Some say that the butcher’s trade is dying because everyone has their meat shrink-wrapped from supermarkets. That could not be further from the truth. As home cooks become more acutely aware of the importance of quality, butchers in the city are becoming the go-to place for premium and speciality meats. Small, independent outfits such as McKenna Meats, HG Walter, Turner and George, Hampstead Butchers and O’Shea’s are flourishing in the city.
Just a bit south of the action is Moen & Sons, which has been operating out of their Clapham Common shop since the 1970s. Garry Moen, the son of the original and mysterious M Moen, has taken over the running of the business while his son Charlie occasionally helps out at the cooked meats section. Moen has a beautiful display of ageing beef ribs in the shop front and in the back counter, and this is a key part of the business; most people still only buy sirloin, ribeye and fillet. For the more adventurous, they have sweetbreads, liver and if you call ahead, even a couple of pig’s trotters. Their speciality product is acorn-fed iberico pork loin chops, which are marbled, light and unlike any pork chop you’ve ever tasted.
There’s more: Moen is not just a dealer in fine meats, they sell pretty much everything you need for a dinner party. In April, the usual selection of hen’s, duck and goose eggs are complemented by those of the seasonal Black Headed Gull. Along with them are the chanterelle and morel mushrooms of early spring. Apparently small producers of foodstuffs come to Moen’s to sell their products, so you’ll never know what’s in store till you get down to Clapham Common to check it out.
24 The Pavement
by J Khou