How the Northern Rivers’ best butcher cooks his steak
WHO’S the best butcher on the Northern Rivers?
There was as easy winner when we posed this question to our readers ‒ Ashley Thomson and his team at Alstonville Quality Meats.
He was chuffed to get the title.
“This is great, thanks so much. It’s been an absolutely hectic year,” Mr Thomson said.
“With COVID, at the beginning it was like, ‘wow, what’s going on?’
“But in some ways we’re seeing that people are now actually realising and seeing the value of the butcher shop, that it’s a great place to go to.
“They realise we’re consistent, our service is always 100 per cent.
“It’s come full circle ‒ when I was a kid everyone went to the butcher and the baker and the greengrocer.
“People really need to support small business.”
In the lead-up to Christmas, Mr Thomson and his team of seven have been flat out with customers’ orders.
But he wouldn’t have it any other way.
When asked what his favourite meat was, he said: “I’ve gotta say a good steak, right? That’s my favourite thing. But I’m a butcher, I love all the meats.
“If it’s a big, thick steak, I’ll cook it for a few minutes either side, let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes and then when I’m ready to eat, I throw it back into the pan for a couple of minutes and let it rest again.
“It takes a little time, but it’s worth it.”
Quality is key for Mr Thomson.
And that’s one of the reasons why his customers keep coming back, and why he’s been named our best butcher.
“I don’t cut corners, I don’t want cheap, I want the best,” he said.
“We have a local farmer at Wiangaree we’ve been working with for eight years.
“We use Bangalow sweet pork and Misty Creek chickens.
“I know for me, I want to take something home that I’m going to enjoy.”
The other key to Alstonville Quality Meats’ success is customer service.
Mr Thomson said it was a “huge” focus.
“We do as much as we can for our customers,” he said.
“We have a couple that comes in quite often who always tell us they get a good experience every time; they walk in and know we’re happy to see them.”
Alstonville Quality Meats is located in Main Street, Alstonville.