Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Musks - Marmite - Part 4

 By our Lincolnshire correspondent Nikki (@nikki_inthesun)



Do you believe in fate? I do. Several months ago I stumbled across Rate My Sausage. I did guffaw in a very childlike manner until I realised this guy was serious about sausages! Who doesn't like a good sausage? I started following them and very quickly found myself one of the testing team. First it was Pigs in Blankets then it was Plain Pork Sausages. I couldn't believe my luck when I was asked if I wanted to test the Marmite Sausages from Musk's. I was probably slightly too excited at the prospect of having sausages delivered by courier (lockdown has got to us all right?)

There were very mixed emotions in the house about these. I've always frowned upon all the brands that have partnered with Marmite, don't get me wrong I'm very much on team 'love it' but some combinations just don't work. A point which has been reminded to me often by my eldest child. Out of principle he refused to try these bangers. Well more fool him, it just meant there were more for me.


You'll have already gathered here that I approve!



The packaging was simple, smart and left you in no doubt what you were about to eat.

The raw sausages looked much nicer than I had anticipated. There was a lot of scope for a Marmite sausage to be a very peculiar looking item.....

I decided I was going to make a sausage butty I didn't want to give these any place to hide. I read the cooking instructions and opted for the frying method. They cooked really well and only one sausage split slightly. There was only a very small amount of fat that came out of them and they didn't shrink during cooking. All good signs in my mind.

Again for the interests of not masking the flavour I ate the sausage butty naked. No! The butty was naked not me! I omitted the usual brown sauce.

The blend of flavours was perfect. The pork was really, really tasty. The Marmite was just the right amount. Not overpowering but you knew for sure what you were eating.

One of the teenage testers let out a sound of joy at the first mouthful. Yup you read that right, a teenager was happy!

We did all comment that the sausages were sticky, we all found ourselves lacking our teeth clean. This is not a complaint it was a sausage that kept on giving.



So yes these Marmite Sausages are a definite hit. I don't even have to worry that no one near me stocks them as you can order online and have them delivered to the door. They arrive in fantastic packaging which kept them at a desired temperature. I've even kept the packaging to reuse.

Highly recommended!


Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Musks - Marmite - Part 3

 By our Cumbria correspondent Jon Fell (@jonfellchef)



Now then brethren, before we begin on this culinary eisteddfod I suppose I'd better explain a little bit about why I'm doing this at all, Basically you see, I was approached by a man, I know, Who'd have thought? From a Website called "Rate My Sausage" ,The World's Second Best Sausage Website, Hello I thought, I know times have been hard for the catering industry over the past 12 months, but I didn't think I was going to to stoop quite as low as this After all I had seen an episode of Naked Attraction, and I wasn't convinced that my numbers would quite stack up! If you get my drift?!!

But, apparently I'd got my wires crossed and this was legitimate, and, was in fact a Website for rating sausages!! Some People have far too much time on their hands!

I was informed that sausages would be dispatched to me, and my job was pure and simply, to cook, taste, critique, write and get the hell out!!

Would I accept the role?

Well I thought if I ermmmed and arrrrred long enough that someone might mention MONEY!! The lips were tightly pursed my fine people, as was his wallet, But as I'd hardly been able to afford to buy sausages for the last 12 months, because someone had eaten something, that was probably alive at the time, that they shouldn't have, in a country I'm never likely to visit, and I'd been forced into some kind of seclusion because of it, I accepted.



So, the day arrived, my package arrived by courier, I eagerly opened the package, thinking that even in a worse case scenario, how bad could it be, at least I'd get to eat!!

I was wrong, It could and did get worse, I should have known really, because for 4 days prior to this, the sun had been shining, the birds were tweeting, life was good, However, today, the heavens had opened, there was a force 9 gale blowing and I'd been sent sausages that contained MARMITE!!

Now, It is my considered opinion, that Marmite was and is the work of the devil, It most certainly is on my list of the worst things I've ever had in my mouth, definitely compares to the cold whelk I had in a restaurant in Manchester years ago which, I'm convinced, I'd still be chewing now if I hadn't spat it out into flower vase on the table!!



So how in gods name was I going to get out of this? I could deny that they had arrived, but Dave the courier man had handed them over, so he was a witness.

I could hire a space capsule and fire them straight at the surface of the sun, after all, charcoal makes everything taste better right??!!

