As a butcher in an industry steeped in tradition yet always looking for something new, there’s a fair bit riding on your sausage, according to the team at Jarrett’s Quality Meats at Lambton.
So it was with great pride that Bede Jarrett and his team claimed first prize in the Traditional Australian Beef category at the recent AMIC Sausage King regional judging.
“The competition is run by the meat industry so it’s your peers you’re competing against and a win means recognition and respect,” Jarrett’s butcher Cal Webb said.
“We’ve picked up a prize every year we’ve entered and it’s something we always take seriously.”
Consistent fresh ingredients are the key, according to Cal, who believes that when it comes to sausages, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
“We use an old traditional recipe which Bede [owner Bede Jarrett] inherited when he bought the shop,” Cal said.
“I don’t want to give too much away because there’s a bit of secrecy involved but it comes down to that flavour balance between fresh ingredients.
“You need some fat for flavour and you don’t want it to be too lean and dry.”
Jarrett’s submitted 11 entries across six categories and also placed second in the Gourmet division with their “Morning After” sausage, boasting a tantalising mix of tomato, bacon, egg and pepper, and their Cheesy Chicken Bratwurst in the poultry.
“The Morning After goes well with a hangover,” Cal quipped. “We like to tweak the ideas as we go along.
“On the one hand you don’t want to muck around with traditional recipes because customers like old-school sausages.
“When Bede moved across from Waratah to Lambton, a lot of his customers followed because they like his sausages.
“On the other hand, we take feedback from customers about new ideas and try and develop those as we go along.”
Jarrett’s take pride in their achievements and each year get a sign writer in to promote their deeds on a window display.
“When people hear you’ve won an award, they’ll come in and see what’s going on,” Cal said. “One year we got on the news and we had people coming from everywhere.”