9 Food Pros Pick Their Favourite Butchers in London

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Decent food at home starts with quality meat. That’s why we asked nine of the country’s best chefs to share their favourite butchers in London – and what they ask for at the counter...
Photography PROVENANCE

Sameer Taneja

BENARES MAYFAIR

Primrose Hill Butchers has a fantastic selection. The head butcher has so much passion and what he does with the meat is fantastic – it has some of the best window displays in London. I usually ask for Scottish angus beef, lamb rump, offal, veal bones and under cuts, like sweet breads, tongue, feet, heart, liver and tail. For a treat, I’ll occasionally buy Japanese wagyu. I ask for the whole cut of meat so I can practise my butchering skills at home; I never want to waste anything. My order isn’t complete without Wiltshire ham (simple but delicious in sandwiches), American-style streaky bacon and merguez sausages. I try and go at least once a month, and always for my Christmas meat shopping. Primrose’s meat is always a joy to cook with.” 

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Richard Gladwin

RESTAURATEUR & CO-FOUNDER OF LOCAL & WILD

“My favourite is Provenance Butchers. They have a few outposts in London, but I go to the Wimbledon Village site every Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. I always ask for the 100-day-old chicken. It’s so versatile – I love to debone and chargrill it at home, then serve it with Chinese spicy fried rice with pickles. Provenance specialises in aged beef and, if you get lucky, there’s occasionally veal mince at the counter if you’re first through the door. I can’t leave without a few chipolatas for the kids, and I’m also partial to its fermented chilli sauce. Right now, I’m looking ahead to the festive season and want to do a practice run ahead of Christmas Day. I’ll have my family over from New Zealand who don’t eat turkey, so I’m going to light my Big Green Egg before I go to bed and cook brisket overnight over charcoal for 14 hours.”

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Phil Howard

Notto

“Without a doubt, HG Walter in Barons Court is king. They are exceptional butchers who care not only about the quality of the meat, but also about the welfare of the animals. It’s a family butcher, with no less than five members integral to the running of the business. Five fantastic people they are too. We buy all our British meat through them, so we talk on a daily basis about what we want – the more modest cuts of meat are wonderful slow cooked to extract the flavour. HG covers all the obvious meats and have impressive on-site facilities to age and hang it. The beef is first class, as is the lamb when in season, and the pork and chicken. They also stock incredible Iberico pork, which is one of the world’s must delicious meats. Autumn means slow-cooked meats and the wild game that is so abundant in this country. Grouse, wild duck pheasant and partridge deserve our focus at this time of year. I also like to spend a bit more and treat myself to an aged ribeye steak or a beautiful chicken, then cook it simply at home. My top tip is if you want something very specific, call in advance and pre-order it. Then they can select a perfect cut for your needs. Otherwise, remain open minded and just shop for what looks best.”

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Provenance

Sohan Bhandari

COLONEL SAAB

“We’re spoilt for choice with excellent butchers in London, but H&M Meats in Norwood is my favourite. They are passionate about meat and understand that chefs need quality cuts with provenance that can be traced right back to the farms. I also use CSP in Farringdon, a fantastic, family run business that sources the very best sustainable meat and seafood. They’ve been around since the 60s and have a great reputation – and lots of prestigious clients. I tend to buy tender lamb chunks, chops and shanks, plus whole legs of lamb and poultry. H&M is renowned for its excellent beef and lamb, while CSP specialise in poultry – ideal for marinating dishes with the right balance of tenderness. This month, I’m buying lamb to make mutton seekh kebabs for the festive season. I like to grind minced mutton with onions, chilli and coriander and add aromatic spices and seasonings like garam masala, cumin, ginger, chilli and salt. I shape them into kebabs, add to skewers and bake until reddish brown. I’ll serve it with smoked yoghurt, zingy lemon wedges and a fresh cucumber salad.”

