Take away Menu including a Roast Pork Special on Friday – download your own handy copy
Treat youself to breakfast, lunch or an afternoon snack from our new take away menu.
For breakfast try our double ended sausage sandwich or a bacon sandwich.
A selection of freshly made cold sandwiches are available all day, as well as hot pie and peas, sausage rolls and other savoury pastries.
If it’s something sweet your after try our freshly baked flapjacks and muffins.
We are also serving hot and cold drinks.
The first ever butchers tri-nations competition has just been held in the glorious countryside around Queenstown New Zealand.
The event involved teams from New Zealand, Australia and The United Kingdom. For the previous 2 years, it was just between the Southern Hemisphere countries, but we were grateful for the invitation this year and five members of the Q Guild packed their knives, and travelled – a long way – to participate. We gathered together a fantastic team and I was proud to captain.
Of course, travelling that distance meant that we wanted to experience the surroundings as well. Queenstown is in South Island, among the mountains, where in winter it falls to -15, but was well into the high 20′s when we were there. It”s a place for outdoor leisure; skiing in winter, rafting and hill-walking in summer.
The first ever bungy jump was made here, and one afternoon, all teams and supporters visited Nevis, positioned on top of mountains, with ravines on either side. I don’t think bungy jumping is for me, but one of our team Richard Carter, jumped, as did some of the others. Here’s a video of where we were at. http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=MNveyNGts6I&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DMNveyNGts6I
The five days were hosted by the wonderful organisation – Beef & Lamb New Zealand, responsible for promotion of red meat to their domestic market. We were made to feel very welcome, and were looked after in a fantastic way. We visited wineries, sheep stations, and many great restaurants in the area.
The final day culminated in the butchery competition held at the Wanaka Agricultural Show. This was a big event by anyone’s standards, 100′s of people watching and with national TV coverage. Each team was given a side of beef and 1 lamb with 2 hours to cut and display the meat in the best way possible. It was a hot and intensive 2 hours. Back home we had mustered our team for a couple of practices, but with our team Jon Thorner from Somerset, Robert Jones and Richard Carter from the Midlands, and Brindon Addy and myself from Yorkshire, it’s not a simple challenge.
How did we do? Well, third place out of three doesnt sound too impressive, but we were certainly nudging second place. The New Zealanders won, and rightly so, but come next year, the return leg which will be held in England, we know a little more of what is expected of us, and we could surprise a few.
We made lots of new friends from Australia and NewZealand, and shared lots of ideas which we will all benefit from.
This could not have been possible without the help of our sponsors who put some of the money in towards the costs of the trip. Our main sponsor being EBLEX – English Beef and Lamb Executive, with assistance also coming from Dalziel, Weddel Swift, Lucas Ingredients, Meat Training Council, Hartshead Meats and Jarrett’s.
We are also very grateful to our host Beef & Lamb New Zealand, and their Australian counterparts MLA.
Bring on next year guys!
We don’t always stock veal chops, but when we do, I always snaffle a couple, purely for quality control. They’re simple and quick to cook, and I really enjoy them with a little citrusy finish. Try this recipe.
Sage and lemon veal chops
Lots of garlicky butter, lemon juice and sage are delicious with a juicy veal chop. Serve this with roast potatoes and a bowl of crisp salad leaves.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 7 minutes
Total time: 12 minutes
- 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 x 150g Veal chops
- 30g Unsalted butter
- 3 Garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 6 Sage leaves
- ½ Lemon, juice only
- Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat; season. Fry the chops for 3 minutes on one side. Turn them; add the butter and garlic and fry for another 2 minutes, until they are nicely caramelised on the outside.
- Scatter the sage leaves into the juices and cook for 2 minutes more, turning the chops if needed. Pour over the lemon juice and take the pan off the heat. Discard the garlic and serve the chops with the sage leaves and juices spooned over.
What a crazy few weeks we have seen in the meat industry with horsemeat in manufactured products in supermarkets. No doubt this will have reached the institutions – schools, hospitals, canteens, nursing homes etc – as well.
