While this year’s UK Sausage Week (26 October – 1 November) has had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, organisers are promising it will be back with a ‘BANGer’ in 2021!
But for those still eager to celebrate the Great British Banger, there are still plenty of ways to savour some seriously super sausages up and down the country.
So, tuck into this round-up of the best spots for a sizzling sausage treat…
It’s all down to the sage in Lincolnshire
Each October, the Lincoln Sausage Festival celebrates the county’s most iconic export – with visitors tucking into more than 30,000 individual sausages on the day. This year would have seen the 18th annual celebration within the walls of imposing Lincoln Castle and the cobbled streets around the Cathedral, but the event fell victim to the pandemic. However, it’s still possible to discover ‘The Story of the Lincolnshire Sausage’ thanks to a Visit Lincoln blog, as well as links to places where you can enjoy the county’s delicacy. A recipe for Lincolnshire Sausages dates back to May 1886, but a Grimsby butcher claims that his family recipe goes back to 1810. The powerful flavour of sage gives the Lincolnshire sausage its unique taste, and its distinct texture is down to the method in which the meat is coarsely ground. A huge hit since it was first created, today Lincolnshire butchers sell their top tasting creations around the UK. https://bit.ly/3nPLWt1
‘Golden’ sausages in Staffordshire
Perrys of Eccleshall – an award-winning Master Butcher and Game Dealer – has been trading in the historic market town of Eccleshall in Staffordshire, since 1927. Its Master Butcher, Stephen Hill, discovered his passion for butchery at the tender age of 14. Learning his trade in WM Perry Butchers (originally based in Small Lane, just a few hundred yards away) he developed a passion for the art of butchery while learning traditional techniques. Stephen also developed a thorough knowledge in the artisan skills of curing and smoking. Winners of the Countryside Alliance “Best Butcher in Britain” award, they also offer a chance to learn more about food provenance, sustainability and artisan butchery and cookery at Perrys Field to Fork (https://bit.ly/3drpKR8) – a purpose built on-site artisan butchery and cookery school.Their award-winning sausages are handmade and linked in the traditional method using locally reared prime British free-range pork; and, with less than five food miles, their traditional pork sausages have received seven gold awards at the English Winter Fair. https://bit.ly/3lQhVYu
Hampshire’s prize-winning porkers
Regional food champion Hampshire Fare managed to stage its 2020 ‘Great Hampshire Sausage and Pie Competition’ back in March, before lockdown restrictions. An annual search for the best products in the county, the 2020 champion was revealed as Sole Butchers, which not only clinched the title of Speciality Pork Sausage Champion, but also Supreme Champion 2020 as well. The family butcher, located in the historic town of Alresford, won top praise for its pork, watercress and ale sausage (https://bit.ly/2GXoiKB). If you’re wondering about the watercress, Hampshire has been growing the crop for centuries and Alresford is often called the country’s Watercress Capital. Attracting an impressive 254 entries, the 2020 competition also saw success for HG Witt & Son, at Fordingbridge, which picked up the Hampshire Sausage Champion 2020 award for its Pork & Honey Sausage.
How about Staffordshire Sizzler Sausages?
Handmade on-site, with added chestnuts, orange zest, apricots, marjoram and thyme, the Staffordshire Sizzler Sausages have become best sellers at family run farm shop and café Denstone Hall, which prides itself on sourcing the best local produce. Over the years Denstone Hall has won many awards from ‘Best Speciality Sausage’ going right through to the ‘Best Large Farm Shop Retailer in the UK’. https://bit.ly/3drfusa
A tasty treat in East Yorkshire
Tuck into a wide range of speciality sausages at Drewton’s, an award-winning fam shop with a classy twist, set in 1,200 acres of tranquil countryside, near Beverley. Developed from sympathetically restored farm buildings, Drewton’s features a farm shop, restaurant, tearoom, delicatessen, butcher, cellar and luxuries store, offering the very best in locally sourced seasonal produce. A champion of Yorkshire produce, Drewton’s works with hundreds of Yorkshire suppliers, producers, growers and farmers and their Yorkshire sausages – as well as sausage rolls – regularly win praise and plaudits. www.drewtons.co.uk
Sausages with your Stoke-on-Trent ‘oat cuisine’?
To some, it’s the ‘Oat cuisine’ of The Potteries; others still describe it as the ‘Tunstall tortilla’, ‘Potteries poppadom’, or ‘Clay suzette’. In much the same way that no other town or city in Britain has derived a nickname from its major industry, Stoke-on-Trent – or “The Potteries”, as it is affectionately known – is also one of the very few places in this country which possesses a genuinely ‘regional’ dish: the Staffordshire Oatcake. Nothing at all like its Scottish or Derbyshire cousins, it has the appearance of a moist pancake, or crêpe, and is made (usually from a ‘secret’ recipe) largely from oatmeal and yeast. You’ll find plenty of choice across the area, but family run Castle Oatcakes, on the outskirts of Newcastle under Lyme, is home of the famous “MEGA” oatcake at 15 inches! An Oatcake lover’s dream come-true, try cheese & four sausages, or The Beast with four bacon, four sausage, cheese & tomatoes. https://bit.ly/2T83VNr
Boozy Bangers at Canalside
The recent winners of the 2020 Farm Retail Association “Small Farm Shop” award, Canalside Farm, Shop and Café is located in a beautiful conservation area just a few miles outside the county town of Stafford. They can offer more than 75 years of combined experience in the butchery craft, thanks to a team of Butchers – Tom, Norman, Jack & Aaron – who are all experts in their field. They pride themselves on sourcing the highest quality, ethically reared meats from local farmers who they know and trust, including Mark Robinson in Gnosall for rare breed beef, Packington Free Range Farm in Tamworth for pork & Chicken, and Martingale Live Stock for lamb. Best of all, they’re also famous for their homemade sausages, and their Boozy Banger won a gold award at last year’s Staffordshire Winter Fair Produce Competition. https://bit.ly/31aAMFx
‘Hot dog’ it to Derby
How about a taste of a stateside sausage favourite? Who knew that Derby was the home of the inventor of legendary American snack the hot dog, but that’s the claim for Harry M Stevens, who put his catering skills to use after emigrating to the USA in the 1800s. Credited with designing the baseball scorecard, and with pioneering soda drinking through a paper straw, the story goes that he came up with the idea of putting ‘dachshund’ sausages into rolls to warm up fans at his baseball concession in New York. The rest, as they say, is history. Celebrate with a hot dog from Annie’s Burger Shack, a little piece of Rhode Island, USA, inside a beautiful 1937 Grade II listed building at Friary Street in Derby. Annie’s Burger Shack was voted the Best Burger Bar in England 2019. https://bit.ly/2H9j7qt
Annie’s Burger Shack, Derby
Drewton’s, East Yorkshire