What is happy meat?

"I like to use the term 'happy meat' to describe animals which have led a low stress life, have been fed healthily, their welfare taken care of and which have travelled a minimum distance to reach our premises. Over 90% of the meat we sell has travelled less than ten miles to reach the shop and all have full traceability."

 

How do we make our award winning faggots?

"Well we can't give away too many of our secrets can we? Suffice it to say that they have won the coveted True Taste of Wales first prize went down a storm when recently served to over 300 Commissioners of the European Parliament at a banquet hosted by the Welsh Assembly's First Minister Rhodri Morgan."

Neil James has been passionate about the meat industry from an early age. Brought up in the surroundings of his father Bill's butchers and abattoir Neil quickly learned not only the best cuts of meat for each dish but also the benefits of providing happy animals.

Below we give you a few of Neil's tips on preparation & cooking of the best cuts of meat.

 

Rib of Beef 1½ – 2kg

Puncture holes into the fat. Baste with James’ smooth mustard, salt and pepper. Seal in large very hot frying pan. Then transfer to a medium oven 130°C for about 1½ hours (this gives a slightly pinky colour, adjust time according to taste). Rest meat and slice.

Brisket of Beef – Point end 2kg joint

Stab fat several times with sharp knife. Put ½ pint of water in a dish. Add meat and season joint with salt and pepper. Spread horseradish sauce evenly over the meat and blast in a hot (200°C) oven for 15minutes, turn oven back to 80°C for 5 hours. Rest the meat and slice.

Roast Leg of Pork 2kg

Salt leg of pork. Add ½ pint of water and put in a very hot (200°C) oven for 15 minutes, then turn down to 130°C for 3 hours – when the time is up, salt again and turn the oven back to 200°C until the rind crisps and rises.

Butcher's Choice “ Belly of Pork” 3 kg

Score well and put in an oven tray with ½ pint of water. Salt well and cook for 2 hours at 125°C salt again and blast for 15 minutes in an oven at 200°C

Shoulder of Monmouthshire Lamb

Put the shoulder in an oven tray with the fat facing up. Add salt, pepper and rosemary with ½ pint of water cook in a slow oven 130°C for 2½ hours rest and carve.

Rack of Welsh lamb

Prepare as per the shoulder, cook at 150°C for 1 hour then rest the lamb and serve.