Norwich sausages prove a sizzling success in BBQ contest

PUBLISHED: 06:30 10 June 2015

Jamie Archer from Archer's Butchers celebrating their success in the national Q Guild sausage competition. 

Jamie Archer from Archer's Butchers celebrating their success in the national Q Guild sausage competition. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

A Norwich butchers' closely-guarded sausage recipes have been handed down through the generations and have won Norfolk's coveted Battle of The Bangers award several times.

The perfect barbecue sausage

The perfect sausage for a summer barbecue needs to be “a good size” to ensure it doesn’t dry out, according to Jamie Archer.

He said: “It should be a good quality sausage made with natural skin.

“The natural skin is important, as when you cook on barbecue charcoal you get a dark mahogany colour to the sausage.

“It should be a good basic sausage and you can add flavour to it with different condiments and a good sauce, such as a barbecue sauce or a good pickle and fried onions.

“It has got to be a nice thick, long sausage so you’ve got something to bit into and so it doesn’t dry out on the barbecue.”

But where does he stand on the age-old debate about if gas or charcoal barbecues are best?

Mr Archer says: “Gas for convenience but charcoal for flavour.

“I barbecue three nights a week in summer and I couldn’t do that on a charcoal barbecue.

“But charcoal is the way forwards for flavour.”

Now, Archer’s Butchers is celebrating success in a national competition run by the Q Guild, which represents 110 award-winning butchers from the Scottish Highlands down to the south coast.

The Plumstead Road shop was highly-praised by the judges of the barbecue contest as a national runner-up for best speciality sausage, with its caramelised red onion sausage.

The shop, which has only recently become a member of the Q Guild, had already won the East of England regional competition with its sausages and collected five more gold awards.

Jamie Archer, who runs the shop, which was founded by his grandfather, said: “The members of the Q Guild are at the pinnacle of their trade. We’re the best of the best so to come runner-up in our first competition is a great achievement.

“We wanted to better ourselves, to be the best that we possibly can be. I’ve learnt a lot from my dad and other butchers, but to have this wider network is invaluable.”

Archer’s of Norwich was founded in 1929 by John Archer, who started off in Norwich’s famous provisions market. His son, James (Jimmy) Archer, came into the trade as soon as he was allowed to leave school and in the early 1980s bought the business from his father.

Under Jimmy the business developed and the shop doubled in size to cope with the extra demand, and a delicatessen and baguette takeaway were added.

Now in its third generation, Jimmy’s son Jamie is taking the business forward, while maintaining traditional techniques and methods used by his father and grandfathers, John Archer and Oliver Craske.

Do you have a story about an award-winning business? Call reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772474.

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