This year is our 90th year of business and we're busy coming up with ways we can celebrate (short of a night out on the pop of course!). The business was started in 1926 in the same spot in Spratton by Frank Evelyn Saul and for years we were called FE Saul and Sons, before becoming Sauls of Spratton. In those days we had the slaughterhouse out the back and the rest of the family were dairy farmers so the butcher's fitted neatly into the scheme of things. We've come quite a way since the days of hand moulding pork pies on the kitchen table and delivering by pony and trap! We're now into the fourth generation of Sauls - my husband Mark has worked here for the last 5 years expanding our events catering and we are always looking at new avenues from constantly trying out new products, to developing the website, online presence and supporting local food and producers. My dad Chris is even hoping we'll eventually let him retire! We'd love to hear from you with any suggestions for ways we can celebrate still being here, and tell us your stories too. We've been lucky enough to keep some wonderfully loyal customers and we love hearing your memories of Sauls from years ago!
We've been trying out a new product in the shop over the last couple of weeks. I've been calling it corned beef because it is cured in a brine with herbs and spices and that's what 'corning' is - essentially just the process of curing. But it's nothing like the tins of mass produced gelatinous corned beef that most of us are used to and that's where the debate has come in. Pat in the shop likes to call it a 'salt beef' (this is also an accurate description) and we have a variety of names for it from the other guys in the shop, not least of which is " Emma's new beef thing" (which is also accurate!). And so the dilemma continues...
Our product is a whole joint of silverside or brisket, cured for up to 10 days in a salt cure with herbs and pepper, then roasted in the oven. It's a ready to eat product and it makes the most amazing sandwich with some coleslaw and pickles (quite an American deli version of a sandwich). But is it confusing to call it corned beef, because it's nothing like the tinned stuff? At the moment I think we're calling it everything, and hoping that when people try it, it will speak for itself. Feedback in the shop has been good but if you've tried some, please let us know what you think, we always like to hear from you!