A little while ago we were asked if we would like to do some filming for Raymond Blanc's new BBC series based on different cooking techniques (no name yet) but due to air early next year. Raymond being one of our favourite chefs, of course we said yes. Filming was to be for the slow cooking episode, perfect to get the mind wandering into stuff for this cooler weather that seems to have struck.
Raymond and Helen the producer popped down to Spa Terminus a few Saturdays prior and had a good look around talking to loads of different traders, he must have thought things were alright, as a date was set and filming done quickly and with the minimum of fuss a couple of weeks ago. We had a good time pulling apart, I mean expertly butchering a beef forequarter whilst we had a nice shoulder of hoggett on the go in my loaner Big Green Egg.
I talked Raymond through all of the forequarter showing him all the little seams to separate the individual muscles, pulling apart such cuts as the flat iron, teres major, bolar and fore shin (had to read that twice didn't you) which was of particular interest to Raymond.
I think generally a good time was had by all and hopefully we make it to air.But that won't be in time for this coming cold snap so I thought I would tell you what we will be cooking to ease the pain of Winters return.
Steak and Kidney pie - whilst someone else doing a real steamed one is always a pleasure (try here if you want to make me one)
. With the little pork chop and the business I don't imagine we will get that far so we will casserole some lovely dry aged beef and fresh kidney then finish in the oven with a cheats puff pastry on top, dont forget to make enough for the freezer.
The counter will have some lovely dry aged chuck and lots of fresh beef, lamb and pork kidneys but sadly as mentioned by Felicity in the article we don't seem to own the suet on our own beasts! With Winter hitting I will ask again. We do have some lovely lard if anyone wants to try that.
Next option will be something with mutton - probably one of Ruth's secret curry recipes but if your looking for inspiration we always turn too Madhur Jeffery
or the tub of Mae Ploy curry paste that is always in the cupboard livened up with fresh ginger, coriander, tamarind & kaffir lime leaves.
Though seeing as this all started with certain French man I better head you in the direction of the ultimate ( solely our opinion of course) French comfort food, Coq au Vin
, perfect with our Fosse Meadow chicken or order yourself a cockerel for next week.
Happy cosy cooking and eating.
With an Autumn feel in the air even though Summer seems to have only glanced upon us we are pleased to bring a few items some of you have been requesting, English Rose Veal and Native Breed Mutton.
As we only source whole carcasses to butcher in-house the veal has been trickier than we originally thought. We always knew it needed to be English Rose but with the added constrictions of natural rearing, high animal welfare and whole bodies only. Most farmers had not actually previously, which just goes to show, yet again that most of our London meat is no longer butchered traditionally in house. We pretty much had to leave our usual requirement for pure bred native breeds at the door as the dairy industry uses crosses to utilise maximum milk production with temperament and disease resistance.
Our first veal shipment is Holstein Friesians from Roger Mason at Heaves Farm in Cumbria
As always, that ever so sensible man Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall tells us why we should all be eating English Rose veal
, a by product of the dairy industry with some tasty recipe ideas thrown in to get you in the mood for Saturdays shopping with us down at Spa Terminus. Fern Verrow
have had lovely sage recently, and we heard rumours of spinach, then grab a tasty cured pork product from Ham & Cheese Co
if you are looking to go classic Saltimbocca style.
Heaves Farm website also has some great recipes
We did manage to buy a whole veal animal so the counter will have the liver, tail, tongue and all the cuts and bits in between if you want to get your hands on something more fun than the escalope.
Lamb is eating beautifully right now,
fattened on the summer pastures and allowed to grow at its natural rate the end of Summer start of Autumn is actually our preferred time for lamb, spring lamb we feel tends to be over rated and a little tasteless. Let us know what you think of our latest batch of Llanwenog.
