A WEARSIDE butcher hopes his football-themed food will inspire Sunderland to victory today.
John Stirk, who owns Stirk’s, in Grangetown, has created tasty tributes to SAFC’s head coach and goalkeeper.
A sausage tribute to Gus Poyet – made with Uruguayan chorizo – and Mannone’s meatball have been on sale all week to try to drum up support for the Black Cats ahead of this afternoon’s grudge match with arch rivals Newcastle.
John Stirk said creating an Uruguayan-themed feast was a challenge for him and brother Stephen, who is assistant manager at the shop.
He said: “It was an absolute pain in the backside researching it. It seems like they don’t eat very much in Uruguay.
“We thought about doing a Poyet pasty – but there are enough Greggs in Sunderland.”
Former Nissan worker Stephen, 25, hit on a winner after he discovered the country had its own version of spicy sausage chorizo, traditionally associated with Spain.
The butcher brothers combined the spicy sausage with lean beef and pork for a Black Cats’ treat.
Goalkeeper Vito Mannone’s meatballs, in a homemade tomato sauce, were whipped up in honour of the Italian’s penalty heroics which took Sunderland through to the Capital One cup final.
The family-run firm hit on the winning idea of combining meat and managers when they created a sausage homage to the controversial Paolo Di Canio.
They sold out of 30lbs of the Di Canio banger in under an hour after launching it in April. But the lip-smacking recipe of lean pork, sundried tomato, mozzarella and basil has been re-named the Borini, after the on-loan Italian striker who scored the winner in the last derby game.
John, 26, stripped Di Canio of the honour of having his own sausage because of his recent outspoken antics.
He said: “We are really upset that he wanted to make it about himself. We are not happy with the way he conducted himself.”
But the young businessman has extended a open invitation to Poyet and Mannone to sample their namesake treats.
And he wants Sunderland fans to get behind the club – which was looking to record the third straight derby win today – by taking a bite of the club’s boss.
John added: “I reckon if everyone has a Poyet sausage sandwich, a win would have been in the bag today. The city seems to be buzzing and it is great to have a city to be proud of.
“You do notice a difference in people.”