Hatfield Forest - Venison

I'm not one to normally go in to the many National Trust Shops as they all seem to sell similar products...however a chalkboard sign outside drew my attention...VENISON ON SALE...aha!  Any sausages?

We've tried venison in sausage form before and I do like them.  Come to that, so do the troops (well apart from one member who is convinced Bambi was real!).  The packaging on these though was a bit thin on detail apart from 70% venison and a whopping 14.00/kg....however there was the Estate Office phone number also on there, so a call was made...

The chap I spoke to was very helpful and told us that venison is "processed" entirely on-site at Hatfield Forest!  They contract in a butcher who does his/her stuff in the "processing unit" and turns out the roasting joints, casserole / diced packs and of course the sausages!  The deer utilised are mainly wild Fallow, but there is some wild Muntjac too that are used. In with the 70% venison is rusk and herbs, (probably a bit of fat otherwise they would be very dry when cooked) and that's about it!

I am suitably impressed with these sausages I must say.  They cooked up really well, medium texture and a lovely bite & chew.  It would be fair to say that some venison sausages we've tried (restaurants and such) seem to have way too heavy red current jelly and all sorts in them that is very nice but you can't really taste the venison!  These sausages are simply good quality venison in good skins, and taste smashing!

A tadge expensive for the everyday sausage sandwich. (I had one though to try them out of course) So I could impress the troops I sourced a good recipe from BBC Food, and concocted my venison version of "sausages, with slow cooked red cabbage, red wine and chilli"  The troops devoured this and I was asked to pin my recipe on the kitchen notice board for future reference!  Believe me this is like winning the Grand National, or gold at the Olympics!

If you want some no-nonsense good quality venison sausages, try Hatfield Forest but do give the NT shop a call on 01279 870327 first as stocks can be very seasonal.

Hatfield Forest - Venison
        (Apr 2013)

Here's the sample details:
140x28mm before cooking, 130x26mm after.
75g before cooking, 69g after.
That's a shrinkage of 13% & weight loss of approx 8%.
6 sausages in a 494g pack 6.92   (14.00/kg)