Do you remember Rentaghost? A children's teatime favourite from back in the seventies, usually shown between Animal Magic and Blue Peter. Which character do you recall best? I'll bet it's the mischievous jester, Timothy Claypole. This has nothing to do with sausages of course, but we found a great proper butcher in the pretty Nottinghamshire village of Claypole – I wonder if the Rentaghost script writer knew the place?
F Doncaster is the name of the butcher, and they first came to our attention when we taste-tested pigs in blankets just before Christmas NEWARK PIGS IN BLANKETS 2020. For the record my testing panel voted them into the bronze medal place which was a good result, but my own personal scoring put Doncaster's in top spot. At the time I promised myself that I would return to test the sausages.
There is a good selection of flavours on offer here, they generally offer four or five different ones each week. The recipes for the more traditional varieties are 100 years old, having been created when Mister Doncaster started the business in 1920. When I visited, the weekly “specials” included a Black Pepper & Truffle Mustard sausage, and due to the proximity of Burns Night, a haggis variety – these were absolutely delicious. All Doncaster sausages are made on the premises – except the Lincolnshires, which are made in a different location for some reason.
Where To Find Them:
Claypole, obviously. If you're going to use SausNav the postcode is NG23 5BE. But they also have a shop in the attractive minster town of Southwell (NG25 0AA). They have a decent website too if you want to have a look: F DONCASTER WEBSITE There's parking right outside the shop, or if that's full the village hall car park is just across the road.
Due to COVID the opening hours are different from the norm – see the photo. We'd really advise you to call the shop to check if they are open before setting out from home – their number is 01636 626272.
Really helpful staff on serving duties, and you could see a couple of Stans beavering away in the rear part of the building. A good picture.
Sweet, sagey, splendid. I wondered if the red onion would dominate as the aroma was very intense, but that was not the case. There mut be a good amount of sage included to balance out that onion, and when combined with the sweet and succulent locally-produced pork, Doncasters have created a flipping flavoursome treat. Good work chaps.
The filling is firm, knobbly, but fine. We're fans of a coarser cut but this is a good offering. It's a solid sausage and stands up well to your fork, unlike most of the supermarket abominations. The casings are collagen though, and this rather lets down an otherwise cracking banger. Some started disappearing during cooking which is never a good look, and you're missing out on that fantastic “snap” that you enjoy when cutting into natural skins.
Average Weight Uncooked = 55 grams
Average Weight Cooked = 46 grams
Meat Content = 72 %
Value For Money:
£2.62 for 6 sausages weighing 329 grams. This works out as £7.98 per kg and 44p per banger.
We rate this as very good value for money.
The "Aah, Bisto" Factor:
My notes say “Nice onion-ey waft from the packet when opened, and this intensified in the pan”. One of those that you can hardly wait to finish cooking.
And Finally, Esther:
Fab flavoured filling, skins could be better. Buy some and judge for yourself!