Virgin Blue Voyeur Mag April 2009

Position :: Proprietor, Griffith Butcher, Canberra.
Why a butcher, :: "To provide for my family and after 20 years. Im accustomed to the lifestyle. And I do it for the farmers and their families. I've been buying beef and lamb from the same farmer for 18 years and all his life stock is free range and grass fed without herbicides, pesticides or hormones Locally and ethically produced food is the future of the industry.

I grew up in Canberra, but was born in Bega. New South Wales, so farming is in my blood. I got into butchering because I wanted to get out of school - I was bored stupid. I'd been cleaning up two afternoons a week at a local butchery. When I was 15, an apprenticeship came up, so I took it. I finished my apprenticeship in the early 1980's and it wasn't until my wife and I travelled around AustraLia with the first two of our now five children that I began to think about having my own Place. I opened Griffith Butchery in Canberra in 1989 and I knew right from the beginning that people cared about what is in the food they buy. We do things in a traditional way. Our small goods are smoked on site and we make our own pies and sausages using natural ingredients. We also utilise the utilise carcass of the beast to respect the animal's sacrifice, so there's less waste. Each day is different, but every morning we set up the cabinet, break the beef and prepare the lambs. You can imagne the work it takes to get the bone and fat out of a 230-Kilogram carcass, then cut the meat into steak-sized servings. Apprentices are a big part of the business and my son, Tim is now a second-year apprentice with us. One of my greatest challenges has been to learn how to think not only as a butcher, but also as a manager and entrepreneur. I'm very proud of the apprentices that finish under me. Technical skill aside, I hope they go away knowing how to run an honest and true business. Four of my kids have worked in the shop and my dad stops in every Monday for a chat. Having the family involved is magnificent. I reckon I've still got another 15 years in me, but my plan is for Tim to eventuatty buy the business from me - and then try to keep out of his way.

Source: Virgin Blue Voyeur Mag April 2009 pg. 96

Gourmet Traveller: Top 10 Sausages in Australia

We’ve called in sausages from the nation’s top butchers, fired up the barbie and drawn together a team of intrepid tasters to get the grill-down on the 10 best snags this summer.

best sausages canberraTo get the most bang out of the season’s bangers, we asked GT’s state editors to give us their picks of the best local snags. Our fearless tasting team then got them all in the one place at the one time to try them and come up with the list you see before you.

We were looking for great sausages that cooked beautifully on the barbecue every time, offering up lip-smackingly good eating. Scores of sausages from across the nation were air-freighted to a single well-seasoned Melbourne backyard barbecue to be grilled and tested by a team with more than 50 years of sausage-making and tasting experience between us – namely: GT wine editor Max Allen (who has suggested drinks to pair with each), food educator Allan Campion and sausage aficionado Adrian Kortus, and this writer.

The team sought out sausages made without commercial spice mix, using good-quality meat rather than offcuts, and which were stuffed into natural animal casings.

The sausages were cooked on a hot clean grill for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their girth. We turned each several times and cooked them until the skin was well browned all over and the internal temperature was above 70C. This slower cooking allowed the large chunks of pork back-fat, essential to many traditional sausages, to render out their deliciousness. On the advice of many a sausage-cooking expert, the sausages weren’t pricked. A pierced sausage can become drier and less flavourful once the fat and tasty juices drain out of the holes.

It’s important to note that the sausages were rested before they were served. Resting for just a few minutes allows the heat to dissipate a little and the juices to settle back into the meat – something especially important for the more coarsely ground snags.

Over the course of the taste test, the team was consistently drawn to sausages with greater girth, which offered more balanced flavour than thinner sausages. Our feeling was that the salt and spices in thinner sausages tended to concentrate around the skin as they cooked.

Finally, the tasters ate the sausages without accompaniment because – as any school fundraiser or Bunnings regular will tell you – a bit of bread and sauce will improve the flavour of almost any snag.


Grain-Free Beef sausage, Griffith Butchery
Butcher Richard Odell staunchly believes in pasture-fed beef, the flavour that dominates this traditional beef banger. This juicy specimen is made completely without cereal binders in a single-mince process with ice that keeps the beef fat cold so it doesn’t separate from the meat when it’s stuffed into the sausages, which means it doesn’t ooze out when cooked. $13.97/kg; 10 Barker St, Griffith, (02) 6295 9781

Wine suggestion Claret-style blend of cabernet and merlot.

