www.Sausagelinks.co.uk newsletter

Welcome to the first newsletter from www.sausagelinks.co.uk. If you are viewing this in plain text, please click on the attachement above to view a colour version. Please let us know if you have any suggestions or comments on the newsletter or the site.

Site improvements
The site has been improved – we now have over 500 sausage producers and these are sorted by region and county. Pictures are bigger, and we will soon add our new photo guide to making sausages at home.

Britain's Best Banger: vote now and win...

We recently launched our competition to find the butcher or farm shop that makes Britain’s Best Banger. The results will be announced in September. Please follow the link to find out about the competition, prizes and how to vote.

» Britain's Best Banger: vote now and win.

We want to find out what the sausage fanatics like. Please vote and add “newsletter” to your entry. We will publish the results of your votes in the next newsletter. By voting you can win a sausage lovers ultimate day out and you can also win a complete sausage starter pack worth £55 from those nice people at www.sausagemaking.co.uk.

Win sausages from Jimmy's Farm...

The Essex Pig Company is well known to many people as "Jimmy's Farm". They make superb, rare breed sausages and now have a range of 10 sausages. They have a weekly farmers market at the Farm on the first Saturday of each month. As well as the Essex Pig Company there are usually over 30 high quality producers – highly recommended!

The Essex Pig Company have kindly donated a box of their sausages, bacon and meat. To win this please send us an . The best recipe will receive the prize and be published on this site.

River Cottage pig in a box

Fans of River Cottage will have seen Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall rearing his own free range pigs and then using the whole animal to make real, honest food, including sausages, salami and black pudding.

You can now buy a River Cottage Pig (outdoor reared Saddleback/Large White Pigs) transformed into a mouth watering selection of nose to tail (buy the book) porcine delights. This costs £89 including delivery and is initially only available to people living within 50 miles of River Cottage HQ. However you can put your name down for future deliveries.

River Cottage Pig in a Box: full details.

The first boxes will cost £89 are will ready for collection on Friday 17 or Saturday 18 June. They have already sold out and there is a waiting list but River Cottage has reserved 2 for Sausagelinks readers.

If you want to buy a box like this for £89 please . You will have to live within 50 miles of Bridport, Dorset or collect it yourself. We will be reviewing the box and there will be more boxes in the future, let us or River Cottage know if you want to be on the waiting list.

Hot Dog special

Summertime is coming and barbeque man is stirring. Our barbeque page has lots of information on BBQs. Have a look at the superb Tong Master link - 4 and a half minutes of Aussie genius!

I’m about to organise and cook a barbeque for 100 people. The next newsletter will let you know how this went and pass on any tips (don’t get drunk until the food is cooked seems a good one).

Around this time of year I start to have a strange urge for hot dogs. You could say that hot dogs are nasty tubes of gristle. Well maybe so, but like white, pap bread they have their moments. Anyway, hot dogs are always popular, probably something to do with eating easy comfort food outdoors and cold beer – ever drunk wine with a hot dog?

Americans eat around 20 billion of them, they probably originate in Frankfurt (hence the frankfurter). However Austrians claim this honour for Vienna (hence the Wiener).

Americans are fiercely proud of their regional hot dogs. A word of warning – many consider that adding ketchup is a mortal sin – it's mustard or nothing!

Chicago dogs Yellow mustard, dark green relish, chopped raw onions, tomato slices, celery salt and a poppy seed bun
Kansas City dogs Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and melted Swiss cheese on a sesame seed bun
New York City dogs Steamed onions and pale yellow mustard sauce
Coney Island dogs Topped with a spicy chilli mixture (never made with beans!)
Southern slaw dogs With coleslaw
Corn dogs Placed on a stick, dipped in corn bread batter and deep-fried
Tex-Mex dogs Salsa, cheddar cheese and chopped chilli peppers
Wisconsin Brat Bratwurst, sauerkraut, fried onions, crisp bacon and German mustard. Often served with potato salad.
Wisconsin is Brat mad – have a look at www.bratfest.com
Pigs in a Blanket wrapped in pastry and baked

We tried several widely available brands of frankfurters (the sausage filling for hot dogs). Our favourite was Jumbo Frankfurters from Herta. However a frankfurter brought from most food halls or delis will probably be better still!

We have been having a go at home made hot dogs. We were aiming for something close to the superb Auld Reekie sausage from Crombies of Edinburgh.

Most hot dogs are made with pork (kosher hot dogs are usually made with beef). The secret is in the meat preparation - you use a normal mix of lean and fat meat and put this through a food processor to emulsify the meat and make a fine grained paste. . This is then stuffed into sausage skins as per usual. Most hot dogs are smoked, you can use a home smoking kit but we took the easy route and used the smoky bacon spice mix from www.sausagemaking.co.uk.

Lastly, please keep your reviews and producer nominations coming: brilliant, good, mediocre, rubbish or Richmond Irish – we want you know what you think!