John Robinson - Pork & Sage
Sometimes I have to rack my brains to pick a SOTW, other times they pick themselves.
This one falls into the second category. Being selected by Rose Prince - Telegraph writer and author of the excellent "The Savvy Shopper" (with a chapter on sausages) as her favorite sausages got them on my short list. This was confirmed by a conversation I earwigged in Newbury market place "...they live in Stockbridge, pretty town in Hampshire with the river Test running through it...and a stupendous butcher...best sausages in the South."
They are second generation butchers located on Stockbridge High Street. This is a pretty, tasteful town with a trout filled river running through the middle. The shop is definitely a destination butchers shop and worth a special shopping trip. An old fashioned shop with sawdust on the floor and a separate accounts counter where you pay (cash or cheques only).
They shut at 4 pm on a Saturday. As with all good butchers they have a lot more in the cold room than on display - if you cant see what you want ask! I brought a pound of sausages at £6.60 a kilo, back bacon, beef burgers and a 1.5kg piece of pork belly (nicely boned and scored for me with the ribs in a separate bag) all for £20. They clearly care about the meat and the customers. The butcher asked if I was planing to make the dish featured in Gordon Ramsey's F Word that week (I stuffed it with saut? onions, fresh sage and cooking apples, rolled it up and roasted it - scrumptious!)
There were at least 6 proper butchers, service is excellent and friendly. As well as a full range of meat, they also sell game, cheese, ice cream and various jars of jams and chutneys.
The sausages were very good, proper bangers made with rusk and good meat. They lost little size during cooking, were juicy and had a good sage taste. As with many good sausages thet taste even bettter cold! Best sausages in Britain might be stretching it but they are certainly good bangers.
They score 9 on our scoring system and must be one of the best butchers in the South!