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Don Stevens Sausage Blog A blog about sausages and life 2019-01-25T07:53:44Z http://donstevens.co.nz/feed/atom/ WordPress http://donstevens.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/logo2016-88x88.png Don Stevens http://www.donstevens.co.nz <![CDATA[Chorizo on Kapiti Island]]> http://donstevens.co.nz/?p=5899 2019-01-20T10:03:01Z 2019-01-20T09:50:28Z Continued]]> Chorizo on Kapiti Island

I brought some chorizo back from Raglan. I consider this to be the best sausage made by Top Cut Butchery in Raglan. My wife gave me a trip to Kapiti Island as a Christmas present. This island off the coast, just north of Wellington, is a bird sanctuary. We camped overnight on Kapiti Island with Kapiti Island Nature Tours.

Of particular interest was the night walk looking to see little spotted kiwi. We saw one within thirty metres of the camp site. We also another kiwi later in the evening very close to our tent. Quite a trill to see them in the wild. David, a visitor form England took this photo – a red light is used to view the kiwi, this explains the red hue in the photo. I took the remainder of the shots.

There were also…..

Kaka – parrot – swooping in to pinch food from our pre-dinner nibbles


Keruru – wood pigeon – 50% larger than on the mainland and foraging for grass seed on the ground


Kakariki – parakeet – again this forages for seeds on the ground, on the mainland, this means death to the bird due to introduced predators


Tieke – saddleback

Toutouwai – North Island robin

Weka – a wood hen

And as we walked over the island looking at birdlife, I munched on the chorizo from Raglan. An excellent experience.


Don Stevens http://www.donstevens.co.nz <![CDATA[Beef and Mushroom Sausages – Westmere Butchery]]> http://donstevens.co.nz/?p=5893 2019-01-16T03:06:24Z 2019-01-16T03:02:41Z Continued]]> Beef and Mushroom Sausages – Westmere Butchery

While in Raglan we went to Auckland for the day to see a session of the ASB Classic mens’ tennis tournament. We were lucky to see great tennis from local player Rubin Statham who against the odds defeated Chung Hyeon from South Korea. It was a great match. We also watched two other singles matches on a very hot Auckland day.

We were seated in the front row of the stand, plenty of sun, and plenty of heat.

When the serve is made at over 200 kmph, the ball comes towards you at great speed.

Of course if you are in Auckland then a visit to Westmere Butchery is a must in my mind, so we also managed to squeeze this in. I was keen to purchase some Beef and Mushroom sausages. In the Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition these sausages won the People’s Choice, and gold in the Gourmet Beef category.

These are a good sausage that clearly have wide appeal to the Kiwi punter. It was was easy to understand why they were won the Peoples’ Choice Award in last year’s Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition. It is a medium grind sausage where the dominant flavour of beef is complemented by the secondary flavour of mushroom. The boys enjoyed the sausages, although they do prefer – like their father – a sausage with more spice.

The beef and mushroom sausages

My favourite sausage from Westmere Butchery is the Italian Bandiera so I was disappointed they did not have any in stock when we visited. However there is always next time – I’ll just have to visit again.

Cost per kilo: $16.95

Don Stevens http://www.donstevens.co.nz <![CDATA[Kransky and Chorizo – Top Cut Butchery, Raglan]]> http://donstevens.co.nz/?p=5887 2019-01-15T01:07:43Z 2019-01-15T01:05:47Z Continued]]> Kransky and Chorizo – Top Cut Butchery, Raglan

While in Top Cut Butchery I spied some rather long kranksy and chorizo in a cabinet at the back of the shop so purchased one of each. When I was back in the shop a few days later, I brought some more. Being in Raglan, the wildlife like to enjoy the surf too. A pig rides a surf board in this butchery.

The pig on the surf board.

Both of these sausages are smoked. They do not have to be cooked, however I reheated them on the barbecue. The butchers in the shop had limited knowledge about these sausages. I asked if the seeds in the chorizo were mustard, but they did not know. They were able to say they thought manuka was used to smoke the snarlers and also told me that Friday was the day that the sausages were smoked.

