The Perfect Summer Barbecue sausages courtesy of Heston Blumenthal
Once again British summer has been a bit of a wash-out. A shame for Heston fans looking forward to trying out his summer recipes and products.
Along with ice creams and burgers, Waitrose launched a trio of sausages last year under their Heston from Waitrose brand to review. Although their stock of his products is usually dreadful, my “local” branch had plenty of Heston’s Duck & Sour Cherry and Boerewors sausages. Fire up the barbie!
Nicely packaged in the distinctive black Heston From Waitrose wrapping. As with the better items in the range they feel like a premium product. You only get 4 per pack, so at £2.99 they better be!
With a plump, handmade look to them Heston’s Waitrose sausages feel like an artisan product. A good thing when you’re paying 75 pence per individual supermarket sausage.
We cooked these as a snack for a DVD night. Lots of bangers and rolls. The evening turned into a bit of an, ahem, sausage-fest.
To avoid split, charcoal-crusted skins and bone-dry meat we cooked on the edges of the bbq and turned the sausages regularly.
PRO TIP: As you turn the sausages be sure to point the outside end to the middle as well, so they cook more evenly.
We all know about probe thermometers by now. Pathogens are killed (roughly) by 10 minutes at 65°or in about 60 seconds at 75°. Moisture starts getting squeezed out at 60°, so it’s a balancing act. I played it safe with 75°. Avoid suffering stomach cramps tedious Fat Duck food poisoning jokes from my mates.
These sausages have pretty distinctive flavours, so we wanted to serve them in a way that didn’t smother their unique, individual taste. Rolls, onions (cooked with star anise) and a bit of ketchup were all that was needed.
Here they are, seconds away from being devoured:
Both very good. The duck sausages have a rich gamey flavour and smooth texture balanced with huge chunks of sour cherry. The Boerewors sausages meanwhile were much meatier, with a course, burger-like texture and warm, savoury spicing. I’ve dissected the sausages into a cross section to illustrate:
As you can see, the chunks of cherry aren’t dispersed very well through the duck sausages. If you’re feeling health conscious it’s the leaner of the two and less likely to split during cooking.
The Boerewors sausage was the overall favourite, although it’s a more fatty sausage, with a skin that’s more likely to split. The natural hog casings used for the skins are tough to bite through, bring your sharpest teeth.
Eating them alongside regular bangers did show us one thing though: Heston’s products for Waitrose are fun, and often delicious, but their powerful, distinctive flavours can be overwhelming. Better as a novelty than a regular thing. We enjoyed these because they were different, but one just for each person was enough.