When the Hampshire Food Festival program mentioned that the Lime Wood Hotel, in the New Forest near Lyndhurst, was having a rare-breed sausage barbecue, I expected a few barbecues at one end of a large lawn cooking up sausages. It wasn’t at all like that but the Editor and I had a royal time dining at this lovely hotel.
We were sat in a dining room, a rather tasteful dining room, with a view through the windows at the barbecue. It was far less stuffy and more contemporary in design than the Lainston House Hotel. We were presented with a general menu and one for the barbecue. We had come for sausages so instantly ordered them.
Then instantly regretted it. We are hungry sort of fellows and so when it struck us that several of the main menu starters sounded cracking we quickly added some to our order.
How right we were to do so; they were absolutely beezer! The least fulguratingly brilliant choice we made was some bresaola with tiny shavings of parmesan and little sun-dried cherry tomatoes. The flavours were fine, and I loved the little tomatoes, but the beef itself was just a tiny bit on the dry side – it seemed like it had been hanging around in a fridge for too long. Not bad, but not up to the standard of the two marvels that came next.
Middle white pork pate with piccalilli and was a marvel. The pate was rich and fatty with a great porky flavour and that piccalilli was just the business. Amazingly crunchy vegetables in a powerfully flavoured pickle sauce. This was the kind of pickle the lover of preserved vegetables dreams about and we lapped it up with uninhibited delight.
Editor Dani thought that was he best of the starters, but being entitled to an opinion does not entitle you to be taken seriously – the ox tongue was super-spiffing and eclipsed everything else. The tongue was meltingly tender and infused with an incredibly strong beefy flavour – scrummy-licious. It had been anointed with some buttery, horseradish bits which only brought out the flavour even more. I was particularly pleased that there was plenty of tongue and not too much of the loathsome salad – salad really does give you cancer, you know? A brilliant dish!
We were then allowed out to the barbecue to collect our sausages and your could hardly begin to beg for better bangers. The sausages were described as ‘iron age’ pork and we chose the Cumberland ring and garlic flavours. They tasted freaking triple-A. A great texture of meat with just enough fat, real porky deliciousness and packed with drool-provoking satisfaction. I consider myself I highly-enlightened judge on things in the sphere of sausages and these were some of the best I’ve relished in a while.
The sausage barbecue will be going until next Saturday (28th July) so if you want to be extremely gratified by girthy, meat-packed sausages you should get down for that last date. I could warn that it is not the very cheapest sausage barbecue you will ever attend, but equally well I could encourage by saying you’ll rarely attend a better one. Get some of the ox tongue too.