January 18, 2024

Precision, Passion, Perfection: Understanding Craft Butchery

Our artisanal butchery goes beyond the transactional aspect of selling meat. It is the artful and skilled practice of preparing and presenting meat with a focus on precision, attention to detail, and quality.

At Neil Powell, we believe that being a top class butcher means truly understanding the entire process.

Sustainable Sourcing 

We source livestock directly from the farm, prioritising sustainability and ethical sourcing. We pride ourselves on the great relationships we forge with local farmers, as well as our respect for and understanding of local farming methodologies. We take care to understand the farmers approach to animal welfare, sustainability, how animals are fed, and are knowledgeable in livestock breeds, native and otherwise.

Sourcing from local farms is also a great way for us to contribute to the development of our local economy, as well as ensuring that our customers have a better relationship with their food choices.

Our confidence in our produce starts right at the beginning, with what we call a symbiotic relationship between healthy soils and healthy animals. Great soil directly results in feed quality, and therefore, the best for the livestock. We know that our meat will be nutritious because we know how animals have been reared, cared for and fed.

Animal Welfare

As well as local farms, we use local abattoirs, which means less transportation miles. Despite recent challenges and regulations set by the food standards industry, meaning that fewer remain, we are fortunate enough to still be able to ensure minimal miles of travel, which is far better for the animals and the environment.

Ageing and Respect

When stock arrives with us, we hold it in our ageing chillers. This process, despite resulting in some weight loss will, without question, develop and enhance the quality of the product we provide.

Our meat is aged on the bone, rather than being vacuum packed – this is critical to ensuring the quality of the produce remains. It will not only improve tenderness but how the meat will react when cooked.

Many of our butchers have been trained by our founder, Neil Powell, who has passed on true respect and care for the entire butchery process. This respect is evident in how the product is handled, to the accuracy of cuts.

More and more, we’re seeing butcher chains reduce their product lines to just a few joints, steaks or cuts – making for a simpler and quicker process. But, at Neil Powell, we pride ourselves on the skill of whole carcass butchery and honour traditional cutting techniques. Meaning each muscle is cut to a saleable standard, and you can still find shin, chuck, onglet, bavette and skirt cuts in our stores and available to order online.

Control 

With full carcass butchery, we can produce bespoke cuts and sizes for various needs and events. This skill means it is entirely within our control to make sure that each cut is as good as it can be.

For example, if you’re throwing a dinner party we can cut to exactly the required size for your number of guests, on top of being able to provide informative details on the sourcing and ageing of your meat.

Some cuts should be aged for around 40 days, others closer to 14 but our experience ensures we find the right balance to result in the best quality. Preventing unnecessary weight loss and resulting in just enough marbling for quality flavour without too much fat. Cuts will then be trimmed and seamed, for the best results when cooking, and of course, eating.

We take pride in our craft, with traditional hands-on skill and a commitment to producing high-quality, unique cuts.

Friendly and Transparent Practice

We believe that our customers, and the public, are keen to develop their understanding of and build a better relationship with their food. We are confident that what our customers buy is healthy for both the animal and for them. We believe transparency is key, and try our best to communicate why what we do, might be a better choice.

We take pride in a full-circle approach to our service. Our customers are always welcome to come back to us with feedback, and we’re thrilled to hear about their experience and how their meat cooked. This gives us even more control and an understanding of how we can continue to provide our customers with even better quality moving forward.

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At Neil Powell, we are dedicated to preserving the art of traditional craft butchery, supporting local and providing quality produce. We believe our practice is complementary to that of growing consumer interest in knowing how food gets to our tables.

If you have any feedback about our products, our butchers or staff members, it would be great to hear about your experience. We love seeing your photos and recipes, so do please continue to share these with us!

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