My father was a Family Butcher and my mother a farmer’s daughter so butchery has always been part of my life. Charcuterie is a step forward – on one hand, it’s about keeping up the family tradition, and on the other looking out with an eye to the future.
Where and how did you learn to make Charcuterie?
A mixture of many things. Dad – he was always passionate and very customer-focused – experimentation, Italian & European research that, I’m glad to say, included travel
What about your raw materials…. how important is raising your own?
We’re very lucky to be able to produce from Field to Fork – here on the farm in the Yorkshire Dales, using our own animals whenever possible to produce truly local products with great provenance.
My side of the family is fifth-generation butchers who kept a few animals (known then as graziers) whereas my wife Jennifer’s family were proper farmers and now our son William is the farmer. We’re all passionate about sourcing locally for the production of our Charcuterie as well as in our Farm Shop and Tearooms. On our farm near Malham, we rear traditional native breeds like our Craven Longhorn Cattle, Northern Mule, Swaledale, and Blue Faced Leicester sheep.
We also source some beef – mainly Belted Galloways and Shorthorns – from one neighbour’s farm and pork – Gloucester Old Spots, Saddlebacks, and crossbreeds – from another.
Tell us about your Champion of Champions Product – your Bresaola
Bresaola is a classic Italian cured meat. With our passion for Longhorn beef, it was an obvious choice. My brother Nigel and I make the Charcuterie and for the Bresaola, we use the “salmon” or silverside cut – one oval piece of muscle. It’s a great cut to slice and is so pleasing to the eye.
It’s cured in herbs, spices and red wine for a couple of weeks patted dry and then hung in an ageing chamber for around five weeks. There’s about a 40% weight loss but it’s worth every ounce!
What other Charcuterie do you produce?
Whenever possible and, of course, if it’s a good idea, we like to work in collaboration with other local producers. There’s our Yorkshire Gin Coppa that is infused from the botanicals used to flavour Whittakers Gin.
…and your favourite?
It has to be a slice or two of our Bresaola and Coppa served with Wensleydale Cheese and Chorizo Jam – another local collaboration using our chorizo boiled up with sugar and spices by Rosebud Preserves.
Thank you to Chris