24 September 2010

A butcher - at last!

Ever since we first moved into this County (from Kent), nearly three years ago, I've had it in mind to find a local butcher to use regularly instead of keep buying sub-standard meat from the supermarket.

Up until now, this hasn't managed to happen (for one reason or another).  However, this morning we visited the butcher that Chef uses at work - who just happens to be en-route to Asda.

We caught Spring Fields Butchers on the Herbert Avenue, Parkstone, Poole, before they'd managed to get their complete display out into the cabinets, but oh golly, what mouthwatering goodies they had already on display.  Beautiful dark red Sirloin steaks, Wild Boar sausages, lamb shanks, plus your regular mince, chicken breasts etc.

I was particularly after two lamb's kidneys to go in the Lancashire Hotpot we're having on Sunday and was fairly gobsmacked to be charged 35p for them both.  I'd been envisaging paying a lot more than that!  While we were there, we indulged in four of their pork sausages - as the worth of a butcher can often be found in his sausages!

Having got them home and unwrapped them, immediately you could smell that they were different to supermarket sausages.  They smelled lovely - all herby and peppery and porky.  Better than a supermarket sausage - which generally smells of nothing.

When cooked, they were even better - although hubby had a few areas of disappointment in them.  I loved their crisp skins and the flavour that was somewhere between pork sausage and pork sausagemeat stuffing with a lovely initial hit of saltiness.  I also liked that they kept their shape and didn't shrink under heat.  Hubby agreed with me, except was disappointed that their texture was slightly pappy (he was hoping they'd be coarser than that) and suspected that the saltiness hid the fact that they didn't taste all that porky.  However, we were both agreed that for the extra 30p or so for 8 - over a supermarket special offer sausage - they were infinitely better quality and well worth the extra.

I'm hoping that they'll let me have a copy of their full price list, which would make menu planning so much easier.  I'll be able to use cheaper cuts of meat which just aren't available in supermarkets and be able to plan it all out at home, using their price list, before ringing them up on a Monday, to order for Tuesday's collection.  Fingers crossed they'll do that!


  1. Absolutetly agree....Supermarket 'Bread' Sausages
    l call'em. Well worth finding a good butcher, AND get to now him. A good butcher will not only sell you cuts of meat, but will advise you how to cook it too. I've worked this area a good many years now, 36, and l could take anyone, to quite a few villages, where a good butcher, lingers round the back of a Pub, say. One in Iwerne Minster comes to mind, local meat and sausages made out back...Can't beat it..!
    If l decide to buy say 8, and for a quality sausage, they should be roasted, and eaten simply. mmmM! Well, you can't leave odd numbers, can you....! :) And, l'm a bit of a pig....And talking of pigs....John from next door has been round with 8 trotters, they slaughtered a couple of pigs up the farm this morning.
    And, my local landlord, up the pub, his Hampster has just died.....Though, not a lot of meat on a Hampster....oooops! Sorry ladies.....! :-)
    Did we catch River Cottage last night, don't know what happened to the squirrel stew, l'll ask Hugh next time l see him, though have'nt seen him for a couple of years. Lovely guy, very down to earth, in more ways than one....!
    Lovely photos again Jenny, goooood enuogh to eat.

  2. Willie, what ARE you like - hamster indeed! LOL
    Sounds like it's just as well a hamster doesn't carry much meat!

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  4. I'd be worried about getting the little hammie bones stuck in my throat :-)

    Thanks for the comments about the photo's Willie!


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