Wednesday, 28 December 2011

'I have positively binged this Christmas..'

So you've done the obligatories - you've faced various poultry on the 25th - So what will it be for the inbetweeny vastness of nothing that is between Christmas and New Year? Will it be complaints of fullness? tiresome moaning about jeans feeling too tight? Excessive rants about the only vegetables being sat in front of the television? You're sick of the sight of food. In fact right now you'd be fine with a stick of celery. All you want to do is recover from your Cadbury induced coma and think of an easy way to slim down before that party on New Years Eve (where you'll drink too much and make food related promises which you won't keep). Well if it helps I am in exactly the same position. I am sick of the sight of food. I have positively binged this Christmas.

So I am seeing this as a time of recovery. However whilst reflecting on New Years and resolutions and food I asked myself whether I was out of my mind. How many people the world over would kill just to feel full?
No I'm not trying to make you feel guilty but we are guilty.

When you choose to start a fresh for the New Year why not make a promise you might actually keep? Food is about life, it is about sharing and it is about being thankful that we are lucky enough to have food whenever we want it. We are even able to waste it. So when making our New Years resolutions, why not share your food - forget stupid and futile sacrifices. If you want to cut out chocolate that's fine but who really benefits from that? Why not invite a friend over for dinner? or take some soup to an elderly neighbour or bake cakes with your kids? Why not cook something special for your other half? Why not teach a mate how to cook?

As for me? I am going to cook for one of my vegetarian friends. Now that will be a challenge..


Sunday, 4 December 2011

'what? turkey again?'

So it has arrived. Christmas. Or to put it in another word: Turkey time. There are turkeys everywhere. And why? Turkey is I have to say my least favourite meat. This is the only acceptable time for turkey in my eyes. As it can be dry and go on forever, like the Sahara desert.

However, I was recently shown by Butcher Mick how to bone a turkey leg and make a mini turkey joint (ideal for 2 depending on the size of the turkey) And my hope in turkey was restored! It was moist and juicy and pure meat. When stuffed: exceptional. The flavour was fantastic. However of course you should also consider other options for Christmas the traditional goose, duck or game perhaps? Or all stuffed together?

I admit I get a slight thrill when someone comes into the shop and says 'Sod it, this year we're having beef'. It appears rebellious to me as my mother is such a staunch turkey traditionalist when it comes to the festive period.

But I say this year: eat your favourite meat, no matter what it is! But please consider your butcher MAKE YOUR TURKEY ORDER ASAP. Don't leave it until the last minute. Yes, okay butcher's can be miracle workers and produce a turkey from thin air. But give us a chance!

Merry Christmas.


Monday, 28 November 2011

'burger monday with Blanch & Shock'

I am sat in Andrew's Cafe awaiting Daniel Young's acclaimed 'Burger Monday' event and I'm looking at the menu before me.

This particular BM is being hosted by Blanch and Shock  who came to the shop a few weeks back on the hunt for a consultation. With me. I was rather taken aback as it is usually me seeking the advice. However they indulged me slightly and we talked in depth about beef.

They were wanting to know what exactly to put in their burger. They wanted to push the boundaries of cooking and cross the line of normality. So we tried to come up with something pretty odd...

Which is now glaring at me on the menu. Panic sets in, the sweat starts to prickle and the bottle of Italian red going down a little too if this goes wrong it may well be on my head! I decided then and there that if it were to go wrong I'd put my hands up boldly and ward off the madness telling them 'we knew it was madness but it was important that we tried! However I also put great faith in the chefs that were cooking it, so I left this chaotic scene to the recesses of my mind...

Josh comes over and shows me the raw burger which consists of ox cheek, short rib and the end piece of 40 day aged rump (i.e the blackest bit) and it a burger! The pockets of aged meat do look good, hopefully to give off a gamy flavour. But what will it taste like when cooked...

While sat here, chatting away, I look at the caff. And it really is a caff - ad I love it. This is perfect. On my table are young, fun and lovely software developers Ben & Dan - BM veterans. These guys knows their burgers..

So the plate arrives and it looks sensational. The hay bun is superb and retains all the juices from the met perfectly. Not too much cheese and a hint of pickle. Lovely touch indeed with the chicken skin. The consistency is smooth and very agreeable and the whole thing is perfectly accompanied by the beef fat fries.


