Sunday 28 September 2014

The Secret Life of David Cunliffe

The secret life of David Cunliffe

Steve Braunias columnist for the Sunday Star Times has an intimate relationship with David Cunliffe, leader of the Labour Party. As many readers will be aware the Labour Party received its lowest vote in our recent election since 1919.  As the leader of the party who garnered the lowest Labour vote in nearly a century carnage is raining down and David is besieged by his political foes. Steve Braunias knows many personal details of David’s current life, including the contents of his fridge, and it’s good of him to share these with us.

It is also good see that David patronises the local butcher close to his Herne Bay home, Westmere Butchery. This butchery business has won five gold medals in recent years at the Devro NZ Sausage Awards.  Last year when I was judge at these awards I was on the same panel as Dave Rossiter, owner of this business. He is a man who appreciates, and also can make, a great sausage.

So my advice to David Cunliffe is this - if you are looking for a new job in a few weeks’ time, you obviously have skills and the ability to recognise quality snarlers. There may be a new career awaiting you as a sausage connoisseur.  

See link for the full article.

Monday 22 September 2014

A Potential Minister of Snarlers?

A potential Minister of Snarlers?

The general election delivered a decisive result, and the National Party increased its share of the vote as it went into a third term. In the Hutt South Electorate the new comer Chris Bishop, pushed the long serving Labour MP Trevor Mallard hard. Mr Mallard won with a greatly reduced majority on election night of around 300 votes.

Chris Bishop was placed high on the National Party list and comes into Parliament as a list MP. Congratulations to Chris.

This sausage blog leads the political pack in predicting a potential future Minister of Snarlers.

I am friends with Chris Bishop’s parents. I remember him as a young boy who would devour many sausages at barbeques at our place. He was proud that he could eat the same number of sausages as his age. In those days we didn’t have kids and he was one of the few ankle biters attending. Plenty of food, including quality sausages for a hungry boy. He had a great appetite for sausages then, and now as an MP he can influence the goings on of the country, I would offer him as a future Cabinet Minister, the Minister of Snarlers.

Watch other political blogs to see if they also recognise this latent talent….

Sunday 7 September 2014

Homemade Sausages

Homemade Sausages

This weekend I made my first batch of sausages at home using my newly purchased sausage stuffer. I used pork mince I purchased from Park Ave Quality Meats. It was  a medium to coarsely ground pork mince that is primarily from the shoulder.

To the mince I added fresh finely chopped garlic, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and smoked chipotle chilli flakes. I used the “looks an ok amount” form of measurement when adding the quantities, no recipe just feel and taste. I tested the flavour by making a small pattie and cooking this in a frying pan.
The natural casings came from Moore Wilsons.
One of the boys helped me by turning the crank as I stuffed the sausages. The stuffing of sausages is an art where I still need to practice more. However I was very pleased with the result. A few air bubbles, and some inconsistent packing, but I will work on improving my skills in this area.


When I came to tying the sausages I used You Tube to locate this short video. This is an easy method, it ties the sausage tube into sausages two abreast. This is much easier than the three sausages per tie method which I’d previously been shown.
After letting the sausages rest for a day, I cooked them for Sunday lunch. They oozed a bit, however I was very pleased with the result. The sausage gannets of the family hovvered up the sausages in short order. They liked the flavour and liked the level of spiciness in the sausage, though the casing was bit chewy. This sausage had the flavours of paprika, chilli and garlic.

I will make more sausages and experiment with different flavours, watch this blog for new instalments. It is always good to try new things, and I enjoyed the making and eating of the sausages.

For an index of homemade sausages click here.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Mysliwska – A Polish Hunter’s sausage

Mysliwska – A Polish Hunter’s sausage

I was recently at Park Avenue Quality Meats and thought I would buy some mysliwska which I hadn’t previously tried. This sausage is in the kielbasa style, lightly smoked and dried. It is a traditional Polish pork sausage made with pepper, garlic and juniper berries that is often called the hunter’s sausage.  Some sources say this is because it is popular with hunters and fishermen, others say a hunter would use juniper berries to add flavour to a boil up they were cooking in the forest. Juniper berries are evidently very common in the woods in Poland. In the long run they both sound like good explanations, but the key question is what does the mysliwska taste like?

I cooked this stew that icluded mysliwska, chicken thighs and vegetables. Yams are now in season, I love cooking yams, I like them well cooked, nice and mushy. So I added yams, mushrooms and carrots to the casserole dish. I did sample a mysliwska prior to cooking the stew. My parents-in-law were present and they liked it. My father-in-law is not keen on highly spiced food, and he made positive comments about the taste. The others in house said they were looking forward to dinner.

The mysliwska has both coarsely ground meat and finely ground meat inside the casing. The fine grind is predominant. It has a mild taste and the smokiness comes through, the flavours of garlic, pepper and juniper are present, but subdued. My daughter said she thought it was very good and preferable to chorizo criollo. My sons said they preferred chorizo criollo, see link. I agreed with the boys. However it was a very good stew, a feed that after a day’s hunting you would enjoy. This is another high quality sausage made by Park Avenue Quality Meats. If you visit the shop you are spoilt for choice when it comes to choose your favourite sausage.    

Cost per kilo: $28.99