Tuesday, 16 January 2007
In Praise of the Humble Banger.....
When this blog was first mooted, a cry of dismay went up from within the household that dinner menus would now have to be too 'grand' to include the humble sausage. Not so - when properly made, the humble banger is true food for the soul, and I'm sure would meet all of Doctor Pomiane's criteria for good living. Combined with a decent Bordeaux and congenial company, what more could you possibly want?
In London, the commercial brand of choice is Porkinsons. In Italy, the choice is more varied, all made by hand by Maurizio the local butcher: the simplest form of life is a basic pork sausage, squat and speckled, and bursting with flavour; slightly more elegant, and significantly more expensive, are his salsiccie lunghe with a creaminess to the texture which veers more in the direction of a boudin blanc; and finally, best of all, are his sausages made of cinta senese, a particularly rare kind of pork, now available slightly more often than in the past, but still infrequent in their appearance. Cinta Senese - apparently - owes its wonderful flavour to a higher percentage of oleic fat than in other breeds of pig, but it ends up being expensive as the animals are effectively reared free-range, and have to be nurtured for twice as long as the others. Whatever the process, the result is amazing!
Portobello Mushrooms, stuffed with Walnuts and Herbs. See below, for recipe.
Grilled Sausages (Porkinsons, see above), with cubed aubergine cooked with parsley and garlic.
Compote of pears and dark plums, poached in port, with a hint of vanilla, and then chilled - before adding a handful of raspberries, at the end. Served with Creme Chantilly.