Dickinson & Morris are of course better known for their sublime, and now regionally protected Melton Mowbray Pork Pies. The humble Pork Pie is one of my specialist subjects, and in the pursuit of pie-perfection I've eaten a good few memorable, and more than a few forgettable pies. The mass-produced supermarket offerings are almost without exception pretty nasty affairs, but Dickinson & Morris are the exception which proves that getting national exposure doesn't have to mean a dumbed-down product. Even the factory made D & M Pork Pies found in some supermarkets are satisfyingly spicy and peppery, with good quality uncured meat, and pastry which walks the fine line between too soft, and crunchily overcooked. Of course the true Pork Pie connoisseur will visit the D & M shop in Melton Mowbray for the hand raised originals.
Nestled next door to the famous pie shop in Melton Mowbray is a porky bonus in the Dickinson & Morris Sausage Shop, an absolute must-visit for fans of quality bangers. The range of sausages on offer is extensive, and unlike much of the competition, they really do taste of what they're supposed to. The Toulouse are seriously garlicky, the Chilli Bean stuffed with kidney beans and uncompromisingly spicy. I love them all, but tonight we chose their Somerset Cider & Apple Sausage as an accompaniment to a bottle of Somerset Cider from the Orchard Pig people. Now that's what I call a natural combination.
I fried off the sausages with a sliced red onion, then popped the browned bangers in the oven. The pan was de-glazed with a good slosh of Cider, and a few drops of Balsamic Vinegar with cornflour to thicken. The sticky sausage residue and caramelised onions combined with the dry cider to create a rich fruity gravy. Sweet Potato Mash and Green Cabbage completed the porky pig-out.