There’s no better way to start the summer than with a sizzling BBQ. Eating Al Fresco, or even under the cover of a garden gazebo outside is a delight especially after enduring a grey and dull winter that seemed to last forever.
To make it a truly enjoyable experience, throw away the skinny, dubious cheap sausages, the chicken drumsticks with no chicken and the wafer-thin burgers that burn to a frazzle. Instead, do as we did and visit your local butcher.
For our first family BBQ of the summer, we visited Mitchell’s Artisan Butchers on the main road in Wirksworth. Parking was easy and the traditional looking shop was inviting. Mitchell’s is independently owned and their focus is on supplying meat from local farms. The benefit of this practice is that they control the quality by choosing farmers who employ good farming practice, for example the chicken is free roaming and ethically sourced.
Davey Mitchell is a traditionally trained Master Butcher with a creative flare. So, this was perfect as we could buy meat ready prepared with herbs and spices for our BBQ, complete with advice and suggestions. The burgers were lamb, born just up the road in Hazelwood and raised in Derbyshire fields. We also had beef burgers, the perfect size for our large floury baps, unfortunately our teenagers devoured them all before we could say we needed their comments, but I suppose that was praise enough.
The chicken kebabs had succulent chunks of chicken which had been marinated in a subtle Mediterranean dressing, and the chicken drumsticks were chunky with lots of meat, the best I’ve had. Personally, I often skip the sausages, but these had me coming back for more. With the addition of two or three different salads, some lovely wines we were set for the evening. It wasn’t the warmest of days, but hot coffee and a pile of blankets kept us warm and sitting outside until late. There really is nothing like it.
Mitchell’s also sell a range of cooked meats, pork pies and meat pies all made by themselves, as well as oven ready meals. ‘The Sauce Shop’ chutneys, Snowdonia cheese, (which I must try) and many other products from independent small companies.
Mitchell’s Artisan Butchers,
21 Market Place, Wirksworth, Matlock DE4 4ET Tel. 01629 820261.