Based in Cumbria, Dales Traditional Butchers have been supplying the finest quality, locally farmed meats to the people of Kirkby Lonsdale and the surrounding areas of Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales for over 100 years.
It was in 1906 when Herbert Dale first opened the doors to his traditional butchers shop and began supplying quality meat to the local population of Kirkby Lonsdale. Although the business started out quite simply, the Cumbrian market town was growing fast and ‘Dales the Butcher’ was subsequently passed down to Herbert’s son, Wilfred, under whose tenure the business continued to go from strength to strength. In 1999, Dales Traditional Butchers current owner, Mark Duckworth took over the reins and the business continues to fly the flag as one of the North West’s best family butchers.
Mark’s success at Dales Traditional Butchers is the result of his many years’ experience working in the meat industry.
Starting out as a ‘butcher’s boy’, at just 13 years old, before getting his first full-time job as a local butcher’s apprentice at 15 and being awarded the ‘young butcher of the year’ title just two years later. Mark then went on to complete a two-year ‘meat technology’ qualification at Blackpool and Fylde College, then considered one the UK’s best training colleges for butchery. Whilst studying, Mark gained valuable experience with several employers, in various butchery related roles, including a stint at Lancashire’s prestigious Michelin star restaurant, Northcote Manor.
However, it was working at a North Yorkshire farm shop that he discovered his second love, that of pie making, and this is where he developed and perfected many of the award-winning pies that he’s still proudly producing up to the current day. To this day, Mark is still hungry for success and regularly enters his produce to compete in meat industry competitions, continuing to pick up awards and accolades along the way.
At Dales Traditional Butchers, we understand that to deliver the highest quality, you have to start with the highest quality. This is why we carefully choose our produce from only the best local farmers. Our superb tasting, heritage breed pork is farmed locally at Mansergh Hall Farm. The lamb at Dales Traditional Butchers is sourced from the best Cumbrian farms, having been grazed on the lush, green fells and fields, which ensures great tenderness and flavour. And our beef is also sourced from local farms, mostly from Cumbria or the Yorkshire Dales, but always where the quality is best.
Once the best quality meat is sourced, we then prepare it in the traditional method, hanging the produce for anything from 1 to 4 weeks (sometimes more for beef), but whatever it takes to guarantee the tenderest, most succulent and flavoursome results.
At Dales Traditional Butchers, we dry-age all of our meat. Not only does this give greater tenderness to the meat, the resulting flavour is more pronounced too.
The majority of supermarket meat is wet-aged, i.e. aged in vacuum packs. Whilst this does offer some advantages regarding tenderness, it’s not as beneficial as dry-ageing when it comes to flavour.
Dry-ageing exposes the meat to the air allowing the meat’s natural enzymes to break down the muscle tissue resulting in improved tenderness. The process also reduces the moisture in the meat, which means a much more concentrated and meatier flavour.
A recent advance in our dry-ageing process has been the addition of a Himalayan salt wall to our ageing room. This is a frame containing bricks of rock salt that’s mined from the foothills of the Himalayas. The salt was deposited hundreds of millions of years ago, from unpolluted seas, and is one of the oldest and most pristine salts in the world. The salt is variable in colour, anything from deep red to completely clear, in a marble like effect. This is due to the salt containing an array of minerals, including iron and potassium.
The salt wall restricts growth of unwanted bacteria, but leaves behind the beneficial mould which results in the renowned tenderness and flavour of dry-ageing uninhibited. The salt wall also acts to stabilise the relative humidity during the ageing process by attracting moisture from the surrounding environment.
Not only do we supply the best quality, locally farmed meat, we also offer a marvellous array of other produce for you to choose from.
At Dales Traditional Butchers, we understand that it’s not always convenient for you to drive into town and have time to meander around the shops, and that’s why we offer our online shopping option.
If you live in postcode areas LA6 2 – LA6 3, or LA2 8A to 8J, we’ll deliver all orders over £35 for FREE. For customers further afield, we’ll also deliver to you FREE for all orders over £175.00!