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The Blackfoot Butchers - Pork & Herb Sausages

sausage of the week By: The Blackfoot Butchers

The Blackfoot Butchers is tucked away on Charlotte Place, close to Goodge Street Tube and Tottenham Court Road. It is run by the team behind Salt Yard and Dehesa, two award winning Spanish restaurants. The Butcher sells the same products used in the restaurants plus an excellent selection of quality meats - if you only buy one thing, try the Black Iberico Ham (Jamon Iberico).

As well as fresh meat they stock a wide variety of cheese, olive oil, wine, Spanish cooking ingredients and the crowning glory - stupendous charcuterie - including different types of Chorizo and Morcilla (Spanish black pudding).

In hindsight I made a good mystery shopper: I asked for a cheap cut - Shin of Beef for a casserole but there was only a few slices in the window - it was no problem to fetch a piece from the cool room and cut me some extra slices, I asked about the sausages and was told that they are made with 90% meat and they are developing new flavours (including a few which had proved to be duds), I asked for some of the Black Ham and watched as small slices were expertly carved onto greaseproof ham (unlike Parma ham the slices are smaller and thicker). Whilst he was carving I was given several samples and a piece of fat - with instructions to lay the ham out 10 minutes before eating and rub the surface with the fat (which can then be used for cooking). We even discussed recipes, the idea of Rabbit or Chicken dusted in paprika and then browned and slow cooked in wine is working its way towards the top of my to do list! You dont get that in Tesco! The ham was dense, moist and intensely flavoured, for my money, far better than Parma Ham.

The shop is clean, fresh and very civilised, most of the fresh meat is hung in a refrigerated window, inside it has the feel of an upmarket deli with very knowledgeable and friendly staff and jazz tinkling away in the background. Most of the fresh meat is from slow growing, rare breeds and is reared for taste and succulence. The meat is labelled with the breed and origin, - so you can buy Duruc pork from Lydling Farm in Surrey, British White Beef from Essex, Salt Marsh Lamb and game. Prices are high but so is quality, sausages are made with 90% pork and cost 12 a kilo, Cote do Bouf is expertly cut and presented at 36 a kilo, most pork is 7.50 a kilo and pheasants are 7.50 each (prices in January 2009).

The sausages were good too, they are artisan rather than breakfast bangers with a moist, fairly loose texture from a lot of meat and minimum filler. They cooked well with little shrinkage or fat loss and you could taste the herbs and seasoning.

The sausages, scored a solid 7.5 out of 10 in our scoring system plus 9.5 overall for the shop. Highly recommended!



Sausage of the week archive
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