By RACHEL MACDONALD
Forget the Colonel’s 11 secret herbs and spices.
A jealously guarded family recipe for the first sausages to be exported from New Zealand to Britain during World War 2 has come to light, and Oxford Fresh Choice supermarket owners Nicky and Mike Rutherford hope to be making the meaty treats in-house in time for Christmas barbecues.
Nicky’s grandfather, Len Matheson, founded the Dominion Packing Company – a smallgoods business – in Dunedin, in 1935.
He hadn’t formally trained as a butcher, but her mother remembered he always loved cooking, Nicky says.
“Mum always said she had the recipe for the first sausage to be exported from New Zealand, but it was top-secret.
“She died recently, and we found this sheaf of papers among her effects.
“There are recipes for black pudding and white pudding, and an old photo of all kinds of different products he made, from saveloys to forcemeat.
“Most importantly, there are also recipes for the Matheson export lamb sausages my grandfather was famous for.”
Nicky and Mike have made their own sausages, most recently under the Rutherfords brand, on-site at the supermarket since the new building opened four years ago.
“We have two qualified butchers on the team, and another who is just finishing her apprenticeship,” Mike says.
“The recipe needs to be converted from loads of pounds to heaps of kilograms, but we have all the right equipment here, and we already use the same natural casings that the recipe calls for.
“So, we’re ready to start recreating a little slice of New Zealand smallgoods history as soon as the summer season rolls around.”