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A family affair: Dorset Shellfish Company

Not just keeping it local but in the family, Dorset Shellfish really do source their workforce close to home!   

Dorset Shellfish

 

Made up of Mum Caroline, and Dad Graham, along with their children Stef and Carl, the family dream-team work hard both on land and at sea to get the South Coast’s best catch from pot to plate in the freshest and most sustainable way.   

As the ladies hold fort on land, delivering the catch of the day throughout the West Country at farmers markets and restaurants, the boys are sailing the seas, leaving Weymouth Harbour early every morning come rain or shine.    

Using conscious fishing methods, Dorset Shellfish catch an abundance of quality crab, lobster and fish in a sustainable way that ensures reliable and flourishing fishing waters. Fishing only what is in season, throughout the year, Dorset Shellfish Company can offer anything from whole plaice to line-caught sea bass, Weymouth Bay prawns and succulent crab and lobster.    

Caroline’s guide to crab…  

“To save you time I would recommend buying crab already cooked from a reputable supplier – this makes for less hassle. A good sign of a full crab is weighty for its size, with its back lifting slightly, and look for a shell that is quite dark.   

If you prefer just the white meat then go for a male cock crab as this sweet meat is in abundance. Their claws give up their meat quite easily with a decent hit of the hammer! If you like the more flavoursome brown meat, female hen crabs are the best, but wait until late autumn and winter when they are in their prime.

When you’ve purchased a whole crab keep it in the fridge. If it’s super fresh it should keep for at least 4 days but best eaten on the day. Otherwise freeze and keep for up to 3 months.”

Cracking crab…  

  1. Lie the crab upside down in front of you and pull the legs and claws off.
  2. Using your thumbs, push up the body of the shell from the hole where the legs came from and pull this part of the shell away.
  3. On this crown there is some feathery looking gills attached by each leg sockets. These are the dead man’s fingers – remove as these aren’t pleasant to eat. More gills may be found in the flat shell with the brown meat so remove them too.
  4. At the front of the shell push down on the mouth piece and hear a crack. Remove this along with the stomach which will be attached.
  5. All the brown and pink meat in the crab shell is edible – simply pop in a bowl.
  6. All the white meat is in the legs and claws which you can be removed using the pick. Break with one tap from the hammer. Put the meat removed in a clean bowl.

www.dorset-shellfish.co.uk

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West Country FOODLOVER is a print magazine and news based website offering a foodie's guide of what's hot across the South West. We inspire foodies with great seasonal recipes, competitions, news and events. The magazine, website and newsletter reach more than 128,000 foodies each issue.