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Ramael Scully

Scully St James’s

“Frank Godfrey and Godfreys in Finsbury Park are both excellent. I’ve been going to the Godfrey brothers for meat since I moved to London in 2004. I keep going back because of the relationship I’ve built with Jeremy and Phil – I trust them. Their father and grandfather were both butchers and founded Godfreys in 1905. I first went to them years ago when I was working with Ottolenghi and when we opened Nopi. Their meat is beautiful and honest. These days, I go there for venison, beef and pork, which is consistently excellent. The homemade sausages, pies and fresh stock are all delicious, but their speciality is dry aged British ribeye, which is aged in a special room at the Finsbury Park site – not your typical butcher! I go there every few months as a treat. My mum’s in town from Australia this weekend so I’m buying pork shoulder to be made into cincalok pork, a Malaysian dish made with fermented prawns, red onions and chillies. When it comes to meat, it’s so important to support local and independent butchers, so find your nearest one you can trust.”

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H&M Meats
HG Walter

James Cochran

12:51

“It’s hard to choose one favourite, but I love Cabrito, HG Walter – and Hogget & Boar a little further out in Hampshire. All are local and independent with high quality cuts of meat, as well as more unusual meats like goat which I love. At this time of year, I go for slow braising cuts like neck, belly and shoulder. They benefit from long, slow cooking and in roast dinners. I also like to ask for minced meats which are really good for koftas. I tend to visit the butcher a few times a week for the best cuts. This month, I’ll be buying mutton or venison neck. I like to slow cook the venison with bacon, wild mushroom and onions and finish it with parsley for a fresh winter warmer. For mutton, I take inspiration from the Caribbean and jerk it up with my scotch bonnet jam, this time turning it into a marinade, before slow braising it. I serve this with rice and peas, and yam. Properly good stuff to keep the winter blues at bay!”

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Turner & George

Diarmuid Goodwin

SAGER + WILDE

“One of my favourite butchers is Turner & George in Angel. It specialises in British native breeds, reared on independent farms and small holdings. All the meat is free from growth hormones, antibiotics and cruelty, and they dry age in-house which is a bonus and relatively uncommon. They have a real focus on making high-quality meat accessible to the public. I tend to go twice a month and stock up on premium cuts of beef and whatever else is in season. The meat boxes are great, particularly the steak box for two which includes a T-bone and a bottle of wine. I’d also recommend the butcher's brunch box, which I’m a big fan of at weekends. I’ll be there this week to get some pork belly which I’ll be cooking for friends this weekend.”

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William Drabble

SEVEN PARK PLACE

“I love The Butcher’s Table on St John's Hill in Clapham. It's a ten-minute walk from home and they have some great meat hanging in their fridge which is lined with blocks of Himalayan salt to help it age and dry out – they do a great rib of beef. The team is really passionate about what they do, and they will advise you on what to get before prepping it at the counter. They even do butchery classes if you’re interested. I like to go once or twice a month to get something for Sunday lunch, and stock up on quality beers. I don’t go with the idea of anything in particular, and instead have a chat with them to see what is best, then work a dish around that. At home, I like to keep it simple and let the meat rest. We must continue to support local butchers who are trying very hard to give us something special. If we don’t support them, they will vanish and you won’t know where your meat is coming from, what it’s been fed or how it has been treated.”

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Giovann Attard

NORMA

“Hands down, it has to be The Ethical Butcher. It works with farms that use regenerative farming practices to produce meat in the most natural way while also actively improving the environment by using animals to rebuild ecosystems. The methods also help restore nutrition into the soil by locking carbon in the ground. The regenerative beef is 100% pasture fed, without grains, soy or antibiotics. When I can get my hands on it, I also love the wild parkland venison from Packington Estate, which has been in the same family since the 17th century. They can prepare and cut to any specification you need for at-home cooking, and although they don’t have an actual shop in London, they can deliver straight to your front door. Right now, I’m about to buy some slow braising cuts like mutton shoulders and beef cheeks. I usually get around 500g of joints and slow cook them in a casserole dish or pressure cooker; during the cold season all you need is comfort food, and this is spot on!"

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