Lishman’s rolls out new York Hams for Christmas

Lishman’s rolls out new York Hams for Christmas

Traditional York Hams are now being produced at Lishman’s Butchers in Ilkley and the inspiration behind them involves a real nostalgic trip down memory lane.

The journey first began earlier this year when the businesses featured on the BBC2 television series, Great British Menu, as top British chefs competed for the chance to cook part of a four-course banquet in the programme.

David Lishman York Hams pic
Award-winning butcher David Lishman hosted a visit from one of the Scottish contestants, Glasgow chef and restaurateur Jacqueline O’Donnell.

David said: “Her menu for the programme was inspired from Britain’s journey from wartime rations to abundance and Jacqueline’s aim was to make people realise how fortunate we are to enjoy the produce we now take for granted.”

She flew down specially to meet David and his father Gordon, who also appeared on the programme, to learn about how bacon was cured during the war years.

David explained: “Dad grew up on a farm near Knaresborough, where a German prisoner of war called Henrik, a butcher in his home country, was also working – and extremely happy to be away from the Russian fronts!

“His wartime job on the farm was to kill and cure pigs and he used to hang the York dry-cured hams among the cobwebs in the roof of a barn to keep the flies away. Bacon was also cured in much the same way.

“This fascinating story also gave us the drive to create some wonderful new traditional hams and over the summer months we have been busy preparing and dry curing real York Hams to age-old traditions and in the time-honoured way, but with a slightly more modern feel.

“It is a forgotten ham nowadays when speed is of the essence and there’s little time for traditional preservation techniques. These traditional York Hams would be a minimum of two-months-old before they were ready to be cooked – and they went out of favour as a direct result.”

A limited number of York Hams – they are for boiling only and come with full cooking instructions – are available for customers’ Christmas tables and Lishman’s reports that its first York Ham has already been despatched to a customer in Henley on Thames!

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