My husband reminded me last night, British Sausage Week is from Monday 3rd November to Sunday,9th November.
Fortunately, quite a few of the butchers shops here are members of The Guild Q Butchers, they enter lots of competitions and seem to do really well. For instance, my local butcher is a gold medal winner for his pork sausage, year after year.
Whilst in Beckenham visiting family, we went to Villagers Sausages where every sausage imaginable can be bought. They have a very interesting website with press related articles, history and also lots of recipes, not forgetting that you can also order online.
The recipe I chose for British Sausage Week comes from the very talented cookery writer Annie Bell.
You will see from the photograph that my sausages are shall we say 'very well done'. I am a very fussy sausage eater, they have to be top quality and this is how I enjoy eating mine.
If you don't like your sausages as well cooked as mine, then by all means just show them the pan and brown the sausages lightly.
Only a small amount of red wine is used in this recipe, and unless you have got a bottle of red already opened, this can sometimes be a problem to the home cook. Maybe you have already come across Gourmet Classic seasoned cooking wines, these can be bought both in red and white. They have a screw top and can be kept in the store cupboard for up to three months after opening. I've seen these in both Waitrose and Sainsbury's.
GORGEOUS SUPPERS - ANNIE BELL
ISBN 9781856268189 - Page 129
Serves: 4 people
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 600g chipolatas, 300g peeled shallots, 1 tablespoon plain flour, 200ml red wine, 300ml chicken stock, 1 bay leaf, black pepper, 500g peeled and thinly sliced medium main crop potatoes.
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan180°C/Gas 6. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and brown the sausages on both sides, doing this in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pan (I chose to grill mine).
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 30 x 20cm roasting dish over a medium heat, add the shallots and fry until slightly golden. Sprinkle over the flour and stir, then pour over the red wine and chicken stock. Add the sausages, bay leaf and a little seasoning, then bring to the boil.
3. Toss the potato slices in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of oil (I microwaved my sliced potatoes to start the cooking process first) and lay them on top of the sausages. Season and bake for 40 minutes until the potatoes are lovely and crisp.