The word kransky is derived from the Slovenian words kranjska klobasa, which is the name for a pork sausage from Kranjska, a former province in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is made with pork, beef, bacon and garlic. This was a very good eating sausage, coarsely ground and with my favourite element on display, a large amount of smoke to add to the flavour.

Chorizo and kransky on the barbecue.

(the other sausages are the Lamb Madras Curry Sausages)

The chorizo is a coarse to medium grind with elements of paprika, chilli, mustard and smoke to add to the flavour. Whole mustard seeds are present in the mix. In the chorizo the smokiness is not as pronounced as it has to compete with the spices. This is an above average example of chorizo sausage. We brought some of these home to Wellington and the consensus from the whanau, was that the chorizo was the superior sausage.

My view is that these are the best sausages that I have purchased from Top Cut Butchery. At five dollars a sausage I consider these to be good value. Just the thing to satisfy the appetite after a day in the surf.

While in Raglan we stayed at a very nice compact studio, we have stayed here a number of times, if you are thinking of going to Raglan you could check this out here.

Don Stevens http://www.donstevens.co.nz <![CDATA[Lamb Madras Curry Sausages – Top Cut Butchery, Raglan]]> http://donstevens.co.nz/?p=5884 2019-01-25T07:53:44Z 2019-01-13T09:01:58Z Continued]]> Lamb Madras Curry Sausages – Top Cut Butchery, Raglan

While in Raglan we have been enjoying the surf and beach. The weather was still good, but not as great as the previous few days, so we decided to go the Pirongia Forest Park and check out the tallest recorded tree in New Zealand. This kahikatea stands 66.5 metres tall.

We took some sausages from Top Cut Butchery in Raglan for sustenance. These were lamb Madras curry sausages. After a walk through very pleasant bush the kahikatea stands majestically near the bank of decent sized stream flowing through the area.

The lamb Madras sausage and the kahikatea

These sausages are good, basic sausages. The lamb is combined with elements of chilli, tamarind, star anise and more. There are elements of sour and sweet, and tasty meaty lamb. A very nice sausage to eat after a few hours of walking to check out the tree.

If you like lamb sausages designed to cater for the average kiwi punter’s palate, then swing by Top Cut Butchery in Raglan and grab a few.

And we were back in Raglan in time for an afternoon of boogie boarding in the waves.

Cost per kilo: $18.95

Don Stevens http://www.donstevens.co.nz <![CDATA[Homemade Christmas Sausages – and a few other delicacies]]> http://donstevens.co.nz/?p=5860 2019-01-03T09:19:15Z 2019-01-03T09:14:53Z Continued]]> Homemade Christmas Sausages – and a few other delicacies

As the Christmas festivities kick in, the annual discussion concerning what to contribute to the meal occurred. Unsurprisingly, I was given the task of making sausages and supplying meat.

The Christmas Table

Along with four other families we attend a Christmas Eve dinner where I offered to bring sausages, and I offered a wide array of varieties. The hosts requested the old favourites of pork, pear, blue cheese and walnut. The hosts had eaten these previously and were keen for more. Of all the sausages I make, this variety is one that receives the most positive feedback.

The pork, pear, blue cheese and walnut sausages

So I made a couple of dozen of these sausages. With a few vegetarian kids present (none are mine are I hasten to add) this was easily more than one each. A large cooked ham, roast potatoes and salads were also served.  At the dinner the sausages were quickly snaffled up. A few people commented to me that when they went back for seconds they were all gone. One comment I received that night was – that they did not like the walnuts. My view is these add crunch and texture to the sausage, but this person would have preferred a walnut free sausage. Everybody is entitled to their opinion.

The paua

For the whanau lunch the following day, I made paua sausages. These are a favourite of mine. I obtained ten paua from an acquaintance who is a keen diver – I trade them for my homemade sausages. I used 500g of minced paua for these sausages, adding a 1kg of minced pork shoulder and caramelised onions. As ever these sausages were well received. They were cooked on a barbecue along with an eye fillet, and cavapcici sausages from Park Avenue Quality Meats. .