I chatted to the chefs afterwards about their feelings on the evening. We both shared in the relief tht the burgers went down well. As to those hamburger connoisseurs who said you can not make a burger without the use of 'chuck' in the ingredients. Well myself and Blanch & Shock say 'f*ck chuck - there are better cuts to be had.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

'how not to poison your Granny..'

Is in web terms an 'FAQ'. We get asked this so very often at the shop and I usually say, 'how do you like it?' Paramount when cooking beef, but essential with other meat too. Some may prefer their lamb more pink. And there is research taking place at present regarding how rare we can stomach pork.

My advice to all of you is this: purchase a meat thermometer immediately if not sooner. These are wonderful inventions, when plunged deep into the heart of the meat (or the meatiest part) and they will give you an accurate reading as to how hot or cold your meat is. This is ideal for roasting joints. Some, even have special settings which emit an irritating beeping sound when at the optimum point i.e your 'taste requirement'. These very helpful and inexpensive bits of kitchen kit render you less stressed, satisfied and totally avoiding poisoning your Granny.

If only all areas in life were served so conscientiously on the basis of your personal preferences..


Monday, 7 November 2011

'does size matter?'

When poised behind the counter we invariably get asked, 'how much do I need?' This could be with mince, leg of lamb or calves liver. We technically don't need that much meat but it may be nice to have a little extra? The recommended amount is roughly 200g each. However some people are perfectly happy with 75g-100g of meat. In our household it's far higher! But trying to ascertain how much a total stranger will need can be impossible. And it can be quite amusing, for instance if a lady comes in wanting to buy two rib eye steaks and she asks me how big I can hardly say, 'Well Madam, is your husband a big eater? greedy? or large?' o we often just the knife on the meat and ask the customer if it is adequate, it also means that you know your steak was cut just for you. 
The other interesting point is that meat looks far larger when you get it home. Okay, so this may well just be another random theory of mine. When in the butcher's shop surrounded by full loins and ribs of beef, shoulders of lamb and legs of pork, 500g of diced chuck/beef looks so tiny it hardly looks worth it. This happens to me all the time and I end up bringing home far more than we need! So I find it easier if I weigh it. But this could just be me. The point is I guess does the size matter? Does it depend entirely on how you're cooking the meat and what you're serving it with? Or should we just be grateful for the food experience? Portion control: it's all up to you. But at times, the last thing customers need is choice.


Sunday, 30 October 2011

'British Sausage Week' article for Great British Chefs

It was while I was legging it down the street brandishing a clear bag of beef and mustard sausages screaming ‘excuse me madam’ when I realised I love butchery. 
I was working for a smart butchery in the North East of England and this lovely elderly lady would come into the shop and purchase this particular denomination of sausage (pursing her lips and tutting if we had sold out..) and I knew if I didn’t run after her I would be put down in the appropriate ex-school teacher ‘Sorry Sir’ sort of fashion. While the sweat was beading on my forehead, my steel-toe boots very heavy and especially inelegant and all the passers-by finding this hysterical, that it occurred to me how much love our nation has for the sausage. 
The sausage is one of the few culinary creations totally formed from the butchery in its entirety. It isn’t a ‘jus’ or a ‘terrine’ it is meat, seasoning, etc. in a case. Natural if possible. It is appropriate for any meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner; and is favoured by children and adults alike. It can embody pork, lamb, beef or indeed chicken or game. It is a miracle as it utilises all ‘spare’ meat. 
 Every butcher loves a well made sausage. It is one of the first skills an apprentice learns and savours with relish. I have loved learning the craft of perfecting the seasonings, ensuring the meat is minced in the correct fashion and of course linking them skillfully.
For British Sausage Week in O’Shea’s we will be doing our usual range of Toulouse, Pork and Leek, Spicy Italian, Smokey Beef, Old English, Pork and Stilton, Lamb Merguez, Chilli Beef, Irish Breakfast and many more.

Monday, 17 October 2011


Lately I have been giving the concept of 'flavour' some thought. It's something we relish and savour. It's something we value. But what does it actually mean? It's not exactly like taste, it's more like the soul of taste. Well we could philosophise about this all day! But I had a flavoursome experience recently with aged beef.

Now most beef snobs will tell you that beef should be hung for minimum 21-28 days. Minimum. Now where I work we usually hang it for 30-40 days. And we can go even longer if it is what the customer requires.
Now I am not a beef snob. But this meat was on a whole other level. This piece was rump and by looking at it, had been left to mature and dry for about 35 days. I cut the piece in half and shared it. the inside of the meat was a beautiful claret colour with white marbling and yet the outside was black. And I mean black, but not sticky. Most would assume this meat to be ruined. But I refused to accept this.

