By Helen Cross

In the Spotlight with...Susie Anderson, East Coast Cured

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Susie Anderson at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show in Glasgow. She and husband Steven are the talent at the heart of East Coast Cured, a family charcuterie business based in Leith, Edinburgh, specialising in the production of traditional, and contemporary, slow cured Scottish pork, beef and venison. This month we put Susie under the spotlight to find out more about this very tasty enterprise.

1. In three words sum up the ethos behind East Coast Cured.

Premium, local and innovative.

2. What was the driving force behind setting up the business?

We've always had a passion for good charcuterie. Steven lived in the South of France, and we've both travelled extensively in Europe, enjoying the best of what France, Spain and Italy have to offer. East Coast Cured as a concept was quite simply about taking the best of Scotland's larder in order to create a range of outstanding charcuterie for people who love good food. It's all about using top quality ingredients. Amazing meat, with a little patience and know how, will make amazing charcuterie. Scotland has a natural larder that is world renowned. The meat produced here is excellent and reared according to the highest welfare standards.

4. What was your background and what were you doing before the new venture?

Steven is a former brewer and distiller. He worked his way up from a volunteer to brewing supervisor at a local craft brewery, before becoming production manager at an Edinburgh Distillery. I studied textile and fashion design and spent the majority of my working life managing a gallery that represented artists with disabilities and mental health conditions. With a passion for cooking we had been making charcuterie at home for a number of years before turning it into a business.

5. Where do you source your meat from and what makes you stand out from competitors?

The majority of our pork comes from Clentree Farm (Puddledub Pork) in Fife, but we also do a wee bit of work with small local producers of rare and native breed pigs. Sourcing our meat from the best local producers gives our products a unique flavour and creates a unique experience for our customers. Taking inspiration from all over Europe, and the rest of the world, Steven applies the same approach to his charcuterie recipes as he did to recipe development for beers. It means we're always experimenting with new innovative flavours and our customers know to expect something different every time they visit the shop or place an order.

6. What have been the biggest challenges?

We've been trading for just under two years and the whole thing has been a massive learning curve and there are daily challenges. As we grow Steven is constantly having to consider changing the production set-up to accommodate this. Like everyone else we strive for the work/ life balance. We also have two young daughters.

7. What have been your biggest successes to date?

Back at the very beginning Martin Wishart was our first trade customer. He had driven past the shop when we were doing the renovations and got in touch to see what we were about. That was a huge boost! The following year we started working with Gleneagles, supplying them with charcuterie for their retail range, Gleneagles & Co, and their kitchen. Around the same time our Porcini & Truffle Salami won the meat category at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards beating some very well established brands.

8. What is next in the pipeline for East Coast Cured?

2019 will be about scaling up production again, without compromising on quality, developing our wholesale relationships and finally launching an online shop. I'd imagine there will probably be a few other things that happen along the way!

9. What five Scottish food and drink products can always be found in your fridge?

This is going to sound like a plug for our shop, but it's not. We select things to sell alongside our meats based on what we love. We always have a chunk of our nduja in the fridge as it enhances most savoury dishes. You can always find Barwheys cheddar, although not for much longer as the dairy closes soon, and Strathearn Cheese, The Strathearn, we always have one on hand for baking. There's always a jar of Edinburgh Fermentarium fermented veg and a jar of The Spice Witch spiced cherries too.

10. Dead or alive which five famous faces would you like to invite for dinner and what would you serve?

Michelle & Barack Obama, Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), Stanley Kubrick and Margaret Atwood.

We'd have an apperitif involving a board of our charcuterie and some bubbly before serving up an Asian banquet including Nepalese momo dumplings, a squid curry, Rick Stein's Keralan pork curry and a whole host of other tasty things!

Recipe of the month....Ecclefechan tart with crème chantilly

Neil Forbes, Edinburgh’s award winning chef and the driving force behind the capital’s gem, Cafe St Honoré, this month shares his recipe for Ecclefechan Tart, guaranteed to satisfy all pudding lovers.


1 10-inch sweet pastry tart shell, or 2 smaller

240g soft (almost-melted) butter

240g soft dark brown sugar

4 eggs beaten

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

960g California raisins

240g Californian walnuts, roughly chopped

200ml double cream
1 tablespoon of sifted icing sugar
Half a vanilla pod, seeds scraped and added to cream


Prepare a blind-baked sweet pastry 10'' tart shell, and leave it in the mould. I use bottomless tins. Then heat the oven to 160°C / Gas Mark 3.

Beat the soft butter and brown sugar together until well combined and creamed. Then trickle the eggs in slowly, a little at a time. Add the cinnamon, lemon juice and zest and mix well.

Next, fold in the raisins and walnuts and give it a good mix. It should smell amazing by now.

Scoop the mix into the prepared pastry case and smooth out with a wet palette knife. Bake at 160°C for roughly 45 minutes, checking all the time and spreading the mix flat as you go.

To make the crème Chantilly, whisk the cream and vanilla seeds to almost soft peak stage, then add the sifted icing sugar and give a final mix, being careful not to over it. It should be quite loose in texture. Serve.

Kitchen cupboard essentials...

Tapping into Perthshire’s natural bounty and Birch woodland, Birken Tree’s birchwater tastes like water but has crispy notes, is really refreshing, boasts a silky texture and a slight sweet aftertaste. It is gently pasteurized as the sap is fresh for only three days and then ferments. Drink it straight, in your smoothie, try it in your gin or play with it in your cooking.

Make mealtimes fun for small diners around the dinner table with this gorgeous Bamboo Tableware set from Liewood, available to buy through the beautiful online children’s goods store Mama Tot. The Rose Cat set consists of a cup, spoon, bowl and plate. The perfect starting set for weaning and packaged in a beautiful box for gifting.

If you know of any budding little chefs, then why not try out Foodini Club subscription boxes. A monthly recipe kit, which delivers a sweet and savoury taste explosion straight to your doorstep, and includes ingredients, shopping lists and recipe cards as well as fun facts about seasonal produce. Guaranteed to create magic in your kitchen for little foodies.