Friday, August 13, 2010

Jimmy's Essex sausage

Finding a great sausage is not the uphill struggle it was when I was researching my sausage book a few years ago but it's something, sadly, it's rare to find in a farmers' market or a butcher. Just because you raise - or sell - good meat doesn't mean you know how to make a good sausage* which is all about the seasoning and the balance of lean meat to fat.

Jimmy Doherty has got the art though and you kind of wearily feel, well he would, wouldn't he? He's a good mate of Jamie Oliver's who has spread a little bit of his magic dust on him and turned him into a fellow celebrity. He's now had a couple of TV programmes and books and from the latest look of his website a whole host of other activities including the food and music festival Harvest at Jimmy's which features the unlikely combination of Jean-Christophe Novelli and The Hairy Bikers. Not on the same stage, I imagine.

The good news is that you can now buy his sausages, which I came across again the other day at the Bristol Wine and Food Festival, online. They're made from rare breed pigs which are raised on his farm, using only the leg and shoulder joints. I'm even quoted on the site, I discover, as saying they're 'terrific' and they are.

Order the Essex sausage which is a traditional unmucked about sausage with a 94% meat content and plenty of pepper. They're £3.50 for a 370g, four fat sausage pack which is quite expensive for sausages but more than fair for a meal for two. I don't think you'll regret it.

* Or am I being unfair here? Do you have the same reservations I have about farmers' and butchers' sausages or does your local producer or butcher make a great one?


  1. And don't forget their big sausage competition coming up at the end of this month! Tony Hadley and I are judging!

  2. Giggly Pig sausages are also from Essex and are very nice too!

  3. Thanks for that, very interesting.

    Also, Waitrose, at the meat counter (as in, the one with a butcher behind it, not prepacked), has a very good sausage. They work out at just under a £1 a sausage but are worth it: big and with a meat content in the 90s. I don't remember exact name but they're free range and you get a few types: Hampshire, Berkshire etc. I keep meaning to make my own but of course don't..

  4. @sausage king - you'll have to tell me what wins! (Great site btw!)

    @Ales by Mail - like the idea of a beer site having a sausage section. Excellent!

    @Annalisa - supermarket sausages, especially Waitrose ARE good these days. No getting away from it which is why small producers need to try harder. Their base ingredient is probably better - they just need to get the recipe right

  5. Thanks Fiona. Why don't we drag you along too as a judge? It's a nice day out.

  6. 28th August (although for me it is subject to Daddy duties as second Sausage Prince is due very soon)!

  7. Congratulations! And possible, depending on where . . .