7 of the best Hampshire butchers
PUBLISHED: 10:13 27 September 2016 | UPDATED: 10:14 27 September 2016
From award-winning sausages and cowboy steaks, to the rise of the humble faggot - Hampshire's traditional butcher shops offer locally-sourced meat, delicious produce and a wealth of knowledge says Natalie French
Owton’s Traditional Family Butchers
For mouth-watering summer BBQ packs, fresh ready-to-cook meals and award-winning black pudding.
The Owton family have been farming on 225-acre Chalcroft Farm for over 400 years and supply 40% of Chalcroft’s beef. They recently came Runner-up in the UK final of The Butchers Q Guild’s 2016 Barbecue Competition – an annual quest to find the BBQ kings out of almost 400 barbecue products, nationwide. Their 28-day, matured bone in wing rib, Cowboy Steak, was runner-up in the Naked Steak category - having previously won the Southern Regional Heats.
The 40-year-old West End branch is well known for its BBQ packs, containing spicy chicken wings, Chinese pork ribs, sausages and steak burgers, says Jill Owton: “They start from £29.99 – they are very popular. People come in to buy a box and can feed 20 people!
“We also started a range of cook and serve dishes – as we want to keep up with the trend that the housewife/husband wants ready meals, but not your traditional type – so we prepare ready-to-cook fresh meals, such as: teriyaki duck breast and lemon coriander chicken.”
The shop also started making black pudding three years ago: “We put it into the Hampshire Fare Sausage & Pie Awards 2012 and we won the best in Hampshire on our first attempt,” says Gill, “and we’ve won it ever since!”
Owton’s at Chalcroft Farm, Burnetts Lane, West End, Southampton, SO30 2HU; 02380 601154; www.owtons.com
Kemptons of Bitterne
For a proper traditional butcher and classic, home-made steak & ale pie.
Owner Mick Kempton doesn’t enter competitions - he prefers to let the customers do the talking. All produce is locally-sourced wherever possible and butchered onsite by a traditional butcher – from English lamb and Hampshire beef to Norfolk chicken.
Kemptons make over 20 different sausages - the most popular being the Bitterne Best. Pies are also a big draw, and in-house pie-maker, Kat Jones, makes a full range of home-made pies, quiches and sausage rolls.
385 Bitterne Road, Bitterne, Southampton, SO18 5RR; 02380 436657; www.kemptonsfamilybutchers.co.uk
Uptons of Bassett
For the best, local, aged-steak, award-winning bacon and one of the poshest sausages in the country.
Uptons are the daddy of butcher shops. Simon Broadribb and his team use old school, traditional techniques and all the pork, lamb and beef is free-range. But it’s the latter that attracts the most attention: “We only use Hampshire beef,” says Simon, “We name the farm and the breed - then we leave it in our ageing cabinet for at least four weeks, sometimes up to seven weeks – it’s very popular!”
Uptons also have one of the poshest sausages in the UK - available by order only. The Hampshire Special is a free-range, additive-free, Hampshire Cross bred pig blended with Champagne and truffles – and will set you back £25.80 per/kg!
When it comes to awards, Upton’s recently romped home with seven gold awards at the AHDB Pig Awards 2016 – including category champion for their Traditional Pork Pie and Young Sausage Maker of the year was won by 17-year-old team member, James Collin – for his adventurous Pork and Marmite combo.
But the accolades don’t stop there, and include: Best Butcher in Hampshire by Hampshire Life Magazine in 2015; nine Gold Awards at Hampshire Fare’s Great Hampshire Sausage & Pie Competition 2015 for a range of sausages, pies and Home Cured Bacon – including Wild Boar Streaky Bacon, and Gold at the Great Taste Awards for three consecutive years for their smoked bacon. The Butchers are proud to supply local restaurants: River Cottage Canteen and Rick Stein Winchester – and also get a nod in Stein’s book: “A Guide to the Food Heroes of Britain”.
