Sam’s Butchery in Silverdale has been named Supreme Winner in the 2023 Great New Zealand Sausage Competition.
Lamb Delight was the successful sausage announced at a special Sausage Mixer Awards where butchers from across New Zealand gathered to find out who had snagged the top spot.
Sam Nadason, owner of Sam’s Butchery in Silverdale, said he thinks the secret to his winning entry is “taking the time to get the basics right, concentrating on perfecting the flavours and years of experience”.
“My grandson was born last week too, and I think he’s brought me good luck!”
This year, the competition broke previous records with 646 entries, representing the craftsmanship of 116 producers across the 14 sausage categories.
Included in the line-up was a mince category for burger patties and meatballs. These two categories turned out 12 medals for burger patties and three for meatballs.
The journey to Supreme status was a long and rigorous one, with the judging taking place in two stages. The first round of category judging was done across six days with 17 panels of judges. Each panel was made up of a technical judge and two aesthetic judges. Entries were judged on their technical composition, aroma, appearance, texture and, most importantly, taste.
The second stage of judging brought the top-scoring Gold Elite Category winning products to a Supreme judging day, where they were all re-judged to find NZ’s top sausage.
Food writer and competition judge Kathy Paterson said there was quite a buzz around the judging table this year with some innovative flavour combinations, before a pure lamb sausage took out the top spot.
“It can be quite tricky creating a single-meat sausage, but this was an incredibly well-made sausage with a good balance of meat and fat,” said Paterson.
“The flavour of the lamb really shone through with just a hint of mint to add freshness – it was sensational.”
Fellow judge and butcher Brian Everton said from a technical point of view it was the perfect “grind” or texture that made it so good.
“Using a premium lamb product would have been key in creating this stand-out sausage.”