heat from the pudding melted the cheese. The pepper from the white pudding complemented the creamy, salty and tangy flavour of the cheese. There were twelves slices of white pudding and they quickly disappeared. My wife said they were very tasty. The daughter said she did not get enough as the sons had wolfed them down in record time – something else I recall from flatting!

The shepherd’s pie was also well received. Oh the delights of winter.

Thursday 10 April 2014

Chicken with Chorizo

Chicken with Chorizo

I cooked this recipe that was in a newspaper I was reading, I thought it sounded like me, so I cut it out. A few weeks later the dish was prepared for an evening meal. This is an easy dish to prepare. I would use more chorizo when I make this again. The issues with the whanau were not enough chorizo, they liked the dish and appreciated the satisfying meal at the end of the day.

I used Mexican Chorizo from Heritage Quality Meats. I purchased these at Moore Wilsons. Heritage Meats are based in Palmerston North. This butcher makes quality sausages. However trying to find any presence of this company via the net, or having a phone listing, has proved to a task beyond me.

I particularly liked the Romanian sausage that Heritage Meats makes. However when I asked at Moore Wilsons why they did not stock this anymore, the response I got was not enough sales. I have not seen these for a number of years, however if you spot one I would highly recommend that you sample this fantastic sausage.

Anyway back to Mexican Chorizo. The packaging says free range pork is used, the sausages are dairy free, preservative free and use no binders or fillers. Only prime cuts of NZ meat are used. When the sausage is taken out of the packet you can see the chunks of meat that used. It smelt good. This is chunky sausage lumps of pork meat and fat can be seen in the sausage. The packaging states that sausage is 76% pork. Also used are salt, tequila, vinegar, spices, garlic and herbs.

I cooked the sausage prior to be added to the dish. They cooked up nicely. As per usual I had to operate as quality control. The sausage has a moderate chorizo flavour. The paprika and chilli are evident on the palate as you place it in your mouth. This flavour then grows as the full flavour exudes from the sausage. It is hot without being overpowering. The meatiness of the sausage also adds to the experience. This is a quality sausage. The family also wished to part of the quality control and another one of the snarlers was cut into morsels so they could sample a piece.

The dish involved gently frying onion, carrot and celery with a couple of bay leaves and garlic. A modicum (this is a chef’s measure) of white wine was added, the heat was turned up, once it boiled, chicken stock was added. The chicken thighs were added along with the chorizo, into the oven and wait. The dish was served with rice.

I consider that I still have some way to go before I become a professional food photographer.

The whanau liked the dish, my son said there were key flaws in it, not enough chorizo, his mother agreed. He also thought that celery detracted from the dish. His sister and mother disagreed. The conclusion reached was it was dish that we should eat again. And as a sausage lover it is great to have a family that want more chorizo. I consider that any quality sausage could be used in this dish, substitute your favourite for a great meal.