28 May Let’s support our local butchers
#eatsouth is our celebration of the amazing food and drink larder that we have on our doorstep. The challenge is thrown down every few weeks – cook with this local ingredient, and share the results.
LOOK AFTER YOUR BUTCHER AND HE’LL LOOK AFTER YOU BACK
TV chefs always tell us we should choose the most expensive meat our budget will allow. I’m reliably informed though, that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to spend a lot and, rather than being an expensive option over the supermarket, the local butcher can ‘save you money and serve you right’ as the old saying goes.
It’s easy to add click meat to your supermarket order and rarely shift from the cuts you’ve always bought. But a little time spent strolling up the High Street and chatting with your local family butcher can be an experience and a good way to experiment with new dishes.
The family butcher is usually keen to help, and happy to have a chat with you about their produce. They know cuts and are happy to give tips on what to buy to save money and how to cook cheaper cuts to make the most of the joints that may have the most taste and the least pressure on your pocket.
They know their trade, they know the provenance of their meat and they want it to be the best you’ve ever tasted. Their livelihood depends on it.
Derek Haggard of Hadlows at Titchfield in Hampshire is just such a butcher. He owns and runs our local butcher’s shop with his sone Ade, and wife, Sharon who runs the deli and cooked meats side of the shop.
Their meat is all sourced by Derek himself, he’s in the shop by 5am every day and watching the run up to Christmas always looks like a gauntlet of turkey trauma and a mind-boggling schedule of personal orders. But he cares about what he buys and what he sells – and that shows. He chooses British meat, make his own sausages and kebabs and knows exactly where to source his Christmas turkeys for the best flavour, the best price and for total reliability from the farmer.
We all love a beef wellington, a rack of lamb or a juicy steak (well at least we do) but more unusual cuts, pig’s cheeks, pork belly or even chicken drumsticks are being re-energised in our foodie culture.
When we talked about an #eatsouth challenge showcasing spring lamb, Derek suggested that, alongside the premium joints, we experiment with some cuts which used to feature on family tables but have gone out of fashion in the last two decades. Let’s revive them and make the most of our Great British meat.
So, here we have a variety of dishes from a range of cuts that came from Hadlows. If you like the look, pop along to Derek and Ade or your local butcher and have a chat about what you might like to try.
If you do go to Titchfield, opposite the butchers is a hidden gem. The Wine Shop at Hallmark Jewellers is a small café serving fantastic home-cooked food. Talking about things that have gone out of fashion but need to be resurrected – try their Waldorf Salad. Delicious!
Our #eatsouth challenge was to showcase a variety of lamb dishes from Hadlows. Take a look at the recipes and talk to your butcher about some too.