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My quest for beef brisket in the UK

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All right, so the time is right for me to start smoking some brisket but I'm already finding it difficult to get a hold of the 'packer' cut! I've go easy access to Birmingham meat markets but all of their brisket comes rolled and the local butchers I've spoken to aren't able to get a full brisket. I've contacted a single delivery butchers and they can get me the 'flat' but I'd really like the whole thing... 

Has anyone else had similar issues? I'm unsure what to do next, other than going straight to the farms! 

EDIT

So, since making this topic, I've come across a lot of valuable information regarding sourcing brisket in the UK and decided to list it below so that other members can benefit:

 

UK Brisket

Meat & Cleaver UK  | UK delivery is £7.99 | Best bet is to give them a call as it's a special order, but I can vouch for the quality of the meat.

Grid Iron Meat | UK delivery is free over £45

 

Australian & Canadian Brisket

Bob's Family Butchers | Supplies Australian and Canadian brisket | UK delivery is £15 for up to 15kg | Prices and stock varies, so your best bet is to contact them via Twitter.

Edited by ExclusiveBBQ
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Another one to add, yet to order from them, but went to BrewnQ and all the meat supplied for the competition came from a butchers called Bobs Family Butchers they deliver £15 for £15kg of meat. The website shows some very big full briskets and they have a presence on twitter with pictures of all the meat being supplied before for the competitions etc

Speaking to the competitors on the day they all said they use them for personal cooks as well as the competitions, so they must be well regarded for quality.

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Just had a look. In my humble opinion their website on phone is awful. Says meat from Australia,  USA and Canada for pitmasters in UK and Europe.  I try to support the meat from th UK. Living in Braintree we are blessed with the brilliant C Humphreys and Sons at Ranks Green farm shop and abbatoir. Therefore I am going to stick with that. 

Edited by Justin
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8 hours ago, ExclusiveBBQ said:

I've go easy access to Birmingham meat markets but all of their brisket comes rolled and the local butchers I've spoken to aren't able to get a full brisket. I've contacted a single delivery butchers and they can get me the 'flat' but I'd really like the whole thing... 

Has anyone else had similar issues? I'm unsure what to do next, other than going straight to the farms! 

What part of brum you in. Couple of good butchers in the Hall Green area Highfield Butchers opposite Yardley Wood Train Station are good along with Keith Emery up by the Robin Hood Pub

If your side of Brum maybe worth giving them a ring to see if they can help you out and order one in? 

p.s. If you do go to Highfield Butchers, try some of their Moroccan Lamb Sausages they are something else. 👍 

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43 minutes ago, Justin said:

Just had a look. In my humble opinion their website on phone is awful. Says meat from Australia,  USA and Canada for pitmasters in UK and Europe.  I try to support the meat from th UK. Living in Braintree we are blessed with the brilliant C Humphreys and Sons at Ranks Green farm shop and abbatoir. Therefore I am going to stick with that. 

I think one of the issues is supposed to be the age of the cattle at slaughter. 

In the UK, cattle is slaughtered at a younger age than in the US and Australia, so the Brisket muscle isn't as developed and lacks the same degree of fat marbling, leading to a drier brisket. 

I think that's why the competition teams tend to use imported brisket. 

 

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3 hours ago, Icefever said:

Damn, now I feel lazy! That's some positive looking results and definitely something to fall back on if I can't get my hands on something locally - thanks so much.

19 minutes ago, sotv said:

What part of brum you in. Couple of good butchers in the Hall Green area Highfield Butchers opposite Yardley Wood Train Station are good along with Keith Emery up by the Robin Hood Pub

If your side of Brum maybe worth giving them a ring to see if they can help you out and order one in? 

p.s. If you do go to Highfield Butchers, try some of their Moroccan Lamb Sausages they are something else. 👍 

I'm more than happy to travel but I'm over in Erdington. Going to start calling places later today to see what they can get me so I'll add them to the list - thank you.

15 minutes ago, markie_q said:

I think one of the issues is supposed to be the age of the cattle at slaughter. 

