I think I mentioned in an earlier post that for me, the Taste of London festival was a very pork orientated event. So, here is some more pork....
We walked past the "Simply Sausages" stand, on the sniff for free samples. There were none to be had just yet, but were told there was to be a demo of sausage making soon, and then tasters. So we hung around for a bit longer to wait to see the sausage making in action.
Simply Sausages are a premium and traditional sausage making company, made with only natural, fresh, proper ingredients - no fillers, flavourings, preservatives or any other rubbish. The company is run by a chap called Martin Heap, who as well as being the founder of the company is also Executive Chef and a self styled sausage guru. He started the company in 1981 from a London market stall at Smithfields Meat Market and it has grown from there, and the sausages are now popular in Morrissons and Waitrose. It was actually Martin who was making the sausages for us today, so we felt quite privileged! The sausages he made for us were pork, apple and acacia honey, and you can see the ingredients all laid out below.
There is pork, with just the right amount of fat and meat for a juicy sausage, apple (dried so it does not go brown), herbs, amongst the main ingredients.
The pork has now been minced to sausage meat consistency...
Mixed together with all the other ingredients (this was all done in a Blue Peter, here's one I made earlier style)...
Now here is the sausage filling machine. The filling is stuffed into the chamber here, where Martin's hand is.
Now twist the lid onto the filling machine, and he takes a sausage tube (intestine I believe) and threads it onto the machine, ready to be filled with sausage meat.
The machine that was in use at the Taste festival was foot pump operated, so he is gently pumping the machine, which forces the pork out from the nozzle, into the sausage tube, and then gently pull the tube away from the machine.
Now it is starting to look more banger like...
Now the end is knotted off.
Now this was for me the best bit, it was very skillfuly and quickly done. The one long sausage was picked up and carefully and quickly knotted/knitted into "sixes" - that is, bunches of six sausages. Traditionally, it is 6 sausages to the pound (454 g to you youngsters) but Martin makes slightly fatter sausages, so 6 weigh a bit over 1 pound.
According to an email I receive after the event, the Simply Sausages team, sold and sampled nearly 25,000 sausages Taste of London festival over the weekend, Britain's most prestigious food event. They were inundated with sausage lovers, desperate to buy the sausages and as a result sold out every single day!
The proof of the sausage is, as they say, in the eating! And we got to try these as well. Not the actual ones prepared in the pictures, as someone was frying them in the background whilst Martin Heap did his demo. The smell of the frying was rather mouthwatering, and we were desperate for a taste.