CR Lake was the second of Holt’s butchers that I found – they’re on the solidly named Bull Street. Now, if you’re going to visit any of these Holt butchers, be forewarned that parking in this nice little town is almost impossible, so go early to find a space in ”the” car park. But once you’re in, it’s simply a matter of turning left out the car park entrance, and walking down the gentle hill to find Lake’s.
The shop is small and neat and tidy. There isn’t an enormous range of products on view, but not a small amount either, and what’s there all looks to be very nice quality. I think that’s not a bad way of doing things. Service is friendly, the prices are on the suspiciously low side (but don’t worry, the standard of goods is high), and I was quite impressed by this no-frills family concern. And there’s a cool little wet fish shop next door.
So to the bangers:
Meat Content:The lady behind the counter said that the sausages were 75% pork. I’m not doubting that in the slightest. These bangers are solid. These bangers are dense. I think you can see for yourself that there’s plenty of meat here, and it’s delightfully tasty. As an added bonus, there’s plenty of fat that spills out in pan – real fat! It gives a great sizzle. These sausages are on the small size, dimensions-wise, but big on flavour.
Flavour:Spicy, meatish, manly. They’re quite fiery on the tongue, after the initial overtone of pleasantly sweet pork, but definitely a palate-pleasing taste sensation. You’ll need to chew these chunky chaps to get the whole flavour, and that marks them out as a darned good sausage in my book. In a word – delicious. And more-ish. That’s two words, but never mind.
Superbly and utterly Crumbly (with a capital C), the casing is great, and they crisped up very nicely in contact with the heat. Very firm and solidly packed with meaty loveliness, and a real surprise package for a small sausage.
Shrinkage:Average weight uncooked - 57g
Average weight cooked - 44g
Shrinkage - 22%
This is quite a high figure, which is a shame. But for once I will completely overlook the statistics and recommend you try them as soon as you can.
Value For Money:£1.08 for four sausages, weighing 226g - this works out as a price of £4.79 per kg, or 27p per snorker.
Whoever says that butchers’ sausages are too expensive should take a reality check – Lake’s Best Pork bangers are on a par price-wise with rubbish like Walls or Richmond’s, but way, waaay ahead in quality. And you can buy exactly as many as you want or need, because you’re not committed to buying a pack of eight. Great VFM, well done Lakes!
The Bisto Factor:Note to self. Do not carry out sausage reviews at the same time as boiling last week’s chicken leftovers to make next week’s chicken stock. No matter how fabulous the bangers smell, the stock will smell better.