Everything you need to know about the Big Norfolk Sausage Bash
PUBLISHED: 07:27 12 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:32 12 May 2019
Butchers and chefs are travelling from far and wide for the first year of this food festival.
Finishing touches are currently being put in place for the first ever Big Norfolk Sausage Bash.
Being held at Aylsham Market Place and on Red Lion Street from 10am to 4pm on May 12, the event brings together foodie stalls, demonstrations, local brewers and producers of some of the finest sausages in the county and beyond for one day only.
We spoke to some of the businesses involved to find out what their plans are for the day.
Jason Gibbons of joint organiser Coxford's Butchers, based in Aylesham, said: "We've been running a competition between the schools in Aylsham Cluster Trust. Each child has received a form to fill in with their idea of the best flavoured sausage. The winner's sausages will be cooked on the day and available to buy. They will also be going on sale in our shop and both of Walsingham's farm shops for a week after the event. I cannot wait! At the moment the winning recipe's not been announced, but I can assure you we cannot wait to make it (and try it). On the day the sausages will be 50p each, with all the profits going to the festival's chosen charities.
"We're also giving a butchery demo on the day at 11am in the town hall. We feel it's important to have events like these in the calendar as it's not just about the butcher, it's about the whole community coming together to celebrate what Norfolk has to offer in food and drink."
Sam Bagge of Walsingham Farm Shop, which is co-hosting the day with Coxford's and chef Charlie Hodson says the team's butchers are bringing two flavours of sausage on the day - the traditional Walsingham Sausage and a surprise of "something a bit different" to celebrate Norfolk.
"We are really fortunate to be able to source all our pork from four miles down the road in South Creake," Sam says of the raw ingredients that go into the farm shop's bangers. "Tim Allen has been our pork supplier for many years now and we honestly believe his pork is not only the best in Norfolk, but the best in the country. Tim often pops in to check the quality of his pigs and it's fantastic to see someone so passionate about what they do, and the welfare of the animals they rear. We use a mixture of cuts in our sausages, but belly and shoulder meat are always used. The belly gives a bit of fat which gives the sausage moisture and flavour, and the lean meat gives texture and a real porky taste. We also use natural casings, which not only cook off better, than synthetic alternatives, but also add bite, flavour and vary slightly to give character."
Old Hall Farm (soon to open a cafe in south Norfolk) is pleased to be representing the county at the festival. Owner Rebecca Mayhew said: "We want our pork to speak for itself. We don't use pork trim, we use top quality cuts for all our sausages. There is no rusk and therefore no rubbish in them. They are 98% pork and we're very proud of that. Our pigs are reared at home, and fed any leftover milk from our dairy. We'll be putting on a sausage making demonstration at 12pm at the bash where I'll show you how to make your own sausages at home using simple techniques and equipment. Come and learn how to impress your guests this summer."
Chef Adrian Oliver, winner of this year's Sausage Roll-Off at The Red Lion in Barnes, is attending all the way from Cornwall where he owned bistro Margot's in Padstow for 15 years. He'll be recreating his winning meaty pastry.
Also popping up from the west country is head chef of Plymouth Theatre Royal, Davin Browning who will showcase some of the best meat from his part of the world - using ingredients from McKelly of Crediton near Exeter. "For my segment with Adrian Oliver I'm using a bespoke Norfolk merguez sausage from Walsingham Farm Shop to celebrate my favourite food in Norfolk. When I think of Norfolk I think of Cromer crab, Colman's mustard and my beloved Norwich City Football Club. I'm makin a Louisiana style gumbo as a tribute to Nelson's county using some of the best ingredients on offer. I don't think, however, I will be able to make the dish without a pinch of Cornish sea salt!
"I wanted to be involved with this bash to meet some great people including local chefs and skilled artisans, and to have a good time. The charities that the Big Norfolk Sausage Bash is supporting are great causes. Specifically Hospitality Action UK is very close to my heart."
The Big Norfolk Sausage Bash is raising funds for Cancer Research UK, Aylsham Cluster Group, Aylsham Parish Church, Aylsham Scouts, Hospitality Action UK and Mind Norwich.
On the day look out for parking at Keys auctioneers in Aylsham.