Catherine Fellows goes in search of quality meat-products and finds sausage-specialiist Kevin Brolley.
‘I don't use heads or bones. only best ﬂank,‘ Kevin Brolley tells me as he plunges his hands up to the wrists into a trough of raw mince and begins to mix the red and white with gusto. It must have been the glint in his eye that made me think of scenes from Delicatessen and warm, brown, paper parcels ofunmentionables, for there is nothing sinister about this smiling cleaver-wielder. In fact, it was he who brought up the subject of vegetarianism and humane husbandry. As someone who takes great pride in traditional, quality
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butchering. which used to include killing the beasts. he is appalled at how many carcasses come to him
from the abattoir with broken bones r
and bruises or with deep purple ﬂesh. signifying fear. The happy animal, naturally fed is the best to eat and Brolley would use organic meat if it wasn‘t so expensive. so difficult to obtain and ifhe believed that there wasn’t any cheating when inspectors’ backs are turned. Brolley opened his smart Mamore Boucherie and Chacutcrie four years ago in an unlikely corner of' Glasgow, but his hunch that people were craving better meat from the hands of a master butcher has proved to be right. Enough customers are lured into the innards of the housing estate where the shop is. to keep the 1001b-capacty sausage machine very busy. So many independent butchers have closed down. faced with competition from supermarkets. and many ofthose still in business have lost the traditional skills — they are just meat salesmen. As he mixes his own secret recipe seasoning (it smells strongly of white pepper and
cinammon), salt, dextrose and a bucketful of rusk go into the mince. Brolley tells me that most butchers go along to the wholesaler and buy one of several standard sausage-mixes including artificial ﬂavour-enhancers, chemicals to retain fat and water during cooking which prevent size and weight loss, and fibrosol (a binding agent), not to mention colour — there is a chart; rose pink, dark peony, pale ﬂesh . . . Brolley uses a natural dye extracted from paprika and tomatoes to make his sausages uniform in colour. He tells me that you have to have rusk, at least ten per cent fat and a lot of water. otherwise you won’t get the consistency and juiciness ofa sausage — the end product will be more of a beef-burger. When Brolley squidges a little of the pink sausage meat so that it oozes up between his fingers like soft putty, it is ready to be loaded into the machine which compresses it, forcing it down a thin tube and out into the ‘casings‘. Brolley produces a tub full of wet, white ribbon that looks like tagliatelle but turns out to
be sheep‘s intestines and threads one end onto the end of the tube. Once the machine is turned on, the sausage meat shoots out, filling the skin, and dropping into the crate below. With incredible speed, Brolley starts ‘linking', twisting the gargantuan sausage into groups of four, like a manic magician with balloons at a children’s party.
The sausages I saw being made were traditional beef ones but Brolley’s interest has made him an expert in a whole range. He has learnt from French, German and Spanish chefs and scours second-hand bookshops for old recipes from this country. One of his biggest sellers is his Italian sausage made with pork, saltpetre (the curing agent for bacon and so on), fennel seeds, garlic and peppers, and tied with string in the Continental manner. Some of his best customers - are Glasgow’s many Italian restaurants for whom he makes special cured sausage for pizzas and smoked streaky bacon for carbonara. Cathedral House restaurant has recently commissioned him to make a spicy Creole sausage and the Baby Grand features his traditional beef and Cumberland (pork) sausages as well as Spanish cherizos on their menu. Others include the coarse-textured Toulouse made with pork and garlic, the Welsh leek sausage, not to mention ‘special recipe’ black pudding ﬂavoured with an aromatic mix of cloves and cinammon. Mamore Butcherie, 15 Mamore
Place, Glasgow, 04] 632 8990.
FLAVOUR OF THE FORTNIGHT
One at Edinburgh’s best-kept secrets is Black Bo’s Restaurant tucked away in Blacktriars Street, which recently switched overto an entirely vegetarian menu. Here, chel Albert Smith suggests a deceptively simple main course.
CASHEW AND CARROT TERRINE
Serves more than tour, but can be lrozen:
12oz cashew nuts
3 medium carrots grated
10, anchor close, Cockburn street
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EDINBURGH 228 5145 50, east tountalnbrldge
2 tbsp tresh coriander leaves 1 tsp salt
lots oi tresh ground pepper V4 pint double cream
For the sauce:
3/4 pint tresh orange juice
8 large strawberry slices
lresh ground pepper
1 tsp comllour diluted in water
Mash cashew nuts in load processor (last), add salt, a lot at pepper and coriander, lollowed by the eggs and the cream. Turn oil the machine when the cream is mixed through. Grate carrots and mix with the cashew mixture. Put into a buttered greaseprool paper-lined loal tin and cover with buttered tin toll. Bake in deep tray ol hot water (‘baln-marie') at Gas Marti S or 7 tor about 45 minutes.
When cooked — risen slightly and llnn to touch - leave to rest betore taking trom tin. Meanwhile, bring orange juice to the boil and reduce by a quarter. Add enough corn ﬂour to give body to the sauce, then lower the heat. Add strawberries and lots at black pepper. Warm strawberries until they just bleed.
Serve two slices per person with steamed green vegetables.
Black Bos, 57-51 Blacktriars Street, Edlnburgh. 031 557 6136.
70'l‘he l-|\l 3| .luly l3 August 1992