Porter's butchers, or GH Porter Provisions as the are formally known, is a lovely looking shop with a very attractive dual aspect frontage, in the heart of Newark. They've been providing tasty produce since 1890. It's unique in Rate My Sausage history as it's the place where the idea was hatched, the cradle of sausage rating as we know it. Many years ago, as I took my little old Mum out on a day trip to one of her old stomping grounds, the old girl wanted some sausages, and led the way to Porters. I was impressed by the range available from this proper butcher and wondered if it would be interesting to compare different varieties...
Of course it is a very worthwhile endeavour. We began comparing butchers to supermarkets but quickly found that there is simply no comparison. These days we try to promote quality British producers of high quality products, and support British agriculture where possible. But enough of that.
Porter's Newark sausages are a unique blend of pork, cheese and apples. They are truly local, with the pork from a nearby farm, the rich Stilton cheese produced just a couple of miles away, and the Bramley apples from a Newark garden, obtained by swapping them for bacon. Quid pro quo is alive and well here. With such splendid and local ingredients the sausage just had to be christened the “Newark”, and it's unique.
This is an important business for Newark, and is run by the archetypal jolly butcher, Tom – he will happily chat with you on all things meaty and local and has a wealth of interesting facts, figures and tales to impart. For instance, did you know that Porters products are exported – via Fortnum & Masons. Yes really! There's a website for you to peruse too: PORTERS WEBSITE
Where To Find Them:
Porters are located in the market place in Newark. Turn until you are facing the church spire then head towards the right hand corner nearest the church, and the shop is prominently situated on a corner. Can't miss it. The interior has been kept old-fashioned and nostalgic, and exudes warmth and customer service.
Opening Hours (temporary due to pandemic):
Monday – 0900 to 1400
Tuesday – 0900 to 1400
Wednesday – 0900 to 1400
Thursday – 0900 to 1400
Friday – 0900 to 1400
Saturday – 0900 to 1500
Sunday - Closed
The shop is usually crewed by helpful female staff, but now and then one of the Stans makes an appearance to talk with a customer. A rare sighting, but a good one. Look out for Tom!
The flavour of the Newark sausage is almost overpowering, but not quite. They cuddle and smother and hug your taste buds providing a deeply flavoursome experience. The cheese is the most prominent taste backed up with quality sweet pork and the apple, it's unusual for a sausage but I bloody loved them. The one slight thing I would like to see is more tangy apple to slice through the super Stilton savouriness. Delicious.
On a positive note the filling is three quarters on the road to perfect, it's crumbly, quite chunky, and you can see the individual components. Just look at the sliced and the fork pictures! Feels great in the mouth too, as the sausage mixes and melds nicely. But there is a problem. At Rate My Sausage we have always used a frying pan with a little oil to prepare the bangers, we think that's the proper way to do it. The Newark sausages really struggled in the pan and several of the English hog casings split asunder, despite the pan being on the lowest heat on the smallest gas ring. Did we have some rogue bangers, or would this happen again? We will be buying these sausages again because they taste lovely, so we'll try grilling next time (much against our principles!).
Average Weight Uncooked = 76 grams
Average Weight Cooked = 64 grams
Meat Content = I forgot to find out, sorry...
Value For Money:
£3.65 for 6 sausages weighing 457 grams. This works out as £7.99 per kg and 61p per banger.
After much consideration of all the facts we rate this as good value for money.
The "Aah, Bisto" Factor:
My notes say “AMAZING aroma in pan, rich deep cheesy porkiness. Obvs.” I think that sums it up nicely.
And Finally, Esther:
Great flavour, wonderful texture, be careful how you cook them...
Sausages always used to burst and I thought that was the best bit, as a child. Even if they didn't, they oozed out meatily at the ends.
I am very keen on home-cured bacon. It's such a pity that otherwise good butchers buy in the pre-packed watery stuff. It looks a fabulous shop.
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