The Food Artisan: The Great British Sausage Company’s David Nye





Artisan 
noun 
· A worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand. 
· As modifier of food or drink made in a traditional or non-mechanized way using high-quality ingredients.
 
Once a fortnight CellarVie Wines, and our roving ambassador Nigel Barden, endeavours to unearth some of our shores’ finest and most quintessentially artisan food producers - the culinary purists who consistently champion local produce in an innovative yet deliciously tasty fashion - in order to bring you an interview that gives you an insight into their ethos. In our latest installment, Nigel talks with The Great British Sausage Company’sDavid Nye... 
 
Nigel Barden writes: "David Nye worked as a chef after training at catering school, but became immersed in the world of sausages, when as a regular music festival goer, was dismayed not to be able to sink his teeth into a good British banger! There were other types from all over the culinary planet, but nothing that shouted 'Best of British'. He therefore set up The Great British Sausage Company seven years ago at Knebworth in Hertfordshire. He has forged strong links with the estate and local producers and has hoovered up awards for his 'Full English' (pork, black pudding and smoked bacon); 'Chucklehead' (pork and cider), abd 'The Hot Duchess' (pork and jalapeño). David employs a fun, hard-working crew and the company even has an outlet at Luton airport, but GBSC vans can still be seen at numerous festivals and sometimes housing a host of sleeping revellers!

How did GBSC come about?

Back in 2003 I could not find a decent sausage at a music festival and had a eureka moment.


Are you able to use plenty of local ingredients and seasonal ones?

Yes, all our pork comes from one farm in East Anglia ensuring 100% traceability and the farm is only 30 miles from us. We also use Knebworth Park Venison during the culling season (September - February) and we are based in Knebworth.  


What would your desert island sausage be?

Our Churchill Sausage served with an extra cold beer!


What are some of your favourite wine tipples and which ingredients/dishes do you like pairing them with, sausage or otherwise?

Im a big fan of Villa Maria, New Zealand and Bergerac whites and apart from all our sausages I love enjoying them with chargrilled vegetables smothered in my garlic and pepper paste and served with any form of seafood. 


What other food styles/countries excite you?

I love all foods and going to new countries excites me as I'm constantly discovering new foods. I have a special love for Italian as that’s where my mother is from. I class my Calabrian nonna (Grandmother) as the best cook in the world!
 
Your last meal (many centuries away); what would it be, who would cook it and what would you quaff with it?

I would like my Gran (father’s mother) to cook me her Lamb Stew and Dumplings. I would enjoy it with a bottle of champagne or two!


Do you have the recipe for a favourite dish you can share with us, sausage inclusive or otherwise?

Grandma's Toad in the Hole. When Grandma knew we were coming for lunch, she knew our favourite snack was Toad in the Hole. She would switch on the oven and put the dripping from Sunday lunch into a roasting tin. She would gently fry the sausages on the hob for 10 minutes while the oven reached a suitable temperature. While the sausages were gently frying and the roasting tin reaching the right temperature, Grandma would take a large mixing bowl and measure 4 ozs flour, sift it into the bowl with a pinch of salt and break 2 eggs into the centre well of flour. With a hand whisk she would bring the flour from the sides into the eggs, gradually adding a mixture of milk and water until the batter was a smooth consistency. She would place the mixture in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and turn up the oven to 425 degrees. Grandma would take the sausages out of the frying pan and place them into the hot roasting tray, taking the mixture from the fridge and pouring it onto the sausages and then quickly returning this to the hot oven. Thirty minutes later, we enjoyed the most delicious Toad in the Hole with a spoonful of creamy mashed potatoes and some Oxo gravy - wonderful!

Ingredients:-
1 lb Churchill Sausages
4 tablspf beef dripping

Batter:
4 oz plain flour + a pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/4 pint water + 1/4 pint milk


When and where are you happiest?

When I'm at Gordon’s Wine bar with a lady eating lots of smelly cheese and drinking rosé on a sunny day.


If you hadn't gone down the sausage route, what would you have liked to have done?

Something that involves traveling, food and drink.
 
 


Where and what was your best meal ever?

At a restaurant called Trepiede in Monza (no longer exists unfortunately), and the dish was Tagliata alla Fiorentina (the most famous steak dish in Italy) with spinach and porcini mushrooms.


How long will your sausages keep, can they be frozen, how do we get hold of them and how much do they cost?

Sausages keep for up to a week in the fridge, one year in the freezer (normal sausages keep for only six months due to high fat content but because ours are low in fat you get twice the shelf life).

You can buy them from framers markets in the Hertfordshire area (Harpenden last Sunday of the month and Stevenage Old Town on the second Saturday) and you can also buy them online www.britishsausages.co.uk and the cost is £4 per pack or three for £10.


What's the story behind your Knebworth sausage?

I was in my local pub The Robin Hood, and Woko the deer keeper on Knebworth estate walked in. After a few jars, he told me I needed to scrap my new idea of a wild boar sausage and create a game sausage using the lovely venison in the park, just half a mile away. After a few more jars I agreed to buy a couple of deer off Woko. At 7.30am the following day the door bell goes and I open the door to find two whole deer on my mother and father's door step and the Knebworth sausage was born!
 
 
The Perfect Wine Pairings for David Nye
 
Nigel Writes: For his last meal David would drink Champagne with his grandmother's 'Lamb Stew and Dumplings', so I recommend he tries the Laurent Perrier Brut Reserve at £34; a blend of the three classic Champagne grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (2 red, 1 white). This beautifully made Champagne cleverly combines plenty of upfront fruit with a nicely dry, grown up finish, which avoids being overly acidic, a fate which can befall some Champagnes.

He likes a good rosé with his smelly cheese, so how about the Chilean 1870 Copihue Block Merlot Rosé, 2010, from Errázuriz in the Central Valley. It's a pretty punchy mouthful, like a gutsy watermelon (if that's not an oxymoron!). We're currently serving it up for just £4.85, rather the usual £9.99.

With his Italian Nonna's Tagliata alla Fiorentina, which she makes with spinach and porcini mushrooms, a light, fragrant red fits the bill and of course it has to be Italian. I've opted for the fresh and fruity Valpolicella Classico, Bolla 2011 from Veneto but
the Barbera d'Asti from Piedmont's iconic wine brand Enrico Serafino, would also be absolutely delicious.



 
For information on The Great British Sausage Company Ltd visit www.britishsausages.co.uk
Telephone Number: 01438 815139
E-mail: info@britishsausages.co.uk
 
 
 


 
 
 
 

Written by: Nigel Barden

Nigel Barden 

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