To kick off the new year and counteract all that Christmas excess we thought we’d talk about the simple pleasures of pork and find out about some of the less obvious cuts to try.
We spoke to Jamie Archer, who runs Archer Butchers in Norwich which has been established since 1929.
Jamie’s grandfather started the business on the old provisions market in Norwich. Two the generations later the Plumstead Road branch of Archers Butchers is probably the most highly regarded butchers in Norwich.
Here’s what he had to say to us…
What are the most popular pork products you sell at Archers?
Unsurprisingly by far the most popular pork product we sell are sausages – this probably makes up about 80% of our trade!
As an award-winning sausage maker, what makes a really good pork sausage?
Good ingredients are what make a really good sausage – There’s no top secret formula, and there are definitely no shortcuts.
We’ve won the Norfolk and Norwich Food Festival Annual Battle Of The Bangers Award three times since 2006 using this approach and don’t intend to stop now!
Our sausages are simply made from very good, high quality pork with the addition of good quality spices which we mix ourselves to a good consistency.
All the Sausages are hand tied which we believe makes all the difference. A lot of sausages you’ll see in the shops have been entirely made by a machine.
Not so at Archers. We hand make and tie all our sausages.
All our Pork is freerange and comes from Blythburgh, the world renowned pork producers. It is the finest the UK has to offer!
Are there any less well known cuts of pork that you think are underrated or underused?
A very good cut pork that people don’t often use is the Collar of Pork, which is the end of the shoulder. It’s great for long, slow cooking, but can also be used for roasting and barbecues.
Another very nice cut is the knuckle (or Hock), which is again off the shoulder – a lovely piece of pork!
People have started to use them a bit more regularly now, partly because of the economic climate and partly through greater access to information on how to cook them.
With the help of so many TV cookery programmes and recipes on the Internet, Customers are pretty well clued up on how to prepare less obvious cuts like the collar and knuckle.
In addition to this we all have a detailed knowledge of preparing and cooking all our products, so if in doubt customers can always ask us in the shop or check our website for recipes.
What’s your favourite way to serve a pork chop?
That’s easy – my favourite way of cooking a pork chop is to simply pan fry it, just as I would a steak.
Then probably serve it with a white wine and cream sauce – delicious!
Are there any regional food producers you think we should know about?
Thanks to Jamie for letting us interview him! Do you have any favourite regional food producers that I haven’t mentioned?