Monday, 8 July 2019

Pork Pie Of The Month - July 2019 - Chris' Quality Butchers, Worksop

Welcome to the second edition of Pork Pie Of The Month! This time we’re rating a pie bought from Chris’ Quality Butchers in Worksop but made by Potter’s of Barnsley. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed when told that Chris’ didn’t make their own pies in-house, but that certainly wouldn’t affect our judgement of the product. If you want to check out Potters’ website click here - POTTERS

I was joined for this tasting by Tony Clarke, a pork pie lover from beautiful downtown Mansfield. Tony has some decent credentials for the job – his uncle worked at Pork Farms in the seventies and would bring the family a huge gala pie every Christmas. There were no leftovers...

But on to the job in hand, and Potters pie.  First appearance showed an obviously machine-crimped lid (compare it to the top of last month’s pie), which set some alarm bells ringing. The colour was also very much what you might find in a supermarket pie - bland. We cut into it and the pastry was mid-range, firm enough to keep things where they should be but also soft enough to allow easy slicing. This didn’t please Tony much as he prefers his pastry “very hard”. Each to their own....but he’s wrong, obviously!

The filling was very finely chopped and we prefer something much chunkier. “Needs more salt” said Tony, but he did prefer the filling to the case. The flavour was average at best, again very reminiscent of a supermarket pie. There was not a lot of jelly and this pie needs a lot more of the wobbly stuff to lift it out of its mid-table mediocrity.

This pie cost £2.39 – less expensive than last month’s but also much less quality.

Appearance & Aroma 2
Filling 2
Pastry 2.5
Jelly 1.5
Total 8      

The year so far:
14.0 – Manor Farm Shop, Leasingham (made by Southern & Thorpe, Ruskington)
8.0 -  Chris’ Quality Butchers, Worksop (made by Potters of Barnsley)

If you know of an excellent pork pie please tip us the wink!

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Odlings - Navenby - Bomber County Sausage

We only ever make return visits for two reasons – to confirm how good a sausage was on the first visit, or to confirm how utterly foul. Which is it? Well we reviewed Odling’s Lincolnshire variety last year and raved about the quality, the flavour, the staff – everything. There’s a link to that review a little further down the page.
Had Dan and his colleagues set themselves up for a fall, could the Bomber County bangers maintain the exceptional standard? As Meg Ryan might say, “yes, Yes, YES!”.

Where To Find Them:
Navenby is an attractive and ancient village in Lincolnshire, dating back to....nah, I wrote all this bit in the first review – if you want the background of where Odlings are located you could have a read of last year’s piece - Odlings Lincolnshire Sausages

Opening Hours:
Monday – 0600 to 1800
Tuesday – 0600 to 1800
Wednesday – 0600 to 1800
Thursday – 0600 to 1800
Friday – 0600 to 1800
Saturday – 0600 to 1730
Sunday – 1000 to 1600

Nothing to report, as these sausages came straight out of the Sausage Storage Facility (SSF). Otherwise known as the freezer.

The unique selling point for the Bomber County variety is that they’ve used Bomber County real ale in place of water. Wow, what a difference this makes. The flavour is full and fabulous, and cuddles your taste buds rather than slapping them. Seasoning is very well balanced, there’s enough of a hint of pepper to let you know it’s there but not overpowering. Such a homely and comforting flavour, very impressive, it will take you straight back to eating bangers and mash after school, while watching Take Hart and Animal Magic.

First thing to note is all the different shapes and sizes. We like this a lot. They are made up of lovely big bobbly bits, which is what we like. Just look at the pictures!  Lovely large lumps of extremely local, high quality pork and fat combine beautifully to make eating them a real treat. The skins are also very good, almost “pingy”, and when you cut into the sausage the skin yanks the banger apart like a reverse-action Venus fly trap. It’s as if the sausage is desperate to be eaten. You’ll find it hard to squish your fork through these beauties, so they’re a million miles better than, say, a Richmond abomination.

Vital Statistics:
Average Weight Uncooked = 63 grams
Average Weight Cooked = 55 grams
Meat Content = 85 %

Value For Money:
£4.29 for 8 sausages weighing 504 grams. This works out as £8.52 per kg and 54p per banger.

We rate this as fantastic value for money.

The Imaginatively Titled Next Day Cold Sausage Test:
The surviving bangers travelled with me to work the next morning. I had planned to taste them combined with an array of sauces and condiments. It didn’t happen. When I popped the lid off of the box the delicious aroma was just too tempting and they were guzzled in double quick time. On reflection I ‘m saying this was a positive result, and these sausages tasted just as nice the day after frying.

And Finally, Esther:
A successful return visit, carried out to confirm the high quality of our first experience. You didn’t think anything else surely? Odlings is a great butcher and their bangers are highly recommended!

Monday, 17 June 2019

Player Profile - Russell Walker

Welcome to the first ever “player profile” on Rate My Sausage. Hopefully you will enjoy finding out a little bit more about the people we feature, and also please have a go at naming the club kits featured in the photos along with the original player wearing it....

Full name? Russell James Walker
How old are you? 39
What was your first car? A cherry red Ford Fiesta with semi functional spot light on the front
Where were you born? Derby, in the charming borough of Allenton
What pets do you have? One dog. A Lhasa Apso called Marvel

What’s your favourite type of sausage? A Pork and Stilton sausage
Which shop do you buy sausages from most often? Mostly supermarkets but I’ll travel for a good artisanal or butchers special
Should sausages be dirt cheap or reassuringly expensive? Definitely expensive!

Invent a new type of sausage: A tripe and chicken blend with Moroccan spices!