I am a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Butchers, an old established organisation, set up around 1000 years ago to create standards for the meat industry in London. It’s amazing that we are still having issues in this trade a millennium later.
Who is to blame for this? It appears to me to be a cyclical routine.
- Large and powerful retailers dictate and drive down prices to suppliers/ manufacturers
- Honest suppliers struggle to compete
- Dishonest suppliers cut corners, buy inferior ingredients and win contracts
- A scandal erupts when it is discovered why prices have been so cheap
- New regulations are brought in to close this loop hole
- The retailers revert back to honest quality suppliers - if they are still in business
- This all costs money, and the cost of a decent healthy product now goes up because of regulations.
- And – Large and powerful retailers dictate and drive down prices to suppliers/ manufacturers
The ones who suffer are the customers.
Someone is to blame for this. If a supplier offered me meat below cost price, it would be so obvious that I would not go near it. (This is probably why no one ever does come to us offering cheap meat!)
Retailers have an obligation to know what they are offering. I realise that not everyone reading this blog will be a customer of mine, so, what should you do? Find a good quality local butcher in your area with a sound reputation. A ‘Q Guild’ butcher is a pretty good start. http://www.qguild.co.uk/your-local-butcher/
Ask the right questions/ get to know him/her.
- Where does the meat come from – preferably the farm or the local abattoir
- Does he know the farmer, abattoir owner?
- Does he look you in the eye?
- Do the delivery vehicles back up what he is saying?
- Don’t buy the cheapest produce in the frozen supermarket aisle
- If this doesn’t fit your pocket, buy less and better.
I am really proud to supply two local schools, many restaurants and nursing homes in this area, and whilst they constantly moan at my prices and say they can buy cheaper, they have the foresight to stick with me because of the quality and assurance I can offer them. I am very grateful to these customers and my regular shop clients as well.
Support your local butcher!
I find Edinburgh to be a marvellous place to visit.
It has history, it’s cosmopolitan, and is the home to some really great food places which are run by people who are passionate about their trades and crafts A recent trip there on a food fact finding mission confirmed this to me.
Two of the best butchers in the Britain – possibly the best butchers in the world? – have their homes in Edinburgh.
Crombies of Edinburgh, on Broughton Street, who have the very enviable website address www.sausages.co.uk opened in 1955 and is now run by second and third generation, Sandy and Jonathon. Multi award winning Q Guild butchers, they produce some highly respected sausage, homemade haggis and Scotch pies. The shop is bright, smart and you get a feeling of real quality when walking into the place. Sandy and Jonathon are welcoming and I always come away a wiser man having visited them.
John Saundersons butchers on Leven Street is also a member of the prestigious butchers Q Guild and this shop has traded here since 1958. Now run by third and fourth genertations of the family, this is another typically traditional butchers business serving the city people. The shop is filled with antiquity, hanging rails and meat hoists in the front of the shop and a traditional office still in place above customers heads, orignally giving the shop secretary a view of the days work from high up whilst filling in the ledgers. Scotland is famous for its local resources of beef and venison amongst others, and these are in evidence on my visits. John is another proud producer of haggis, and rightly so. www.johnsaunderson.co.uk
Wedgwood is a spectacular restaurant on the Royal Mile. www.wedgwoodtherestaurant.co.uk It is smart yet not too stiff, and run by Paul Wedgood, it is turning out some very fine dishes. Pan fried pigeon breast on haggis, tatties and neeps is amazing, and crusted rack of mutton makes use of a meat which I believe is sadly under used. This is fine dining without the price tag normally attached to it. Staff are courteous and attentive, and the surroundings are simple and unfussed.I enjoyed my visit to this restaurant very much.
One of the most famous delicatessens resides in Edinburgh: Valvona and Crolla is situated on Elm Row, just outside the city centre.
They also have various presences dotted around the vicinity, but the Elm Row store is the first and most impressive site. Created by Italians in 1934, this is a true destination for the food lover. From outside it looks rather ordinary, however once inside, you realise that the accolade of ‘No 1 Uk Deli’ is well deserved.
