Dispelling the myths
Visiting your local butcher can be seen by some as a little daunting, but there’s many reasons why they are the best places for you to get your meat.
A butcher can make sure your cut is freshly prepared, just how you like it. All you need to do is tell them what you want to cook and for how many people. They’ll suggest portions and cuts to match your budget and taste.
They don’t have to be expensive
Butchers do stock the prime cuts, but they offer a greater variety of meat, including the cheaper cuts that you won’t find in supermarkets as well. They will also personalise your order so that none will go to waste.
They’re the experts
For the best advice, visit the professionals. Don’t be afraid to ask them about prep, cooking or serving suggestions as well as recipe inspiration.
It’s an experience
We recommend visiting your butcher in person if you can. It’s an experience, and you can get advice and a personalised service to get exactly what you want. However, many butchers now offer an online delivery service which is a good option if you can’t pop in.
You’ll get quality every time
Look out for the Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork labels. That way, you’ll always know you’re getting a cut that’s traceable and quality assured. Butchers know exactly where your meat has come from, right down to the farm, so you can buy with confidence every time.
So, what’s stopping you? Your friendly Scotch Butcher is ready and waiting. Read on for some top tips from Barry Green, Cairngorm Butchers, to find out what kind of information you can ask your butcher on your next visit.
Butcher top tips - Barry Green
1. What information from a customer is the most useful for you to recommend the perfect steak cut for them?
I like to find out if the customer likes a bit of fat on their steak and using this information would advise what steak suits their needs and tastes best.
2. Your customer comes in with no idea what to buy for their next dinner party of 6 people, what would you recommend?
I would recommend a bit of prime rib of beef. This makes any dinner party a special occasion.
3. Your customer wants to cook something special for their next date night in, but they’re not very confident cooking expensive steaks, what would you suggest?
I would advise the customer exactly how to cook the perfect steak, giving them precise instructions to give them some confidence in preparing their meat. It doesn't always have to be the most expensive steak to get the best results.
4. Your customer is on a tight budget cooking for a family and wants to make a large batch of something which will provide leftovers as well, which cut and dish type would you suggest?
Traditionally mince is the go-to cut for eking out as many meals as you possibly can on a tight budget, making family favourites such as spaghetti bolognaise, meatballs, shepherd’s pie etc. It really is the most versatile of cuts.
5. Your customer has never made a roast before. Which cut would you recommend and how should they cook it?
I would suggest a nice bit of topside. I would suggest browning it off in the pan, pop it into a roasting dish on a vegetable trivet, cover with tinfoil and pop in the oven, cooking at 150 degrees for a couple of hours. Once ready I would take it out of the oven and cover for half an hour to rest, giving you time to make a roast gravy with the juices and beautiful veg. My top tip is to buy a probe thermometer, I use one at home, and it takes all the guesswork out of cooking a bit of beef meaning you get it right every time.