Whilst many of us may be filled with dread at the prospect of Christmas being just around the corner, as a retail butcher, you’ll be filled with delight: Delight at the opportunity that Christmas presents to make some significant year-end additional sales.
Cured products never fail to be popular at this time of year and home-cured meats are more popular than ever. The notion of “artisan” and “home-made” food continues to attract consumers and whilst those words are often accompanied by a higher price tag, there’s no doubt that customers are prepared to spend that bit extra for something special for impending family celebrations. There’s further opportunity to expand into the highly profitable “charcuterie” area as customers seek more exotic and speciality meats.
10 years ago in the UK, consumers did not even know what “charcuterie” was, but now they actively seek out British versions of these traditionally continental meats. To support butchers in producing high quality charcuterie meats, Lucas has developed a number of recipes, including those for Black Treacle Bacon, Pastrami and Pancetta.
Many butchers, even now, are daunted by the prospect of preparing their own cured meats, but they need fear not, especially when it comes to dry curing. At Lucas, we’ve developed a great range of cures, including Easicure mixes for dry curing bacon and hams, cover pickles for the traditional curing of tongues, gammons and hams, along with pump cures for a quicker manufacturing process. All Lucas cures are easy to use and better still, we’ve filmed a number of demonstration videos that guide you through the process from curing simple bacon, to making the afore-mentioned pastrami, pancetta and black treacle bacon – all of which make great first steps into the lucrative home-cured and charcuterie areas.
Flavour is vitally important, of course and as consumers look for high quality traditional bacon (you can make this with Easicure Traditional Dry Cure), they are also keen to try new flavours. The desire for Smoke and Sweet products continues to be extremely popular and Easicure Sweet Dry Cure and Easicure Smoke Dry Cure fit the bill perfectly.
There are additional benefits to home-curing too: Bacon trim is delicious in bacon burgers, scotch eggs and quiches. And if you’ve introduced some of the new varieties, you can make them available in these other products too. After all, little waste means big profit!
To watch our videos and find recipes for the products mentioned, visit www.lucas-ingredients.co.uk where you’ll find real inspiration.