National Butchers’ Week – 7 for 7. Wednesday

Les

Name: Les
Works:
Grange Farm Bakery, North Yorkshire
Position:
Head Baker
Years working for GP:
c.20 years

Do you remember your first day?
It was in the Thornton Dale shop [now our preserving kitchen]. It used to be a butchers shop and I’d been there since I was fourteen, working after school. When Tim bought the shop I’d already been there a long while. It was just a normal day; serving and cutting up bits of meat.

Did you always want to be a butcher/what’s the best thing about it?
I always wanted to be a butcher, or at least go into food. I get a lot of satisfaction out of the job, talking to the customers and giving them advice about their meat and how to cook it. I enjoyed making different things for the counter too – stuffed chickens and things like that. The only difference now I’m the head baker is that I have to plan ahead a lot more, what with all the pies and pastries we need to make.

What’s your favourite cut?
I think blade of beef. It’s quite lean, but it has an amazing flavour. There’s a bit of gristle running through it which melts to make a really good gravy. It needs a good, long, slow roast, though. Nowadays I don’t think people want that; they want something that roasts in half an hour so that its nice and quickly done. Blade is worth it if you’ve got the time.

In your opinion, why is butcher best?
Really, any local butcher that you go to will have produced and sourced their meat close to where they’re based. The animals aren’t travelling far, which usually means they’re under a lot less stress. It’s good to support your local area and the businesses in it.

What’s your go-to recipe?
You can’t beat a good omelette. It’s cheap, it takes ten minutes and it’s tasty. Plus you can use up any old bits your might have in the fridge. I put potato in mine with bits of bacon lardons and onions.

Favourite flavour sausage roll?

Definitely the Full English Breakfast.