Tuesday, October 16, 2007

British Sausage Week

Tues 16 Oct 2007

There was a great deal of excitement in camp Eating Leeds last week when I had a telephone call letting me know I was through to the regional final of British Sausage Week's quest to find Britain's Best Birthday Banger!

I was somewhat daunted to learn that I would need to arrive at Simply Heathcotes this afteroon armed with 16 fresh sausages. Now, a normal batch of sausages for me is around 8, so this represented a doubling of production. I duly ordered 2 (generous) kilos of belly pork from Price's (butchers in Butchers' Row, Leeds Kirkgate Market), and resigned myself to spending a bit longer than usual in the kitchen.

A bit longer ... I spent what seemed like all of Sunday up to my elbows in pork in various forms: whole pieces of belly (to be skinned and chopped), coarse pork mince, fine pork mince, little portions of pork mince being fried up, pork mince and sausage skins AND (let's not forget the best bit!) all the bits of pork mince that need to be washed off the sausage making equipment.

I was a bit tired and cross, but I ended up with 32 sausages (and about a kilo of mix left over for next time!) - so I could choose the most attractive 16.

When I arrived at Heathcotes today I was the only amateur in an event which managed to feature several of Yorkshire's prize winning butchers. Having a butcher for a grandfather and a general interest in eating did not seem to be the overriding qualifications of my competition!!

The best banger in Leeds went to David Lishman, of Lishman's in Ilkley. He's a Rick Stein food hero (and he was also a very nice man), so I was pretty happy just to have my sausages cooked in the same kitchen! His sausages featured Yorkshire champagne and truffles. If you're doing a double take (like I did!), he used dried mushrooms and soaked them in elderflower cordial.

The charity partner of British Sausage Week is the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the judging is being headed up by Phil Tufnell. The national winner is decided at the end of the week, and I'm sure all Tykes will be wishing David Lishman the best of luck!

Technical issues have prevented me from posting any action shots ... but make do with the medal we all took away for participating!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

One has to say 'Congratulations!' on doing so well in the competition. One butcher's grand-daughter among 5 butchers has to tell us something.
Anyway, keep it up!

11:38 am  

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