You Gotta Roll With It…

| 29th January 2018
This last week has certainly had a porky edge to it as we’ve been making sausages and celebrating sausage rolls…

On Wednesday, we ran one of our regular Simply Sausages courses, this allows each guest to work with a whole kilo of fabulous local free range pork as we explain the history of the humble banger and explain the ingredients, techniques and flavourings that contribute towards the perfect sausage. Each guest is able to create their own seasoning combinations adding additional fruit, nuts, cheese (or anything we can find in the kitchen) to ensure that their masterpiece lives up to their wildest dreams! Previous successes have included Honey & Ginger, Apricot & Walnut, Sage & Pear, Cheddar & Chutney and even an Orange Marmalade sausage. One of these days, I’m going to try a Fig & Stilton combination, but this week we chose a versatile Mixed Herb and a firm favourite Fennel, Chilli & Red Wine (which we are having tonight for supper).

I’d made some rather successful sausage rolls last month and had some puff pastry in the fridge, so offered the opportunity to use some of the sausage mix to make sausage rolls whilst the rest was stuffed into traditional skins.

They were good.

Once baked, obviously…


The Great Sausage Roll Off…

That evening, I popped over to the Red Lion in Barnes, who have been hosting since 2013 The Great Sausage Roll Off; in their own words, it’s ‘A bit like the X Factor meets Masterchef’…

We had heard about it through our good friend Anton Manganaro (Head Chef at BAFTA’s 195 Piccadilly), who was one of the finalists that evening, and after tasting his Venison Sausage Rolls at a recent party were very excited to support him in the competition.

The pub was packed, the anticipation was electric, the great and good of the food & drink world were there and we were all excited to taste the creations submitted to the judges and put our hands in our pockets for the local charity Shooting Star Chase.

Some of the entries were classic, some were exotic, some were filled with lamb, some with eel and the winning sausage roll had medallion of rabbit running through the middle. Anton’s were wonderful, here he is, below, holding his platter for the judges of free range pork and fennel sausage roll with ham hock cooked in homemade stout, hopped HP, mushroom ketchup and pickled onions. It all tasted amazing and I was proud to discover that his mushroom ketchup was sweetened with our Hen Corner honey!

Here’s a little film of the highlights.

Local Celebration…

The final rolls of the week were some organic sourdoughs that I made as our contribution to the official launch party for the Chiswick Timeline. I had been watching this project progress through the stages of vision, fundraising, design and planning as my good friend and fellow director of Cultivate London, Karen Liebreich, had brought the project together with her team from Abundance London. The grand unveiling was on Sunday complete with live music, local celebrities, engaging craft activities and lots of free food and drink. I was serving my rolls with Lucy from Ginger Whisk who had made the most delicious Sweetcorn & Celery Chowder – they were the perfect combination for a January Sunday afternoon. The guest of honour was British Pop Artist Sir Peter Blake, who was best known for co-creating the sleeve design for the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and I was more than pleased to offer him soup and a roll when I visited the VIP tent to help welcome our special guests…

Other News:
  • Our Courses have got off to a good start this year, with some people determined to learn a new skill and others redeeming gift vouchers that they had been given recently.
  • We are currently working with three London Schools, one to help them start with Chickens, one for an exciting Bee project and another to teach Cheese Making to their GCSE students.
  • The Micro Bakery has been very busy over the last couple of weeks, we are thrilled that customers love our products and are planning how to increase supply and ensure everything is ready on time.
Jobs for the Week:
  • Prioritise the tree work in the garden, we need to seize the day and get pruning that we can reach and book the professionals for the bigger trees that are reaching for the sky.
  • Bubble up as much marmalade as we can, the Seville Oranges are in season now and are perfect for that bittersweet preserve of kings.
  • Collect a couple of new chickens, we know that their eggs will be in high demand as they come back into lay over the next few weeks.

Have you ever made sausage rolls? What would make your dream combination for the perfect filling?

Have a great week,


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