The walls are stacked from floor to (very high) ceiling with jars, bottles and dried foods that you scarcely see outside Italy. The counter has an amazing array of cheeses, cooked and cured meats, and as you walk further into the store, you discover many more delights for the epicurian. A vast array of wine is on offer, as well as tastings and classes available. www.valvonacrolla.co.uk Whilst being solidly Italian, it also has a good selection of local produce as well.
So what did I learn on my trip to the Scottish capital? There are some very fine and strong food places, turning out specialist produce, which they are justly proud of, and, like cassoulet and foie gras in France and chorizo in Spain, haggis is celebrated and adored. It’s unusual for a British food to be so highly regarded in the same way as it is on the continent. More often than not, it will be sneered at.
The next thing is to raise our regional Yorkshire dish to celebrated status – pork pie and mushy peas!
Salt’s ability to preserve food was a foundation of civilization. It eliminated the dependence on the seasonal availability of food and it allowed travel over long distances. However, salt was difficult to obtain, and so it was a highly valued trade item. Many salt roads, such as the via Salaria in Italy, had been established by the Bronze age.
Extract from Wikipedia
The benefits of salt are many. The main being the ability to preserve foods for long periods without refrigeration.
The salting of food changes the texture, flavour and appearance eg a leg of pork can become a serrano ham, sliced incredibly thinly to produce dark shavings of intensely flavourful protein. And so a whole new eating experience is created.
As with most things, too much of a good thing causes issues. Too much salt in your diet is known to have a detrimental effect on your health. The government’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) is dedicated to reducing salt intake in the British population. An old master curer of hams once told me ‘not too many years ago, the majority of salt in ones diet came from eating butter, cheese and ham, now it’s in every ready prepared food picked up in the supermarket’
Because salt is a natural flavour enhancer, it is used excessively in products that don’t necessarily need it. We consume more salt unknowingly. The FSA set guidelines and supermarkets adhere to them. Unfortunately, eating quality is not a priority when setting these.
Reducing salt accross the board, is a heavy-handed tactic which means meat products such as sausage, hams, bacon etc lose their traditional flavours, texture is changed , and product life is depleted. It has a detrimental effect on the enjoyment of the product.
My recent experience is that sandwiches, as an example, sold in supermarkets, have so little flavour that I’m amazed they sell at all. Food ceases to become an enjoyment, just a fuel for the body.
The reduced salt products on the market have an unpleasant bitter taste and not the preserving qualities associated with the real thing. It should be noted that the sales of table salt are on the rise, as a direct effect of turning out tasteless products.
Salt, a once prized and expensive commodity, is now cheap and taken for granted and vilified. With the advent of less cooking in the home, we have no control over our salt intake other than eating reduced-salt products which, as discussed, doesn’t always lend itself to an enjoyable experience.
As with everything in these relative days of plenty, a balanced diet is the key to good food and health. Cooking more meals from individual ingredients solves this problem at a stroke. It gives us control over our salt intake, and allows the experts in the craft world of meat curing and food preservation to continue making their quality products without the interference of a government body which has little understanding for the artisan food producers.
The port of Liverpool became hugely important on the salt trade, exporting the product produced in Cheshire. It is suggested that Roman soldiers were paid in salt, where the word salary originates from, as well as the phrase, ‘not worth his salt’
Traditional British sausages used to be made in the winter months. Throughout the autumn, when the roots were plentiful, the pigs would be fed and fattened up until they were big and strong. As autumn moved into winter when the apples had fallen from the trees, and food was less plentiful, the time would come for the pig to be killed. Traditionally the legs were made into succulent hams, and the loins made into bacon.
The trimmings would then be made into sausage. As food stocks were often lower in the winter months, rusk or bread would be added to the trimming to make the protein go further. The pork would be minced with seasonings, salt and the bread to create what we have now come to know as the traditional British sausage.
This style has become intrinsic to sausage production now. Indeed many other British classics originated in this way: the shepherd’s pie would have been traditionally made from the leftovers of a Sunday dinner, the Cornish pasty the same. Butchers did not wish to waste any part of the animal, hence the creation of the Black Pudding. These dishes and products have become integral to the tradition and culinary history of Britain and are to be embraced.
