12 of East Anglia’s best butchers for National Butchers Week 2018
- Credit: Archant
Let's celebrate some of our very best butchers.
For traceability, service and knowledge, you cannot beat your local butcher when it comes to buying meat. They'll weigh you out a single portion of mince. Tell you how to cook that rib of beef to succulence. And, importantly, they're usually so much more than a butcher. Like pubs, our high street butchers shops have had to diversify over the past 10 years. Some sell groceries. Others stock local eggs and honey. And some even have their own bakeries or fish counters. Read on to find out more.
Hollow Trees Farm Shop, Semer
You only need to take a walk around the farm trail to see the love and care that goes into rearing the animals here. The butchery stocks the farm's own pork, beef, lamb and goat – supplemented by meat from other trusted local suppliers, and the team's USP is innovation. Staff are always creating new ready meal ideas from pork parcels and stir fries. Many of these ready-to-cook items come in foil packaging so you don't even need to get your baking tray dirty!
Archer's Butchers, Norwich
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Is there nothing these guys can't do? This place only sources high quality free-range meat from producers such as Tim Allen, who rears his pork at South Creake. There's a huge array of sausages and dry-cured bacon, including the award-winning orange and thyme flavour. And the deli area brims with homemade pies, sausage rolls, home-cooked meats and ready meals – as well as homemade pates, dripping (for the best chips ever) and even brawn.
Lavenham Butchers, Lavenham
Run by two families and with a further butchery in Elmswell, this spot really prides itself on keeping food miles low. All meat is local and high welfare, from the free-range beef reared on small farms, to Sutton Hoo chicken, Blythburgh pork and game (their speciality) in season. The team make their own sausages, bacon and pies, and support other local producers by stocking all manner of yummy things, from Suffolk honey, to Rafi's curry packs and Maynard House juices.
DA Browne, Diss and Halesworth
This third generation butchers sources meat only from Norfolk and Suffolk and prides itself particularly on selling local pork, which the team transforms into bacon, gammon, ham and 'Brownes Bangers'. The original shop sausage recipe has been around for over 70 years and remains popular with customers. But there are around 30 other varieties to try too – from pork, gammon and pineapple, and beef and Broadside. The shops are packed with chutneys, relishes and pickles to go on the side. And the deli counters burst with home-cooked ham, pates, haslet, beef and pork dripping, pies and more.
Rolfes, Walsham le Willows
An award-winning, trusted butcher that takes low food miles so seriously that its website illustrates just how far each animal has travelled from farm to shop – the beef, for example, is from seven miles away in Cotton and is hung to tender perfection for three weeks. Always innovating, there's a range of pies and ready meals such as lasagne and sausages in onion gravy with cheese mash, and the butchers makes a certified Slimming World Syn-Free pork sausage. There's smoked fish, cheese, groceries, fruit and veg too – a real one-stop-shop.
Goddards, Downham Market
It's not only meat for sale at this friendly shop but cakes too. As well as stocking local pork, beef, lamb and poultry, plus deli items, fruit and veg, the team make a wide range of cakes and scones – including celebration cakes. So alongside your pork pies, wild boar and apple sausages, and bacon, you can grab a coffee and walnut, chocolate or Victoria sponge.
Salter and King, Aldeburgh
Butcher Gerard is super passionate about supporting the farms surrounding Aldeburgh and beyond and loves introducing customers to fantastic products such as mutton (reared at Alde Valley Farm), and 'old cow'. He knows the provenance of every single piece of meat in the shop –from Iken and Cratfield grass-fed beef, to Oxburgh pork – and loves giving out tips and recipes. There are always homemade sausages, burgers and meal solutions in the shop.
Bradwell Butchery, Bradwell
Bring several bags with when you head here because you're definitely going to succumb to hunger as you walk in. The butchery supports numerous East Anglian farmers and has its very own bakery, making bread, cakes (vanilla slices, iced buns, brownies) and savouries every single day. You'll also find in stock lots of deli goods and local and international cheeses.
A best seller is the shop's sausages, with around 50 varieties to choose from, be it lamb curry or beef, beer and horseradish. The skilled butchers even make their own black pudding. And there are meal solutions such as curries, stirfries and meatloaf to take home, ready to cook, as well.
Revett and Son, Wickham Market
Famed for its sausages (the recipe's a closely guarded secret) this is a very traditional family butchery that puts a lot of time and effort into making mealtimes easier for its customers. There are loads of meals to take home, all made with the same high quality meat cuts from the counter. They could include 'beef tacos', honey and mustard pork casserole and all-day breakfast puffs. That's not to mention the deli, daily fresh bread and pastries, and impressive hand-selected French wines.
Farm to Fork and Fish, Horstead
Formed in partnership with Swannington Farm to Fork, known for its fabulous pork, reared on Norfolk meadows, the shop sells only higher welfare, local meat (including homemade sausages, burgers and bacon), and makes its own quiches, Scotch eggs, pies and more for the deli counter.
There's also a wet fish counter, stocked daily with seasonal shellfish and seafood.
Oven-ready fish dishes to take home include luxury fish pie, cod thermidor and fish cakes.
Hall Farm Butchers, Framlingham
A town centre butcher that takes food miles seriously – even rearing its own pigs to supply the shop with high welfare pork. The pork is used in the regularly changing sausages made in the shop – including the award-winning Autumn Gold banger, flavoured with marmalade. Beef hails from Peasonhall up the road, lamb is pasture-fed and only Suffolk chicken makes it into the shop. Must-try treats include the Castle pasty (made with slow-cooked brisket) and the incredible sausage rolls, which have a layer of Stokes red onion marmalade hidden beneath the juicy sausagemeat.
Icarus Hines, Cromer
A much-loved and trusted coastal butchery that is a real barbecue specialist – so it's worth stocking up when you're in this part of the world. Meat is sourced locally and presented with pride, with something for all budgets – be it a lesser cut of beef to be quickly cooked, or a big prime rib roasting joint. Make sure you try the award-winning Norfolk Pork sausages.