In the UK, cattle is slaughtered at a younger age than in the US and Australia, so the Brisket muscle isn't as developed and lacks the same degree of fat marbling, leading to a drier brisket. 

I think that's why the competition teams tend to use imported brisket. 

 

Interesting stuff. My aim is to replicate American BBQ so it makes sense to use the same stuff but it would have been nice to support the local guys. :) 

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2 minutes ago, ExclusiveBBQ said:

 

I'm more than happy to travel but I'm over in Erdington. 

Used to work in Erdington, Summer Road. Few years ago now.

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6 minutes ago, Smokin Monkey said:

Used to work in Erdington, Summer Road. Few years ago now.

Literally round the corner! Shame you're not still nearby - I'm going to be practicing a lot of smoking soon with a ton of leftovers! 

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30 minutes ago, markie_q said:

I think one of the issues is supposed to be the age of the cattle at slaughter. 

In the UK, cattle is slaughtered at a younger age than in the US and Australia, so the Brisket muscle isn't as developed and lacks the same degree of fat marbling, leading to a drier brisket. 

I think that's why the competition teams tend to use imported brisket. 

 

 Interesting I will speak to my butcher about that though I bought skirt the other day and it is beautifully marbled so not sure that is as simple a statement that. Diet of cattle must have an impact on that too.

I made brisket  quite a few times for my C Humphreys and Son on British beef and it is has been really good each time, marbled and juicy locally reared tasty beef.

12 minutes ago, ExclusiveBBQ said:

Damn, now I feel lazy! That's some positive looking results and definitely something to fall back on if I can't get my hands on something locally - thanks so much.

I'm more than happy to travel but I'm over in Erdington. Going to start calling places later today to see what they can get me so I'll add them to the list - thank you.

Interesting stuff. My aim is to replicate American BBQ so it makes sense to use the same stuff but it would have been nice to support the local guys. :) 

Re American BBQ, fair enough, I am trying to support  UK BBQ and UK BBQ dishes though a lot of my recipes are Weber ones but using UK ingredients.

Just ask butcher for a proper brisket cut not rolled and they will do it for you, I think

butchers do not advertise  proper cut of brisket  so much because it is expensive and many people will think brisket is cheap cut so rolled brisket is what they get, often  consisting  of more than one off cut rolled up...

https://www.facebook.com/CHumphreysandSons/

 

 

Edited by Justin
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3 hours ago, Icefever said:

This is my point, lovely site with a  picture of decent brisket though to much fat to meat rather than marbled for my liking and then under brisket on the same website page this for brisket.

 

Capture.thumb.JPG.84e19370e58cb060222b64e539335de6.JPG

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21 minutes ago, ExclusiveBBQ said:

 

I'm more than happy to travel but I'm over in Erdington. Going to start calling places later today to see what they can get me so I'll add them to the list - thank you.

Interesting stuff. My aim is to replicate American BBQ so it makes sense to use the same stuff but it would have been nice to support the local guys. :) 

You are close to the new wholesale markets, if you are good at getting up at 4am in the morning, pop over, with some cash in your pocket. I am sure you would find a good piece of brisket there amongst other cuts of meat

Used to go there in the 80's when i worked at my mates fish and greengrocers stall and although most of their trade was to the shopkeepers. They were happy to sell to the public. The new wholesale market is meant to be brilliant, they have a website. Maybe give them a ring and see if the general public can go in still and purchase stuff.

Edited by sotv
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9 minutes ago, Justin said:

 

 Interesting I will speak to my butcher about that though I bought skirt the other day and it is beautifully marbled so not sure that is as simple a statement that. Diet of cattle must have an impact on that too.

I made brisket  quite a few times for my C Humphreys and Son on British beef and it is has been really good each time, marbled and juicy locally reared tasty beef.

Re American BBQ, fair enough, I am trying to support  UK BBQ and UK BBQ dishes though a lot of my recipes are Weber ones but using UK ingredients.

