Butcher Michael Byrne of Sandymount, Dublin 4 has been feted at The Great Taste Awards for his innovative new sausages, ‘Argentinian Chorizo’ & ‘Pork with Tomato Basil & Red Wine’.
To create the winning sausages Michael and his colleagues developed the flavours through countless tastings and refinements over the last few months to develop a winning taste and texture that. In-store tastings are planned to allow customers to sample the winners – only two of a number of varieties the company has developed.
Out of almost 10,000 products entered into Great Taste 2013 just 125 have been awarded 3-star. All 3-star products were re-judged by a panel including Masterchef judge and restaurant critic Charles Campion, food buyers from Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Whole Food Markets and Michelin-starred chef Russell Brown. In total more than 12 judges will have tasted and commented on each product. Judges are presented with, for example, a piece of cheese, a slice of pie or a small dish of chutney, with no wrappings, jars or marks – and they taste, confer and re-taste before making the decision on whether a product should be a 1-, 2- or 3-star winner. Hence, taste is the only criterion, branding and packaging play no part.
Michael, who is my local butcher,was kind enough to supply me with samples of the prizewinners for tasting. The 2-star accoladed ‘Argentian Chorizo’ has intriguing flavours and a perfect texture, with enough chilli in the blend to enliven the sausage without causing the diner to demand a fire extinguisher! The ‘Argentinian Chorizo’ & ‘Pork with Tomato Basil & Red Wine’ that took a 1-star award. While I had slight reservations about texture – the sausage was not completely integrated and the components separated as soon as I put the fork in – there was no doubting the excellence of the flavour.
Altogether a great result for this innovative Dublin craft butcher.