The paua sausages

The boys especially loved the eye fillet. It was steak could be cut with the back of blunt spoon. The cavapcici are a mild skinless sausage made from beef and pork with garlic and paprika added for extra flavour. Also served was salmon, new potatoes, asparagus and salads.

The smoked beer

I always enjoy smoked food and I accompanied my meal with a smoked beer from SUP Brewery – Peter Who. I enjoyed this beer, I would describe it as stout with a pleasantly pronounced smokiness in the after taste. The website from SUP Brewery say this beer was named after Peter Snell, and will attract rough rugged Kiwis who handle running a 100 miles a week. While I am not quite in this category, the leg continues to improve and I am looking forward to competing in the Jumbo Holdsworth Trail Run in a few weeks.

Both meals were a fine time with whanau and friends. Lots of talking and even some listening. As we move into January I am looking forward to heading off to the beaches of Raglan.

Don Stevens http://www.donstevens.co.nz <![CDATA[The third, or fourth best lock in New Zealand rugby?]]> http://donstevens.co.nz/?p=5855 2018-12-29T07:53:48Z 2018-12-29T07:51:34Z Continued]]> The third, or fourth best lock in New Zealand rugby?

A mate’s son gave me a few sausages that he had made at Park Kitchen, a restaurant in Miramar. These sausages were Mediterranean lamb sausages. My mate’s son runs the Josper grill at Park Kitchen. You’ll be surprised to hear that we have talked sausages from time to time so he was keen for me to try out some of his own.

These Mediterranean lamb sausages were bold in their appearance, bigger than your average snarler. They were nicely presented, and clearly tied by chefs, as opposed to an amateur sausage maker like myself. The meat used was lamb shoulder and added to this was garlic and thyme to enhance the flavour. These were meaty lamb sausages, meat was the dominant flavour with garlic as the secondary flavour and a hint of thyme. We ate these for a dinner meal and really enjoyed the sausage. If you are at Park Kitchen in Miramar and sausages are on the menu, I recommend you try them. They also came with a great salad that my wife fruitlessly tried to keep all to herself.

I’ve had a long relationship with the chef’s father, stretching back to uni days. My mate was an outstanding lock in his rugby playing days. Declining the prospect of higher honours he preferred to beaver away in the lower grades of Wellington rugby. The only real issue about his rugby prowess is the question: Is he above or below Brodie Retallick in the pantheon of great New Zealand locks? This would place him at either number three or number four on that list, headed of course, by the great man himself – Pinetree Meads. We will be debating this for sometime…..

Don Stevens http://www.donstevens.co.nz <![CDATA[The art of sausage making]]> http://donstevens.co.nz/?p=5826 2018-12-12T20:32:52Z 2018-12-12T20:32:42Z The art of sausage making is to be revered. These big bangers look like they are having a good time…….

Don Stevens http://www.donstevens.co.nz <![CDATA[Traditional Toulouse – L’Authentique]]> http://donstevens.co.nz/?p=5812 2018-11-08T08:00:48Z 2018-11-08T07:57:54Z Continued]]> Traditional Toulouse – L’Authentique

This is the third review of sausages from L’Authentique. This French inspired company makes great sausages. They are chunky and wholesome eating and the flavours are well melded to create morsels of deliciousness. This time the sausage sampled was Traditional Toulouse. The Traditional Toulouse is made from free-farmed New Zealand pork, along with free-farmed bacon. There are also elements of garlic and parsley.

I decided to test my leg in the hills as part of the rehabilitation process. The forecast was not great, so I decided on a quick jaunt to Field Hut in the Tararuas. Temperatures were between minus thirteen and minus fifteen at Kime so I expected it to be a bit chilly on the way to Field Hut. From Otaki Forks there was a light steady drizzle as I climbed the ridge. When I got closer to Field Hut this turned to gentle wafting snow, There was no wind so the snowflakes fluttered on their way down.

