I need to once again say that I am not a meat-eater. I do cook shop for and cook meat, however. My wife is also rather fond of a good sausage as a part of her present diet regime.
Note that I said “good sausage,” this precludes the 27% meat Iceland and Tesco pseudo-sausages.
Quality sausages (often called “Bangers” in the UK) are best found in local butcher shops and at specialty farm shops. Today, I will review three of our discoveries.
Back to the Garden Farm Shop near Holt, Norfolk is presently my wife’s preferred sausage seller. We have bought several varieties here including Traditional, Farm House, and her favourite Carmelised Onion.
These sausages are meaty (though I failed to ask the exact percentage), coarsely ground, and have a soft crumbly texture. The skins are natural, and brown readily. The traditional sausage has a slightly herbed taste, and does at times “bang” (pop or split when frying). The Farm House too has a nice coarse blend, a sold herb flavour and they are large and filling. The onion bangers are full of flavour, and make for a change from the ordinary.
An additional selling point for Back to the garden is that their pork is free range and local. Their beef is grass feed and organic, and their is a quality farm shop and restaurant on site.
Walsingham Farm Farm Shop in Little Walsingham, Norfolk is another great sausage provider. We have bought Traditional, Black Pepper, Farm House, Spicy Lamb, and Chipolata types here.
The Traditional blend in meaty (80 -85% pork). It like BTTG is coarse and well seasoned. The casings are a bit heavier than those from Holt (or Thetford) and take a bit more cooking to make them as pleasant. The lamb sausages (when in season) have a nice spice to them and leave just a slight tingle on the lips. The Chipolatas are medium in their level of spice, and make for a great break from the standard “banger.”
Walsingham also offers a first rate farm shop experience with baked goods, and local produce. The meats are free range, and the lamb organic. It is well worth the visit.
J. Jones, Family Butchers in Thetford, Norfolk have the quirky link to the 1970s Dad’s Army sitcom which was filmed in the town. One of the main characters of that programme was J. Jones, Family Butcher. The present J. Jones makes a great play on the link. Their Traditional Bangers are 85% pork, and have a light herbed taste. We have also bought the Pork ‘n’ Leek type which she enjoyed as well. There is some major shrinkage during cooking, but they remain meaty and filling.
Jones’ has a good butchers’ shop, but also has a tented area which serves very reasonably priced burgers and hot sausages during opening hours. “Hot dog” options include a jumbo banger on a bun with fried onions and the choice of condiments.
There are more sausages to discover in East Anglia, but Norfolk so far has given us a great start in our search for the ultimate “banger.”