Friday 28 August 2015

Litewska Kielbasa

Litewska Kielbasa

For dinner I cooked our old favourites, snarlers, with the comfort food of mashed potato and a bit of broccoli for colour - a satisfying mid-winter meal. I put a bit of horse radish sauce in the mashed potato during the mashing and this really enhanced the flavour. Delicious was the family judgement. I went with a couple of sausages that I buy that are the old favourites - chorizo criollo and Dutch braadworst. I was in Park Avenue Quality Meats and Gordon, the sausage maker, identified a new product he had made, Litewska kielbasa. It’s a Lithuanian sausage that Gordon made after a Chinese customer brought in a recipe.

There was a migration from Lithuania to China in the early part of the twentieth century. This led to the creation and development of the Harbin Red Sausage from China. Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang province, and the sausage from this area is more eastern European that Chinese. This Lithuanian recipe is similar in style to a Harbin Red.

The meat for this sausage comes from the pig’s head, tongue and heart. It is finely ground and the dominant flavour is smoke. I really enjoy a smoked snarler. The secondary flavours are a slight heat from spice, maybe pepper and paprika. There was also a hint of what I thought was probably cloves. I only had one of these sausages so I sliced the sausage into bite size pieces. They were consumed by the whanau who all rated the sausage highly. The boys gave it a higher rating than my wife but we all agreed it was sausage that was worth buying again.

I may sound like a tried record, or for the younger ones, a sample on loop, however if you are after the best sausages in Wellington that have an eastern European influence then there really is only one place you should go - Park Avenue Quality Meats in the Hutt. They continue their tradition of making fantastic tasty snarlers. There is not another sausage maker in Wellington who gets close to these guys. If you do not live in the Hutt, it is well worth a visit to this little butchers shop. You will not be disappointed. 

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Polish Smoked Bacon Sausage – The Sausage Shed

Polish Smoked Bacon Sausage – The Sausage Shed

This is the final review of the three sausages purchased from the Sausage Shed at the Farmers’ Market in Waipara. The term Sausage Shed is a bit of a misnomer - the sausages were being sold from a sausage gazebo.

Like all the sausages from this butcher they are longer and thicker in girth than the average snarler. These are very appealing sausages, primarily finely ground sausage with some larger chunks within the ground meat. During cooking the aroma was great and the family came flocking - meaty bacon and smokey aroma permeated the kitchen.

The primary flavour is bacon with a secondary flavour of smoke. It is a very good sausage. I would describe the sausage as having an Eastern European origin, but made for the kiwi palate.  Both the boys thought these were great sausages and said it reminded them of another one of their favourites, kabonosy from Park Avenue Quality meats. This sausage is my preferred banger from the Sausage Shed. I consider it the best snarler I have eaten over the last few months.

This sausage has broad appeal but there is only way to find out and that is to go to one of the Farmers’ Markets when the Sausage Shed is selling their wares. Buy some of these bangers, take them home and cook up a delectable meal.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Polish Garlic Smoked Sausage – The Sausage Shed

Polish Garlic Smoked Sausage – The Sausage Shed

(This post was written a few weeks prior to it put it up on the web)
I cooked these up as nibbles for a couple of friends who came round to watch the Warriors take on Manly early on a Saturday evening. The sausages were infinitely better than the league. The underdogs Manly deserved to win by 20 points. It was a lacklustre performance with the Warriors playing poorly and they also lost the star of the team, Shaun Johnson, to a season ending ankle injury. Hopefully a better performance will be on display when they play the St George Dragons in Wellington in two weeks (They lost 36-0).

These sausages are coarsely ground, and the name is an apt description. Garlic is the primary flavour, and the smoked taste has a lower profile. I enjoy both garlic and smoked flavours but I would have preferred the smoked flavour to be more pronounced. However, these are still very enjoyable sausages.

So with a bit of despair we watched the Warriors lose. The kai accompanying the match was much appreciated and the sausages all disappeared. There were other morsels that remained as the friends headed off, so I was pleased that they had appreciated the snarlers from Canterbury.

Friday 7 August 2015

Andouille Sausage - The Sausage Shed

Andouille Sausage – The Sausage Shed

On our trip around Canterbury we came across a farmers’ market at Waipara. At my wife’s suggestion we stopped and wandered around the stalls. We bought some bread, honey and then found a stall selling sausages. Of course I stopped and talked to the guy selling the snarlers. He came across as a man who enjoys making quality sausages and who wasn’t interested in compromising that quality. He had a few samples and these morsels certainly tempted the taste buds. He said they sell their snarlers at four farmers’ markets around Canterbury - Waipara, Lyttleton, Ohoka, and Oxford. The Sausage Shed makes an array of sausages and I purchased three varieties.

When we got back to Wellington there was older silverbeet and leek in the fridge, which was made into a soup with some chick peas - a "treat" known as pond soup (greeny soup, could be in a pond) in the family. I cooked the Andouille sausage to add to the soup. This is described as smoked Cajun sausage. This sausage is coarsely ground snarler, it has an initial hit of flavour of herbs and spices on the palate and then the Cajun spices kick in. The hotness of the spice is moderate to high intensity. The paprika leaves a strong after taste. These sausages are lightly smoked, and I would prefer a more prominent level of smoke. The heat is the dominant flavour.

After cooking I cut these sausages into slices to be added to soup. My wife was later in coming from work and despite me mentioning to the boys to leave some for their mother, when she arrived home, no sausage was to be seen. One boy then emptied out a large quantity of Andouille sausage into his mother’s bowl, a case of selective deafness was then pushed by the son. All the whanau enjoyed the sausage in the soup. These two dishes are not necessarily that aligned to each other, but this sausage would be great in a gumbo, or another Cajun inspired dish. However the heat of the sausage against the warm winter wholesomeness of a nice vegetable soup on a cold winter’s evening certainly went down well.


I would definitely buy this sausage again.

If you are at a farmers market in Canterbury and see the Sausage Shed’s stall I recommend you stop, see the array of sausages and select a variety that appeals to your palate. And do have a good chat to the maker – he’s an interesting guy.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Tuatapere Sauages - Are they endangered?

Tuatapere Sauages - Are they endangered?

If you head to Fiordland the remotest part of New Zealand, go to Invercargill, then drive to Riverton, keep on going around the coast, through Colac Bay and you will come to the last town before the bush, Tuatapere. I was in Tuatapere about a year before I started this blog. There is a sign as you enter the town, declaring Tuatapere the sausage capital of New Zealand.

The butcher who creates the famous Tuatapere snarlers has shut up shop. However his business is for sale and for the right price the recipe is included as part of the sale. Has NZ said its last hurrah to these snarlers, or can they come back from the brink of extinction?

See link for the story.