It’s not often that one gets the chance to see sausages whose quality and excellent ingredients have ensured their popularity for over 100 years. Today I got the chance not only to see a famous sausage being made, but also to chat with the man behind it all.
Musk’s (www.musks.com) opened their doors and welcomed us into history to see why their sausages are in a class of their own.
The recipe for Musk’s sausages was created in Newmarket by James Musk in 1884 and remains a closely guarded secret. Musk’s sausages have gone from strength to strength since then and are now stocked by a plethora of butchers and delicatessens as well as Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda supermarkets.
The original recipe is virtually unchanged. Other brands of sausages may contain rusk, but Musk’s are made with bread, bread freshly baked using traditional methods and delivered daily by a local bakery. This bread is a part of the secret to the succulence for which Musk’s are famous. The meat used is the best free range British pork shoulder. It’s lean and tender.
The meat is checked and then added to the bread along with a secret blend of spices and this is then passed through the mincer. The result is an excellent colour and texture and perfect for quality sausages. Natural hog or sheep gut is slipped onto the machine’s nozzle and the resulting sausages are then neatly arranged on racks to dry for twenty minutes.
We were privileged to be able to go behind the scenes and see for ourselves what goes on. Adorned with hairnets, over shoes and white coats we ventured into a New World. We walked in and stepped into a world of traditional methods, small batches and extremely high quality ingredients.
The first part of the process we saw was the bread room. I was trying to expect the unexpected but here was a room full of fresh, traditionally baked bread which smelt like it might have been baked just a few hours earlier.
I had naively thought that it was probably mainly off-cuts of meat that went into sausage production. Not so at Musk’s the shoulder of pork would have looked fine on my Sunday dinner table with the in-laws round. I was impressed. But having the very best ingredients is standard at Musk’s.
There was only one concession to automation at Musk’s and that was a machine for covering the sausages in cellophane. They would be hard pushed to hand wrap all of the sausages as well, they sell at least three tonnes a week! That might sound like a lot of sausages to sell, and it is, but such is the popularity of Musk’s that it is not unheard of for customers to buy 40lbs or more.
In recent years pork & leek and gluten free recipes have been introduced and other recipes are in the pipeline. You will find Musk’s in selected branches of Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Booth’s. Alternatively visit them at www.musks.com for a prompt home delivery service. Mention us to get a discount.
For more information visit www.musks.com. In the next few days we will also be publishing a review of Musks sausages.