When someone says chorizo, many think of Spain, and when served Nduja, it’s easy to presume it’s Italian. Yet both of these cured meats, and a whole sharing board more are currently being produced right here in London.
Under arches in Peckham, on the edge of Hackney Wick, and in a whole host of other postcodes, men and women with a shared passion for charcuterie are smoking, salting, brining and curing.
Blackhand Food in Hackney
Hugo Jeffries has been a sound engineer, a chef and a baker; all of which we imagine shape a good charcutier. At least that’s what Blackhand Food’s meats would suggest. In his workshop in Hackney, Hugo produces fantastic fennel salami, nduja, pancetta and so much more using rare breed Gloucester old spot pigs. He even practices whole animal butchery, making sure nothing is wasted — not a sausage.
Purchase the pork: Blackhand Food can be found at various markets including E17 Village Market and Druid Street Market; it can be purchased online from Cannon & Cannon and Hugo also runs workshops at Cannon & Cannon’s Borough Market Meat School.
Limpopo Butchers in Acton
Biltong originated in South Africa, but since 2011 Limpopo Butchers have been making it right here in London. Francois Van Der Zee moved to the UK 16 years ago, after growing up in the Limpopo province, and brought with him some fantastic family recipes for biltong. Flavours available include garlic, chilli and chutney or cover all bases with the ‘party mix’. The butchers also produce South African sausage boerewors and drywors.
Cobble Lane Cured in Islington
Adam, Mat, Matt and Lucy were all brought together by butchery and now produce air-dried hams, bresaola and an incredible smoked pepperoni using ox-heart and pork belly. Their production master, Adam Brudnowski, grew up on a traditional pork, beef and carp farm in Poland and helped his family make their own smoked sausages, he then completed a diploma as an Operator of Meat Processing before working as a butcher across Europe. Basically, he knows his meat.
Catch their cures: Cobble Lane Cured sell at markets across London including Patridge’s Food Market and Sourced Market. You can also shell out on their charcuterie at bars and restaurants across the capital including the Ice Bar on Heddon Street and Barber & Parlour in Shoreditch.
Brew in Putney
The folks at this cool café produce three hundred kilograms of chorizo a week, which is then sold in all four of their sites in Putney, Clapham, Wimbledon and Wandsworth. They’re also opening up a fifth in Chiswick later this year. The homemade chorizo is used in delicious sounding dishes such as chorizo folded eggs on toasted sourdough and on their wood-fired pizza, which is available to the lucky people of Putney and Wandsworth.
Chomp on the chorizo: Head to any of the four cafés across south west London. Live up north? Get your Oyster out.
Cannon & Cannon in Borough
These guys have been championing British charcuterie since 2010 and stock a whole range of other producers’ goods, run master classes in butchery and charcuterie, and even do their own bespoke curing. Word is they are currently working on a beer-cured ham for a large brewery, a range of beef charcuterie for a well-known steak restaurant group and a cured fox product in an attempt to tackle London’s urban fox population. Ok, we made that last one up.
Catch some Cannon: Get over to their Borough Market base or have a peek at their website.
The London Charcutier in London Fields
After training as a professional chef, Simon Hodge set up The London Charcutier to make cured food products with a nod to traditional British flavour matches. Think air-dried beef cured in ale, duck in sloe gin and pork coppa cured in mead. It’s clear from his produce that Simon’s all about careful sourcing using meat from well-known London butcher Turner and George, Five Points Pale Ale and Peckham-produced Gosnells Mead. His cutout packaging is pretty nifty too.
Dine on cured duck: Simon’s charcuterie can be found on online craft food shop Craved.
Serious Pig in Peckham
Peckham’s railway arches are full of surprises; from forges to breweries to snacking salami made by Serious Pig. The companies ‘Boss Hog’, George Rice apparently came up with the idea for ‘snacking salami’ in the pub, where most brilliant ideas are formed. We love the Serious Pig chilli & paprika salami, along the logo of a pig wearing a monocle.
By Tom Stephenson.