Ottawa native, Michael McKenzie, who now resides in Kingston with his wife Megan and their son Sawyer (3) and daughter, Eloise (11 months) is a nationwide success. Seed to Sausage has won the 2013 Ace Bakery Artisan Incubator Award for their cured meats.
The Artisan Incubator is a celebration of the joys of artisan food, the importance of local, sustainable food producers and the vital contributions artisan entrepreneurs make to communities across Canada. Seed to Sausage won this award for its overall business and its development of quality products, specifically their chorizo and saucisson sec.
Michael started curing meats as a hobby and after sharing his recipes with local chefs and friends he heeded their advice and turned his passion into a business. He owns Seed to Sausage with his father Ken. They produce over forty-two different artisan cured meat products. They make mouth-watering fermented sausages varieties, including garlic and red wine (which includes a bottle of Sandbanks Baco Noir red wine), apple sage and maple walnut sausages along with salamis, and duck prosciutto. They also produce specialty bacon, such as molasses black pepper, chipotle chili bacon, old-fashioned double smoked bacon and garlic juniper.
“Simple honest food with exceptional quality is always our goal,” said Michael McKenzie. “Take, for instance, our apple and sage sausages. I have someone hand pick the apples and peel them. While other sausage makers may add pre-mixed spices and water, we add nothing but pork, apples, and a bit of fresh apple cider.”
The reception of this award is no small feat, judged by top Canadian tasters such as: Anita Stewart, Canadian culinary activist, author and University of Guelph food laureate among others – these experts know good food.
Seed to Sausage hand-made meat production business is run from their processing plant at 12821, Hwy 38, Sharbot Lake. This family-owned business gets some help from Michael’s mother, Anna, who assists in the kitchen, product packaging and offered more support by looking after the children while Megan (Michael’s wife) opened the retail store.
On May 18, their retail store (located at the same site) opened for the season, offering many new delicious finds for their fans. Seed to Sausage cured meats works hard to ensure the exceptional quality in everything they produce by sourcing good fresh ingredients and as much as possible everything is hormone and antibiotic free.
“Not only is our range of specially crafted meats available, but we are excited to be carrying other premium Canadian products such as those from Vancouver Island Salt Company, a fellow winner in the Artisan Incubator Awards,” said Michael. “We like to buy local, but we do not have the ocean nearby to harvest salts from, so why not make this quality Canadian product available here locally for our customers to purchase.”
The Seed to Sausage retail store is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm, and at the end June (summer hours) will open Wednesday – Sunday 10 am – 6pm. There will be a host of gourmet food items available.
I often cook with Seed to Sausage cured meats and am immensely pleased that I can purchase from some great local retailers. Check out their website, seedtosausage.ca, for a full list or ask your grocery store to stock these items. I can assure you that if you are not a fan of sausages you will be after one bite of these. These are the best sausages I have ever eaten.
I found a complex and comforting dish from my favorite Spanish cookbook – Moro by Nigel Slater.
Paella de cerdo con chorizo y espinaca (Rice with Pork, Chorizo and Spinach
7 tablespoons olive oil
350 g of pork fillet, halved lengthways, then sliced across roughly in 7mm stripes
120g “Seed to Sausage” Chorizo, sliced on an angle or into tiny little pieces
2 large Spanish onions, finely chopped
1 large green pepper, halved, seeded and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250g calasparra (paella) rice
1 teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika
2 firoas peppers (a sweet earthy pepper) or a green pepper, chopped and diced
900ml of chicken stock
500g spinach, washed and drained
1 lemon, cut in wedges
sea salt and black pepper
- In a 30-40cm paella pan or frying pan, heat the olive oil over high heat, then stir-fry the pork for a few seconds so it is a little undercooked. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and put to one side.
- Turn down the heat to a low to medium temperature and fry the chorizo for a minute.
- Add the onion and green pepper and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic to the onion and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. At this point the mixture should have caramelized and taste sweet.
- Stir the rice into the pan to coat in the flavor-some mixture for a minute.
- Now season with salt and pepper, this is the time to season the rice perfectly. Each grain of rice should lightly glisten with olive oil and yet never seem greasy or too wet.
- Add the paprika and fioras peppers, drained of their water, followed by chicken stock, and simmer for 15 minutes or until there is a thin layer of liquid around the rice.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or wok, briefly wilt the spinach with a little salt, either by braising or steaming, and put to one side with the pork fillet. Evenly scatter the pork over the rice followed by the spinach. With the back of a spoon gently push the pork and spinach partially into the oily liquid that remains at the bottom of the pan. Cover the paella tightly with foil and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Serve lemon wedges and a tomato salad.
For more information or to let me know of a good recipe or restaurant to try email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.