It’s National Butchers Week, a time for saying thanks to the great British butcher.
Worryingly, three years ago Which? published a survey which revealed that six in ten people bought their steaks from supermarkets, rather than butchers.
Thankfully, however there has been a real resurgence in recent years as people have become more aware of locally sourced, sustainable produce.
We don’t want to decry supermarket butchers because there are some good ones out there, but there’s still nothing better than popping into your local butchers to buy your meat. Aside from supplying high quality meat with no water added (buy a chicken breast from an independent butcher and one from a supermarket and you will see what we mean by this) the whole social experience is so much nicer.
Someone we know can’t speak highly enough of their local butchers, Angus Morton Butchers in Richmond, North Yorkshire. This family-run business is renowned for the quality of their meat but just as much for the warm welcome you receive, whether you are a regular customer or just someone passing though.
There are butchers like Angus Morton’s across the UK. Butchers who can tell you exactly where their meat came from and who knows how every single muscle on an animal works and how best to recover and prepare it for sale. The best butchers will also be able to advise you on various cuts, their different cooking methods and even what to serve with them. Some may even be able to recommend what wine goes well with a particular meat.
It’s also great to see how independent butchers have diversified in recent years, so as well as the finest meat, you are also now just as likely to see amazing homemade pies, the freshest eggs, delicious sandwiches and locally sourced milk.
So, in National Butchers Week, there really is no excuse for not visiting your local butcher, try it, we guarantee you will like it!
To mark National Butchers Week, here’s a recipe for Crispy Korean Fried Chicken:
1 kg chicken wings
Vegetable oil for frying
For the Batter:
¼ cup self raising flour
2 tbsp. rice flour
3 tbsp. glutinous rice flour
¼ tsp salt
½ cup water
½ tbsp. vegetable oil
For the Dipping Sauce:
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp. Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) extra hot/spicy
2tsp soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. corn syrup (or substitute with sugar)
1 tbsp. tomato ketchup
½ tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. water
For the sauce combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil for about 1 minute until thick and glossy. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pat the chicken wings dry using kitchen towels. Sprinkle with ½ tbsp. salt and leave for 10 minutes then again using kitchen towels take any excess moisture from the chicken and shake off any excess salt.
Combine the ingredients for the batter in a bowl and mix until smooth.
Heat the vegetable oil to a medium high heat in a wok for deep frying. Taking a wing at a time, dip into batter letting any excess drip off. Slowly drop in to the hot oil, and repeat. Fry in batches until golden and brown (approx. 8-10 minutes).
Drain on kitchen towels and rest the chicken wings. Turn up the heat to high and fry the wings a second time for 1-2 minutes to crisp them further, once again drain on kitchen towels.
Transfer to a plate and serve with the dipping sauce.