Kenny Johnston has been inspired to get back into the meat business and is making gourmet, German-style sausages.
Kenny, who is Ashburton-born and bred, was a butcher for more than 40 years before starting his own gardening business 10 years ago.
He was inspired to start making bespoke sausages a couple of years ago by his brother-in-law Simon Ellery, who is a master sausage and small goods maker and has been based in Berlin, Germany for a decade.
Kenny helped train Simon during his butchery apprenticeship at Countdown Ashburton and is using some of his recipe ideas to craft the home-made bangers.
The sausages come in a variety of flavours and use locally sourced meat.
They include a pork cumberland, a pork, jalapeno and cheddar variety that is not too hot because the juice had been drained from the pepper, and a pork, caramelised onion and apple banger.
Another pork sausage features chopped and cooked pumpkin and walnut.
There’s also a venison and pork banger flavoured with chilli, garlic, bayleaf and onion, and another featuring lamb and mint.
Kenny only minces once and then hand mixes to ensure the ingredients don’t get pulverised and still retain explosions of flavour.
“I don’t believe in using rubbish meat.
“I use pork shoulder and the lamb from the forequarters and don’t use preservatives, flour or water.”
Hog rather than synthetic casings are used and carefully measured ingredients ensure consistency of flavour.
Kenny recommends slow to high cooking for his bangers and says they don’t need pricking and won’t explode unless they are overcooked.
The 66-year-old says he is passionate about meat and his latest sideline is not a big money spinner.
He makes sausages in 5kg lots and within 20 minutes they are free-flowed into his freezer.
They are sold in 1kg bags and Kenny also supplies sausages and sausage meat to local businesses, friends and other customers.
Contact Kenny on 027 206 0503 to order his gourmet sausages.
-By Mick Jensen