From the 8th – 13th March it is National Butchers Week. Not many people have the privilege of a local butchers. over the last 25years butchers have declined by about 60% to around 6,000, according to the office of National Statistics. But in the last few years this number has become stable as people are recognising the benefits of a local butcher.

Your local butcher can offer much more than just good quality meat. They can cut and trim your meat to your requirements and advise you on the best way to cook it. Many butchers now offer accompaniments too like sauces and marinates.

You can buy exactly what you want at the butchers, like one chicken breast or three pork chops unlike at the supermarket where you have to buy a set pre packed amount. This can save you money as well as save on waste. Local butchers often have their signature meats, such as sausages. Many butchers have their own flavours often based on the region or area. Quite often in the BBQ season they will have BBQ packs for you including their tasty sausages. Another benefit is many also have a cold counters offering pies, home made scotch eggs, quiches, pastries and cheeses. Some even have a takeaway hot and cold counter. So your local butcher is much more than they used to be traditionally.

My local butcher offers a range of pre prepared meats such as, kebabs, stuffed chicken breasts, pork chops in different marinades, crumbed coated butterfly chicken, marinated stir fry chicken with peppers. They also do the most amazing black pudding scotch eggs. I love them when they have been freshly made with a nice baby leaf salad. My little treat ; )

There might not be many butchers left in the high streets now, but quite often you can find a butcher attached to a farm shop or farmers market. With a little bit of planning you can make a trip to your local butcher and see what they have to offer. It really is worth it. You will not only be supporting a local business but a local family too. And I promise you that you that the quality of the meat both in freshness and flavour, will not disappoint you.

so go on, visit your local butcher this week have a chat and get to know them. You never know he might through a bone in for the dog.