When I got to Field Hut there was an English backpacker who was trying to generate heat from the log burner, with limited success. He was cutting a log with a bow saw that was in the hut, He commented that he has used butter knives that were sharper than that saw.

While in the hut I ate the Traditional Toulouse sausage which is a meat sausage,  The pork and bacon complement each other and the bacon adds elements of smoke and sweetness to the meat. Meat is the dominant flavour, the garlic and parsley are background flavours on the palate.  Although the sausage was cold and had been on the snow, the enjoyment was immense.

As I headed back to Otaki Forks I mused about the range of L’Authentique sausages. Whatever one you select you will be impressed by the flavour.

It has been a couple of weeks since I wrote this post, and since then L’Authentique has won two golds at the Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition. Congratulations to the team at L’Authentique on winning gold in the Pork category for their Pure Pork Sausage, along with a matching gold in the Traditional category for the Pork and Fennel Sausage.


Don Stevens http://www.donstevens.co.nz <![CDATA[Devro Great NZ Sausage Competition]]> http://donstevens.co.nz/?p=5806 2018-10-29T09:43:46Z 2018-10-29T09:43:46Z Continued]]> After having the pleasure of being a judge at the Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition it was great to see the result announced. In a first, joint winners were awarded the Supreme Award. Te Rapa New World’s Angus Beef and Westmere Butchery’s Beef and Mushroom shared the top award. To come through a field of nearly five hundred sausages in thirteen categories is real achievement.

I judged the beef section and I can attest to the quality of the Angus Beef sausage. All judging is completed blind, and when we get to that special sausage that stands out, it is a real pleasure.

Congratulations to all the winners. I know from experience that the awards are a closely fought competition with many great sausages being sampled over my two days of judging.

From a Wellington perspective it is good see a Cameron Harrison black pudding and Eastbourne Village Meats Red Roma receiving medals. I am looking forward to sampling these sausages.

Below is a list of this year’s winners.

Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition 2018 full results:

2018 Supreme Award                                      New World Te Rapa, Angus Beef

                                                                        Westmere Butchery, Beef and Mushroom

2018 People’s Choice Award                         Westmere Butchery, Beef and Mushroom

2018 Devro NZ Wildcard Award*                     Peter Timbs Meats, Hot Chorizo


2018 Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition Medallists:

Category: Beef          

  • Gold:                           New World Te Rapa                            Angus Beef
  • Silver (joint):                Hellers Ltd                                            Hellers Angus
  • Silver (joint):                Leonard’s Superior Smallgoods           Old English Beef
  • Bronze:                        Countdown                                         Angus Beef

Category: Pork

  • Gold:                           L’Authentique                                     Pure Pork
  • Silver:                          The Kiwi Butcher Shop                         Pure Pork
  • Bronze:                        Moos Baas & Oinks                             Pure Pork

Category: Poultry

  • Gold:                           New World Stonefields                         Smokey Chicken, Coriander & Garlic
  • Silver (joint):                New World Stonefields                        Chicken, Coriander, Garlic & Mild Chilli
  • Silver (joint):                Grey Lynn Butchers                             Free Range Chicken and Truffle
  • Bronze:                        Raeward Fresh Tower Junction           The Senorita

Category: Pre-cooked

  • Gold:                           Cattermoles Butchery Kaiapoi           Smoked Saveloy
  • Silver:                          Akaroa Butchery & Deli                      Cotechino
  • Bronze:                        Morepork BBQ                                     Pork Hot Dog

Category: Flavoured  

  • Gold:                           M & M Master Butchers                       Pork Flavoured
  • Silver:                          Esk Valley Meats                                 Lamb & Mint Flavoured
  • Bronze (joint):              Hellers Ltd                                            Hellers Pork Flavour
  • Bronze (joint):              New World Greenmeadows              Pork Flavoured