Which non-politician should be the UK Prime Minister? My mate Steve, he speaks French up to GCSE Level and owns a briefcase.
Which 3 people, alive or dead, would you like to cook sausages for on your BBQ? Definitely Frank Zappa, the linguist Michel Thomas and WS Gilbert.
Would you prefer to be a billionaire or live to 103? Easy, a billionaire… that way I could have myself cryogenically frozen at death and be reanimated eventually to eat the sausage of the future!
In what profession would you like to be the world’s best? Inventor!
What’s the best flavour of crisps (after Pickled Onion Monster Munch, obvs)? I would say Nice & Spicy Nik Naks

Blue Peter or Magpie? Blue Peter
Bacon butty – red or brown sauce? Brown Sauce on the bottom, mustard on the top!
Clouseau or Poirot? Clouseau!
Glass half empty or glass half full? Used to be empty, then I started therapy, so now half full!
Shower or bath? Shower, every Sunday if I need it or not!

Favourite Spice Girl? Mel C
Favourite Sauce? BBQ… a dark fruity rich one. Or the Carolina Mustard style, perfect with sausage!
Favourite city? Las Vegas
Favourite sport? Wrestling… always has been!

Favourite Belgian? The songwriter Jacques Brel… his work with Scott Walker is fantastic!

Russell presents a great show on BBC Radios Leeds, Lincolnshire, Humberside and Derbyshire, Monday to Friday at 2200 – give it a listen!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Pork Pie Of The Month - June 2019 - Manor Farm Shop, Leasingham

Welcome to the new edition of Pork Pie Of The Month! And we’ve found a  right tasty pie for the first in the series. ..

This pork pie was bought at Manor Farm Shop in Leasingham, but the credit must go to butchers par-excellence Southern & Thorpe in nearby Ruskington. Priced at £2.99 for a good size pie we really enjoyed road-testing one of Britain’s favourite pastries.

It appears rustic and home-made which is just what we want.  The score for appearance would have been a little higher if the pie hadn’t erupted over itself out of its top hole. Which sound quite rude when I read it back.

When you cut in this pie holds together very nicely unlike a lot of mass-produced competitors. There’s a good amount of jelly but, as a jelly lover, I wish there had been even more.  The filling is hand mixed and is made up of lovely large lumps of porky goodness which surrenders an authentic flavour.  Again, miles better than the filling squirted out of tubes in the factory versions.

There’s a nice and subtle peppery after-taste which we loved, and altogether this is a really good quality pork pie. Here are the scores on the doors:

Appearance & Aroma  - 3
Filling – 3.5
Pastry - 4
Jelly – 3.5
Total – 14
Price £2.99

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Primal Cut Ltd - West Yorkshire - Sicilian Sausage

You won’t have seen Primal Cut products on the shelves of your local supermarket, they simply don’t sell in those kind of places. Primal Cut is an online business and I’ve found their standard of customer service to be exceptional.

Good service and innovative products are not exclusive to Primal Cut, but they do offer something that is rare, if not unique – everything they sell is Free From a whole host of allergens, meaning that the whole family can enjoy the same meal even if there are family members with allergies to beware of. The full list of free from items reads as follows; gluten, artificial preservatives, soya, sugar, dairy, nitrites, fillers, shelf life extenders, artificial colours, bread, rusk and oats. An impressive roll-call, and they are certified by Coeliac UK.

They have a very nice website if you would like to spend some happy time perusing, just click here: PRIMAL CUT LTD

Where To Find Them:
The company is based in the village of Burley-in-Wharfedale, which is located half way between Ilkley and Otley in West Yorkshire. Burley originated as a fortified Roman settlement and later developed into an industrial place which thrived during the Industrial Revolution when most of its inhabitants were employed in nearby cotton mills.  The mills were powered by a man-made channel taking water from the River Wharfe – this channel no longer powers mills but is used to generate hydro-electric power instead. The village was home to Yorkshire TV legend Richard Whiteley until his sad passing in 2005, and Ryder Cup captain Mark James still lives there. Primal Cut is predominantly an online operation but you can pick produce up by prior arrangement – phone 01943 511564 or email

I bought through the internet so didn’t spot any staff...however the two main players are Michael and Kate Oliver – Michael is the sausage expert and Kate cooks up delicious sounding recipes using their own produce.

Wow, these are some tasty bangers! The garlic and fennel are proudly to the front and in ample quantities – you won’t be kissing anyone after you’ve eaten these (unless they ate the same). These two powerful big hitters in the flavour stakes are supported to perfection by the lightness of the free range Yorkshire pork, supplied by Anna’s Happy Trotters (check them, and their incredibly good animal welfare credentials out here: Anna's Happy Trotters) – no ears or anus in these sausages for sure. It’s such a rich combination of Mediterranean flavours, it’s like you’re eating Aldo Zilli’s larder. Delicious!

“Oh my goodness, oh my goodness”, as Adam Richman used to say when he tasted something truly beautiful on his famous Man Vs Food show. We love the filling of a sausage to be big, thick, coarse, lumpy, describe it how you will, and these Sicilian specials match the ideal almost to perfection. Just look at that picture with one of them sliced open. The skins are good too, but overshadowed by the filling. These are some niiiice bangers.

Vital Statistics:
Average Weight Uncooked = 71 grams
Average Weight Cooked = 57 grams
Meat Content = 97 %

Value For Money:
£4.95 for 6 sausages weighing 423 grams. This works out as £11.70 per kg and 82p per banger.
We rate this as good value for money – a high price per banger but exceptional quality and taste.

The Imaginatively Titled Next Day Cold Sausage Test:
There were no survivors the next morning, so I can’t tell you what they taste like cold. But take this as a recommendation in itself.

And Finally, Esther:
High quality sausages, suitable for all dietary requirements, delivered straight to your door – what’s not to like?