Joe Sloane keeps the craft of sausage-making alive in Bangkok.
The chef-turned-butcher with a background in traditional French cuisine has become something of a sausage celebrity—the name you know, the name you trust, making the products you respect. If you limit your enjoyment of his dry-cured meats, spice-speckled sausages, and butter-like terrines, you are denying yourself a universe of pleasure.
Before entering the world of butchery and charcuterie, Sloane was a professional chef in various Michelin-starred restaurants, including a stint at three-starred les Maîtres Cuisiniers de France. Of becoming a butcher, Sloane says, “It was never a conscious decision. Saying that, I always liked the idea of becoming a producer one day.”
All his sausages are made with a mixture of free-range, herb-fed pork from small farms that breed happy pigs. His commitment to making handmade produce from ethical local ingredients is admirable. In fact, it’s the engine that drives the outfit. “It took years [to find farmers that follow ethical practices],” says the butcher, who makes regular visits to farms to ensure high standards of hygiene and humane treatment. “But I was introduced to a great pig farmer based in Sisaket five years ago by Bo and Dylan from Bo.lan, who are now my partners at Sloane’s.”
The more traditional meats, such as the Cumberland sausage and dry-cured bacons, are the most popular items at the kitchen and deli, which is based in Bangna, across from Bangkok Patana School. “Basically, the comfort food we grew up on,” explains Sloane. The deli also carries 20 different cheeses, all locally produced, from a pungent goat cheese made in Chonburi and French-style washed rind cheeses made in Nakorn Sawan to a strong blue from Chiang Rai.
While salamis can take months to make, sausages come out fast and fresh. “It takes about 48 hours from the pigs being in a field to the sausages being at a restaurant,” says Sloane. Since the sausages are made-to-order and there aren’t many carried in stock, apart from a small selection at the shop and kitchen, it’s best to give the butcher a heads-up before ordering.
Sloane’s Cumberland, a traditional British sausage from the north of England, has a distinctive, meaty texture and a light herbal kick which cuts through the richness of the pork. Seasoned with nutmeg and black pepper, there is also a subtle brush of marjoram and sage that pairs beautifully with their tangy British HP sauce—and fruity summer ale, for those inclined.
Although the deli and kitchen is based in Bangna, the team often appears at various farmers markets, giving tastes of Sloane’s handmade products on the spot. “I’ve always tried to make sure that I’m there myself to talk to our customers. It’s harder now we have the shop, as I need to spread my time, but I still try and be at most of them,” he says.
At the K Village farmers market, I tried their Chorizo Fresco hot from the grill. A Spanish-style cooking sausage, the chorizo is flavoured with paprika, oregano, garlic, and red wine. Sliced neatly on a plate, the red chorizo emitted a spicy fragrance that made my mouth water. I paired it with their homemade chipotle ketchup, a smoky tomato sauce spiked with an extra-spicy kick. The hearty chorizo made me thankful not to have any self-imposed limits—I could see myself enjoying it time and again with an ice-cold beer in Bangkok’s endless summer weather.