So I asked Mick (the source of all butchery knowledge) what I should do with it, because I felt it in my gut that this steak could be spectacular (or maybe I was just hungry..). He said, get the pan piping hot, with sunflower oil.. Drain the oil. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice and ginger and place the steak (black side down) into the moisture. This essentially revitalises the steak, infusing it with juices once more. Aged meat is often described as 'gamy'. This steak was on the gamy side, but it was stunning. Absolutely amazing. It wasn't the most tender of steaks but the flavour. Holy Moly. I now know what flavour is.


Friday, 7 October 2011

'making meat look pretty..'

Since time began women have been trying to make things look attractive. Whether it be their homes or indeed themselves, beauty is a thing of great importance.So when I was posed with the challenge of 'make this meat counter attractive to the eye..' I thought. Holy hell. How can you tart up a bit of meat (apart from by actually putting it into a tart of course..). But I set to it, thinking what looks good and what looks awful, I definitely knew what I didn't like.

Most people do not even consider just how much effort and how much pride a butcher places on his or her counter. And also every individual will claim theirs is the best and I happen to think that's wrong. It's like saying in my sitting room I have the best wallpaper. And not surprisingly it boils down to a matter of taste. There are some rules that are good to stick to, such as using a variety of colours, place things in different dishes, make sure joints of meat are not just dumped in a pool of blood, ensure there is as little mess as possible. But most importantly make it look vibrant and fresh and change it around, to ensure the customer notices something new.

The best thing about the counter? there are no rules, you are free to do whatever you like. I am still developing my sense of style and I try and see it objectively. Thinking realistically, what do we need to sell, what do we have lots of, let's put offers on. Cut steaks fresh every morning. Ensure the chops are brand spanking new every day and utilise the larger joints to provide textured layers.

One could argue that it isn't quite the same as applying make-up or interior design or even planting hydrangeas in a straight line, since after all, we can not lose sight of the fact that it's chopped up bits of animal. However  the meat world deserves a bit of glamour. What would Gok say?? Let's set to it shall we..


Sunday, 25 September 2011

'a chop & a hard place..'

The difference between up North - (a rather vague definition) & London is fairly astounding when it comes to meat. Londoners request bavette, cote de beouf and go through fillet like it's going out of fashion; whereas up North things are rather different, selling lots of roasting joints: topside, the occasional rib and brisket. The average spend per head is so far removed from what I am familiar with. But the biggest difference to me is that up North people are wanting local meat. They want to know exactly where it's from. And don't even think about presenting them with Iberico Pork or Wagyu Beef, unless you happen to stumble across a local producer. The emphasis  is so different. Priorities are different. And I find myself caught between a butchers chop and a hard place.

I still need full and total traceability on all meat - knowing exactly where it has come from. For that my absolutism can be described as fascist. And local is all relative any way, wherever you are is local. Surely, though, we should be supporting our 'local' economy our local farmers? And I know many butchers/chefs would argue that they would choose quality over local, and I think in this dog-eat-dog world that has to be done. And top of all of this you have the evil commodity of money. What's worth it and what isn't? Why should you spend an extortionate amount of money just for beef trim? 

I clearly don't know what the answer is to this rather inarticulate question - but I suppose the important thing is to keep asking the most important question when it comes to meat. The one that keeps us trying to produce better food from good quality producers. 'Why?' Whether it is 'Why is this so expensive?' to 'Why is this ridiculously cheap?' 'Why is the meat this colour?' Why do I find I can't cook this properly?!' If we stop asking why, we stop caring. 


Sunday, 18 September 2011

'a goring of butchers..'

Apparently the collective noun for butchers is a goring, and I have definitely worked with my fair share. I am now working with my 8th and 9th butcher. Many butchers in the UK stay with the same one and then they may go off to open their own shop or stay once fully trained. I have loved all of the different places I have worked in but I really value the breadth of experience that I have had. To be honest it's not necessarily just about how to cut the meat up properly (although that is, erm, the point). It's the tricks of the trade, that make it. And I don't mean cutting corners.

