National Butchers’ Week, chef Charlie Hodson reveals his top 11 butchers’ in Norfolk

Charlie Hodson. Photo from Charlie Hodson.

Charlie Hodson. Photo from Charlie Hodson. - Credit: Archant

We asked celebrity TV chef and Norfolk Food & Drink champion Charlie Hodson to reveal his Norfolk butchery heroes.

Hevingham farmer and managing director of abattoir HG Blakes Andrew Clarke. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Hevingham farmer and managing director of abattoir HG Blakes Andrew Clarke. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

The hashtag #butchersgiveyouideas is floating around the internet this week in honour of National Butchers' Week and one man definitely in support of it is Charlie Hodson who said, 'behind every great chef are some amazing butchers' . He's pretty serious when it comes to good quality local meat, especially when it concerns his famous sausage roll. Here he tells us about his go-to suppliers.

Archer's Butchers, Norwich

Situated on Plumstead Road, Archer's was established in 1929. Currently in its third generation, the butchers has expanded, offering locally-reared meats, as well as a selection of specially-prepared ready meals including 'chilli bombs' - seasoned beef patties stuffed with chilli and cheese, and topped with spring onion.

Bradwell Butchery, Bradwell

Norfolk Quail. Photo: submitted.

Norfolk Quail. Photo: submitted. - Credit: Submitted

Complete with in-store bakery and delicatessen, it would be easy to think that the meat takes a back seat, but that's not the case. Founded in 1986, despite the modern interior of the shop, it has maintained its old-fashioned values of sourcing from local farms and using traditional butchery techniques. Pork is a speciality, with award-winning pies and more than 50 varieties of sausages and burgers to choose from.

J&D Papworth Farms

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Selling meat from its own farms in North Norfolk, J&D runs four shops across the county in Fakenham, Swaffham, Sheringham and North Walsham. The team is dedicated to using traditional and environmentally sound methods, rearing the best young heifer cattle and ryegrass grazed sheep. Tailoring produce to the local demographic with regular special offers to match, J&D has been increasing its range of ready meal and value-added products, to complement the more traditional butchery cuts.

Coxford's Butchers, Aylsham

Aylsham Show 2016. Butcher Icarus Hines, right, and chef Charlie Hodson in the cookery theatre tent.

Aylsham Show 2016. Butcher Icarus Hines, right, and chef Charlie Hodson in the cookery theatre tent. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

2016 Battle of the Bangers winners' Johnny and Jason have worked in the shop since they left school with an aim to supply you with the very best of Norfolk produce. Amongst the many cuts they also offer a selection of pizzas to cook and gluten free sausages, chipolatas and burgers.

Icarus Hines, Cromer

Up on the coast, the man behind Icarus Hines Butchers started his career at the age of 15. Viewing the local customers as his extended family, he goes out of his way to learn what they like and make sure he can deliver it.For Mr Hines, National Butchers' Week is all about making the public aware of their local butcher and the multitude of wonderful services they have to offer, demonstrated by the excellent relationship this butcher has built up with the local community. There is always a monthly offer at Icarus Hines. This March it's buy 2lb of steak and kidney and get 1lb free. But the most popular product has got to be the sausages, which use the best Norfolk pork. A sausage is only as good as what you put in.

The Fruit Pig Company

With Jamie Oliver and Tom Kerridge on its list of customers it's no surprise that this award-winning butchery is one of the best in Norfolk. The stand out product has to be its fresh blood black pudding. But if that doesn't take your fancy there are allergen and gluten free sausages, paleo-friendly produce and traditional and slowly dry cured bacon to choose from.

Arthur Howell, Wells-next-the-Sea

Founded in 1889, this family business has gone from strength to strength. Establishing a strong reputation with butchers shops in Burnham Market and Wells-next-the-Sea, and a smokehouse in Binham, Arthur Howell has developed a dry cured beech smoked back bacon that is very popular with customers. Seasonally available are fresh venison, pheasants, partridges, duck, hares, rabbits and pigeons!

Swannington Farm to Fork, Swannington

Since 1973 the Mutimer family have been rearing pigs to the highest welfare standards. They boast an 'exceptionally low' carbon footprint - it's only three miles from farm to abbatoir and back. And their animals enjoy life surrounded by beautiful Norfolk meadows. It's just as beautiful to eat!

Norfolk Quail, Fakenham

On spectacular Highfield farm the quail are hatched and reared in bespoke housing where they are let free to fly, forage and roam in a natural environment. This family business prides themselves on being 'kind, discreet and respectful' to the birds and they have been doing so for over 100 years.

HG Blakes, Felthorpe

HG Blake is a multi-species abattoir supplying the finest British beef, lamb and pork to butcher shops and wholesalers across the country. This independent family-run business has been sourcing its produce directly from Norfolk farmers since 1938, believing it's only as good as its producers. The team works to maintain the highest standards of animal welfare.

M&D Butchers, Sheringham

M&D is run by Martin and Debbie who have more than 50 years experience serving the local community. Offering game, goat and haggis, it is much more than your average butchers, right down to the oven ready meals with homemade sauces. They even produce ready-marinated meats and kebabs.