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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Lamb Merguez sausages from acclaimed Nottingham butcher Johnny Pusztai with patatas bravas. Deliciously Spicy!!!!!!

I am off work for ten days at the moment and suddenly the weather has turned gloriously sunny. Alas I cannot afford a holiday so I have decided to do the next best thing. I believe it is called Le Staycation. So whilst the weather conditions are practically Mediterranean my little home in Ruddington Notts is now Ruddington Sur La Mer. Well, to all intents and purposes any rue up. The huge rosemary bush in front of my kitchen window practically hums in the heat and the lavender bushes either side of my house show off their brightest purple blooms. If I put on some of my favourite French music I could be in France without the expense of a flight and time travelling. Imagination is Everything!

On a trip into Nottingham today I took a rather heated and dedicated walk over to Sherwood and J.T. Beedhams the butchers to buy some of his Merguez sausages. They are the best in Nottingham as are all of the meat products in Master butcher Johnny Pusztai's famous butcher's shop at 556 Mansfield Road. I managed to get my gold award winning  Merguez sausages almost the minute they were being made! It was great to see Johnny again and I hot footed my way back to Ruddington eager to get them in the pan. Johnny uses the best smoked paprika in his Merguez sausage and they taste divine. His meats related heritage is continually winning fans inside of and outside of Nottinghamshire and he was awarded the Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Producer 2011. His new website has just gone live. To quote his website ' Johnny Pusztai is a highly skilled butcher of the old guard. His knowledge and passion for the subject is unsurpassed' Matt Tebbutt- co host of Market Kitchen on the Good Food Network.

Matthew Fort of The Guardian calls Johnny Pusztai a 'ham curing, bacon smoking, sausage making force of nature.

If you want to check out how Johnny and his team of butchers make the sausage go to @JohnnyPusztai on Twitter for a fascinating video look at their sausage making process. They seem very excited about their new Dadaux filler and Kolbe mixer!!!

Johnny Pusztai's superb Merguez lamb sausage.

Back to Johnny's Merguez sausage with Hungarian smoked paprika mixed with the lean minced lamb as a major spice influence. Adding a tin of chopped tomatoes to some patatas bravas (hot spicy roast potatoes) I made yesterday (i.e. some leftovers) and re-heated in the oven for half an hour I pan fried some of my Merguez sausages and a few brown mushrooms. To finish the dish I threw on a (delicately placed on) a few vinegary cornichons and a splash of Hawkshead Chilli Jam (available at Delilah's Deli Nottingham). A sprig of mint was added for decoration.

The Belgian beer I had with this scrummy lunch has made the afternoon a perfect Staycation in my mini European home.

Phil Lowe

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