Passion for quality charcuterie and frustration with what we could find locally led us to make our own.
What inspired you to start a business?
We’d always wanted to start a family business, so the idea just grew from our love of Charcuterie. After significant research, we converted the eaves of our family home into an environmentally controlled ‘curing chamber’. From there, we started developing and perfecting, our first recipes.
Fast forward a few years and we bought and renovated a small shop, with a large basement, around the corner from our home in Leith. So, in 2017, we commenced commercial production at our Restalrig Road premises and East Coast Cured was born.
Where and how did you learn the craft?
After completing an engineering qualification, Steven worked as a production manager at a large local distiller. Here he was able to develop his process engineering skills as well as fermentation, microbiological, HACCP and compliance knowledge – and that all helped!
Steven loves a side project and is very good at teaching himself new skills – learning to make was a combination of extensive reading, previous work experience and trial and error!
What about the Livestock – do you raise your own? If not, where do you source it?
No…..perhaps one day though! The majority of our pork comes from Puddledub Pork in Fife. We do a wee bit of work with rare and native breed producers when we get the chance – for example with Brand East Fortune in East Lothian.
We only work with pork from Scottish farms that we know treat their animals well. Where possible, we only use Scottish (or British) suppliers for our other raw materials – packaging, printing etc.
How would you describe your Style of Charcuterie?
Traditional continental-style cured meats with an innovative twist. Our small-batch production is based on the Italian tradition of using the whole pig. The anatomy of each pig guides what we create, allowing us to make a range of products with unique flavours and textures.
We make our salamis using lean cuts from the leg and shoulder of the pig. The meat is ground and combined with finely diced back fat, selected for its smooth creamy texture and purity.
Whole spices are toasted, cracked and ground immediately prior to use. Fresh garlic, a splash of wine and just the right amount of curing salts go in before our natural skins are hand stuffed, tied and hung to mature.
What Charcuterie Products do you make?
Our first ever product, made before we started commercial production was Red Wine & Garlic Salami – it’s still popular today. Other favourites are Fennel, Porcini & Truffle and Picante with chillies, black pepper & garlic.
In the French style, there’s a Saucisson Sec and our interpretation of a Spanish classic is Chorizo & Bourbon, one of Steve’s favourites. Seasoned with our special blend of spices, a few herbs and a wee drop of red wine & bourbon our Chorizo packs a punch. We combine the slow-cured loin of the pig with the other ingredients to give it a particularly authentic texture.
As well as our core range we love experimenting with specials (when we have time to fit them into our production schedule!). Our head charcutier, Joe, has developed our most recent special, our Caraway Kielbasa. Flavoured with caraway seeds, marjoram and Zubrowka bison grass vodka, it’s a nod to his Polish grandfather.
How difficult was it for your business during Covid-19?
Our shop and online shop are what saved our business during the COVID-19 pandemic. As well as our charcuterie, we added various essentials to our existing range of locally sourced products and started serving from a butcher block at the front door. We also offered a free Edinburgh delivery service.
We don’t slice-to-order at our shop. Our salamis, sold whole, are of the thinner variety, similar to what you might purchase at European farmers’ markets so slice well with a sharp knife. We do slice and vacuum pack our hams & coppa – our whole muscle products – to sell in-store and online.
Thank you to Susie and Steven