Hook & Cleaver
Traditional and High Class Butchers
- News -
We sleep easy knowing that the meat we source and provide for you comes from a good place. We visit all of the farms that supply us, building relationships with our farmers and ensuring we are on the same page when it comes to quality, provenance and ethics.
These are visits to our pig farm in Surrey, Plantation Pigs, and our Native breed farm, Mount Grace in Yorkshire. If you have any questions about the provenance of any of our meat please don't hesitate to ask.
We Only Have Pies for You...
After years of research and painstakingly intense taste testing we are proud to introduce our range of pies and pastry delights. These will be available at both shops, served cooked and warm, or uncooked, oven ready to be finished at home. They are cooked and prepared by us at our South Ealing shop, using our own recipes and importantly our own meat.
Our range of pies include The Motherclucker, Weekend at Bernies, The Shredder, The Drunken Vegan, Hook's Crook and Breaking Baaaaa'd. You'll have to pop in and ask us if you want to know whats in them.
We're also cooking up some old fashioned sausage rolls, including the Classic, Beer & Bacon and the Black Pudding and Apple.
This is just the beginning, there is more to come...
The Four Seasons
It is these coming months when British lamb is at its most succulent and the flavour at its most subtle. Our free-range spring lamb is sourced from our farmers in Dorset and Cornwall and from the Romney Marshes in Kent and East Sussex. As soon as it becomes available we will be stocking Salt Marsh lamb, well known for its superb flavour and mouth-watering tenderness. If you require spring lamb for Easter, we’d advise that you order in advance as stock may be limited.
- The Dry Ageing Process -
We age our meat on the bone and we hand-pick carcasses with a good even fat distribution or covering, which helps protect the meat during ageing. The process known as dry-ageing affects the meat in two ways. First, moisture is drawn out of the meat, concentrating the flavour of the meat, in the same way you would reduce a stock or gravy. Secondly, natural enzymes within the meat start to break down the muscle fibres, tenderising and making it softer. This all has to be done at a controlled temperature, in a well ventilated environment, too warm and the meat will spoil, too cold and it will freeze, halting the process. We also use de-humidifiers to draw moisture out of the air, controlling the level of bacteria and contributing to the name of the dry-ageing process. You may have noticed the black crust which forms on the surface of the meat during ageing. This is not spoilage but in fact a mould which complements the natural enzymes in breaking down the meat fibres. When the meat is ready, we simply trim the crust away and discard. Dry-ageing can typically take between 3-4 weeks to produce optimum results, but we occasionally like to hang meat for longer, producing even more tender and flavoursome cuts. Those who have tried our 70-Day Rump Steak might agree!
The most important factor is probably the experience required to balance these variables and produce the finished product. This is where we feel we have the definitive advantage over supermarkets who simply cannot produce the same effect due to size and cost. We feel the results speak for themselves, tender and succulent full-flavoured meat, and we encourage you to see for yourself.