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What Is A 'Barnsley Chop'?

Wednesday October 9 2013

WHAT exactly is a 'Barnsley chop'? The debate has been sparked again after Marks and Spencer started selling the dish at its town centre store.

Shoppers and residents have been left scratching their heads wondering exactly what constitutes the town's signature dish. Many claim it's a one-and-a-half pound rack of lamb while others say it's a butterfly chop cut across the saddle.

In a Civic Review from 1949, the definition of the chop was given as 'the first three ribs of the sheep after the shoulder, weighing from three-quarters of a pound to one-and-a-half pounds according to the size of the animal'.

Celebrity chef Brian Turner, from Yorkshire, said his version of the chop was a one-and-a-half to two inch chop cut across the saddle, with a bit of belly fat and kidney.

"That's what we served as a Barnsley chop in the 1960s when I used to work on the grill at the Savoy in London," he added.

But at the Holiday Inn, site of the former Brooklands hotel and known as 'home of the Barnsley chop', chef Andy Lisle, 47, reckons it's only the really big cuts of lamb that really deserve the Barnsley chop title.

"Our Barnsley chops weigh 32oz, we braise them for four hours and serve them with roast veg, mint and mash," he said.

"There are many variations, but I believe as a butcher and a chef that small chops are simply chops and to be called 'Barnsley' it has to be something pretty spectacular."

In Barnsley market butcher Stuart Barrow says no-one anywhere in the country sells a Barnsley chop like the original, because the original was actually not lamb, but mutton.

Lorraine Sixsmith, 63, from Barugh Green, is a self-confessed 'meat monster' and said the M&S chops did look very tasty but questioned their size.

"To be honest they just aren't big enough to be proper Barnsley chops," she said.

Father David Nicholson, from St John the Baptist Church in Cudworth, is another fan of the old Brooklands and the size of its chops.

"The proper Barnsley chops at Brooklands were huge - in fact they were so big if you could eat a complete one they gave you a badge - and I should know because I got that badge!"

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Reply Posted by angela allen on Wednesday October 9 2013 at 12:07
my mam, Sally Millington worked at the three cranes in Barnsley where the first Barnsley chop was served to Edward the prince of wales. the chef of that time served a saddle of mutton 4 ribs thick and said it needed only garden peas and new potatoes to be served with it.

Reply Posted by Craig on Wednesday October 9 2013 at 15:30
Ask the karate Kid, he knows.

Reply Posted by LOL on Wednesday October 9 2013 at 15:59

Reply Posted by Richard on Friday October 11 2013 at 13:24
A Barnsley Chop is what the LABOUR Council will have to do due to them mismanaging YOUR money and now needing to make further CUTS.

Reply Posted by Barry on Sunday October 13 2013 at 18:33
It's a bit of a boring subject, even the bloke holding the chop looks like he's asleep. Is this the best news Barnsley can come up with?

Reply Posted by PigasusSY on Sunday October 13 2013 at 19:19
My other half wants to know if a Barnsley Chop is anything like a Glasgow Kiss.

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Wednesday October 16 2013 at 08:58
Actually the Barnsley Chop is on the menu in many top London restaurants.

@angela allen - I think the chef was right, a few new potatoes and peas. I think I would have added a few baby carrots though!