For instance, tying, packaging, chopping, sharpening, uniform, counter presentation, cleaning, storing, etc, etc.What is rather wonderful is that I'm actually starting to have opinions of my own, ideas of my own (eventually..). When doing certain tasks whether it's using the over-wrap machine or tying a certain way I think of who it was that taught me. I smile. Then I think of my butchering journey. And I've only been sat on the train for about five minutes.

Yesterday I did my first leg of pork with Butcher Mick. really enjoyed it, but it took me a while. I sent this photo of it to Butcher George who I used to work for, he said it was fine but the pig had dirty feet. Oh, there's that smile again.


Friday, 26 August 2011

'bright lights & big cleavers'

When I started doing butchery, I'd sharpen my knife and I'd receive the bit of meat I had to trim, and I'd clumsily hack away at it util it vaguely still resembled meat. The butcher said it looked at best like road kill. I wasn't upset or actually surprised. I knew it looked appalling and it would indeed be minced to make burgers. But the next time I got it I merely lacerated it to look like a manged pile of meat. So the only way was up.

These days I am far more sophisticated and can trim to a fairly high standard. Essentially it's because I stopped wielding my knife like an axe murderer. But instead, I took a very gentle approach, only using the very tip of my knife, teasing and persuading the meat to prise itself from the bone, seaming and tempting.
Being a butcher takes a lot of patience and gentleness. The soft yet firm touch is a lot easier when chopping prepping meat. It is of course always better to leave the bones with no meat on what so ever: 'meat is money'.

An old butcher always said 'Keep the meat on the meat.' And I have tried to do that ever since.


Thursday, 18 August 2011

'and pigs will fly' a response..

So I was in the pub and a local pointed me to this article in the Guardian (I'm an Independent reader) .

Now reading this piece by Fiona Beckett I felt heartened but also a little bit sad.
Okay, so at the end of a long day at the block, most butchers are chomping at the bit at quarter to 5, not just eager but desperate to go home or get a quick pint in.
This attitude needs to change, in our industry we must make more of a conscious effort to have the best possible product with the outstanding service. Since you will not get this in a supermarket, it is just impossible - as you remain anonymous and so do they.
The butcher needs to be more friendly, approachable and offer a decent product, but politeness is half of the battle.

So what can you do? Well, you mustn't be intimidated - for good meat (from traceability to flavour) you must engage in conversation and talk to your butcher - trust me they want to help you, and they want you to return.

Convenience is the age old argument for not going out of your way to the shop. Fine. But most butchers strive to get a nice looking shop with the best in terms of equipment. What's the key to success I hear you ask? Parking. It doesn't matter how good your shop is, if they can't get parked you can't get custom. Every butcher dreams of getting a spot with parking available. This is so that it is more accessible for people to travel, thus selling lots of food.

What I do like about this article is that it is another great advert about the importance of knowing where your food is coming from. From farm to fork. This is important, other wise you genuinely have no idea what you are eating - the label on the back doesn't say which gasses have been injected to keep the meat looking pink and I don't know how the big stores manage to get every chicken looking the same, down to the exact same weight. Spooky.

This industry needs oomph. It needs enthusiasm. It needs a love of food. At a reasonable cost.
Life's far too short to eat bad meat, and it won't necessarily break the bank, I can assure you.
The way that supermarkets are going meat is becoming more expensive every day.
The price of bacon is going up anyway, pigs do fly.


Thursday, 11 August 2011

'the never ending bovine..'

Belted Galloway - what a beast!

Over the last
few days we have spent a large chunk of time sorting out this giant carcass.
From 'thick rib' to 'choice'. Mince trim to steaks.
How much beef have we cut up, chopped, seamed, boned out? How much meat have
we vacuum-packed and 'trayed' up.
It is astonishing how much food you get off these animals.
I frequently get asked how much one of these magnificent creatures costs?
Well the answer is: mind your own business! Let us worry about that. But a 3rd-hand Ford Ka would probably cover it..

The main thing is just how glorious it is to bestow such a craft. Watching as two butchers battle with it, knees straining, bringing it from fridge to cold block, hand sawing straight through the body, then splitting and separating it into smaller cuts. Fantastic.

What a privilege. Rib of beef anyone?


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

'cold hands warm heart..'

Often when i'm working a customer will recoil when I give them their change. At first I figured it was because I look shifty and they thought it was short, but lately they have been more vocal saying things like, 'eee pet ya hands are carld like'.