A fine specimen fatted up nicely on a summer meadow diet
And we are buying mutton and hogget in as well from the same farmers, which will be a great chance for people to try the meat side by side or have the option for really flavourful long slow cooks. We recently visited one of our favourite lamb farmers Sue Money-Kyrle based in Gloucestershire. Having loved her LLanwenog lambs
, farming ethos and spirit since we opened, not to mention the feature in Jamie Magazine, it was great to finally see the farm for ourselves and it didn't disappoint.
Running a small herd ( 67 animals over 40 Hectares when we dropped by) with real love Sue selects and drives her animals to abattoir by hand and she had a few set aside for us to get a quick lesson in carcass selection while the beasts are still alive a little different from how we normally see them but very educational end to a tour of Walkers Fram admiring the meadows, views, ohh and the sheep! Over the 12 years Sue and James have been at Walkers Farm they have slowly built up a pure bred herd suited to Sue's exacting standards of the breed and the conditions of their windy mountain top at the northern tip of The Forest of Dean. Lots of planting along fence lines as part of the Farm Stewardship scheme
allows more protection for the animals.
The view arriving back at the farmhouse after our tour
They have also been carefully monitoring the ancient meadows applying minerals to the soil as appropriate to encourage a balance mix of healthy meadow flora meaning the sheep stay naturally healthier in the tough conditions. Some plants help as natural wormers, all help create a balanced diet and impart a depth of flavour to the lamb not found on a single grass or cereal fed system. We nibbled very sweet sorrel and spotted clovers, meadow sweet and lots of stuff I wouldn't be game to mention incase they were identified wrong amongst the grasses.
close up of the meadows, which had just been cut for silage
Great farm, great farmer(ess)! damn fine lamb and mutton. EAT SOME NOW.
As many of you, especially I am guessing the self employed and small business owners would find, business and pleasure are often mingled. But if you weren’t at least a little in love with what you were doing then you would be crazy to be in business doing it !
Which found us on a family “staycation” in Norfolk visiting The Carleton Herd
, a small herd of Red Poll not far from Norwich. Conservation grazed
on river meadows, these beasts tick all our boxes, native breed, lovingly, slowly and naturally reared on non-arable land, fed on mixed pastures, small groups, local abattoir, non intensive, low input and all those other fuzzy words which do add up to what we believe is spectacular tasting, healthy meat with low environmental impact.
Robert one of the owners, two friends and neighbours have paired up to be able to best utilise the boggy areas around the river running through their properties, drove us around in his Ute
to see the farm, the Red Polls are lovely medium sized healthy looking animals which as Robert admiringly points out fit naturally in the flat Norfolk landscape. One of the heifers had calved last night, therefore changing her status to cow, a few calved quite a while back and some are obviously due to be mums very soon. A good-natured breed our 5mth old daughter has her first encounter with a bovine and seems pretty pleased by it. The guys chose to let the heifers mature properly before allowing them to get pregnant so that they need less help with birthing.
We see different areas at different stages of the grazing process a very promising sign as it is a clear indication of the animals being rotated through the paddocks, so the beasts get a great diet, developing depth of flavour in the meat and the flora, fauna and soil have a chance to regenerate. This rotation of animals is a key aspect of conservation grazing and one whole heartedly endorsed by Graham Harvey in his excellent book, Carbon Fields.
Red Poll are a local dual purpose (Milk and beef) breed for those based in East Anglia, previous Red Poll meat we have eaten could be describe as “buttery” and is beautifully succulent and tender. Technically this difference in taste and exceptional succulence comes down to the size of capillaries apparently, though as always, it needs to be well fed and raised animal or all the breeding in the world wont save it.
With bloodlines of a right royal pedigree including beasts from The Queen’s Sandringham Estate
and a prize winning bull we hope you will get a chance to pop in over the next few weeks to try some Carleton Herd Red Poll. As we were lucky enough to get two steers killed on 4th July 2012 they have been aging nicely in The Butchery’s meat locker. With only 25 cattle killed a year they are a rare and tasty treat. Last week we had some very juicy, tender, sweet flavoured steak, this week with a little more age we think the beefiness will start to show depending on the cut you choose. If you’re a regular, a great chance to taste the same beef over a few weeks of aging and also think about the terroir of meat, a lot of our beef currently comes from Dorset, Devon and Herefordshire, how do these East Anglian raised beasts differ ? We talk about it in grapes and wine, is it not just as appropriate for properly raised meat ?