Just ask butcher for a proper brisket cut not rolled and they will do it for you, I think

butchers do not advertise  proper cut of brisket  so much because it is expensive and many people will think brisket is cheap cut so rolled brisket is what they get, often  consisting  of more than one off cut rolled up...

https://www.facebook.com/CHumphreysandSons/

 

 

Just to clarify, it's the Brisket muscle in particular, not the whole animal. As we obviously do have amazing marbelled beef in this country. However due to age, that one muscle just doesn't get worked as much. 

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2 minutes ago, markie_q said:

Just to clarify, it's the Brisket muscle in particular, not the whole animal. As we obviously do have amazing marbelled beef in this country. However due to age, that one muscle just doesn't get worked as much. 

Yes , "I made brisket  quite a few times for my C Humphreys and Son on British beef and it is has been really good each time, marbled and juicy locally reared tasty beef".

 

I will a speak with them about this next time . You make a good point

Edited by Justin
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9 hours ago, ExclusiveBBQ said:

All right, so the time is right for me to start smoking some brisket but I'm already finding it difficult to get a hold of the 'packer' cut! I've go easy access to Birmingham meat markets but all of their brisket comes rolled and the local butchers I've spoken to aren't able to get a full brisket. I've contacted a single delivery butchers and they can get me the 'flat' but I'd really like the whole thing... 

Has anyone else had similar issues? I'm unsure what to do next, other than going straight to the farms! 

I am surprised about this as the butcher in Braintree town centre does supply the whole cut and so does the local farm shop. I do have to ask for it as it is rarely in the shop window or on display.

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11 hours ago, ExclusiveBBQ said:

All right, so the time is right for me to start smoking some brisket but I'm already finding it difficult to get a hold of the 'packer' cut! I've go easy access to Birmingham meat markets but all of their brisket comes rolled and the local butchers I've spoken to aren't able to get a full brisket. I've contacted a single delivery butchers and they can get me the 'flat' but I'd really like the whole thing... 

Has anyone else had similar issues? I'm unsure what to do next, other than going straight to the farms! 

Just spoken to a contract butcher who is close to me that I want to try in Curdworth, Sutton Coldfield for a whole pork shoulder and ribs i want to get for the weekend. Asked about a packet brisket for you as they are not to far from Erdington. He said it isn't something they stock but can get one in from the abattoir no problem, if you were to order one. Maybe give them a ring, the guy I spoke to didn't know the price, but if you ring in the morning tomorrow, there would be someone there that would. JJ Timmins

Edited by sotv

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18 minutes ago, sotv said:

Just spoken to a contract butcher who is close to me that I want to try in Curdworth, Sutton Coldfield for a whole pork shoulder and ribs i want to get for the weekend. Asked about a packet brisket for you as they are not to far from Erdington. He said it isn't something they don't stock but can get one in from the abattoir no problem, if you were to order one. Maybe give them a ring, the guy I spoke to didn't know the price, but if you ring in the morning tomorrow, there would be someone there that would. JJ Timmins

Legend, thanks mate. I'll definitely call them tomorrow.

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8 hours ago, Justin said:

Yes , "I made brisket  quite a few times for my C Humphreys and Son on British beef and it is has been really good each time, marbled and juicy locally reared tasty beef".

 

I will a speak with them about this next time . You make a good point

This was where I first heard about the difference in brisket by Jackie Weight. At around 2 mins in. 

 

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@Raptor72  Good read and those guys know what it's all about,  and they say they go for Australian or USDA brisket as it's more stable, & juicy.

 

Ice. 

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On 6/24/2019 at 7:07 AM, sotv said:

Another one to add, yet to order from them, but went to BrewnQ and all the meat supplied for the competition came from a butchers called Bobs Family Butchers they deliver £15 for £15kg of meat. The website shows some very big full briskets and they have a presence on twitter with pictures of all the meat being supplied before for the competitions etc

Speaking to the competitors on the day they all said they use them for personal cooks as well as the competitions, so they must be well regarded for quality.

I just thought I'd add in that Bobs Family Butchers are quick to respond on Twitter and do have a great-looking selection. Unfortunately, the delivery price is rather steep for me but maybe if this YouTube stuff takes off I can use some of that residual income to do a video on Canadian/Australian brisket! 😊

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