Great Glen Charcuterie - live local, eat local.

Great Glen Charcuterie’s venison chorizo salami and bresaola has been wowing diners and lovers of fine food across the Highlands since the company began as Great Glen Game in 2010.   Taking a local resource – deer – and working closely with those who manage them, Jan Jacob and Anja Baak have built an experiment into a thriving family business and become Scotland’s leading charcuterie.

Great Glen Charcuterie sells a range of salamis, chorizos, bresaola and smoked venison to independent retailers across the country. The charcuterie is also used by chefs and on the menu of the countries best restaurants. In 2013 their Green Pepper Salami was awarded Charcuterie product of the Year at the Great Taste Awards.

Living and working on a Highland estate, part of Jan Jacob’s job back in the early 2000’s was the management of the wild deer population and he fell in love with the delicious meat. When friends and family loved his home-smoked venison experiments, seeds of a new business opportunity were sewn. Moving from a wooden box smoker in the garden to converting a derelict butcher shop in Roy Bridge into a state of the art processing unit, Jan Jacob developed a range of recipes for venison charcuterie while Anja took on the job of marketing and sales. In 2010 Jan Jacob gave up his day job working on the Estate to concentrate full-time on Great Glen Game, but continued to work closely with local stalkers and estate workers. The deer roam freely in the Scottish hills and feed on heather, wild plants and grass, making venison a delicious healthy meat. It is low in fat, high in iron and a very sustainable meat source for the charcuterie products.

To reflect their international sales ambitions, Jan Jacob and Anja renamed the company Great Glen Charcuterie in 2014.  But while they’ve stayed close to their live local, eat local roots, selling their charcuterie in a wide range of Highland stockists, they also aim to see their products stocked in the world’s best food halls.

New sales come as a result of Anja’s hard work on marketing their products at food fairs, farmer’s markets and in the press and media. Social media also plays an important role. Well of the Seven Heads and Iain Stewart Fish Sales found out about Great Glen Charcuterie through Anja’s Twitter and Facebook activity and The Riverside Restaurant in Inverness placed an order having seen their products on Instagram.

You can buy Great Glen Charcuterie at the following local Highland stockists

Corner on the Square Beauly, The Store House Foulis, Isle of Ewe Smokehouse, West Coast delicatessen, Phoenix Community Stores,Lochaber Farmshop, Deli Craft Fort William, Gordon MacPhail Elgin,  Isle of Skye Baking Company  McDougals Butchers Fort Augustus, The Oyster Shed.

Great Glen Charcuterie products also appear on the menus of some of the Highlands’ best restaurants and hotels including Lovat Lochness, on pizza Cafe Sia in Skye, Arisaig House, Whitehouse Restaurant, Good Highland Food, Old Pines restaurant Spean Bridge, Lochside Crafts, Glenfinnan House Hotel, Rua Reidh Lighthouse, Fiddlers, Aultbea Hotel, Red Roof Café, Raasay House, Stronlossit Inn, Isle of Muck tearoom, and on the breakfast menu for The Heathers B&B Spean Bridge.

Organics - thinking outside the Veg Box

Maggie Sutherland’s Natural Vegetable Company on the outskirts of Inverness has been supplying organic salads and vegetables since 2004. Maggie aims is to produce a complete range of seasonal produce direct from the field to the customer. While most organic produce is brought into the region, the Natural Veg Company aims to supply only Highland produce of the highest quality.

natveg5As well as delivering veg boxes direct to 70 customers’ door, Maggie also works with a small number of restaurants and cafes in the Inverness area; from Café One to Velocity, Roc Pool to Harry Gow’s. Keeping in regular contact, she works with their chefs to provide them with a reliable supply of fresh leaves and seasonal veg.

When she began the business she sent a questionnaire to 25 local hotels and restaurants, asking then what they would like. The eight replies were enough to write a business plan and on acquiring organic accreditation she began what is now a thriving business employing two people.

With nearly ten years of growing experience behind her, Maggie now knows what grows
best and when; how to balance supply and demand to ensure all her veg box, hotel and restaurant customers get exactly what they want – fresh salads and veg of a consistently excellent standard – when they need it. By regularly circulating a list of what produce is ready now, what’s still growing and when it will be ready, her hotel and restaurant customers know what’s available and can plan their menus around what’s in season; an increasingly important factor in consumer choice of where to eat out.

natveg3 RocPool texts an order for their three times a week delivery, meaning there’s no waste and everything is as fresh and as good quality as possible. Spinach, tomatoes and mixed salad leaves are staples, while baby beets, baby courgettes and their flowers are grown especially to order. Maggie’s been working with Café One on a similar basis for three years, while Velocity Café has taken her organic produce right from the start, their flexible approach and simple, tasty menu meaning they can work with whatever is in season.

Having a blend of individual and business customers has proved a successful combination. Fraser Gow, son of the eponymous Harry Gow and great grandson of John Burnet who set up the famous Inverness bakery chain in 1898, was receiving Natural Veg’s veg boxes at home. Spotting that the organic salad leaves in his home veg box were of a better quality and lasting longer than the ones his business were serving in their Salad Boxes, he now orders all Harry Gow’s salad box leaves from the Natural Veg Company.

Maggie Sutherland
Natural Vegetable Company
T: 01463 250 440
M: 07890 189 676

Website: Natural Vegetable Company

Orbost Farm - providing prime local meat across Skye

Rachael and Keith Jackson are very proud of the stock they raise on their farm at Orbost Estate on the Isle of Skye.  Their lives and business are based on the principles of slow food production – producing the best quality, fantastic tasting meat products from slowly reared, traditional breed animals – simple food, and food with provenance.