Clarissa Dickinson Wright of Two Fat Ladies fame had this to say about Red Poll beef “An exquisite and unique flavour from mature meat of a very individualistic old breed. Try it! "
What do you think ?
This seems as good a chance as any to introduce you to Compassion In World Farming
an organisation we have been following for quite a while now and especially their latest report
on the advantages, other than taste (we will let you be the judge of that as it is so individual) of eating this type of meat.
In a departure from our usual style of bringing pure bred English native breeds to you via The Butchery’s counter, this week we have a cross breed of Austrian Hungarian heritage! The Mangalitza
. Though in our defence when starting The Butchery one of our main aims was to bring to London, and generally make more available special animals that weren't otherwise easily available. And Ruth really is a sucker for any sort of tasty pork.
Some of you may recognise the Mangalitza as the curly haired pig sometimes mistaken for a sheep. In the UK purebreds are very, very rare, numbers seem to be inaccurate, but happy to be enlightened, anyone ? Ours is crossed with a Berkshire
Mangalitza Blondes which ours is are thought to be similar to the now extinct Lincolnshire Curly Coated pig
A large framed breed with excellent quality fat often used for Lardo and with wild boar heritage a great rich piggy flavour.
We had chops tonight and they were very tasty, looking forward to what everyone else thinks if they get a chance to try some of this rare occurrence, though fingers crossed we can get our hands and knives on some more.
Our Mangalitza was slowly raised to 11 months (seems young but UK average age for pork animals is 6 months and even the native breeds we noramlly have are 9 months at slaughter) in a free range environment, rooting around and munching on many an apple, on a very small holding near Chipping Norton. This beast arrived special delivery by Max the small holder himself.
Also in the counter this week lovely Llanwenog lamb
, Fosse Meadows Farm' s Cotswold White and Gold Chicken
both as featured in the latest Jamie Magazine
and Belted Galloway beef
Talking about what is going to be in the counter I am rather pleased with my current beef rail line up, all aging nicely ready to go into the counter at Spa Terminus on Saturdays we have coming up over the next few weeks Whitepark, Belted Galloway, Longhorn & Dexter. I can also say those of you with Beef Cartel
tickets are in for treat as the beef is also in my coolroom and is covered in unctuous yellow fat.
A short but tasty second instalment for my Cheeky Butchers Cuts, find the first instalment here or below.Check back soon for some pork and lamb ones.Teres Major This cut gets its name from the scientific muscle name. Found deep within the shoulder sitting just under the scapular bone or the under blade as it is known by those in the meat trade. This muscle is discarded by many as they don’t even know it exists. A long strip that tapers at each end, usually about 6-9 inches, depending on the beast you started with. Made of fine tight fibres running the whole length of the muscle this helps contain moisture when cooking. This is a quick frying, grilling or BBQ cut that is ideal to cook rare to medium. Cut the muscle across the grain when serving for a very tender steak cut that has the flavour and tenderness of a flat iron steak. Think fab steak sandwich. A whole animal would yield approx 250grms to 320grms of teres major
Teres major from a 35 day dry aged Hereford
Teres major on top, chuck tender or Jews Fillet underneath, if you look closely you can see the different directions of connective tissue within the muslce
Goose NeckNamed because shock horror it is shaped like a gooses neck ! It is the Achilles tendon of the rear legs only, seamed out of the heel muscle in a particular way allowing you to get a very unique cut for long slow cooks. A ‘cut’ made up of 2 parts, the tendon and the muscle. This is a bit of meat that has a lot of connective fibres running though it that break down to gelatinous goodness when cooking low and slow, for this you can use the muscle of the goose neck but for best results include the tendon. If you want to use the pieces separately, the top half of the goose neck is all tendon, cook it low and slow in any dish or sauce to add thickness, dehydrate and quickly deep fry to give you puffed tendons with a similar texture to pork scratchings, or prepare by slow cooking and thinly slicing to add to broth's or in a warm beef tendon salad, if Momofuku is doing it it must be cool. A whole animal would yield 180grms to 280grms of tasty goose neck.
