This is a topic that I will re visit every now and then and have done so before . A BUTCHER should be treated like a family member! And this is very true in South- Africa. But now I am living in Ireland . I find that people don’t see their butcher to be so important. They are the wonderful people that provide us with the beautiful meat that we cook on our BBQ’s and in our houses on a daily basis. Supermarkets have their benefits but I would never buy meat from a Supermarkets. Because you see your butcher on a regular basis you get to know him and build up a relationship which is important. If more people supported their local butcher or preferred butcher we might have more butchers in the small towns .
The horse meat scare fiasco is something that I stayed away from and didn’t get involved in any debates at the time. This wasn’t relevant to me because I eat no processed meats or any meat from a box eg shop burgers, take away or ready made meals . And know exactly where my meat comes from. But if you buy from somebody that you don’t know personally be aware! The supermarkets are so big they don’t care and there is no such thing as trust any more . I wonder how much of all of this they knew or suspected but just turned a blind eye.
Your local butcher either has his own herd or buys herds in and then gets it slaughtered . Not all butchers have their own land so might buy from a factory/ abattoir but at least they know where the meat comes from and would also cut their own steaks from lumps/carcasses of meat. And if you buy from this butcher locally then usually you tell him next time that it was either brilliant meat or not but this type of relationship doesn’t normally exist in a Supermarket environment.Sometimes these people in the Supermarket serving behind the counter no fault of their own aren’t even butchers or even have a idea if the cuts. They are informed about the cuts of meat from the label on the box and sometimes mix them up again no fault to them but their employer not making sure they have proper training or assisting them .
I have a few butchers that I use and believe me its taken me some time to get to know them and find a good butcher that understands me . I don’t expect every time you go to your butcher that he has to take you in to the cool room and get you to choose your cut . But he should be knowledgeable and if he doesn’t have what you looking for he should go to his walk in fridge or meat preparation area and cut this for you . This is where a good butcher comes in handy . For hygiene reasons and health and safety your butcher might not allow you in the cold room etc but most likely get what you ask for and then if you lucky cut it in front of you. Some butchers are even set up to show from the counter what he is cutting. I have noticed that Butchers that are in constant consultation with their customers are getting back to doing these type of meat cutting services in front of the customer.Its what the customers want and if a butcher listens to what his customer wants they reap the rewards and have happy customers.
This is a BIG SALUTE to my butchers that I use thank you lads . You are always giving me good cuts and understanding me .
My network of butchers are improving daily and working on some interesting things with these butchers. So watch this space !