Learn how to be a Charcutier..

graham and matt pig head

The awesome folks at Native Breeds are looking for a trainee charcutier to work with them at their headquarters in Gloucestershire.

Overall, Native Breeds are looking for someone who is very interested and committed to learning about making Charcuterie and interested in the values of the company, and are very willing to train and invest in someone who is able to acquire the skills needed. These guys are the best in the trade and working with them in their small team, you will soon learn the ancient skills of curing and preserving. This is a fantastic opportunity to get valuable in the artisanal making rather than the industrial scale of charcuterie.

If you are interested in the job, you can get in touch with them by contacting Graham by email at graham@waddington.net or by getting in touch with us.

Matt prepares for the Young British Foodies Final

It is an exciting time for our resident charcutier Matt Bedell, as he prepares for battle at the Young British Foodies final today.

The YBF’s :

“They’re the men and women using lost arts and new skills to bring craft back to the kitchen” HELL YES!

If ever there was an award for Matt’s passion for meat, then this would be the one.

I take this opportunity to wish Matt the very best of luck.

Break a leg x

A launch like no other

We arrived at St.Briavels Castle in Lydney on Thursday, through the sunny hills of the Forest of Dean to be part of the launch of Native Breeds.

Graham & Ruth Waddington have been working tirelessly on building their new business, and after much success it was time to celebrate.

Guests included the lovely Kate Humble, and Kevin Gratton of Hix. I met with the jersey farmers of Saint Hill and The charming Maurice Trumper who supplies the Saddlebacks.

We ate a feast of meat that highlighted what such amazing makers they are – We are all in for a treat.

You can now buy monthly charcuterie boxes from them. Contact them on the link below.

Native Breeds

Ham

I am really relieved that when we butchered we decided, by minimising the risk and maximising on the reward, we would remove the 3 muscles in the legs and cure them separately.

By doing so we were able to trial a few different styles of cures – one of them wet brine, some others dry, some with fresh herbs (rosemary and juniper) others without anything else except the salt.

The first hams to be ready were the Fruit-fed Mangalitza leg muscles.

The two muscles that were ready were the topside that was cured in juniper and rosemary, and the silverside that was cured and then rolled in black pepper. The topside, being the less fatty muscles of the two had a deep almost purple colour, and had a heady fragrance of the herbs.

The silverside had the added benefit of the fat, and this gave a rich flavour of the meat, which was also helped balance with the pepper.

Now that the rest of the muscles and lardo would have been curing for an additional few weeks over the christmas period, we will have the rest to sample this January. And this means we will be setting up shop in a few markets in London very soon.

Cure & Mature

After curing in brine or in a dry cure for nearly 3 weeks, we pulled out the muscles and lardo last week to place in our temperature controlled ‘cupboard’ to proceed on the final stages of the fermentation.

After some disappointment with our Salami’s we were very curious to see what the muscles were doing – They had firmed up nicely, and the colour of them was cheering. We remained hopeful that our meats were going to produce some beautiful product.

The stage of pressing was quite new to me – The process makes a more uniform shape, allowing for a more consistant maturation process throughout the muscle and it also reduces any further water that may remain which speeds up the process of the maturation further. They all were lined up in individual sections of the press in a very orderly fashion. It isn’t surprising that all German cured products go through this process.

So, now they are out of the press and are into the maturation room. We hope that these products will be ready for sampling nearing the festive season.

A sea of proscuitto – Carl Warners Food Landscapes

Carl Warners book Food Landscapes is a delicious look into the world of food, but not in the plated variety – More Willy Wonka on meat acid. I can’t help but feel this one is a little ‘red riding hood’ but it could just be the tones..

Meet Graham

Our current project wouldn’t be possible without the kind services and skills of Graham Waddington.

Graham has been at the leading edge of British made charcuterie for over 10 years.

Graham was one half of the fabulous Trealy Farm, and is now operating a smaller, more development lead operation called Native Breeds. We met Ruth at a market stall in the summer when it was bucketing rain from above in Bristol.

Cut to now, Graham’s almost alchemist mind has been a key part of developing a range of unique products – using a pig that is unusually fatty and also with a unique meat texture has lead us to look at the way we do things much more closely than if we had a run-of-the-mill pig. His experience has been an invaluable element to our making.