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Award winning Butcher back by popular demand.

The Butcher of Barling, Philip Splett has decided to reopen his shop to the public. Here we ask why.

What made you re-open Philip? Well I originally decided to retire on the 1st January 2012 after working in the butchery business for over 60 years. Although the shop was not open I was still supplying my famous Barling Beauties sausages to a few local pubs and my existing clients were ordering meat from me on a regular basis. Everywhere I went I bumped into customers of mine who bemoaned the fact that I had closed. Butchery is in my blood and I made a decision to reopen the shop again to existing and new customers from November.

What is your experience? Splett Family Butchers has been in existence since 1950 when my father opened his shop in London’s Leather Lane. I helped my father in his shop and went to Smithfield learning as much about the meat trade as I could. I was fortunate to train as a Master Butcher under an expert who provided meat to the Royal Family. After I qualified I took over from my father and moved down to Southend and had shops in Benfleet, Woodgrange Drive, Thorpe Bay and latterly Barling. I would class myself as an old fashioned style or artisan butcher. The meat is prepared through minimum use of cleavers or saws but by utilising the natural seams and muscles as nature intended.

Is there a call for an old fashioned butcher? I have seen the role of the butcher change. The days of meat hanging on show with sawdust on the floors are thankfully long gone. However supermarkets are increasingly stocking foreign meat cut to set sizes with little room for alteration. The service I provides advice on what cut is best for whichever dish is being cooked and producing that cut to meet the budget or size required. I pride myself on being able to make customers feel at ease and enjoy their shopping experience. There is also a number of TV chefs who are using types and cuts of meat, such as venison, which can only be sourced from quality butchers.

Where is your meat sourced?
I have my own experienced buyer on Smithfield who selects meat to my specification. Smithfield is still the UK’s premier meat market. I stock Aberdeen Angus Scotch Beef, Saltmarsh reared Lamb and rare bread pork. Fresh poultry come from Suffolk, Norfolk and local farms. All the meat is British and is fresh when delivered and allowed to hang to provide the best possible taste and texture. I aim to provide the best quality products when in season at affordable prices. Certainly there is a marked difference in flavour for instance when Beef is allowed to age naturally.

What can you provide us with?
The simple answer is anything providing enough notice is given. All types of meat, offal and game. I am happy to take bulk orders where for instance half a pig or lamb can be bought and the customer can specify what types of joints or chops they want. I am currently taking orders for Christmas for local fresh turkeys and geese. These can be on the bone, crowns or boned and rolled. There is no additional cost to the customer in having this work undertaken, it is all part of my service. I produce my own bacon which is cured in the old fashioned way and has a taste unlike anything bought in the supermarkets. I am famous for my sausages, particularly the Barling Beauties and regularly have many varieties in stock. Cheeses are from the Snowdonia Cheese Company, Suffolk natural hams, Haggis and the famous Stornoway black puddings. For Christmas we are again stocking hot smoked Salar salmon from the Isle of South Uist.

Do you have anything to entice us with?
As an opening offer in November I am providing my unique chicken parcel, which is boned chicken stuffed with my own recipe filling. Plus a Vintage Mature Cheddar Snowdonia Cheese truckle at a bargain price of £9.95. Please feel free to call by and say hallo or visit me on my website and join the mailing list to receive regular offers. The website is www.philipsplett.com. Orders can be placed by email through the website or call 01702 216062 or text 07768972579.

I look forward to welcoming you all existing and new customers to Burtons Farm Shop, Barling Road, Barling Magna, SS3 0LZ.