CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Yorkshire Life today CLICK HERE

The Fabulous Meat & Fish Company from Yorkshire

PUBLISHED: 00:00 05 October 2018

Charcuterie platter

Charcuterie platter

Andy Bulmer

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – and flavour. It’s not a new technique – our prehistoric ancestors were preserving meat with smoke while still discussing whether or not to invent the wheel (they voted ‘yes’ in the end) – but it is enjoying something of a renaissance among contemporary carnivores.

The perfect bbq packThe perfect bbq pack

For Amanda and Allan Goodwill, owners of The Fabulous Meat & Fish Company (now there’s a bold name if ever there was one) in Helmsley, their taste buds were first tweaked as children.

‘We both clearly remember a time when whole sides of pork could be seen hanging to dry in many farm houses around the Yorkshire Moors,’ said Amanda. ‘Allan has been a life-long foodie and has dabbled over the years, trying to produce the traditional bacon he remembers from those happy childhood memories.’

Traditional British drying produces a distinct, rich flavour that permeates the meat and leaves it with a deep, ruby hue. The process is easy to do but tricky to perfect and took Allan many years of ‘tinkering’ before he mastered the craft.

Luckily, his success coincided with the family’s move to Hovingham in North Yorkshire, where they discovered a host of small farmers (they weren’t hobbits – they had small farms) producing fabulous animals.

Duck proscuittoDuck proscuitto

‘Four years ago, we bought half a pig from Peter Stark, a local farmer, with a view to producing a slightly larger quantity than the small joints we had previously bought from local butchers,’ Amanda explained.

‘This was the beginning of what was supposed to be a tiny cottage industry supplying small amounts to family and friends but which quickly became a landslide of orders driving us towards making more old-fashioned bacon, sausage and black pudding.’

Allan built their first smoker in Amanda’s old school trunk. They began by producing smoked salmon before venturing into charcuterie, smoked meat and fish, and even an old Elizabethan type of black pudding.

‘It became very clear very quickly that there was a huge demand for local meat and responsibly reared fish that has been preserved, cured and smoked slowly with care and passion using ancient methods,’ said Amanda.

Cured smoked salmonCured smoked salmon

This is not fast food; producing dry-cured, smoked delicacies takes time. But it is worth it as the methods used by the Goodwills deliver delicious results with a lower salt content and lower levels of free water than intensely produced products.

Their salmon is sourced from Wester Ross Fishery, an RSPCA award-winning farm in the Scottish Highlands, which doesn’t treat its fish with growth promoters or insecticides, utilising wrasse instead which feed naturally on salmon parasites. The fish take twice as long to grow compared with densely farmed commercial fish, resulting in a flavour and texture much closer to wild salmon.

The pork they use is also specially selected from designated ‘caring’ farms deemed to rear happy pigs in good conditions.

When it comes to actually processing the meat and fish, the Goodwills’ curing methods are pretty much the same as those practiced for thousands of years by indigenous people around the world.

Life long foodie Allan Goodwill prepares smoked salmonLife long foodie Allan Goodwill prepares smoked salmon

‘Our methods of dry curing bacon and ham are similar to those used in ancient Rome,’ said Amanda. ‘And our process for curing and smoking salmon is based on the one used by the first nation Sioux in Northern Ontario, which requires the best and freshest fish; slow, gentle dry curing; and time for the cured fish to rest and mature before smoking.

‘The finished product is then matured to allow the fish to even out and all the flavours settle. This can take a total of six or seven days from start to finish.’

The Fabulous Meat & Fish Company has now been up and running for two years. It has established a slew of happy customers, now happily queuing at their new Bridge Street shop, while also supplying well-known chefs like Peter Neville at the Pheasant Hotel in Harome, Matthew Beverson at Maison de Vin in Malton and Andrew Pern at The Star in Harome and Mr P’s in York.

Their still source all their meats from local farmers: free range pork from Fraser Aitken in Escrick; grass-fed, late season lamb from Peter Stark in Hovingham; beef from the Kemp family in Barton le Street and from Duncombe Park; free range ducks and geese from the Matheson family in Beverly; and free range chickens from Loose Birds in Harome.

‘Our determination to source the very best that Yorkshire farmers produce here in Ryedale and across the North York Moors allows us to provide our customers with the highest quality meat available,’ said Amanda. ‘It also means we can visit the farms to see the high standards of animal welfare for ourselves while keeping the food miles to an absolute minimum.

‘We are very fortunate to receive a great deal of support from local farmers and businesses and hope that all our trading friends will stick with us as we grow.’ Mutual support, time-honoured rearing, curing and smoking methods and pride in a job well done? Now that really does sound like the recipe for success.

More from Food & Drink

Friday, November 9, 2018

Celebrate the party season in style at Matt Healy x The Foundry and enjoy a three-course menu packed full with festive flavours.

Read more
Friday, November 9, 2018

After the Christmas season, we’ll be welcoming in 2019 in style with our exclusive Taster Menu events.

Read more
Friday, November 9, 2018

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of a West Yorkshire restaurant that’s a firm favourite with foodies

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

The finest talent in Yorkshire’s hospitality industry gathered at Rudding Park for the announcements of the winners.

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A sweet way to get your five-a-day

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

A traditional treat around the bonfire on November 5th but delicious any time of the year. Try this recipe fresh from the experts at Bettys Cookery School, Harrogate.

Read more
Thursday, October 25, 2018

What does a new partnership mean for one of Yorkshire’s leading restaurants with rooms? Claire Gallagher revisits The Yorke Arms .

Read more
Pateley Bridge
Monday, October 22, 2018

There is much to admire about the food and atmosphere at The Plough, Scalby, says Jeannie Swales

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

One of the world’s top chefs is winging his way back to Yorkshire

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – and flavour. It’s not a new technique – our prehistoric ancestors were preserving meat with smoke while still discussing whether or not to invent the wheel (they voted ‘yes’ in the end) – but it is enjoying something of a renaissance among contemporary carnivores.

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Lunch Menu - £15 for two small plates & a drink.

Read more
Thursday, September 20, 2018

“Guests can expect to enjoy an a la carte menu packed with a unique take on British classics, as well as a wine list which is often recognised as one of the best in the city”.

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The winners of the 2018 Yorkshire Life Food and Drink Awards were announced at a glittering ceremony at Rudding Park Hotel.

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The winner of the Bar of the Year category announced

Read more

Topics of Interest

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Property Search