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Simply Sausages - Smithfield No 1

sausage of the week By: Simply Sausages

There is a rumour in sausage circles that a long time ago Bill O'Hagan ran a pioneering sausage shop in Greenwich, South London. Bill was the master and he had a young apprentice called Martin Heap. Bill and Martin fell out and Martin left to set up and run Simply Sausages with shops in Soho and Smithfield Market.

Bill drifted out of the Sausage scene but has now returned with his excellent sausages sold via his shop in Chichester and mail order from OHagans Sausages.

Simply Sausages was founded in 1991 and went on to be one of the top sausage shops in the capital and one of our top 10 producers. Unfortunately we felt that the quality declined, and even more sadly for many Londoners the shop shut.

Fear not, Martin Heap has now gone National! He has launched a range of four sausages sold via most of the major supermarkets (check on the website for details under Stockists) and still offers his wide range of specialities for home delivery under the Heap to Home section of the site. These include 21 varieties of sausages including great flavours such as beauties such as Beef & Guinness, Pork, Prune & Cognac and the Red Cabbage Sausage - certainly worth a try.

So what about his mass market range? The first thing to note is that they are now made in Hull. Hull is a pretty good place to make sausages because Yorkshire is a centre for the British Pork Industry. All the sausages are made with a high percentage of outdoor reared pork. Readers will know that we are very keen on outdoor reared pork, it tastes better and offers higher standard of life to the animals.

We tried the Smithfield No 1 purchased from Waitrose in Marylebone. We can't find the receipt but note that the recommended price is 2.99 for a chunky 480g pack (the Heap to Home costs around 4.00 for 450g) and was made with 88% pork, free range egg, nutmeg and rosemary. This is a chunky, course cut sausage. It is well made but lacks real spark, the taste was ok, shrinkage was good and the sausage was moist and good cold. It just lacked a real strong flavour, a bit more porkyness would be good and the nutmeg and rosemary only play a minor role.

This is not a gourmet sausage, dont expect to recapture the experience of the sausage shops. However for a mass produced, supermarket banger this is ok, the price is good and for 1 less than the gourmet sausages a good banger. Worth 7out of 10 in our scoring system



Sausage of the week archive
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