The Prodigal Daughter, Spicy Sicilian Sausage
When chef, consultant and Prodigal Daughter Rachel Priestley (below) returned to New Zealand after many years working in Italy, the thing she missed most was the fresh and cured artisan meats. “I noticed a lot of imported charcuterie in New Zealand but nothing made with our amazing quality beef, lamb and freerange pork. I missed the quality stuff from Italy so I started producing for myself at home and then it turned into a business.”
Now based in Wairarapa, The Prodigal Daughter makes fresh salsiccia (sausage) and cures whole cuts for pancetta, coppa, bresaola, guanciale and prosciutto. She uses traditional methods with no preservatives, sugars or nitrates, and she’s just as fastidious when it comes to sourcing the meat. “I use wholly freerange meats from local farmers who I know and trust and who show respect for their animals and the terroir.”
Naturally sweet, well-seasoned and spiced, her wafer-thin slices of fragrantly cured coppa and bresaola elicited sighs of happiness from the judges, but the product they declared the winner – by a pig’s whisker – was the Spicy Sicilian Sausage. A coarse-cut, pork salsiccia, it is enriched with back fat and spiced with cumin, coriander, three types of chilli and four types of paprika. Hot off the pan it was praised for its juicy texture and authentic flavour – a taste of Sicily made in New Zealand.