Time to celebrate the British banger again

Karen Thompson of Moss Valley Fine Meats with the award winning sausages
Karen Thompson of Moss Valley Fine Meats with the award winning sausages
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British bangers were humble and traditional fare for centuries.

But their reputation took a bashing when mass producers began churning them out cheaply, with more fat than meat.

The unhealthiness of the commercial sausage got under our skins and sales tumbled.

But farmers and independent butchers bit back. They turned to old-fashioned recipes and meaty values and the sausage industry is bursting with pride once again.

This week, the nation celebrates the saving of the sausage – it’s National Sausage Week, a time to savour a national porky pleasure.

Fans can get hands on and not only find out what goes into a banging local banger, but actually decide what lies beneath the skin.

A sausage-making event is being staged tonight at an award-winning local gastro pub just named in the next AA Good Pub Guide.

As well as rejoicing at the prestigious national recognition, the Devonshire Arms at Middle Handley is celebrating British Sausage Week in typically innovative fashion.

It’s inviting along the team of quality local sausage-makers from Moss Valley Fine Meats of Norton.

Pig farmer Stephen Thompson and wife Karen have been selling hand-made quality sausages from their butchery unit at Povey Farm, Norton, for the past seven years.

“Our sausage is made using pork from our own specially-bred pigs. This means we can be 100 per cent confident in the quality and consistency of each and every sausage that is produced,” says Stephen.

The Moss Valley experts will give a talk and a sausage-making demonstration. Then it will be time for novices to roll up their sleeves – and get stuffing. A selection of herbs and spices will be on hand 
so folk will be able to personalise their recipe and 
maybe even come up with a flavour combo to rival one 
of Moss Valley’s own.

Then they will hand over their hand-made fare to 21-year-old Devonshire chef Tom Lawson, who last week shared the young chef of the year title in the Eat Sheffield food awards.

Tom will be cooking them to perfection, then handing them back to their creators.

Diners who didn’t get their hands messy can also partake of a special sausage menu for the evening.

Three Moss Valley varieties will be dished up the good, old-fashioned way, with mashed potato and onion gravy.

“The sausage is such an essential part of the national menu that we tend to take it for granted,” said Devonshire Arms manager Alistair Myers.

“What we aim to do with our British Sausage Week celebration is demonstrate that our local favourites, all made from quality meat from the Moss Valley Fine Meats farm, can easily stand alongside more fashionable foreign contenders for the title of top sausage.

“Moss Valley produce a mouth watering selection and our chef Tom Lawson will be creating an equally mouth watering traditional supper.”

Tables can be booked from 7pm and the cost of £17 per head also includes a glass of local ale or wine and a sticky toffee pudding desert. To book, call 01246 434 800 or go to www.thedevonshirearmsmiddlehandley.com

Sheffield’s own porky producers have had a string of successes at industry awards.

Norton farmers and butchers Moss Valley Fine Meats are celebrating after their hand-made Farmhouse Sausages won silver in the Best Pub Pork Sausage category of the national Sausage of the Year competition in London.

Moss Valley were also finalists in the British Sausage Week 2012 Stand up for British Bangers competition, staged at the Milestone pub in Sheffield on Monday, along with Walkley butcher Chris Beech’s sausage The Olympian.