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Cuts   Rare Breeds   Ethical Farming & Maturing   Fat lot we Know   What goes in...   Butchery


Why Rare Breeds?



IIt is our sincere intention to offer the very best in food available. We market rare breeds because they answer every question in terms of quality and value.

  • In terms of their genes, these slow growing breeds are more flavoursome than continental breeds and hybrids.

  • Many carry more fat than conventional types giving the meat succulence and flavour.

  • Locally produced, they mean low Food Miles and a taste of the area.

  • Produced to a demanding set of welfare standards, we only buy from the producer direct, never through a market or a dealer.

  • Our commitment to the very highest quality means that we fully hang and properly prepare the meat.

  • Meat from rare breeds is healthy. Extensively reared livestock such as these carry more Omega 3 fatty acids than intensive stock.

  • Creating a market for rare breeds helps to conserve them. Create demand and more are kept.

  • We’re not alone. We belong to a unique team of independent butchers around the country who specialise in rare breeds. Nearly all the leading chefs and food writers agree that meat from British rare breeds is the best you can buy. That’s why so many of them use meat from rare breeds in their own restaurants.

  • Every carcase we sell is certified as a pure bred pedigree rare breed.

  • Our commitment to providing the best means that we properly hang all the meat and trim and prepare it fully and lovingly

ITamworth Pigsn centuries past, Britain was known as the stockyard of the world, producing breeds of cattle, sheep and pigs that were the envy of farmers everywhere. As times changed, so some of these breeds did not suit new ways of more intensive farming.

The biggest changes came about after the Second World War when farming became much more intensive as supermarkets grew and dictated the sort of animals they needed. Many of the older British breeds got left behind, unable to adapt to intensive systems. In 1973, a charity, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) was established to save the remaining breeds, many of which were in a dire situation by then.

Since that time none has become extinct even though in the previous decade several pig breeds disappeared forever. Much of the success for rare breeds has been in finding new markets for them and the most important has been in the developing niche market for their specialist meat. Rare breeds of farm animals are unlike rare pandas, tigers and gorillas. In the wild, it is important to try and conserve every individual. In farming, it is important to have a strong demand in order to encourage more farmers to keep more of them.


So Why do Rare Breeds Taste Better?

There is no one reason but a number of very sound ones.

Different Genes = Different Tastes
We all know that different varieties of apples, for instance, have totally different tastes, flavours and textures. The Golden Delicious is very different from a Cox’s Orange Pippen which, in turn, is different again from a Bramley Seedling. We find similar differences in the humble potato where a Maris Piper is best for chips but a Desiree is tops for baking. It shouldn’t be surprising then that the same applies to different breeds.

Apples (jpg, 5.4k)Potatoes (jpg, 3.8k)Large Blacks (jpg, 7.3k)

In our meats section, you will find brief notes as to the breed itself and how it will taste to help guide you in your selection.

If you require more information, we'd be delighted to help. Please send an e-mail to mail@rarebreedsbutcher.com, or call us on +44 (0) 1531 632744


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