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Celebrating the Great British Banger

Served at more than half a billion out-of-home meal occasions annually, sausages account for one in five of all red meat servings out of the home. Add to this a 63% year-on-year growth in menu listings for hot dogs and it is evident that – in spite of the plethora of new and international cuisines available – the British still love their bangers.

Now celebrating its 17th year on the catering calendar, British Sausage Week is an ideal platform for outlets to fly the flag for their sausage offerings and increase sales of sausage-based dishes.

SausagestewBangers for all

BPEX, the organiser of British Sausage Week, is urging caterers to ‘Celebrate the Great British Banger’ and make  sausages the star of the menu. With 20% of sausages eaten out-of-home consumed in pubs, 19% eaten in full service outlets and a further 19% in a travel and leisure environment and both sausages and hot dogs appearing in the Top 20 Main Course dishes, according to Horizons, caterers across the board can benefit from including a range of tasty sausage-based dishes on the menu.

Spoilt for choice

With over 500 British sausage varieties available, there is no shortage of opportunities for caterers to differentiate themselves. Why not introduce a new Sausage Week Sausage to your menu to encourage your customers to try something different? From new recipe ideas to themed events, the Week is the time to promote premium and speciality sausage varieties as well as encouraging creativity in the kitchen.

BPEX foodservice trade manager, Tony Goodger says: “It is important that the sector makes a point of offering sausage dishes that stand out for all the right reasons. This means sourcing quality sausages produced using assured Red Tractor pork, to deliver customer satisfaction and repeat business. It is well worth trading up and looking for quality sausages Download tasty sausage recipes from porkforcaterers.bpex. org.uk Now celebrating its 17th year on the catering calendar, British Sausage Week is an ideal platform for outlets to fly the flag for their sausage offerings and increase sales of sausage-based dishes. made from outdoor-reared or free range pigs and use this information on menus to justify a price premium and generate added interest.

“Including information on the meat content, listing the main sausage ingredients and identifying locally produced or award-winning sausages, will also act as drivers of choice for diners, as discerning customers demand more detailed menu descriptions in order to make meal choices.

“Furthermore, the trend of gourmet hot dogs gives publicans the opportunity to generate increased sales and profit by offering customers the choice to add toppings, choose from a range of bread styles and pick their favourite hot dog-style sausage – many of which are now made using assured pork.”

Scotch eggsTasty recipe ideas

As well as being a favourite with diners, sausages deliver in the kitchen as they are such a versatile, costeffective ingredient. To help caterers make the most of British Sausage Week 2014, BPEX has introduced a range of new recipe ideas – from seasonal ‘Bonfire Sausages’ to savoury ‘Sausage Pithivier’, ‘Chorizo Sausages and Vegetable Bake’ and ‘Herby Sausage Cakes’. All recipes come with full nutritional guidelines and are available to download free from porkforcaterers.bpex.org.uk.

“As a nation we love traditional favourites such as ‘Sausage and Mash’ and ‘Toad in the Hole,” explains Tony. “However, as well as celebrating some classic sausage-based dishes, this British Sausage Week we’re encouraging caterers to think outside the box when it comes to menu planning. ‘Pork and Black Pudding Scotch Eggs’ and ‘Thai Style Sausage Parcels’ are perfect dishes for caterers looking to include innovative and tasty sausage meals on the menu during the Week.”

Sporting hero fronts Sausage Week

Ex England and Lions rugby star and winner of Celebrity Masterchef 2011, Phil Vickery will be leading the seven-day sausage celebrations from 3-9 November. Joining the nationwide British Sausage Week 2014 tour, Phil will be sampling some of the finest quality assured sausages around the country.

Having been raised on a farm in Devon, the sporting legend knows all too well about issues such as quality, food safety and animal welfare. “I am proud to be an ambassador for British Sausage Week 2014,” says Phil. “With a farming background and also being a keen cook myself, British Sausage Week is a cause close to my heart. This year we are encouraging everyone to join us in our celebration of Britain’s sausages.”

Phil VickeryFive minutes with Phil Vickery

Which is your favourite sausage dish?

Toad in the Hole – it reminds me of my childhood and it’s a dish that my children love to eat too. It’s the perfect comfort food!

How important is it to source quality assured sausages?

For me it is THE most important thing. I always buy Red Tractor pork sausages because I know the rigorous standards they have gone through and it’s a sign of quality food that you can trust.

Do you think there’s room for more innovative sausage flavours in the catering sector?

There is always room to be more creative. Creativity is the thing that keeps us moving so the more innovative flavours we can look to introduce, the merrier! Sausages are perfect for this because they are so versatile and can adapt well to different flavour combinations.

Have you ever made your own sausages?

I hadn’t until recently, however since becoming ambassador for British Sausage Week I have been lucky enough to have a one-on-one masterclass with Master Butcher Keith Fisher. It was a lot of fun and definitely something I’ll be trying again at home with the whole family, although I may have to work on my linking skills first.

Should we see more sausage dishes included on menus; both in pubs/restaurants and the cost sector, such as schools and hospitals?

Without a doubt! They are such a versatile, cost-effective and, most important, tasty meal-time option that I think the more sausages on menus the better. Let’s face it, sausage and mash with decent gravy is as good as it gets, you don’t need anything more than that to bring a smile to the face.

pastasausageMake British Sausage Week a success

From hosting a charity fundraising event or competition to mark the Week, to developing a special ‘Sausage Week’ menu especially for the occasion – getting involved is simple. Tasting menus, quiz nights and even a sausage-making masterclass are additional ideas that can help generate interest and sales of sausage dishes during British Sausage Week.

  1. Give customers more information about the sausages you serve and their ingredients.
  2. Use attractive and descriptive dish names. Customers are much more likely to choose a dish that uses enticing language and suggests how it might taste.
  3. Introduce new celebratory sausage varieties. From a classic pork sausage suited to a traditional cooked breakfast to a highly seasoned variety in a contemporary dish, there is no reason to limit your choice or the way you serve them.
  4. Put sausages on the ‘specials’ menu or have a dedicated sausage menu that highlights the fact they are locally sourced and outdoor reared.
  5. Make recommendations for beers, wines and ciders that match your sausages depending on the flavours, such as chilli or herbs.
  6. Host charity fundraising events, with sausages or a sausage meal as the prize.
  7. Use British Sausage Week to promote your local and award-winning varieties.
  8. BPEX has designed a selection of promotional material for outlets looking to support the nationwide campaign. These are available on request by emailing info@bpexfoodservice.co.uk
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