The Art of Smoking
The butchery team at a Shropshire food centre have been spending a great deal of time and effort smoking behind the building.
John Brereton and his team at the Ludlow Food Centre have acquired a surprisingly healthy smoking habit by spending time developing a range of smoked meat products. In just the last 4 months John and his team have worked on smoking an alarming array of smoked meat including local, free range chicken and duck, estate reared venison, Gloucester Old Spot pork and even locally sourced trout.
John says, ‘We started by smoking our own bacon and its grown from there. We are now working on more unique smoked meat such as spiced turkey breast, pastrami and even smoked garlic’
The Food Centre invested a small amount of money in a hot smoker with the view of smoking a small range of meats to increase the product range their butchery offered. John had found it difficult to find the variety of smoked meat locally and so decided that it would be best to try himself with meat from the Food Centre’s, Earl of Plymouth Estate.
John says, ‘We use Oak chippings and meat from the Estate whenever possible but it’s the attention to detail that makes the difference. We smoke chicken differently to pork and have tailored the process to get the right length of time and heat for each product. This means that we keep the moisture in the meat whilst still achieving a rich smokey flavour....Everyday is different, we are always having to make allowances for the change in weather such as heat or humidity to get the best product’
John admits that smoking has been a passion of his for a long time and that only recently has he had time to embrace his passion at work. He says,‘Even my wife likes me to smoke because the smell is nicer than raw meat!’
To keep things seasonal John’s next release will be smoked mackerel that is just coming in to season again now and will hopefully be available at the Ludlow Food Centre soon.
Date Posted: 13th July 2010