And lastly if your interested in all meat cuts I thought I might leave you with a little more meat porn courtesy of a little project I have been working on with the very talented and food passionate Toby Allen
. Though i am sure he will tell you the piece hasn't been finished properly yet I like it !
Anatomy of a Cow - Courtesy of Toby Allen Photography - better file coming soon
Well we were warned, but new babies really do take over your life and our first born has also truly taken over our hearts, so this is a very lazy and self promoting blog entry so we can go spend more time with our daughter.
This is what everyone else has been saying about Nathan and The Butchery Ltd recently.
First up the strictly no nonsense How Not to do a Food Blog
brought to you by @Nonsensepipe
aka Paul Hart Not So New Kid on the Block
via London Confidential
, being called the next generation makes me feel youngThe Next Generation The Next Generation
If you read Italian ? Maybe you can translate for me.......from Mirtilli di Londra @londonjamfactorMaltby St
And the following about The Butchery Ltd butchery classes
Time Out - Now Here This @SwedishMike
on his very eventful, jealousy inducing Freestyle Cookery
on the very elegant collaborative Create, Eat, Love
Come visit again soon for the next instalment of Cheeky Butchers Cuts and here is a sneak preview of what I have aging ready to serve over the next few weeks, including Dexter
, Belted Galloway and Hereford.
Well I still can’t pronounce the name properly so any Welsh speakers please step forward – I believe the “Ll” should sound like a “Thl”. I do know the Welsh names definitely compete well with the Koori names I was surrounded with growing up Yarrahapinni
But this week in the cabinet we have Llanwenog Lamb again.
A good looking Mum with happy triplets
One of the farmers I buy from through the Traditional Breeds Market
have a small herd of Llanwenog Lambs raised on a hill in Gloucestershire, overlooking 6 counties.
Sue from Walkers Farm explains how they farm their lovely award winning Llanwenog rare breed lambs.
“James and I live on the Welsh borders on a small 50 acre farm perched at the top of a 1000ft hill. The local saying is that you need an extra jumper to live up here… so we wanted a native breed of sheep, which would be able to cope (with added virtues of being very easy to manage, pumps out the twins and has a decent carcase). The Llanwenog was just what we where looking for and positively thrives on our meadows above the Wye Valley. Our lamb is home bred & reared in a small (30 breeding ewes) well-tended flock. I tend not to stuff them full of concentrates but let them mature slowly on our wildflower meadow grass, which helps with flavour.”
Some pictures courtesy of Sue that do tell the story well
Lamb with a view
Dinner for the Llanwenogs on Walkers Farm, note the range in the pasture and a touch of red clover for sweetness
See the awards tucked in under her arm.
This is the type of farmer that I love to use. This is as far from mass production as possible. A commercial breeder that is in it mostly for the money would have a breeding stock of 3000 ewes. I know which sheep would be getting the most love and attention.
Llanwenog are one of those hard to come by breeds that are equally revered for great meat and wool. They lamb well; have hardy mountain genes allowing them to prosper on any pastures. For more info try www.llanwenog-sheep.co.uk
and www. rbst.org.uk
or come visit me to eat one.
"The llanwenog lamb is a quality lamb regularly praised by rare breed butchers for carcass quality, the meat having a softer grain with good marbling and therefore sweeter texture" - Maggie Wilson.
Here is something I prepared earlier...............
Dinner for you and I
These are the lambs that I will be using for Sundays Learn the Lamb, Love the Lamb Butchery class.
People seem to have been enjoying my tweets of the secret butchers cuts so thought I would cover them in more than 140 characters.