Sicilian sausage, Andrew’s Choice
Made by Andrew Vourvahakis, these Sicilian-style sausages were a standout winner in our tasting, with a superb mix of coarse pork shoulder and finer-cut back-fat hand-mixed with pan-roasted and crushed fennel seeds, white pepper, salt and a surprise hit of fresh basil. $18.95/kg; 24 Anderson St, Yarraville, (03) 9687 2419
Wine suggestion Gutsy, southern Italian-style red such as nero d’Avola.

Salsiccia con Finocchio, R & A Selected Meats 
These fat and stubby pork sausages are hand-mixed, hand-tied, seasoned with a generous amount of salt and studded with fennel seeds and a touch of chilli. Traditionally they’d be fried to make the base for a pasta sauce, but they’re just as brilliant on the grill. $13.99/kg; 785 Nicholson St, Carlton North, (03) 9380 1357
Wine suggestion Savoury, medium-bodied red sangiovese.

Toulouse sausage, Victor Churchill
This is a lovely meaty sausage with a superb matrix of coarse and fine pork pieces with perfectly integrated fat. It cooks to reveal a concentrated and developed porky aroma based on a simple but sturdy foundation of salt, pepper and garlic. A grown-up sausage for meat-lovers made by charcutier Romeo Baudouin. $31.99/kg; 132 Queen St, Woollahra, (02) 9328 0402
Wine suggestion Spicy red shiraz Mataro blend.

Provincial french Pork sausage, Wrights the Butchers
A fat, beautifully pale sausage made with minced pork from pure-bred Berkshire pigs with the judicious addition of a little white wine, ground white pepper and nutmeg plus a lovely backnote of truffle. This is affordable luxury. $14.95/kg; 73 Burrows Rd, Alexandria, (02) 9557 0066
Wine suggestion Earthy, perfumed pinot noir.

Peking Duck sausage, Hudson Meats
Made by Colin Holt, a chef-turned-butcher who worked with Damien Pignolet, this sweet sausage is greater than the sum of its parts – namely free-range duck and pork with fresh coriander, spring onion, dried chilli, and hoisin and Chinese barbecue sauces. $34.95/kg; shops in Surry Hills, Cammeray, Mosman and Lane Cove, (02) 9358 0000
Drink suggestion Fruity, sweetish pear cider.

Calabrese sausage, Heinz Butcher Shop
Flemming Jakobsen is a Danish-born butcher who remodelled a spicy Calabrese sausage into a family-friendly snag by dropping the chilli and adding double-minced beef to the traditional pork. With judicious use of fennel and black pepper, it’s a mild and subtle sausage with a lovely smooth mouthfeel. $16.90/kg; 611 Stanley St, Woolloongabba, (07) 3391 3530
Wine suggestion Aged Hunter Valley sémillon.

Italian-Style Pork Sausage, Marino Meat & Food Store
This is a beautiful thin sausage with pearls of white fat embedded in chunks of ruby-coloured pork. It cooks beautifully on the grill, crisping up to a bronze skin and a juicy filling laced with the scantest hint of nutmeg plus a little salt and fine white pepper. It’s made by the Marino family, third-generation butchers originally from Abruzzo. $12.99/kg; Adelaide Central Market, 52 Gouger St, Adelaide, (08) 8231 2565
Wine suggestion Slinky, supple Italian-style red such as Montepulciano.TASMANIA

Wagyu and Caramelised Onion sausage, Wursthaus
Made with minced wagyu beef from cattle grazed on Robbins Island off the north-west coast of Tasmania, these are rich and unctuous sausages with a sweet undercurrent of caramelised onion, and gentle double whacks of horseradish and mustard. $16.90/kg; shops in Launceston, Hobart and Cambridge, (03) 6248 5552
Drink suggestion Wheat beer from Munich.

Calabrese sausage, Mondo butchers
Vince Garreffa was born in a village “on the very end of the toe of Italy” and learned butchery skills at his father’s side. His Calabrese snag is a big fat red sausage, hand-mixed and hand-tied with red string. It has a lovely fennel flavour, a nice little kick of chilli and a back note of fresh garlic. $16.90/kg; 824 Beaufort St, Inglewood, (08) 9371 6350
Wine suggestion Full-flavoured deep pink rosé.

Source: http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/best-summer-sausages.htm

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