The quest for the best.
In search of the right flavour and texture for our first Top Dog, we’ve tried a multitude of different variations and tweaked one ingredient at a time.
There are four elements to making a great sausage, the meat, the seasoning, the binding and the skins. All of these work together to create the end product. Having established our seasoning mix and binding, it was time to concentrate on the meat element.
The one thing we knew for sure is that the meat must come from local farmers, who we know and trust, and must be reared in a way that would set it apart from the crowd.
In terms of beef, we favour the traditional Longhorn cattle that are native to the Yorkshire Dales and one of the oldest breeds of cattle in the UK. It’s not unusual to see Longhorns grazing on the limestone moorland around Malham and this is where we were determined to source our beef.
These cattle roam freely and naturally and are grown slowly at their own pace rather than artificially fattened to meet an ever increasing demand. They live at least twelve months longer and in a stress free environment and feed on the moorland pastures.
When the time comes they are slaughtered humanely and locally with as little stress as possible.
Finally the meat is allowed to hang for three weeks in a dry ageing process that ensures a good flavour, texture and low water content.
As for the pork, this comes from outdoor bred, free range Yorkshire Dales pigs. Not only do these pigs have a better quality of life, the meat they produce tastes so much better because they grow slower because of their active and energetic life. This slow grown process, along with their feed and breeding results in a succulent, great tasting meat.
We think we’ve found the best combination for our Top Dogs, but you’ll have to try them and let us know. The first opportunity to do this will be at Kilnsey Show on 26th August in our Grid Iron canteen.