Butchery is indeed a cold profession. Very cold. Less than 5°C if you're a fridge and below -18°C if you're a freezer. When holding the meat for us butchers you must be careful and it can be pretty painful since the beef, chicken, lamb or pork (and often ourselves) is chilled to the very core. Meat must be cold. It affects everything. Including the taste. You should always endeavour to keep your meat cold. Now I'm not going to get ranty (which usually means I am) but you must always defrost meat in a fridge, it is far safer and less likely to seep blood, which is rank to deal with in your lovely kitchen. Happy meat is freezing meat. The colder you keep it the better it will taste. Or else it will start to part-cook and no one wants that now!

However as far as we butchers go, it's all about the thermals and thoughts of warm sunshine...


Saturday, 23 July 2011

'watching your waste line.'

Waste. One of the biggest crimes of 21st Century. People grumble on about how much of the Sunday paper they don't read. How full their bin is. How much they have to chuck. Now when I think of this it conjures up overflowing landfills in some distant (we hope!) hell hole. Well we all have far more control over these matters than you would realise.

This is absolutely the case with regard to waste and meat products, and indeed packaging. There's a reason that meat in a butchers shop is not pre-packed. It's so you can tailor your order. Just think, you too could be the proud owner of made to measure gammon, bespoke chops and hand crafted burgers. I jest slightly, but meat comes from life, and it can be expensive, so we should ensure we value it and utilise it i.e eating it! And to us of course, meat is money.

This is why Mrs Canny-Body from down the road is of course allowed to buy two pork and leek sausages, half a pound of back bacon and very occasionally a small joint of salmon cut. Butchers do enjoy it when people spend vast amounts of money (obviously - they are trying to run a business!) But what they hate the most is waste. So think when you buy, and we also have the blessing of the freezer. And never think you're spending too little.


Monday, 4 July 2011

'I dub thee Sir Loin!'

After thinking more about my last entry 'the right cuts' I thought on this further.

Whenever anyone comes into the shop and asks for a fillet steak I carefully lean into the counter and gently pick up the tender joint and place it, deftly onto the surface of the block. Then I pick up the steak knife and slice through the muscle with care and precision.

It's like transporting royalty - because I am so aware of how valuable this part of the beef is.

It's not, I have to say, my favourite steak, but I know the monetary value - and I would get shot if I damaged it in any way. This cut is definitely tender, succulent, melt-in-the mouth; and when cooked perfectly - nothing short of fabulous.

But who decided that the sirloin component of bovine was the best? Who claimed that this was beef royalty? Whereas flank, blade and clod remain the peasants? A life destined for stews and curries... Just as King Rib of Beef - roasting fame, is noble whilst poor Brisket is banished to the humble, cheaper end of the market, or worse - forgotten!

There's a reason that fillet, rib eye, and sirloin are cut from the 'choice' but I would love to know exactly who chose...


Sunday, 26 June 2011

'which cut's the right cut?'

To be honest, there is no right cut. Wow, that was easy.
However, there is the right way to cook and prepare something. For instance using fillet of beef (particularly rare breed stuff) would be well and truly wasted if we were to mince it and create a standard spag bol.

People are forever exhausting the question, not 'how?' or 'why?' but 'which?'
I try and gently encourage people to go for something they have never gone for, perhaps brisket or shin of beef, or pork tenderloin - if cooked properly these cuts can be exquisate. Naturally these lend themselves to slow cooking. Just leaving it to fester for hours so that all the flavouring from the fat and muscle can soak in.

I stumbled across a fantastic recipe for Ukranian stew ('borscht' which is predominantly shin, beetroot, shallots and paprika) and it was fantastic with crusty bread for dipping. There are umpteen recipes for all sorts of different cuts. And quite often, these cuts are the least expensive! Although you may have to go to your local butcher to source them - which he/she will with pleasure.

I charge you with this. Try something weird. It will enrich your life.


Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Butchery in England is one of the few occupations that is still very much reliant on good old fashioned skill. It demands a thorough knowledge of carcasses and an ability to cut well. But is it stuck in the past?

For instance, why even hand tie string knots for joints of meat? Surely in this day and age there''s a machine or at the very least elastic we can use? But it just is not the done thing - and why bother, this way has suited us for years now. And it looks far more impressive.

