Before I started writing this blog I wouldn’t have thought cooking and rugby playing were the most obvious bedfellows, but it appears I am out of the loop. First of all there was this sauce from Lawrence Dallaglio, then last year Phil Vickery won celebrity masterchef and now Matt Dawson (also a celebrity masterchef winner) has teamed up with ‘the fuller flavoured sausage company’ and produced some cumberland sausages.
I’ll be honest I did not have high hopes for Matt’s sausages. The packaging was confusing with loads of different fonts, naff pictures and cheesy quotes like ‘Remember: to keep our fuller flavour, don’t fork us first!’ The design and tone were teetering on the wrong side of cheap. In addition, previous sausages that have featured on this blog have failed to excite and they were endorsed by real chefs Heston Blumenthal and Paul Rankin, so why should a rugby player succeed were these guys failed. In light of all that I decided I would use the sausages for a casserole so I could attempt to disguise them if they were gross.
I fried them for a few minutes and tried one before adding it to the casserole – it was quite a surprise. The sausage had great flavour and a careful balance of herbs, it was really good. It was let down by it’s texture however, being spongy and not meaty enough. I suspect this was due to the meat being too heavily ground thus losing its structure. The actual meat content was 80% which isn’t bad, it and 20% breadcrumbs and seasonings seems reasonable to me. I added them to the casserole, but was sad to see them go, I would have been happy to enjoy them on their own merits.
The moral of the story is, if you want a good sausage don’t ask a chef, ask a rugby player, they will do you proud.
Matt Dawson Cumberland Sausages £2.79 for 6 (I got them for £2 on a special offer)