Our farm has remained as a traditional mixed holding.
Although dairy was the mainstay of agricultural production my Grandfather and Uncle reared British Saddleback pigs during the 1970’s and 80’s. In recent years we have returned to rearing the native regional breed; the Pedigree Welsh pig. We’re fortunate as a family to have retained the pre-war tradition of fattening to high weights, killing on-farm in winter and salting in the pre refrigeration method. The annual slaughter was a social experience with family and neighbours helping with the production of traditional products such as faggots, brawn, fresh blood black pudding, sausages, bacons and hams.
There was always the utmost respect for the animal with absolutely nothing wasted. Recipes and process have been passed from one generation to the next and we still use a traditional slate salting tray to produce hams for our own kitchen.
A childhood spent on the farm provided me with rich food memories, animal fats featured heavily in my grandmothers cooking – fried foods were cooked in a black heavy cast iron pan in lard and dripping. Butter was often homemade, salty and tasted best on toast cooked before the open fire.
My grandfather often took me hunting for mushrooms and for wild berries in the hedgerows and there’d always be a rabbit or a pheasant in the pot – this was the country way long before ‘foraging’ became a thing. Vegetables were plentiful, my father a keen gardener would always grow enough for us and the extended family – his prize winning produce now takes an acre of market garden on the farm which includes a newly planted orchard as well as soft fruits. A bounty of produce can be found for sale on the side of the road in season along with eggs from my uncles poultry.
This agricultural heritage and rich cultural upbringing forms the basis of what is now Charcutier Ltd. We draw on tradition yet we also look to the wider world having travelled extensively researching the whole supplychain from field to fork. We have worked with meat professionals in Europe and North America, studied at the Meat Laboratory at Iowa State University and were the first to gain a Hybu Cig Cymru/Livestock Promotion Wales Livestock Scholarship to study the pork industry.