The other day, a butcher got a dishwasher installed in his shop, it's hardly cutting edge technology, and another butcher I spoke to could not believe it! But this is how it goes.
On the other hand a new butcher's block was bought and it will outlive all of the shop staff put together.
'Built to last or stuck in the past' is the question. I say that is part of what 'tradition' is.

Getting back to the knots..I actually very much enjoy tying, so hope that particular method remains. Just hope I can improve!


Sunday, 1 May 2011

'ode to a Vegetarian.'

I was recently having a conversation (over a fantastic local Durham Ale [Prince Bishop]) when I came across a (non-drinking) Vegetarian. We chatted briefly, just tittle tattle. And then she confessed to being Veggie. And I avoided the standard 'here-we-go-again' eye roll, and I said 'good for you' and left it at that. However, she wanted to ask me questions about the manufacturing of meat, and where the shop I works for sources theirs. So I humoured her (or rather started to get excited and talk at roughly 1000 mph) and I answered her questions. She then gave me the BEST defense that I have ever heard. Her reasons for not eating meat are about waste. she doesn't agree with how much meat wastage there is.

Every year 18 million tonnes of edible food ends up in landfill. How much of that must be meat?! I can not begin to imagine. Supermarkets are more likely to be blamed, since to local butchers meat is indeed money. However I would argue that we try our best to utilise as much of the animal, possible. I do not at all, have a problem with vegetarians and if that is your choice, fantastic - as long as you're shopping local. One day, in the future, when I have my own shop I think I will salute Vegetarians everywhere and do a range of meatless sausage.

As I did appreciate the logical and rather wonderful argument. And I too, hate waste.
So I bought her another sparkling water and we chatted the night away..


Thursday, 31 March 2011


Voltaire said that 'business is the salt of life'. Now I'm not about to unpack what that means exactly (I wouldn't know where to start). But I am aware of just how crucial an ingredient salt is.
Something that can dry, flavour and be found in a natural form must be rather special. It protects, preserves, enhances, burns and cures.

Bacon, for instance. This food miracle and glory between slices of bread, is purely pork loin, dry cured in salt. 'Home cured' as I'm used to, involved boning (removing the bones) from the loin of pork, then heavy dose of salt is scattered over and then rubbed into the meat. Both side. Over a few days we can monitor just how much moisture comes out of the bacon. We drain and rub down with a cloth to try and maintain the dry curing. It can be left for a long time (hence how bacon lasts longer than a regular joint of pork), and it is usually good to go when the remaining hide is hard and solid, ready to be sliced and enjoyed.

We must ensure we don't have too much as it is bad for one's health. So in a nutshell, love but respect the wonder that is salt.


Monday, 21 March 2011

'and good swill to all men'

Very few people can see the link with theology (what I'm technically qualified in) - and butchery. But I think the links are transparent. When we buy our food we put trust and faith in our sources.
I mean, absolutely anything could have happened in those murky stages from farm to fork.

We have no idea, and for the most part, we like it this way. The importance of trust is enormous - but we very rarely think of it that way. This is particularly the case with butchery. Trusting super market meat apparently looks so easy. It is sat in refrigerated shelving, in shiny wrapping paper, marked at a 'reasonable' price, looking very bright and the same as the others on the shelf. Almost as if it didn't come out of the animal at all, well that's a tad bizarre don't you think?
What I do find odd is that the majority of people will trust this more than their local butchery. People appear to purchase and favour meat that doesn't look like it is from an animal - over meat where in some cases you can even tell the customer the post code of the farm the animal existed on!

But this is also about our issues with killing a living being and then eating it. Sacrifice. See? Theology everywhere. We must recognise, value and respect the animal, and honour it as best we can. What we do need is education and an ability to communicate with customers who have more questions - don't be afraid to ask. Butchers don't bite...well most of us don't...

It isn't just down to the butcher though, we expect you the customer to be loyal and return - but only if the meat is up to your standards, and if it isn't please say something. Chances are there are reasons but if not, changes can be made.

The butcher-customer relationship should ultimately be about friendship as it's about give and take. I'm not saying your local butchery is a charity and you should make ridiculous demands and request a drop in prices (i'm definitely not).

But 'good will', kindness and caring is where a butcher's heart should be.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

'my beef with food'

Food, in my opinion is more than a necessity of living. Food should be loved, valued and fun. It should also be natural, with as few additives, and as local as humanly possible. I'm not necessarily shunning donner kebabs and saying living The Good Life is the way ahead, but surely there is a happy balance - let's see shall we...