An expat has made a tidy business out of delivering tasty traditional British breakfast sausages to hungry Viennese
Richard Holmes had always been a hobby cook, but in 2011 he began a venture that would take over his life: Britwurst, which introduced the British “banger” to a city beholden to the Bratwurst and Käsekrainer. “In expat forums, I started seeing people post that they missed bacon and sausages,” Holmes said. “So I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll give it a go.’”
He invested in equipment and began playing around with recipes, giving products out as samples to friends. Word of mouth, press publicity, and hard work grew his business early on. Holmes has had a pitch at the Karmelitermarkt on Saturdays since 2015, and in 2016 began providing sausages to Do & Co and the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 team.
Britwurst’s main product is the traditional breakfast sausage. “Everyone has their own recipe,” Holmes said, but his is a simple combination of pork (60/40 shoulder and belly meat), dehydrated pea shells (instead of rusk, making them gluten free), salt and pepper. All his ingredients are locally sourced. The pork comes from Fleischerei Hödl in Liesing, whose free-range pigs are reared in Tullnerfeld in Lower Austria.
“At the market, the majority of my customers are Austrian,” Holmes says. They come for the more offbeat flavors, like cheese and jalapeño or Thai scented with lemongrass and galangal, as well as seasonal offerings like lamb. You try things out and see what works, and with Britwurst, Holmes has found a winning formula.
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Remove the sausage meat from the casings, place in a bowl, and mash.
Open the puff pastry and arrange into a rectangle, with the long edges at the top and bottom. Place the sausage meat along the top edge of the pastry, leaving a small gap, forming a single log from one end to the other.
Take the top edge of the pastry, wrapping it over the sausage meat, then slowly roll toward you. In about one and a half turns, you will have formed the sausage roll.
Slice into individual sausage rolls, as big or small as you like, and place them on a sheet pan lined with baking parchment. In a small bowl, mix the beaten egg with a splash of milk. Brush the egg wash on the pastry tops of the sausage rolls.
Place the rolls in the oven for around 25 mins or until puffed and golden brown. Serve with chutney if desired (recipe available at britwurst.com).
1 packet puff pastry
approximately 275 g
1 packet Britwurst 1 egg