Tuesday 14 August 2012
J Phillips - Theydon Bois - Old English Sausage
Have you ever heard of a place called Theydon Bois (rhymes with “choice”)? No, neither had Junior Sidekick and I until very recently. It’s a village in Essex, just south of Epping, and it’s where we found ourselves parking to catch a train into the Olympic Games. Our cunning plan had been to drive to Epping, park, and ride, but we hadn’t imagined that so many others would have the same idea, resulting in the large car park being full by quarter to eight, doh! I’d made a Plan B, natch, which involved driving to each station successively closer to London, and we got lucky at the very next stop, Theydon Bois. We parked on the edge of the enormous village green and had a thoroughly fabulous day at the Olympic park.
It was a happy accident that when we returned after the athletics we walked right past J Phillips the butcher, and just had to try their sausages – once again Rate My Sausage puts itself through tough times on behalf of its readers...we bought some of their regular Pork Sausages but first under the microscope and into the frying pan are J Phillips’ Old English Sausages.....
I didn’t note the percentage dammit - once again it’s an EPIC FAIL! Sorry. But don’t worry, there’s an abundance of porkiness going on. First impression was “OMG that is niiiiice!”, immediately followed by the notion that my cutlery may not be manly enough to deal with these chunky, loggy, meaty monsters. Do I have a chainsaw lurking in the toolbox? Of course I don’t, and that was somewhat an exaggeration, but if you’re looking for a muscular accompaniment for your mash then these would be perfect.
Woody, slightly spicy, super herby, all subtly mixed together resulting in a deliciously more-ish, very hearty sausage. Seasoned just right, there is a battery of herbs taking turns to tickle your taste buds, sagey for sure, backed up with (I think) thyme, rosemary and....not 100% confident but I’ll go for marjoram? If these sausages were a nineties garage group they’d be So Solid – and it takes Twenty One Seconds To Chew.
Very, very solid, splendidly so. Uncompromisingly dense and firm, the butcher seems to have squeezed more fantastic filling inside the snappy skins than seems possible. You can see in the uncooked photo that they are packed with good-size chunks of ingredient, and in the sliced picture the variety and nicely random distribution of those ingredients. All kept succulent by the melted fat. Such a good texture to these sausages, and we like them, a lot.
Average weight uncooked - 83g
Average weight cooked - 58g
Shrinkage - 31%
A bit disappointing, but this is the only negative aspect of an otherwise great banger. It’s just this stat that has stopped them from barging into this year’s top four.
Value For Money:
£3.13 for five sausages, weighing 417g - this works out as a price of £7.48 per kg, or 63p per snorker. That’s not cheap, but these have the feel of good quality. Having pondered this one long and hard, we rate these sausages as Very Good value for money. Good work dudes!
The Bisto Factor:
Oh Cruel Goddess of Frying Sausages, why do you torture me thus? Phillips’ Old English sausages had my mouth watering long before they saw the plate. The aroma matched the flavour – herby, meaty, delicious.
And Finally, Esther:
I doubt that Junior Sidekick and I will ever visit Theydon Bois again, but it was lovely to reach into a new area to try the local hand-crafted sausages. Mr Phillips can be rightly proud of his Old English bangers, and the village inhabitants can consider themselves very fortunate to have brilliant sausages available on their doorsteps. And it was all because of the Olympics....cosmic karma.