Gt Garnetts (Barnston, Essex) - Flitch Royale

We all went to the Gt Garnetts Christmas market the other weekend. All sorts of goodies and crafts on offer, but the butchery shop had a short queue that was building and the wife surprisingly suggested I get in the queue and they (the rest of the family & dog) would have a walk round the market. Left alone in a farm butchery on my own with no specific what should I buy?

The queue did build up quite quickly behind me as it happens, so well done that girl. The butchery was indeed carrying quite a selection once I got inside the shop and it was a bit like a child in a toyshop scenario. This wasn't just people buying bits and pieces, this was serious shopping. The lady in front of me bought 18 chicken thighs, and a massive rolled pork joint that I'm sure would feed at least 12 with some left over! So buoyed along with the prospect of getting other goodies and not just a few sausages, it was my turn...

OK I won't bore you with the details of the contents of the great big carrier bag of stuff I walked out with, but suffice to say it included some Flitch Royale's and some Old English, about which we will comment on at another time.

Gt Garnett's of Barnston, near Dunmow, Essex is a family run farm business operating since 1970.  Welfare of their animals and the quality of their products is a priority for them. They say that their business thrives on the enthusiasm of the whole team at Gt Garnetts whose commitment to stockmanship, welfare and animal husbandry is of the highest standard. They also say they pride themselves on their ability to produce a quality pork product from a happy well cared for herd of pigs. Gt Garnett's pork comes from their own free range large white pigs and all the sausages are made and tied by hand at the farm.

The labelling doesn't state percentage of meat, and as the farm butchery was busy busy busy, I chose not to hold up the queue asking questions which we can ask at another time. However going by the cooked up results, they must be 80% at the very least. The colouring of the sausage in the raw was quite dark which may be the added sundried tomatoes and tomato powder. These sausages also contain rusk, so are not gluten free.

Cooked up though a lovely aroma was noticed, and the natural skins browned well and indeed kept intact. Split sausages we know don't affect the taste, but presentation wise it doesn't help.

Shrinkage and weight loss from cooking was noticeable unfortunately, and a little oil residue along with some crust was left in the pan.

Now these sausages did stay rather soft once cooked and this we felt was because of the very open texture. Not got anything against open texture, but we found it difficult to cut these without tearing and the contents once loose of the skin just fell apart.

The first sliced sausage photo below was taken straight from cooking and the second when the meat had cooled.

Taste-wise though really very good, with the tomato and herbs (basil and oregano) coming through nicely.

Eaten cold later though the texture had firmed up and actually ate quite differently. 

Would we buy again? We'd say, probably yes. Certainly another visit to the farm butchery is in the diary.

Gt Garnetts (Barnston, Essex) - Flitch Royale
    (Nov 2023)

Here's the sample details:
110x28mm before cooking, 97x28mm after.
62g before cooking, 52g after.
That's a shrinkage of 12% & weight loss of approx 16%.
6 loose sausages 370g at 3.64, that's 9.85 / kg.

Great Garnett's
Bishops Green,
Essex, CM6 1NEA ​

Tel: 01245 231 331

Shop opening hours:

Thursday 8am 4pm
Friday 8am 4pm
Saturday 9am 1pm