Diane Cooke talks to master butcher Kevin Berkins and his aim to find the best British banger

NATIONAL Sausage Champion Kevin Berkins is laying down the gauntlet ahead of this year’s British Sausage Week (November 4-10) by creating a competition inviting the public to create their own recipe.

Owner of The Fence Gate at Fence, near Burnley, and The Eagle at Barrow, near Clitheroe, Kevin – a master butcher and member of the Craft Guild of Chefs – is inviting people to send in recipes for ‘The Quintessential British Sausage’.

This should be a flavoursome sausage, based on British ingredients, that would gain instant popularity with food lovers.

Kevin, who is the third generation of butchers in his family, has built his national reputation by using top-quality ingredients.

He says: “Some butchers use sausages as a dumping ground but we buy in 100% pork shoulder. Where others use leek flavourings, we use fresh leeks sauteed in butter, or real apple soaked in calvados – apple brandy – that’s what makes all the difference.”

All entries will be judged by Kevin and his team and the winning recipe will be made up and put on sale in Berkins Deli, where hand-made sausages are produced by the butchery experts.

It will also be added to the British Sausage Week menu at both Berkins brasseries in Fence and Barrow.

The winner will not only have the kudos of having a named credit alongside the description of the sausage on the menu, but also pick up a prize of a meal for four, to sample their creation at either The Fence Gate or The Eagle at Barrow.

The competition is part of a feast of sausage promotion planned at both brasseries during British Sausage Week.

There will be an array of mouth-watering sausage dishes on the specials menu, ranging from a tasty, traditional Toad in the Hole to a more fiery Mediterranean-inspired, chorizo-flavoured Sausage Cassoulet.

There will also be a lighter-bite dish of ‘Sausage Stars’ – a tasting board of Berkins’ most popular sausages over the years.

Kevin says: “Our eateries are known for being the homes of award-winning sausages second to none, but we wanted to showcase not just the excellent sausages that we devise, but one that is created by a member of the public.”

Anyone wishing to compete for the Quintessential British Sausage should email their recipe to sales@fencegate.co.uk or the brasseries’ Facebook inboxes.

The closing date for entries is Friday, November 1 and the winner will be announced on Monday, November 4.