Category Archives: Media

National Butchers’ Week 2012

It’s that time of year when everyone should be celebrating butchers’ creativity and passion.


National Butchers’ Week was set up five years ago by leading business-to-business magazine Meat Trades Journal to promote the craft skills, knowledge and profile of retail butchers across the UK by leading a week of special focus and activities.


By headlining the week under the banner ‘Ask the Expert‘, and encouraging consumers to visit the  ‘Find a Butcher‘ website to locate their nearest first rate independent butcher, Meat Trades Journal uses the week to highlight the true expertise of the trained artisan butcher – many of whom have been at the heartland of their communities for decades.


From showcasing butchery as a craft-based, fast-paced retail career, to providing recipe lesson plans for schools to teach primary aged children all about the nutrition of meat using the fun of sausage and burger making, National Butchers’ Week seeks to engage with all ages.

Butchers all over the country will be running special events, activities and promotions to highlight the value for money that the shopper can find on their local high street as well as offering – as they do every day – their specialist knowledge and free advice on any aspect of meat cuts, the use of meat in recipes and cooking instructions

You can also gain special access to many of the butchers’ own special recipes .

Charlie the Butcher


Meat Vs Meat, Real Vs Unreal ?

The news has brought two meaty stories that seem to coming from different perspectives … you be the judge.

In one story from this week it is reported that the world’s first hamburger made with a synthetic meat protein derived from bovine stem cells will be publicly consumed this October after being prepared by a celebrity chef, according to the inventor of the artificial mince.

Mmmmm .... looking good

Heston Blumenthal is the favourite to be asked to cook the £207,000 hamburger, which will be made from 3,000 strips of synthetic meat protein grown in fermentation vats. Dr Mark Post, of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, said the anonymous backer of his research project had not yet decided who would get to eat the world’s most expensive hamburger, which will unveiled at a ceremony in Maastricht.

Dr Post told the American Association for the Advancement of Science that a hamburger made from artificial beef protein was a milestone in the development of novel ways to meet the global demand for meat, which is expected to double by 2050.

“In October we’re going to provide a ‘proof of concept’ showing that with in vitro culture methods that are pretty classical we can make a product out of stem cells that looks like, and hopefully taste like, meat,” Dr Post said.

“The target goal is to make a hamburger and for that we need to grow 3,000 pieces of this muscle and a couple of hundred pieces of fat tissue. As long as it’s a patty the size of a regular hamburger, I’m happy with it,” he said.

A handful of researchers has been working for the past six years on the technical problem of extracting stem cells from bovine muscle, culturing them in the laboratory and turning them into strips of muscle fibres that can be minced together with synthetic fat cells into an edible product.

The technical challenges have included giving the meat a pinkish colour and the right texture for cooking and eating, as well as ensuring that it feels and tastes like real meat.

Dr Post admitted to being nervous about the final result. “I am a little worried, but seeing and tasting is believing,” he said.

At the same time, in another story, a prize bull called Fabio has set a world record at auction. The pedigree Limousin was expected to fetch £40,000 at the cattle market in Carlisle, Cumbria but went for £126,000 beating the previuos record by £21,000.


Glyn Vaughan who bred Fabio at his farm in Machynlleth, Powys, said “When it hit £80,000, I hoped it woud reach £100,00. I’m not sure I remember what happened after that. It was unreal.”

The winning bid by Alan Jenkinson of Penrith, set a world record for a Limousin and a British record for a Bull.

Agricultural experts say the new owner will quickly recoup the money for the 17 month old bull through breeding. Mr Vaughan said “He’s a big fellow but very docile.  I’m sorry to see him go, but delighted he made so much money.”

Charlie the butcher

Good listening

A great little show on BBC Radio London aired last week to coincide with the Meat Traders Journal “Best Butchers Shop 2012”. This is the award that I won last year for managing the best shop in the South of England. Ed, the editor of MTJ has done a great job plugging the trade, nice one mate and thanks also to Robert Elms. Click this link or cut and paste below.

Charlie the Butcher.

Bag of Meat

Well, meat is making the front cover of music albums. Yes it’s true. The Victorian English Gentlemens Club have released an album called “Bag of Meat”

I’ve not listened to the album but it has good reviews.  I hope it’s a chopping good album. Sorry it’s the best I could think of.

Charlie the Butcher.

Pigs can fly ?!

Click here for the latest consumer feedback ….

Cheap laugh ……. you couldn’t make it up !!!

Charlie the Butcher.

The Tamworth Two

The Tamworth Two.  Well, where do I start.

12 years ago two Tamworth pigs escaped. It was in January, 1998 that the pair fled from a Wiltshire abattoir, forcing a fence and swimming across the River Avon. They spent a week on the run, searching back gardens and vegetable patches for food, before being rounded up. With a huge media scrum around the story, the two Tamworths became called “The Tamworth Two”.

They hit the headlines and had tv crews rushing to Wiltshire to cover the story. After the media stories it was decided not to send them to the slaughter house and they missed the butcher’s block but ended up at the Rare Breeds Centre in Kent which is a great place. They were nicknamed Butch and Sundance. But sadly the famous Butch has been put to rest and not for the bacon sarnie lovers, but due to bad health.

Farm manager Davy McColm said:  “Butch was always the livelier of the two, the more physically active. We knew it was serious because in the end she would just stand there and let us examine her without causing a fuss.”

‘She was chronically ill and was not responding to treatment. The vets could not say for certain what was wrong with her, but the prime suspect is liver cancer. Sadly, it reached the point where it was in the animal’s best interests to put her to sleep. Considering she was destined for the chop at six months, she had a good innings.’

So if you are ever passing pop in a give her partner Sundance a pat and cheer her up.

RIP Butch.

Charlie the Butcher.

National butchers week 2010

If you are not already aware of this special week it is “National Butchers Week 2010”. It is a great week which aims to promote all things butchery and is now in its third year. It is great that the small high street butchers shops are able to celebrate and be proud to be butchers. At the Market we are making a special “Butchers Boozey Banger” …. made with Sam Smiths ale, mustard and pork. I started the week by waking up with a huge Meantime Beer hangover but it is only butchers week once a year. If you are not aware of your local butchers shop check out

Keep your eyes peeled for special events in your local butchers and from my heart “Happy Butchers Week”.

Charlie the Butcher.