I could fake my own death, but that would mean living up in the attic for the rest of my life, and the WiFi in Cumbria is abysmal at the best of times.

But I'd noticed on the packaging this...The Crest, By Appointment to Her Maj - I know, I thought, I've met HRH Prince Charles, I'll pull a few strings, after all, I'd packed him off with Scotch Eggs, Dundee Cake and a Thank You For Visiting Cumbria Mug, He owed me one right??!!!!

But after it was pointed out to me that I was just ever so slightly going over the top I went in, and this is what I genuinely thought...

Firstly, let's be frank, anyone who has held a Royal Warrant since 1907 probably isn't going to be using the sweepings from the floor in their sausage making factory, So on opening the pack, they look great, firm, meaty, and more surprisingly actually smell good.



Secondly, what's in them? We want a good meat content, 70% pork, British pork, Well, I wouldn't have expected anything else. It doesn't say if the pork is outside reared, the packaging states prime pork, animal welfare is a must, OK, I'm happy with that, anything less and I'd have been asking questions. There's some spices, marmite obviously, vegetable juice concentrate, all the information you would expect, but without giving anything away. I guess I understand that, you don't want to give too much away to competitors. Natural casings used, which I'm a big fan of, rather than the synthetic rubbish.

So far so good. Cooking instructions? I like the fact they have put Wash hands and utensils on the pack, As the legend that is Gary Rhodes once said, “The secret is not to prick them!” I'm not a fan of grilling, nor, shallow frying, and anyone who throws a sausage into a deep fat fryer should be slapped until they are purple. Believe me when I say people do this, and they know who they are!!!

So I will always vouch for the oven, 195c for 25 minutes, bang on.

I must add, that at the time of cooking, the smell was fantastic, almost like a deep soy sauce smell, I was, dare I say, beginning to come around!



So to the taste and texture...

Well firstly the texture, good honest and meaty, not overly coarse, which I think is OK, I don't mind my sausages with big textures, but I'm aware this is a personal choice, Nice that the natural casings eat really well, unlike the synthetic nonsense you get on cheaper sausages.

Just a point on cost, I'm not sure what these retail at because, as I've said, these were sent to me, but, I'd be happy to pay £3 for a pack of 6 really good quality sausages.

Now for the crucial bit, The Taste Test

As I've said, I'm not a fan of Marmite. Given a choice, I'd rather hammer 6 inches of Covid-19 infected rusty nails into my John Thomas than spread Marmite on anything and eat it!! But, and here's the but, these sausages work! I mean like, really work, they are really tasty. Fantastic tasting pork with an umami, yeasty, salty but not overly, some spicing in there which helps the whole thing along.



So would I recommend them?

Yes without a doubt, definitely, give them a whirl, you won't be disappointed.

Would I buy them myself?

Yes, I actually really enjoyed them.

Will I be buying a jar of Marmite?

Not as long as my arse looks south!!

Am I a convert?

In these sausages, the marmite really does work, it adds a great flavour, a real depth of flavour, so as an enhancer? Yes! On my toast? NO!

So to summarize.

" Love It Or Hate It "

Musk's have created a fantastic tasting sausage using the infamous Marmite.

A thank you, I suppose must go to Justus Liebig who invented , by accident, the ridiculous concoction in 1902.


Basically an Absolute Banger Of A Bang On Banging Banger.



Monday, 10 May 2021

Musks - Marmite - Part 2

By our Essex correspondent Steve (@Essexbeano)


First impressions were of a solid heavyweight sausage , they look big and meaty as soon as the cone out of the box. The marmite is not really apparent until they start warming up in the pan and the skin takes on a sticky texture as the marmite starts oozing through . Then the aroma hits you and it’s unmistakably marmite , at the end of cooking there was very little fat in the pan , good meat content. 



Flavour was as you’d expect .. marmite.. quite strong but not overpowering, very nice and kind of tangy, like a quality beef sausage.


Texture was non greasy, almost crumbly with a sticky residue of marmite , quite unique and luxurious. 



Overall it was a taste sensation, my 15 year old daughter also gave it the thumbs up. I would like it more as a dinner sausage than breakfast, it would be superb in a mixed grill with a couple of chops , grilled tomato and peas, maybe a drop of Tiptree brown sauce on the side.


