We are what we eat!

I find this whole business with the horse meat scandal very interesting. The question of traceability of meat products is not an issue if you are running a butcher shop. All our beef comes with a passport which states the farmers name, kill date and the weight of the animal for example so it is easily traced back to the farm and we know what we are selling to 100%.

As the supermarkets seem more interested in making huge profits rather than making sure their customers are safe and demand unreasonable prices from their suppliers, who in turn can’t afford to buy quality ingredients to produce their ready meals or even a pack of quality mince, perhaps it isn’t so strange this has happened.

I must also question the choice some consumers are making. Why do they fill their bodies full of rubbish? These ready meals are not cheap. On the box it might look as if a ready meal Spaghetti Bolognese is oozing a thick, abundant portion of mince. It is only when you open the box you realise it is a very small pot of not very tasty looking food. To buy ingredients for a Spaghetti Bolognese and make it ourselves doesn’t cost any more. 1lb (460g) of lean mince beef, an onion, mushrooms and tomatoes will cost around £4 in our shop and that feeds a family of four and only takes 30 minutes to cook. What would you rather eat?

We have seen an increase in business since the horse meat scandal began and we hope our new customers won’t fall back into their old ways and go back to the supermarket. Once they have made the effort to visit ourCambridge butcher shop we hope they will see that we are very competitive on price and that they will enjoy the quality of our meat. And feel healthier as well! The knowledge that what you buy is safe and carefully sourced may also be a benefactor. Perhaps the phrase “we are what we eat” has finally showed its true meaning!


Due to changes in both pig breeding and butchery techniques over the past few decades, the fat content of lean pork has reduced from 30% to just over 4% on average. And 50% of the fat that it does contain is unsaturated fat which is healthy for the heart. So eating pork meat is definitely a healthy option.

Pork is an excellent source of protein. Protein is vital for healthy growing and healing and also keeps your bones strong.  One pork steak gives you half of your Guideline Daily Amount, roughly 45g.

Pork also provides a lot of other nutrients that are essential for a healthy body. It is important to remember though, that a balance diet is the key and that not one single food is enough to provide the nutrients our bodies require. But making the right choice of food and making sure it is of the best quality, drinking lots of and taking regular exercise can help you protect yourself from a lot of conditions.

Pork contains heaps of vitamins. It’s rich in vitamin B1 which is important for vitality and energy levels. One 100g pork steak provides 90% of our daily requirements. Pork is also a great source of vitamin B12 essential for a healthy nervous system. It is also rich in Zinc which can boost your immune system.

Here at Cowlings Family Butchers in Cambridge we think it is important to make sure our customers can buy pork of the highest quality possible and we feel that our Free Range Pork products deliver on that point. We are confident that our pork, and any of our other free range meat products for that matter, are of the highest quality for the fairest price that you can find.

British Sausage Week

The British Sausage week is an annual celebration of the taste, quality and diversity of the great Butchers’ Sausage. The week is now a major event and stands out as one of the most loved annual food events.

The British sausage is a true national treasure and no one makes a better sausage than your local Butcher. For example, in our butcher shop in Cambridge, we hand make all our sausages from free range pork or beef and they are 66% lean. When you cook these, you will not get a tray full of fat with shrunken and wrinkly sausages. That’s because they are full of MEAT!

Many pig farmers are currently losing money due to the high cost of production and face going out of business. By encouraging customers to look for the Red Tractor logo or equivalent mark of assurance, we can support farmers and make sure that the sausages we eat are from pigs produced to high welfare standards.

Gluten Free Sausages and Burgers

Some weeks ago a few of our customers came in to our butchers shop in Cambridge and asked if we had any gluten free sausages.

We used to make them years ago and they sold really well but gradually the demand died down and we stopped selling them. So when these customers asked about them, and we didn’t have any, we decided to start making them again.One of the reasons they didn’t like the gluten free sausages they could find in the supermarket was the fact that they contained rice. Our gluten free sausages and gluten free burgers consists of 100% English Free Range Pork and seasoning. They are free form gluten, free from wheat and free from dairy. They may be a little bit more expensive than the “normal” sausages but that is because they are pure meat!

The feedback from our customers has been very encouraging. All of them who have bought them, have told us how fantastic and tasty the gluten free sausages and burgers are and that they are so happy that they can enjoy these foods again which in turn makes it all very satisfying for us, as your local  Butcher in Cambridge, to be able to make a difference!

Red Meat & Your Health

There has always been a lively debate as regards to wether red meat is good or bad for the health. (Red meat is any meat that is red before cooking it, i.e. pork, beef, lamb, venison etc.)

As butchers we of course believe lean red meat has got a number of very healthy factors.

The following essential vitamins and nutrients are but a few found in red meat:-

  • B Vitamins – essential to health and has a high presence in red meat. They are important for the release of energy from food. B vitamins help your body burn fat and are also essential for the nervous system.
  • Red meat is an essential source of iron, which is vital to good health as it helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. In fact, no other food contains as much iron as red meat and it is broken down and absorbed by the body easier than iron in grains and vegetables.
  • Zinc – another essential nutrient found in red meat. Zinc is needed by the body to make insulin and is also good for healthy skin and hair but most importantly, it boosts your immune system.

That red meat is an important part of a balanced diet is clear. What may not be so clear is that the red meat you eat should be lean and well matured. That means it has little fat. At our butcher shop here in Fen Ditton Cambridge we can provide you with just that. We only sell beef that has been matured for 28 days which makes it lean and tender.

Our butchers expertly TRIM all the different cuts so it has little fat. So go to your local butchers and buy some lean red meat and ENJOY it!


And don’t forget, as a general rule – to eat (and drink) everything in moderation and you will stay healthy!

Christmas left over recipes!

I know Christmas is next weekend but I thought I’d be organised and write down some ideas on what to do with your Christmas left overs, if you have any!!


Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Pie


400g Cooked Turkey, Chicken or Cockerel cut into chunks

1 onion, chopped

100g cup mushrooms

200g smoked bacon

1 leek, chopped

Bunch of Tarragon, chopped

Block of puff pastry

small pot of cream



Fry onions until soft. Add mushrooms and bacon and fry for a few minutes. Add the chicken and leek, then mix in cream and season. Finally, add the tarragon. Leave to simmer while you prepare the pastry. Put a thin layer of pastry in the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish. Spoon in the pie mix and spread evenly and cover with a circle of pastry. Bake for 30-35 min or until pastry is puffed and golden in oven preheated to 180C fan/200C no fan.

Serve on it’s own or with salad.



Turkey Curry (serves 4)

1-2 onion, finely chopped

600-800g Turkey (depending on apetite)

2-3 garlic cloves, pressed

1 green chilli, chopped (optional)

2 tsp turmeric

2 ground corriander

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp chilli powder

1-2 tsp salt

2 tsp garam masala

4 tsp tomato pure


fresh corriander, chopped


Fry onion, garlic and chilli for 1-2 min. Mix in turkey and after a couple of minutes add salt, turmeric, cumin, corriander and chilli powder and stir well. Add tomato pure and garam masala. Add the cream and simmer for a few minutes. Finally, add the fresh corriander and serve with your choice of rice and naan bread.

Hint! Of course you can use chicken or cockerel for this as well.