Do you remember going to the butcher’s shop in years gone by and catching a glimpse of the beef, lamb and pig carcasses hanging out the back?

Maybe you’d see the butcher whacking a set of chops up with a big cleaver or slicing steaks off a big cut of meat.

The butcher would receive all their meat animals in carcass form and cut each one up into the various cuts of chops, steaks, roasts, racks, etc themselves. Every muscle group had a purpose and very little meat was wasted.

Well, that’s how we still do things here at The Butcher’s Block and Smokehouse, and to the best of our knowledge, we’re the only meat retailer in the Upper Clutha to do so!

You’ve heard about our locally-farmed beef, our South Island lamb, our wild-caught venison and higher welfare pork. Nearly all these animals arrive at The Butcher’s Block in carcass form, allowing us utilise the whole carcass efficiently and for best possible quality. Being able to age beef, in particular, in carcass form or as whole cuts shows through in the quality of our beef steaks and other cuts.

Even our chickens come in as whole birds which we swiftly and tidily convert into convenient-to-cook chicken breasts, drumsticks and thighs with the fresh chicken frames ready to make stock or raw dog food.

The alternative nowadays is that all animals are broken down at the abattoir and the meat retailer simply orders meat cuts by the box. A box of beef trim to make mince, a box of whole porterhouse steak, etc. The retailer has no input into how the meat is aged or prepared.

Working with meat animals in carcass form means:

  • We care about where your meat comes from and how it’s managed by our suppliers before it reaches us.
  • We manage the quality for a much larger portion of the animal’s path from paddock to plate.
  • Our apprentices learn the full trade of butchering from start to finish, which is getting sadly less and less common right around New Zealand.
  • We utilise any meat scraps in our dog rolls, minimising our waste stream.   


If you need any other reasons to shop with Adam, Jeff and the team at The Butcher’s Block and Smokehouse, maybe these points make a difference to you.

We are traditional butchers utilising the best and closest sources of beef, lamb, pork, chicken and venison we can find to ensure you enjoy quality meats at a fair price.

lamb carcass
beef hanging as carcass

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