So you're a keen cook and looking for something different to cook other than your regular steak or stewing chuck?
There are so many hidden cuts within a whole animal carcass that only a butcher knows about.
Getting in full beef carcasses at The Butchery allows me to break down the whole beast in such a way that I get a larger range of beef cuts than your average butcher or supermarket, both of whom buy in what’s known in the trade as “boxed meat”
Non standard or smaller cuts are tossed into the “trim bin” and usually minced, yes minced and sausages are real meat not all the ears and cartilage and other bits urban myths have decided. My years in butcheries and abattoirs in Australia, the UK and a brief stint in Italy whilst also having time with different chefs and a hell of a lot of my own personal research has opened my eyes to these tasty cuts and how to cook them.
Pope's Eye or Spider
My favourite cut is something with a few fun descriptive names, Pope’s eye in Oz or Spider in the States and Italy due to the network of fine marbling that runs out like a spiders web within the meat
I call it the Pope’s eye as it’s a better definition of it’s location on the beast (essentially the sphincter muscle).
Small, well marbled piece of meat that sits in the aitch bone making up part of the pelvis, it has loads of flavour and I find it as tender as any other more popular cut on the whole animal, fillet I am talking about you! When a carcass is hung for dry aging this cut is very exposed and can sometimes be unusable. Best, flash fried, season well just before throwing on a super hot grill/griddle/pan and cook to your liking as this cut can handle it. Out of a whole animal weighing in around 300kg dead weight you are lucky to get 300grms of this meat.
The tri-tip which you are more likely to have heard about but most people still have no idea where on the cow it comes from.
The tri-tip is an extension of the point end of the rump and is not to be confused with the picanha which is the cap of the rump and connects with the silverside. Instead this muscle runs from the point of the rump and up and over the knee. In the States commonly called the sirloin fillet due to its tenderness. The tri-tip has similar flavours and characteristics to rump, but loads more marbling running through it which helps to keep the meat succulent in cooking. This cut is great for the BBQ or grilling, but as it is thick I find it best charred on the outside then finished in a oven if you like your beef cooked anymore than medium. I often use it in a rare beef salad. Out of a whole carcass you will only get about 1.5 to 2kgs
Bolar muscle whole
A small muscle about the size of a fist, found deep within the shoulder of a beef carcass. It is equivalent to the human bicep and is a ball of delicious, gelatinous goo. Grab this cut for all your slow cooking needs, whole or diced for stews and curries it is hard to beat. Two large tendons on each end that are sticky when cooked but ever so soft. In Asian cooking the tendons by themselves are added to soups and used in warm beef salads. Generally treat the same as a shin cut then when eating appreciate twice the amount of connective tissues that have broken down with slow cooking into a fabulously rich texture. From a whole carcass you get about 1.2kg.
Bolar Muscle cross cut
To be continued.........
Hi everyone, just a quick one to let you know we are open as usual this saturday 31st December 2011. I have some 35 day aged Traditional Hereford, Gloucester Old Spot Pork and Romany Marsh Lamb which has been proving very popular and tasty. French Butchers sausages and my special little rustic herb and spice numbers wrapped in the caul fat. And dont forget the
I hope everyone had a fabulous festive few days and are all geared up for the New Year. Shall be a quite one for me this year as Ruth is getting very pregnant.
Hope to see you tomorrow
The Christmas countdown is truly on, with our order book filling up I have to confess a fascination with Christmas food traditions, being a butcher in Britain, but of Australian origins I have seen, discussed and experienced many a meat tradition.
In Australia Christmas Eve was the pub with friends, then Christmas day starts with a surf at the beach before returning to a buffet of cold cuts and fancy salads, very chilled lagers and sparklies. If some one in the family was feeling rich we would have a huge bowl of peel your own prawns and smoked salmon to start the lunch. Usually quite a stress free event with everything having been cooked a day or two prior and each family member bringing some of the meal, costs and stress were spread. Turkey is something that is hardly seen on the table in Oz maybe its something to do with the heat, though Ruth and her Nana had a special turkey, blueberry and mango salad that only came out at Christmas. This was never from a whole bird, a crown or similar would have been cooked before the day. Chicken was often a “BBQ Chook” so no one even had to cook it.
