With summer days stretching out before us, butchers Shaun Palfrey and Deaglan Hall talk barbecues, provenance, and how slow cooks still have a place in long days. With shops in Debenham and Bungay, Palfrey & Hall have all you need to make your alfresco dining easier this season.
It is now 10 years since Shaun and Deaglan went into partnership, and they remain very much the go-to butchers for those in the know. While the Debenham shop opened in 2013, the Bungay shop is still relatively new, opening two years ago. It is not unusual to see queues coming from both shops, especially on the weekends.
With summer finally approaching, both shops are full to bursting with fresh flavours and dinner inspiration. “We love working with different flavours and using marinades, deciding what goes best with which meat,” says Deaglan. “One of our most popular combinations is our beer and mustard marinade with chicken. They always fly out of the door and are a great choice for Father’s Day. We also make great use of wild garlic when it is in season, using it wherever we can. Then we have ribs, pork, koftas, kebabs – anything we think will work!”
For those looking for more traditional barbecue selection, Palfrey & Hall offer their fantastic steak burgers and a weekly changing range of sausages, with favourites including pork and black pepper, or pork and apricot. “We try to create different recipes with our sausages, just to have a bit of fun, really,” says Deaglan. “We did a coronation sausage, with curry notes, and we will often throw in fennel, garlic, or black pudding to make something more unusual. We find that people who don’t enjoy certain flavours love it when they have it in our sausages!”
While many think that barbecues are just for quick and easy cooking, Deaglan points out that slow cooks work just as well on there. “The trick is to cook meat over an indirect heat,” he explains. “One of our customers just slow cooked pork belly on their barbecue, and you can also do lamb, joints of beef, and spatchcock chicken. Slow cooked meat on a barbecue is amazingly tender, and you can add dry rubs or marinades. Basting slow cooks is a great way to keep them moist and impart flavour.”
As well as the butcher counters, both shops offer a range of dry goods including sauces, marinades, and rubs, all designed to help you get the best from your meat. From zingy spiced sauces to herbal marinades, there is something for every palate.
Part of the reason Palfrey & Hall is so good is that they source their meat directly from the farmer. Both Shaun and Deaglan are passionate about working with small producers, taking the very best from across Suffolk, and into Norfolk, Cambridge, and Essex. “We find that small producers really ensure that their animals are cared for properly,” says Deaglan. “That is so important to us. Anyone can come into our shops and ask where the meat came from, and we are able to tell them. Having that connection – from farm to butcher – reassures our customers that they are getting the very best in terms of welfare, quality, and provenance.”