Celebrating National Butchers Week with a local butcher

Published: Monday 13th March 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Today marks the start of National Butchers Week. We interviewed Brian Fields, owner of Fields of Anlaby, to get an insight into the industry.

“I started at the very bottom. Saturday lad scrubbing and cleaning a local butcher’s shop,” Brian tells us.

“After leaving school I was offered a position as a butcher. Then in 1994 I opened Fields of Anlaby.”

Through Brian’s hard work and dedication, Fields has turned into a very busy and well-recognised butchers and deli.

“In 2009, Fields won Best Butchers Shop in the Midlands and North East of England. The following year, it won Britain’s Best Butchers Shop – that was my proudest moment.”

Fields of Anlaby 1

Fields of Anlaby now employs close to 50 staff and has expanded into two deli and café shops, plus a catering van with a jaunty tune.

Brian proudly supplies his customers with the best quality meats, directly dealing with breeders who specialise in traditional and rare breeds.

“Sourcing the best meat is really important. We have set a specification for all of the meats that we buy,” he explains.

“These breeds graze freely and take a lot longer to develop. They would not be suitable for modern intensive farming.”

“The result is a fantastic flavour and quality, as they are reared on grasses, clovers and herbs that they naturally graze on.”

Knowing exactly where your meat comes from has become increasingly important to consumers in recent years. Brian says that by shopping nearby, you can ensure the quality of your food.

“It’s so important to shop local when it comes to butchers because we’re a dying breed,” Brian admits.

“It’s a real shame. Butchery is a time-honoured skill, which we are losing as a society. A lot of school leavers simply didn’t join the trade after the tough times of the 80s and 90s.”

“But I’d say it’s definitely a great long-term career choice. Modern butchery is a mix of traditional and cheffing skills. It’s a creative trade.”

“A whole carcass comes through the back door and we can turn it into a million and one delicious meal ideas,” he adds.

Fields of Anlaby 2

Shopping in an independent butcher’s shop is a great experience that everyone should try, Brian continues:

“There’s no need to be nervous or feel daft. If you don’t know what to go for or which cut you need, just ask.”

At Fields you’ll be served by an experienced butcher, who will advise you on cuts and prices, as well as offer cooking instructions. They even have a steak cooking calculator to help you figure out when it’s ready.

“A great cooking tip for steaks is to get the frying pan really hot. For best results, especially if you like it cooked rare, get it out of the fridge a few hours before so it can reach room temperature. This way, you won’t end up with a rare steak that is cool in the middle.”

Fields also offers honest advice to those on a tighter budget:

“When choosing meats, don’t always go for the most expensive cuts. Some of the cheapest cuts of meat can have the best flavours.”

“Things like belly, shanks and ribs are great for slow cooking. You can get a great taste at the fraction of the cost.”

Meanwhile, if you’re after something quick for tea, Fields of Anlaby have the answer:

“We are very well known for our ready prepared meats, like beef stroganoff and an array of stuffed chicken fillets.”

“We do all the work for you, all you have to do is pop them in the oven for 30 minutes.”

You can find Fields of Anlaby at 7 Hull Road, Anlaby and at fieldsofanlaby.co.uk

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Published: Monday 13th March 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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