Tuesday 23 November 2010

Jamie Oliver “Keep It Simple” Beautiful Coarse-Textured Italian Style Sausage

Cards on the table here, I am not a fan of Jamie Oliver. In fact, just the opposite. So when, a few weeks ago regular Rate My Sausage reader Affer left a comment berating the celebrity chef’s pre-packed Cumberland sausages I took it upon myself to obtain some of said sausages, review them, and cheerfully “put the boot in”. As it turned out I couldn’t find the Cumberlands, so the Italian Style sausages were tested in their stead.

Goodness me, I really wanted to despise these sausages. I wanted them to taste foul, look disgusting, and shrink to nothingness. Not that I ever carry pre-conceptions into my reviews you understand, oh no, no, no. Ahem. Moving quickly on….

I cooked the bangers in the regulation manner but decided to pimp the presentation to something more befitting of a TV Chef. Therefore the Italian Style sausages were served as the Roman Numerals XV, with a half-baked pea puree, a one hundred Kenyan Shillings banknote, and a laughing smurf.

Sophistication on a plate!

What the heck is THAT stuff coming out of the sausages in the pan (above)?

I will state that I have a problem with the name of these sausages. Jamie, why not let your customers be the judge of whether I find your sausages “beautiful” or not?

If you would like to check out the Jamie Oliver website click here: JAMIE_OLIVER_WEBSITE

And for those of you with a penchant for a good back story, read Jamie’s views on sausages, circa January 2009 here: PUCKAH_ARTICLE

Meat Content:
The packaging says these sausages are 86% meat, and they do taste it. They are solid and chunky, and it’s easy to believe the claim that good quality cuts of pork are used. A very nice amount of meatiness, well done.

Flavour:Very flavoursome - herby, earthy, muddy? None of those words meant in a bad way. They are very salty though. Quite spicy, which is good if you like your food with some heat in it. The flavours are many and varied, with sharp aniseed notes here and there combining intriguingly with a Toulouse-like feeling of garlic. Tasty!

Texture:Jamie’s bangers are very solid, for a supermarket sausage. They fall apart nicely when pulled betwixt knife and fork but stick together resolutely if sliced. Would they live up to the “Beautiful Coarse-Texture” of the name? Well, yes they do. I thoroughly enjoyed the agricultural consistency of these fellows.

Average weight uncooked - 61g
Average weight cooked - 40g

Shrinkage - 35%

Not good enough, frankly. 35% is the highest figure we’ve found, ever. The only rivals that come close were from Richmonds and Sainsbury’s – say no more. Oh, and a rogue batch of Pork & Apple from Downham Market.

Value For Money:£2.49 for six sausages, weighing 364g - this works out as a price of £6.84 per kg, or 42p per snorker. This was a special offer price, with a pack usually costing £2.99, so this pricing info is only temporary, and still isn’t cheap when you consider the amount that they will shrink. Price per kilogram after cooking works out at a mind-boggling £10.46!

The Bisto Factor:
Hard to tell when the reviewer has a stinking cold, sorry.

And Finally, Esther:
I really wanted these sausages to be rubbish, but they’re really not. I quite like ‘em, even if I do say so through gritted teeth. You win this time, Mister Oliver….


vodka and ground beef said...

I've never seen so much sausage all at once - and the different varieties are amazing.

I'll probably make out with the back of my hand (again), after seeing so much sausage.

Great blog. I'm enjoying it.

Ron Combo said...

Hello RMS. Of course I am ready to do a guest review. However, reading your excellent review of Oliver's Italian Sausage, I am at a loss, because that 'sort' of sausage (ie British in size and texture) I have never seen here (Piedmont). All we have hereabouts is salsiccia which come in two types, normal or spicy and the form is always the same, long and thin, that one buys and then cuts to the required cooking length. Hmm. Maybe the ones he is flogging in Blighty are notionally from Chiantishire. I shall have to investigate!

Anonymous said...

Question: Why the hundred shillings note?

Rate My Sausage said...

I could tell you, Anon, but I fear that I will not. The Sausage Square (butcher's equivalent of the Magic Circle) would excommunicate me if I did....

Arf. said...

Jamie's Cumberland are definitely the worst sausage I've ever tasted.