Alongside Native cattle breeds and Soay sheep, the farm also boasts a fine collection of Iron Age pigs.  While all the meat is butchered and packed at the farm, animals have to be transported to the abbatoir in Dingwall for slaughter.  Having estate shooting rights and a deer larder on the farm means the venison comes direct from hill field to plate, and with research into establishing an abattoir on Skye almost complete, Rachael and Keith hope eventually that all their meat will be processed on Skye, from start to finish.

Orbost Soay SheepAs well as gate-sales to locals and visitors to Orbost, Rachael & Keith have a range of well-established buyers for their premium Skye-reared meat across the island.  Fine dining at the five-star Coruisk House in Elgol sees Orbost lamb and pork on the menu, while busy people on the move make a bee-line to the Thistle Snack Food van in Portree for Orbost’s lamb, beef, boar and vension burgers.  Orbost bacon and sausages grace the breakfast plates of quality guesthouses of The Spoons on the shores of Loch Snizort and Roskill House in Dunvegan.

Knowing which meat your customers want and keeping in touch to let them know what’s available, and when, is all part of Orbost’s ethos of keeping food local and best quality.   When they know they’re about to process a particular meat, Rachael phones round their regulars to find out what they need, meaning customers can be sure of supply, and waste is kept to a minimum.

Glenview SkyeBuilding a relationship with the businesses they supply is very important to Rachael and Keith.  One of the longest has been with Simon Wallwork and Kirsty Faulds of Glenview; a café, gallery and Bed and Breakfast in the North Eastern corner of Skye on the Trotternish Peninsula.  Simon and Kirsty aim to use produce from as many local suppliers as possible in their menus, including Orbost Farm, whose meat is a staple ingredient on their breakfast menu and in their Skye Pies.

Orbost Estate
Orbost Farmhouse
Near Dunvegan
Isle of Skye

Website: Orbost Farm
Telephone: (+ 44) 01470 521 828

A Day in the Life of Coast and Glen

7Coast & Glen FISHBOX is an online subscription to regular deliveries of carefully prepared ‘FISHBOXES’. They are hand-picked daily by the team at Coast & Glen to allow subscribed customers to fully experience seasonal, ‘straight from the boat’ products, delivered directly to your desk or door.

FISHBOX delivery is as close to eating “straight off the boat” as you get – without having to endure the Highland rain, wind and sea. We leave that part to the hardy fishermen, like Hamish, the lobster fisherman, from the West Coast of Scotland. Thanks Hamish!
Ocean to plate in less than 48 hours!

A recipe from Kinloch Lodge

9Charming and cosy Kinloch Lodge is a hotel and restaurant like no other. Kinloch is a truly unique place in a magical setting, nestled at the foot of Kinloch Hill on the tranquil shoreline of the sea-loch Na Dal in Sleat on the wildly romantic Isle of Skye.

Marcello Tully, resident head-chef provides an exquisite daily changing menu, using the very best of local and seasonal produce in the restaurant. Under the ever-watchful eye of the Macdonald ancestors, whose portraits line the walls, the restaurant provides a perfect setting for an intimate meal or a family get together.

Pão de queijo (cheese bread)

100g of Parmesan, grated
100g of mature cheddar, grated
240ml of milk
120ml of vegetable oil
1 tsp of salt
300g of tapioca flour, or sour Cassava flour
2 eggs

1.Combine the milk, oil and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking occasionally. Once boiling, remove from the heat
2.Add the flour to the warm milk mixture and stir in thoroughly until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a bowl and either by hand or using a mixer with a paddle attached, beat the dough for several minutes
3.Whisk the eggs in a bowl, then gradually incorporate into the mix before adding the cheese. Mix to combine, then chill in the fridge
4.Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3
5.Divide the dough into 24 pieces and gently roll into balls – rubbing some flour on your hands will help to stop the dough from sticking. Place the balls onto a greased baking tray, or if you prefer you can pipe the mix onto the tray using a piping bag
6.Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden and puffed up, then allow to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving

What is Charcuterie - by Anja Baak

Screenshot 2014-11-11 16.59.10Great Glen specialise in producing charcuterie using only wild Scottish venison.

We are a family business set up ten years ago by myself, Anja and my husband Jan Jacob. We live and work in the beautiful little village of Roy Bridge, set deep in the rugged Scottish Highlands. As you will have guessed from our names, we are not Scottish and originally hail from The Netherlands.

All of our products are produced by hand and air dried because Jan Jacob is passionate about preserving as much of the unique and unrivalled flavour of wild venison as he possibly can. New ideas drive us forwards and we are always striving to create fresh and innovative recipes and flavours.

Craft Brewing - the Speyside way

With its temperate climate, ric11h soils and pure water, Moray is the heart and soul of Scotland’s Speyside malt whisky industry.

A small county sandwiched between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray has been a place that people have wanted to keep as their secret. We think it’s time to share that secret with a new audience that appreciates great beer.

The Speyside Craft Brewery is a new and modern brewery. The beers are made using the finest ingredients and the same water that produces some of Scotland’s best-known whiskies. We’re proud to make them.

Black Isle Berries Farm Shop

1We have been at Ryefield Farm for over 15 years and produce good quality, seasonal  fruit and vegetables, which are available for sale in our farm shop. During the summer you are able to pick your own fruit.
We grow a large variety of fruits and vegetables, available at different times of the year (we have some frozen fruit available during the winter).

Fruit: strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, red- & blackcurrants, plums, apples, damsons and cherries (although the birds usually beat us to them!).
PYO fruit is available from approximately the end of June to the end of August.
Vegetables: potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, onions, garlic, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes and cucumbers.
Apple juice – grown, pressed and bottled on the premises.

We are open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm all year round and on Sundays during the fruit season.