Category: Continental Fresh  

  • Gold:                           PAKn’SAVE Riccarton                          Italian Casalinga
  • Silver (joint):                Foodstuffs South Island/ Pams             Italian Lamb
  • Silver (joint):                New World Stanmore                         Italian Pork
  • Bronze (joint):              Aussie Butcher New Lynn                    Bratwurst
  • Bronze (joint):              Avon’s Butchery                                  Italian Fennel Pork

Category: Continental Ready-to-Eat

  • Gold (joint):                 Zamora                                               Picante Salami
  • Gold (joint):                 Peter Timbs Meats                              Hot Chorizo
  • Silver:                          The Butchers Block &                           Beef Classic Salami

Smokehouse Wanaka

  • Bronze:                        Ashby’s Butchery                                 Bell’s Original Pepperoni

Category: Pre-cooked

  • Gold:                           Leonard’s Superior Smallgoods           Black Pudding
  • Silver:                          Cameron Harrison Butchery               Black Pudding
  • Bronze:                        Wild Game Salamis                Wild Venison French Black Pudding

Category: Traditional

  • Gold (joint):                 M & M Master Butchers                       Cumberland Pork
  • Gold (joint):                 L’Authentique                                     Pork & Fennel
  • Silver:                          Raeward Fresh Queenstown              Free Range Pork, Fresh Apple & Toasted Fennel Seeds
  • Bronze:                        The Produce Company                      Pork & Fennel

Category: Gourmet Beef

  • Gold (joint):                 Westmere Butchery                             Beef & Mushroom
  • Gold (joint):                 New World Stanmore                         Roast Beef, Horseradish & Beetroot
  • Silver:                          New World Greenmeadows              Beef, Truffle & Parmesan
  • Bronze:                        Hellers Ltd                                            Hellers Sticky Ginger Beef


Category: Gourmet Pork

  • Gold:                           Whenuapai Meat Merchant              Free Range Pork, Sweet Gala Apple & Sage
  • Silver (joint):                Aussie Butcher New Lynn                    Ben’s Jalapeno & Smokey Cheese Sausage
  • Silver (joint):                Avon’s Butchery                                  Pork & Cranberry
  • Bronze (joint):              New World Bishopdale                       Pork Breakfast
  • Bronze (joint):              New World Havelock North                Pork & Paua

Category: Pre-cooked

  • Gold:                           Eastbourne Village Meats                   Red Roma
  • Silver:                          Euro Gourmet Meats                          Drunken Lamb & Onion
  • Bronze:                        Aussie Butcher New Lynn                    Moroccan Lamb

Category: Innovation 

  • Gold (joint):                 Sausages by Design                            Naked Pure Pork
  • Gold (joint):                 Agora – Butchery & Deli                      Lentil, Kumara & Masala
  • Silver:                          PAKn’SAVE Cameron Road                Vegetarian
  • Bronze:                        Grey Lynn Butchers                             Goan Chourico
Don Stevens http://www.donstevens.co.nz <![CDATA[Roast Chicken Chipolata – L’Authentique]]> http://donstevens.co.nz/?p=5800 2018-11-08T07:58:47Z 2018-10-17T01:40:26Z Continued]]> Roast Chicken Chipolata – L’Authentique

Variety is the spice of life, so for the second night in row we ate sausages. This time roast chicken chipolatas from L’Authentique and naturally I had high expectations when I cooked up these snarlers. As L’Authentique as say on their website, they bring a tradition of charcuterie and hand crafted quality free range meat to all they create. They do not use fillers, preservatives, nitrates or artificial flavours. All sausages made by L’Authentique are gluten free.

In contrast with the previous review, these are a bold chicken sausage. Chicken is the dominant flavour, which is supplemented with hints of lemon and garlic. These will be very appealing to the masses.

Another great product from L’Authentique which we will be eating again. I purchased these from New World Thorndon in Wellington. In the previous post you can see links to other reviews of L’Authentique sausages.

I did make an error in omitting to photograph the finished product. The delectable sausages were served with oven cooked capsicum, portobello mushrooms, and  blanched green beans. Yum yum!