Although the British method was traditionally used to make the pork go further, it has become what we expect as the light textured, flavoursome breakfast sausage. This contrasts with the continental sausage which is made almost entirely of meat – such as the Bratwurst, Toulouse, Nuremburg and Chorizo. These types of sausages have a much denser texture, are heavier and firmer and have less seasoning. You can get a great continental version of the sausage that is 100% meat but it is not something that British people tend to favour.
Often in supermarkets you’ll find the shelves lined with sausages marked at 97% meat, but this is not what we would call a British sausage. A good traditional British sausage should have an amount of bread or rusk, as this helps create the correct taste and light consistency. Often these supermarket sausages are not in the traditional British style, and rather similar to the more heavy continental sausages.
Just because a sausage contains high meat content doesn’t mean that it is a better sausage. A beer brewed at a local brewery with 3.5% alcohol content wouldn’t be considered any worse than a continental beer produced in a foreign country and brewed at 5% alcohol content – and the same reasoning can be applied to sausages. I won the National Champion of Champion’s Sausage title on two separate occasions with sausages of 70% meat content. Meat quantity is important, but so is the amount of bread or rusk used.
What you must consider is not the lower percentage of meat in British sausages, but rather whether they are made with good quality British pork. Rather than having high welfare standards, and good quality pork, often these supermarket sausages contain either imported pork or cheaper cuts such as jowl and pork rind rather than belly and other good quality trimmings.
My advice is to find a butcher has an artisanal approach to the manufacture of his sausages. You need to find a craftsman that has a passion for what he considers the creation of traditional British sausages, using quality British pork.
Buy British sausage!
This is one of my favourite recipes; the good value beef used contains fat which goes succulent and tender through the low and slow cooking method. Although it takes time, the ribs almost look after themselves, producing something lip stickingly sumptuous. This recipe takes barbecuing to the next level so you can forget the burnt sausage and burgers in favour of something much more delicious.
You can use any kettle barbecue but the ceramic barbecues, such as the Primogrill, will give you the best results as you can set it going with proper charcoal rather than gas. This method smokes the product well, and produces fantastic flavour. You don’t even need to reload the barbecue with charcoal as the cooking method means the charcoal lasts for at least twenty hours.
For this recipe, you’ll be using short ribs, which is great because they are cheap. Although they are quite a tough cut of meat, the low and slow cooking method means that the gristle and connective tissue disintegrates into lip sticking, juicy meat.
Marinade – 1 beef stock cube dissolved in a 150ml water with 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Dry Rub – 2tbsp Black pepper
1 ½ tbsp Garlic Salt
2 tbsp hot chilli powder
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
Foil Mix – 2 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp Apple juice
Final glaze – 300ml your favourite bbq sauce
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp sherry or wine vinegar
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Brush the ribs with the marinade and season the short ribs with the dry rub.
5. Remove from foil and brush with a BBQ sauce, then place back on BBQ for thirty minutes.
6. Remove from BBQ and serve with sauté potatoes & BBQ beans.
As a foodie, I appreciate a good cheese just as much as a good cut of meat. We have eight Yorkshire cheeses and two guest cheeses, all of which are available to try inside the shop. Some of the cheeses include traditional Wensleydale and Jervaulx blue from Wensleydale dairies, as well as Yorkshire Blue from Shepherd Purse. One of the cheeses that I enjoy the most is Blacksticks Blue, which is not only one of the guest cheeses, but a valuable part of a five piece cheeseboard.
The wonderful colour and taste of this cheese makes it an upbeat British classic that stands out against other blue cheeses. It offers a deliciously creamy yet tangy taste. Named after the tall group of Chestnut trees at the farm near Inglewhite, Lancashire, the distinctive orange cheese has great blue flavour combined with a soft, silky texture.
To produce the cheese, the curds are hand cut, stirred and poured into moulds before resting. This gives the cheeses time to drain naturally, resulting in the characteristic Blacksticks texture. Each cheese is then pierced to create the wonderful blue veins, then hand wrapped and left to mature for eight weeks to achieve optimum taste and texture.
Why not head in to the shop and have a taste?