Sunday, 9 May 2021

Musks - Marmite - Part 1

By our south-west correspondent Alex (@GingeyBites)



I love sausages. I always have and I always will. We call them snorks, bangers, sosijjiz and snorkers in our family, all terms of endearment for what is ultimately a very delicious, very versatile and totally comforting thing to eat. Why I’ve not thought to write a sausage blog of my own is beyond me, but there you go. Fortunately I’m now part of the RMS gang and so, that means I can wax lyrical about sausages in a safe space without sounding like I’ve lost the plot!


So, time for my first review and it’s a good’un.


Marmite. As everyone knows, you love it or you hate it. Me? I love it. Recently, there’s been a spate of marmite flavoured stuff available to buy, from marmite butter to crisps and even hot cross buns. I’ve tried them all. I’d never heard of marmite sausages though. Until now.


Musks have been making sausages since 1884 and their Newmarket sausage recipe is over 130 years old and has PGI status which means it’s a protected regional food product which noted characteristics. They also have a royal warrant so, if anyone was going to do a marmite sausage well, I figured these guys have a pretty good chance.


You can buy Musk’s sausages online or at their butchers shop in Newmarket.



Initial thoughts

On opening the packet, the sausages looked much like any other sausages, albeit maybe very slightly darker in appearance (almost like a spiced merguez) than you’d usually find with pork. I did however think they had a slight yeasty smell to them.



Flavour:

Can you guess?! Yep, marmite-y. Although not as much as we were expecting. A lot of the marmite seeped out during the cooking (leaving some nice crispy sticky bits to scrape off the pan) and so, whilst the sausages were yeasty, they weren’t screaming marmite. They were also quite salty which is no bad thing when you’re a salt fiend but might put some diners off.


I ate three sausages that night and actually found them way more filling than I usually find three sausages. I think the yeasty rich flavour was quite intense - not a bad thing, just an observation.


I’m not usually a novelty sausage eater and I prefer them to showcase the quality of their meat rather than mask it under herbs or strange flavour combos (don’t even talk to me about sweet chilli sausages) but I have to say, marmite is a good pairing for pork. It didn’t mask the pork flavour at all, if anything the richness of the yeast drew it out into something very punchy and as I’ve said, filling.



Texture:

I liked that there was texture to even talk about. Have you ever had a cheap sausage that feels as though the filling has been run through the mincer a few too many times? Resulting in a pink unidentifiable mush? This wasn’t that, although I guess if you’re on this website you understand the importance of a good mouth feel when it comes to sausages. The rusk (barley and oats) was definitely partially responsible for the chunkier texture but again, not a bad thing. Having grilled them, turning regularly, the sausages had a good chew to them too - with a crispy skin followed by soft insides and no pools of oil or dryness to talk of which made me very happy.



Value for Money:

A pack of six sausages on the Musk’s website costs £3.50. That works out at 58 pence per sausage which is a little more expensive than you’d pay for most premium brands at the supermarket. These are around £1 more than most own brand premium products (eg. Tesco Finest) and slightly more than brands like Porky Whites and Heck.


For novelty factor - I’d say yes, they were worth £3.50 as a treat but I’m sure that there are equally delicious sausages with a higher meat content (these are 70%) available for less.



My closing statement… would be this:

Hearty, big bertha sausages which are perfect for bangers and mash (which is how we ate them) and would work well in a toad in the hole too, I’m sure. If you like marmite, give these a whirl. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. We gave these a solid 8/10 and, whilst I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy them, if I saw them in my butchers or the supermarket, I’m sure a pack or two would end up in my trolley.


Thursday, 15 April 2021

The Jolly Hog - Proper Porker

 By our Cumbria reporter Jon Fell (@jonfellchef)



Now, before we get under way in this little sausage fest blog, I should give you a brief low down as to why on earth I'm even doing it!!

I was approached many weeks ago now, By Rate My Sausage, and I think you'll all agree, quite reputedly now near legendary, Rate My Sausage, It's a rather upmarket version of the lower, rather substandard alternative " Rate My " sites that we've all come to see out there, And One can only assume that they have ran out of people to ask, And So they have resorted to approaching randoms!! ME!!

But!! Having coated a 1.5kg ostrich egg in 10kg of Cumberland sausage and deep fried it a few years past, I know a thing or six about sausages and the meat thereof, So why not I thought,

So to cut a long story even longer, I obviously said yes, Even though, It's unpaid ( aren't they all ) I'm busy enough as it is, I'm liable to get sued, if not sued, the very least followed to my car!!!



