Remember the first time you took the reins on a home BBQ?
Felt good didn’t it. The power of the tongs. The roar of the flames. The respect of your then-partner’s dad. But time’s change, and merely being able to turn a few supermarket bangers over every so often will no longer earn you the respect of your peers.
Luckily, London’s flame-cooking heroes are on your side. We asked proven masters of the form for where to go to find the perfect sausage to whack on the barbie.
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Jimmy Garcia, founder of The BBQ Club: “I’m a huge fan of M.Moen & Sons in Clapham – they’ve always got the most incredible produce, from wild mushrooms to deli products, and are home to the ultimate wild boar and apple bangers. Pork and apple is, obviously, a classic duo, but I choose boar for the slightly more special, gamier flavour. Also, as boar is leaner than pork, there’ll be less fat spitting on the coals and causing the sausages to catch.”
Hot dog pro tip: “I top mine with celeriac and apple remoulade, crispy onions and a burnt apple sauce. It’s a beauty.”
Andy Taylor, co-founder of Le Bun: “I’m going to The Ginger Pig, and I’m getting a bag full of their Old Spot pork sausages. The place is a bit of an institution now, and that banger is a killer mix of high-standard pork shoulder and belly, ground down with very little else added. You know your sausage is excellent when that’s the case – you don’t need to mess around with extra ingredients if your meat is that good.”
Hot dog pro tip: “Fire up the BBQ for breakfast and slather that banger in brown sauce.”
Ali Borer, head chef at Smoking Goat: “I know the on-site butchers at The Quality Chop House do a really phenomenal sausage. But more often than not I’ll try and find something North African, like a merguez. For me, the spices really change things up on a grill. Chilli, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika always stand out beautifully against the inevitable slew of classics. I’m really lucky to live close to Green Lanes in north London, and there are some phenomenal Turkish butchers down there that do some really special and high-quality ones.”
Hot dog pro tip: “You’ve gotta go French’s Mustard and fried onions on top of a merguez. Always.”
Ben Coombs, head chef at Rochelle Canteen at the ICA: “My favourite place to get my sausages is McKanna Meats in Holborn. They’re super traditional, have been there for years, and have a great variety all made with good quality British pork. I always go for a Cumberland ring, as it’s made with slightly coarser chopped meat and simple seasoning, but mostly because that ring form means way less hassle – you only need to turn it over once.”
Hot dog pro tip: “Add sauerkraut to your Colman’s Mustard and pickled cucumbers for the most fabulous combination of hot, salty, sweet and sour.”
Adam England, Head Chef at Hans’ Bar & Grill: “The very best sausage for me is the hot Italian, flavoured with pepperoncini chilli and garlic from Provenance Butchers on Pavilion Road, Chelsea. They’re all about sourcing quality meat from small independent farms. That sausage has this really unique flavour: the pepperoncini chilli inside has quite a fruity taste, with only a moderate heat. I can’t think of anything better for a lazy, chilled-out summer BBQ in the garden.”
Hot dog pro tip: “With spicy sausages like this, you want to complement the gentle heat of the chilli without going too sweet. A fresh herb mayo on your banger is ideal.”
Words: Francis Blagburn