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Sausages – 06.01.15

The sun has been shining brightly on holiday makers in Nelson this summer, with the occasional rainy day to give us a break from the sun of course. Holidays, summer sun and long evenings means relaxed cooking and more often than not that is a barbecue. The days of charred sausages on a charcoal barbecue are almost memories of days gone by but some people still seem to manage to cremate anything they cook over a flame.

I think the first step to cooking the perfect barbecue sausage is to buy great product. When done properly there isn’t much better than a nice juicy steak or sausage from the barbecue; while it is over to you to cook it properly there are some outstanding butchers in this region who make some fantastic sausages. Artisan style butchers like Phillipe in Montgomery Square or O’Neill’s in Richmond have excellent products however if you want the best range of fantastic sausages in the region you need to go to New World Nelson City in Vanguard St.

Master butcher Arron Ingerson hand makes flavoursome, easy-to-cook sausages. He says “gone are the days of sausages packed with fat and breadcrumbs to make the meat go further”, his sausages are made from pure meat, seasonings, natural flavourings and a little rice flour to help bind the meat together.

Because there is no added fat the sausages don’t shrivel up to half the size they were before you cook them and the lack of added fat also means you can cook them nicely on a charcoal barbecue without creating huge flames that burn the outside of the sausage before the inside is cooked. Without any added msg and artificial flavourings quality sausages are now a healthy meat option that are seeing a revival in popularity.

Arron says when making a quality sausage the quality of the meat is important and he just won’t compromise on that, he says in the bad old days it was meat trimmings and hard-to-sell cuts of meat that were ground up along with extra fat and mixed with breadcrumbs and other fillers to make sausages but he says the key to the quality of his sausages is sourcing quality meat especially for the product.

A great example is the Greg’s Gourmet Pure Angus Beef, Mustard and Horseradish sausage, Arron uses just pure Angus beef, mustard and horseradish not artificial flavouring pretending to be the real thing. He also says “when he uses flavours like horseradish or chilli he isn’t try to pack heat into the sausage, it is about adding layers of flavour to enhance the meat and give the customer something different”.

So just how good are these sausages? In the last four years they have won five awards at the Devro New Zealand Sausage Competition. Devro supply the industry with sausage making products like casings and flavourings and any producer can enter this national competition so just getting an award is an achievement let alone five in four years.

The award winning sausages include Irish Pork, Venison Merlot and Cracked Pepper, Pork Apple and Rosemary, Pork Garlic and Blue Vein and Boerewors and they are all available every day. Arron says these are very popular along with Lamb and Mint, Chorizo and Steak Mushroom and Caramelised Onion flavours. He produces some seasonal sausages too, right now he has some turkey sausages for you to try and I think these are prefect as a breakfast sausage.

When I talked with Arron it was obvious he puts a lot of pride and energy into everything they produce at the New World Nelson City store, he says “we are a full-service butchery, have had the same butchers for about six years and because the store is owner-operated and not a managed corporate store we have flexibility to make products like this as well as stocking the old favourite bulk sausages. We are lucky we can express ourselves in the product we produce”.

He also says customers often ask for specific sausage flavours and as long as they aren’t too radical he will often try them so I am looking forward to my request appearing in the fresh meat cabinet soon –pork, fennel and chilli, with enough chilli to make them nice and spicy.

If you need any more proof Greg’s Gourmet Sausages are great sausages then become one of the people who buy a combined weight of about 150 – 200kgs of them every day

I have been writing a regular wine column for The Nelson Mail newspaper since 2000.

Unfortunately the column space is not big enough to include my thoughts on all of the many wines I taste. Hopefully this blog will fix that. It also gives me somewhere to archive the many columns I write. I will also include some favourite recipes from my dearly beloved who loves cooking and of course because wine and food simply go together. I will also point you in the direction of upcoming events and websites I think are great. Enjoy, Neil

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