Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Rare Breeds

We happen to be extremely lucky in this part of the world. Not only is this shop very close to actual grazing cattle near the heart of a thriving city, we also get some amazing opportunities.

A few months ago I was asked if I'd be interested in taking on some rare breed pork from 'Bill Quay'. This is a city farm based in Gateshead. Once a month we get some fabulous Tamworth pork from there. Tamworth is quite a rare breed of pork and this led to customers asking lots of questions about what was special about rare breeds. Now as usual in this industry, it is never an easy answer. The quick and easy version is that Tamworth pork has a smaller eye of the meat (which can mean it is sweeter) and there is a higher fat content. Some people would be absolutely thrilled about the extra fat, however others would be less pleased. I have to admit I am of the former rather than the latter, however, I'm certainly not here to judge, I'm here to make sure you leave with what you want. The pork we usually sell is Landrace or Duroc which is perfectly delicious too by the way! And it is really consistent and tastes divine.

This begs more questions about rare breeds. What even is a rare breed? Is it one that is hard to breed? Is it one that is expensive to breed? Or is it just a bit crap so we don't want to eat it any more? The truth of the matter is, it totally depends on the specific situation. Helpful? Absolutely not. Being a butcher is a bit like being on a food journey that never ends and more and more questions need to be addressed. But as with lots of things, the more you explore the industry the more questions crop up.

It's all getting a bit esoteric; I'm really just wanting something tasty for dinner. However, when it comes to breeds of animals, I don't have favourites as such but I do relish the variety. I think it's pretty cool that we have a choice.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Christmas Orders now being taken!

Christmas is meant to be a WONDERFUL time of year - let's keep it that way. Any questions? just ask.

Our Herb Fed, Free Range, Bronze Turkeys are very reasonable at £10/KG and they always go down a treat!

We also offer Gammons, Chipoloatas, Pis in Blankets, Streaky Bacon, if it's meaty and Christmassy you can find it here!

Do get in touch and we can talk you through our Christmas range or we can email you an order form.

info@charlottesbutchery.com

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Any requests?

So in the last couple of weeks we have been doing some pretty cool stuff.

We welcome customers from literally anywhere; and we have been getting some amazing butchery requests from all over Europe. In my time I have had made some pretty exciting things from our mega popular Boerewors sausage, Lamb Merguez, to authentic Italian Porchetta all the way to our homemade Haggis and Black Pudding.

Due to the omnipresence of social media I am able to find recipes from pretty much anywhere in the world. I have email/twitter contact with butchers from France, Mexico, Argentina, Australia and even Scotland!


We have been working very hard to help recreate dishes from back home for a few customers. We made Guanciale (which is a cured pork cheek used for cooking, a bit like streaky bacon) for a lovely new Italian customer and also prepped the ingredients for Cozido, which is a Portuguese dish - that is going to be cooked for Christmas lunch.We really do love a challenge and find the creative process a lot of fun - so if you're after a specific butchery service we can do that for you - no matter what it is, we'll happily give it a go!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Blast off into September!

September is already mental for Charlotte & Jamie. If our wholesale customers aren't keeping us entertained during the day, as well as our usual retail clients, it's all the added extras. So something that Jamie and I have been doing a lot of is demos! We had a lot of fun doing a dinner at The Northern Counties Club in town, where we cut up an entire lamb and then had the delights of Paul in the kitchen cooking us a storm with 'an entire deconstructed lamb' afterwards - which was super tasty.

Demos are something that we do offer because they are highly educational, entertaining and it's a great opportunity to ask any of those burning questions. You also get the added highlight of watching two siblings laugh and joke together at the same time. With Charlotte's experience with dealing with farmers and learning about the breeding process, Jamie makes for the perfect double act as he is doing a qualification in nutrition.

We are more than happy to take enquires about future demonstrations. Perfect for businesses to learn and engage together especially as the importance of food and well being is essential. Balance is of course very important and being in the food industry we know that better than any, However, these demos are a lot of fun and we do offer audience participation. It really is a fabulous way to learn about meat and where your food comes from.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Just a canny little shop.

We are so lucky to have a heritage in the butchery. The shop turns 120 years old next year and we're pretty excited. There has been a local, community orientated shop in this part of Gosforth for a long time. I'm in awe that I get to run this shop after generations and generations of butchers have had the privilege of being there. That's why you walk in and the decades of meat cutting are so obvious. We try to keep our ageing beef in the counter as often as we can so that customers can get a feel for the whole butchery process, that's also why we have a small butcher's block in the front shop. Luckily we are free to choose what we sell so it means that there is no order too small and no task too intimidating.  We want you to be involved and we want you to ask questions. Hard ones.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Thingymajigs.

So recently I was tweeting about a recipe by Nigel Slater which used a cut called Lamb Belly. A really lovely and cheap cut of meat (£5/kg). It's divine and often gets wasted. I was thrilled to see a chef using this cut of meat!

Anyway butchers up and down the country were up in arms, 'It's called Lamb Breast you fool' 'This is the problem chefs trying to reinvent the wheel', 'They do this all the time, bloody chefs!' 'Why are they trying to eradicate our tradition?'

And I thought to myself WHY are you getting so upset about terms of cuts. Providing the Great British public are still buying the cuts, from little butchers -  that's the point - it doesn't matter what we actually call it. Lamb breast is the same as belly or lap or whatever you want to call it. As long as we get there in the end why does it matter?

It's up to us as butchers to establish what you want and to know all the terms for cuts.

As far as I'm concerned give meat cuts whatever name you feel like in my shop. In fact, the more creative - the better.