Customers of an award-winning New Zealand family line of butchers in Wellington are being treated to export quality product this year.
The run into Christmas for Wellington’s Preston’s Master Butchers is starting this week with the launch of free-range spring lamb. The new season’s lamb is sourced through sister company, meat processor and exporter Taylor Preston, which in turn sources from selected farmers in the lower North Island and top of the South Island.
“It’s not a matter of the best stuff going for export,” says the butcher’s general manager Andrew Preston, “we make sure that it comes straight here.”
Spring lamb has a unique flavour profile which is more delicate than older lambs – predominantly due to being milk-fed and young – and it’s also very tender. “People enjoy the taste,” says Preston, ” and we reckon everybody should have a chance to sample it – so we’re doing a special introduction across our stores, at really affordable prices.”
Preston’s is also launching two new beef ranges – under the Ted’s Choice premium label; Natural Farm Hereford and Natural Farm Angus – with a Preston family influence right through the chain. The cattle are sourced predominantly from lower North Island farms with Andrew Preston’s cousin, Campbell Preston, individually selecting the carcases at the Taylor Preston processing plant for meat colour, muscle size and conformation, marbling content and pH tests are also used as an indicator for tenderness.
“We expect the range will go well in our retail stores and hospitality,” says Andrew Preston. “People are looking for a little bit extra and the Natural Farm product certainly gives that, with very strict quality standards and full traceability. What’s more the butcher in-store can portion it any way you want.”
“Our customers have been telling us for a while that this is a fantastic sausage,” says Preston. “A win in a national competition is reinforcement that we’ve got it right. Our Anytime Turingia Bratwurst is a traditional pre-cooked German bratwurst, flavoured with marjoram and parsley and a touch of pepper and garlic. “It’s great for a variety of uses, from the family BBQ, eating as a snack, through to portioning into a risotto.”
Preston is looking forward to the shops being “a bit crazy for a while, as Preston’s has previously won gold, silver and bronze medals for bacon and other sausages. We will have a bunch of new customers coming to our stores just to try it and, I can tell you now, they won’t be disappointed.”