And So we begin, Weeks had passed and I hadn't even given a minute of my time to this, Not even a thought, To be fair It's hard enough remembering my own name on occasion, far less, to remember to do a task someone has so politely asked of me, so feeling a tad guilty, I skipped off to my local supermarket, I'm only allowed inside one nowadays, And that has to be accompanied by another adult, as I'm barred from the others, A stupid reason really, but they didn't take kindly to me shouting



" Why are you selling asparagus from Peru? "

AND

" WTF is Vietnamese River Cobbler? "

AND

Questioning the store managers parentage!!



Now, the reason for this was solely to go and buy their own brand sausage, and completely rip it to shreds in my now, self proclaimed role as, Sausage Captain!!

So, whilst waltzing around said supermarket, I stumbled upon the " Reduced " section, Who cannot but stand and gaze at all of those yellow stickers?

And I spotted these...



The Jolly Hog, a company set up by three brothers, Proper Porker British Pork Sausages, Made with outdoor bred pork no less, Gluten Free too, so I thought that's got to be good thing right?, And the pack had a " Great Taste 2 ** sticker on!!, Even though, as you and I are well aware, they hand those out to anyone who can pop crisp £20 notes into a brown envelope that can be easily fit into the inside jacket pocket!! Feeling the urge, and the fact they were reduced in price, I dropped my plan on buying the most repulsive looking sausages I could find, and I made my way to the checkout and bought them.



A word on the packaging

Now much the same as when I watch, let's say, The Z Factor, Just sing!!, If you are good, you are good, If you are bad, you are bad,

And that's pretty much the same how I feel packaging, I don't want to see your face on the stuff I'm going to eat, nor am I in the slightest bit interested in How, When and Where. I expect and demand animal welfare as standard anyway! But if you can be bothered to read the packaging on these, you'll be told everything you need to know, and you'll even get a little picture of the three of them too.


So to the sausages...



Meat Content:

84% Of British Outdoor Reared, RSPCA Assured Pork, There's some gluten free bread crumbs in there, but I think that's pretty good



Flavour:

Even on the eye, I had already made up my mind that these would taste good, And on reading the ingredients list, Paprika, Salt, Rubbed Sage ( Not just chopped, Rubbed ) Black Pepper, Natural casings,


They say, on the blurb on the packaging, for best results, To Grill, Except Josh who apparently likes to BBQ everything, But as it was 7am, the idea of firing up the BBQ didn't float my boat, I vouched for cooking them in the oven, on a tray, greaseproof, NO added oil, I wanted to see how much these beauties oozed added fat, naff sausage always give up their fat, 30 minutes on 195c, Perfect.


Virtually no loss of fat at all after cooking, tasted fantastic, dare I use the word moist? That's the sausage not me, not over salted as you sometimes get, good hit of pepper, not unlike a Cumberland sausage in flavour, not over powered by sage as is often the case when using sage, My step daughter gave them 8/10 trust me when I say, that's pretty blooming good.



Texture:

I could tell from the raw product, that these had some substance to them, I mean like real, " OMG, these are full of meat " when you can see little bulges of meaty goodness wanting to burst out from under the casing, Like Arnold Schwarzenegger's muscles under a ridiculously tight fitting shirt, you just know that there ain't going to be much wrong, And they didn't disappoint, meaty, packed with good quality meat too, not over minced, just the right amount of fat keeping them real juicy too.



Vital Statistics:

Average weight raw = 60g

Average weight when cooked = 55g

Meat content = 84%



Value for Money:

Well for a pack of 400g, 6 sausages they should have been £3, that's 50p a sausage, not cheap by any stretch, but given that some supermarkets are selling their own brand sausage for this price, I'd buy these instead, And the fact that The Jolly Hog guys ain't going to be getting the £3 from the supermarket either, I'd check them out directly if I were you.



The Fell Clan Taste Test Verdict:

A Mighty Meaty Banger.



The " Ahhh Bisto " Factor:

Exactly what you'd expect, to be pacing the kitchen for the 30 minutes waiting for the blooming things to cook, smelt fantastic



The next day cold sausage test:

Seriously!!! 6 sausages, 3 people!! there wasn't going to be a " next day cold test "




And Finally, Esther:

I applaud The Jolly Hog guys, for making an outstanding banger, but I can't help thinking the £3 should go directly to them, and not, to the money grabbing, corporate bast........ I'll stop there...



Please check Jon's website if you love proper food: JON FELL - CHEF