Review: Swaledale Online Butchers

Review (Gifted)¦ Since he began losing weight and started training 3 years ago, my husband has followed a diet very similar to the keto diet. As such, we get through a lot of meat in our house! He’s always keen to spend a little more to make sure that he’s good quality meat in order to get the balance right and gain muscle.

We recently received an order from Swaledale Online Butchers, who are based in Skipton, Yorkshire. They are a whole-carcass butchers working with around 30 trusted farmers and smallholders in the Yorkshire Dales to supply meat from rare and native breeds to homes and restaurants around the UK. If your order is placed before 9am, it can be delivered the next day!

All their meat is butchered-to-order, and fresh (never frozen), then vacuum packed and delivered in recyclable packaging. We love that they work sustainably and that due to working with trusted farmers and carefully selected local abattoirs, they have complete traceability and confidence in the welfare of the animals.

What We Tried

Topside of Beef

As a whole-carcass butcher, Swaledale Online Butchers are able to offer certain cuts at special prices each month. One of October’s butcher’s specials is topside of beef. With the accolade of a Great Taste 2022 award proudly displayed on the website, I thought this would be perfect for a Sunday lunch with my family.

This beef comes from a grass-fed heritage breed and has been been dry-aged on the bone in Swaledale’s Himalayan Salt Ageing Chamber for at least 28 days to maximise flavour. They are not messing around when it comes to quality!

Heritage breeds have more intramuscular fat (aka marbling) – this fat melts and helps keep the joint moist as it roasts, as such our Roast Topside of Beef is unusually succulent. 

Swaledale Online Butchers

My Dad roasted it and it carved very well; there was none of the dreaded crumbling! My family all found it to be a very tender piece of beef with a great texture and delicious flavour. Sometimes with beef, you get horrible bits of fat running through the meat. However, that was not the case at all. The serving sizes on the website were fairly generous. After enjoying it in a roast dinner, there was enough left for several family members to have some cold with a salad.

At £41.40 for 2.6kg, we felt it was good value.

Coarse Pork Sausages

While there are a whole variety of flavours of sausage, we chose the humblest of the bunch. The pork came from free range Middle White and Tamworth pigs, which are heritage breeds with a good flavour.

We liked that the sausages had a high meat content (they’re 93% pork shoulder and belly) and have a good texture. There are none of the bulking agents you get in supermarket sausages. It’s probably as a result of this that they taste very meaty! They may be simple, but are seasoned well and are very flavourful.

Tuscan-style Pork, Fennel & Red Wine Sausages

Swaledale Online Butcher’s Tuscan-style pork, fennel and red wine sausages are another Great Taste 2022 award winner! Once again, they have a high meat content and the fat content wasn’t too high either. They weren’t greasy!

The combinations of flavour in these sausages are absolutely delicious. Fennel can be overpowering. However, that was not the case and the amount used was just right. The skin on these sausages was not too tough, just lovely and crispy when cooked.

Ordering and Delivery

The experience of browsing and ordering on the Swaledale Online Butchers website was very straightforward. It’s easy to find your way around what they do, whether you want meat for the barbecue, game, prime steaks or a meat box! Their Christmas selection is now live too and very much worth a look at.

To ensure sustainability, there is a minimum order value of £40. Much of their meat can be frozen, so you don’t have to worry about using it all up quickly! Delivery is a reasonable £3.95. However, if your order is £60 or more delivery is free.

Our order was very well packed and arrived safely. Oh, and I absolutely love that Swaledale’s packaging is completely recyclable!

It distinctly feels like Swaledale have thought of everything and that there is quality in every single aspect of what they do. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them if you’re looking for good quality meat from an online butcher.

Disclosure: We were sent the aforementioned products for the purpose of this review. As always, all view and opinions are honest and my own.