351 Winchester Road, Bassett, Southampton, SO16 7DJ; 02380 393959; www.uptonsbutchers.com
John Robinsons & Sons Butchers
For the Stockbridge Sausage – whose recipe hasn’t changed (or daren’t) for 48 years.
This much-loved, family butcher has been serving the Stockbridge community for 48 years – keeping generations happy with its sought after Stockbridge Sausage.
Shop Manager, Luke Lempriere, says: “Our best sausages are the Pork and Sage – they are our traditional Stockbridge Sausage – we’ve being making the same sausages ever since we started! We can’t change them because our customers wouldn’t be happy! They go through the generations - they were given to the kids and they’ll be in their forties now and giving them to their kids!”
Another popular product is the old British favourite – the humble faggot. “Faggots are literally a mixture of lungs, heart and pork meat – all homemade,” says Luke. “Robinson’s sell approximately 400 -500 faggots a week!”
John Robinson’s & Sons were also very proud to be Highly Commended for the Best Butcher in the UK award in the Countryside Allowance Awards 2015 (nicknamed the Rural Oscars).
High Street, Stockbridge, SO20 6HF; 01264 810609
For the award-winning ‘Hampshire Sausage’.
Harriot Butchers was named ‘Butcher of the Year’ in the Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards 2014. New owner Ben Sawyers took over the West Meon shop in February this year and is over the moon with their latest awards: “We recently got the Gold Award for our Hampshire Sausage in the Hampshire Fare Great Hampshire Sausage & Pie Award,” says Ben. “It’s made with pork and Warnford Watercress – so good local produce.”
Not a stranger to receiving awards, Ben also owns another community butcher shop, Tulls Fine Foods, in Wickham – which won the (Portsmouth) News’ Butcher of the Year 2015 – for its home-made sausages, burgers and fresh produce.
West Meon, Petersfield, GU32 1LJ; 01730 829246; www.harriottsbutchers.co.uk
Price Farm Foods
For traditionally made faggots (the way they should be) and meat from within a 10-mile radius.
Runner-up in Hampshire Life’s Best Butcher Award 2015, Price Farm Foods is a small family butchers on the edge of the New Forest.
With numerous awards under their belt for their famous Pork and Leek sausages, owner Vincent Aldridge says: “We make a lot of homemade sausages and we’ve won a lot of awards. We’ve also won gold for our bacon and faggots.
“Faggots seem to be having a revival,” he continues, “even pubs are putting them on the menu! We struggle to keep up with the demand, because to make them properly, they need to be wrapped in proper caul fat. They are really tasty, but many try to skip that bit, because it takes a lot of work – but we do it the traditional way.”
Vincent is also proud to work with farms right on the doorstep, including beef from Midgham Farm two-miles away – bringing a new definition to the term ‘fresh’.
“We have Hampshire free-range pork, local Dorset lamb and free-range chickens. People are more aware of what they’re eating these days. As we buy direct, we know what we’re buying - you don’t get that knowledge at a supermarket.”
69 High Street, Fordingbridge, SP6 1AS; 01425 652228; www.pricebutcheruk.co.uk
T Bartlett & Son
For delicious dry cured pork and wild boar from the heart of the New Forest.
T Bartlett & Sons’ Butcher shop opened in 1938 and as well as selling traditional produce - third-generation master butcher, Alan Bartlett, has teamed up with lifelong customer, Chef James Golding to create A Pinch of Salt curing company. The pair share a passion for Great British produce and have created a full charcuterie range using high quality local produce, explains Alan: “Our meat is sourced form local rare-breed and organic pig farms in and around the New Forest.
“We also cure all the pork produced at THE PIG hotel group, as well as Hampshire wild boar from Jamie Burgess, to James Golding’s original recipes.”
A popular choice is Hampshire Chorizo - Hampshire free-range pork shoulder and belly with smoked paprika, garlic and fennel. Pancetta, Coppa, Air dried Hams, Lomo, Breasola & Salami in both pork and wild boar are all on the menu.
100 Station Road, New Milton, BH25 6LQ; 01425 611278; www.apinchofsaltcuring.co.uk