Tuesday 15 January 2013

Meat Inn - Bury St Edmunds - Suffolk Sausage

Welcome to Week One of our Bury St Edmunds series!  I hope you enjoy a look around some of the butchers of this fascinating little Suffolk market town.  The trip to Bury was my Christmas present to myself in 2012, inspired by meeting the lovely folk from Hubbards Traditional Butchers  earlier in the year at @DockingMarket.  And so, on a grey and typically dull December morning I boarded the 0725 rattler out of Norfolk.

The first Bury bangers we’re reviewing are the Prime Suffolk sausages from the Meat Inn on Brentgovel Street.  It’s in a prime location, and as I visited on market day, was constantly, extremely busy.  It’s obviously a favourite with the older generation too, you could hardly move for tartan shopping trolleys and fleeces with enormous wolf motifs on them (see pic for a hint of the trade level).  The Meat Inn does have a website, which is informative as far as it goes – but it don’t go very far!  It’s a start though:

Turns out it’s a chain of meateries.  And was described to me as “pile it high, sell it quick......”  Let’s see how the sausages rate:

Meat Content:
80% is quoted, and there Is plenty of pig included.  The fact that they are ground so fine may be a hint that the meat “may” not be the finest of cuts which you would find in a truly high class sausage.  Fine mincing is a pretty standard trick to disguise some less than fine pork – hence the puree-like consistency of supermarket sausages.  These are not as bad as that by a long chalk, but also a long way from being the best.  Middle ground here.

Salty, peppery, not altogether unpleasant.  There are lots of tiny black pepper specks visible so maybe that’s not surprising.  The flavour is kinda hot-ish and won’t win any Rate My Sausage awards – but it isn’t worthy of too much criticism either.  Nearly but not quite on the verge of not being unpleasant.  The kindly chap who served me had just enough time to tell me that what made these sausages unique was “mixed herbs and cracked black pepper”...then he was off, to serve two ounces of mince to the next Elsie in line.  Probably.

The filling is very fine and uniformly regular.  The skins are not awful but not snappy enough, and sometimes rolled up and stuck together, which is a definite minus point.  The well-defined distinct stripes are a telltale giveaway though.  They’re so plain to see that it’s obvious that there is added dextrose or sucrose, or similar, included, which butchers add to artificially brown sausages in the absence of very high quality ingredients (again, see supermarket sausages).

Average weight uncooked - 64g
Average weight cooked – 54g

Shrinkage - 15%

A rather good performance in the frying pan (weight loss-wise, anyway).

Value For Money:
£2.53 for six sausages, weighing 384g - this works out as a price of £6.58 per kg, or 42p per snorker.  Inexpensive, and probably an accurate reflection of the product.  Not too bad value for money.

The Imaginatively Titled Next Day Cold Sausage Test:
Junior Sidekick was on board to join in with this part of our review, which we carried out in a highly professional manner while watching All New What’s Up Scooby Doo on CBBC (it was the mad scientist woman what done it).  A new range of condiments has been recruited for the cold tasting, so say hello to a hot English mustard by  Suffolk Mud , an exquisite piccalilli from  Alexandra Howells Deli in Wells-next-the-sea, and a sub-continent inspired chutney called It Ain’t Half Hot Mum by Bury St Edmunds’ own  Butterworth & Son .  Introductions over, here’s how the cold sausages got on:

Mustard:  Hot. Damned hot!  The thick and creamy mustard makes a good companion for the sausage but is waaaay too lively for junior taste buds.  The heat is absolutely blistering if you use too much.

It Ain’t Half Hot Mum:  The sausage rather disappeared under this lovely Taste Of The Raj, which was mildly spicy to start with and hotter at the end.

Piccalilli:  Again the sausage disappeared a little under this divine accompaniment, maybe indicative of the sausage not quite doing enough in its own right.  The piccalilli is crunchy, chunky, moist and Most Excellent.

Tomato sauce:  Good!  Sam said “Try some”, so I did.  It was my favourite combination of the four.  He then added “But then anything with red sauce is good”.

So....The best sauce to add to these Suffolk sausages?  Tough one, but it’s the English mustard.

Note:  For the final slice I mopped up as much of the mustard, IAHHM and piccalilli as I could, and wowzer, instant nose-running appreciation followed.  Don’t do it kids!

Opening Hours:
Taken from the website
Monday: 0700 - 1700
Tuesday: 0700 - 1700
Wednesday: 0700 - 1700
Thursday: 0700 - 1700
Friday: 0700 - 1730
Saturday: 0700 - 1700
Sunday: Closed

And Finally, Esther:
Half way to being not too bad with a bit more effort, and altogether nearly half decent.  There do seem to have been some butchers’ tricks employed to try and make them appear better than they actually are, which is disappointing and a slight worry.  Sad to say, the best part of this meal was the Home Made Mushy Peas

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