I must say that I am becoming a large fan of the British Christmas meals, there is something about a long slow cooked bird in the oven, all the different stuffings, and the gravy, mmmm I love gravy. Goosefat roasted tatties with roughed up crispy edges and some nice red wine. It’s like the ultimate Sunday roast with all the family. And I do find I always have room to fit in another pigs in blanket. But the climates right here for all that isn’t it, if I was back home I probably wouldn’t be doing it, I would be at the beach !
I do have to say I am proud to see that many of The Butchery’s customers are venturing further than the Turkey, with Goose and Cockerel being especially popular. If you are having cockerel this year see below for cooking tips from the producers. A few weeks ago we did more or less exactly that and it worked out very juicy and tasty. The first two hours were covered breast side down then flipped him over and uncovered, don’t forget to rest the bird whilst you make the gravy etc. For further advice I would be heading to the ever fabulous Simon Hopkinson and adapting one of his chicken recipes
or the always reliable Jamie and his Best Ever Turkey
and again adjusting cooking times, temperatures (Fosse Meadows Turkeys are actually breed by Paul Kelly, then raised on their own farm in Leicestershire). That recipe holds a place in my heart when it saved me as a seasonaire cook in the French Alps, Never having roasted a turkey in my life faced with four frozen birds, a never before been used oven, non existent French, a chalet full of expectant guests and no shops.
Before : Cockerel happy at Fosse meadows
After : about to be happily in my Tummy. 3.5kg feeds 6 generously
For those of you that are doing Turkey, Nick and Jacob from Fosse Meadows have been slaving over producing delicious and ethically raised ones for you. The Butchery also has all the trimmings options to spice things up. Still time to order if you need. If a Turkey was on my table this year I think it might be brined American style just like the boys are doing. But for us this year will be duck as it is a longtime since we have had a cripsy home roasted duck. If we have the energy to go fancy the inspiration will come from Loose Birds and Other Game
, by Andrew Pern, but I think things will be hearty and simple if my record from the last few years is anything to go by, Christmas eve has found me exhausted and asleep in the bath !
Jacob with some of the Fosse Meadows Turkeys
Nick from Fosse Meadows took a few minutes away from their hectic schedule between Thanksgiving and Christmas to answer a few questions for us and you.
The Butchery : So what made you move from Peckham to start a poultry farm ?
Nick from Fosse Meadows :The possibility of our own business doing something we loved, and we both enjoyed food, cooking and wanted the outdoor lifestyle farming could give us and I wanted to continue on the family farm. So it helped that my dad was a farmer to get us started.
TB : Why did you choose the Cotswold White and Gold breeds ?
NFM : We chose these breeds because they are a traditional breed (longer in the breast unlike the football shaped supermarket breeds) they grow slower so they don't reach the dinner plate until they get to 77 - 91 days the older the bird the better the flavour and more flavour in the bones afterwards........ DON'T FORGET THE BONES!
TB :Do the different birds have different personalities ?
NFM : Erm not really, boys are more feisty and girls are more 'whatever, I'm in the hedge eating grass don't bother me with your alpha male antics'
TB : What's your cooking tips for a Cockerel ?
NFM: LONG & SLOW ROAST max 150 C we use bay, garlic, lemon and butter/oil for flavour and salt and pepper rubbed into the skin - its simple but delicious
Then the all important Christmas controversy Questions............
TB : What will be on your families table this year for Christmas ?
NFM : I think we're going to try a brined turkey!! One lady took it another stage further by deep frying after brining - sounds wrong but apparently delicious so maybe next year.
TB :Are you a leg or a breast man ?
NFM: leg leg leg
TB : Yes or no to the Parson's nose ?
NFM :only crispy and a recently discovered treat
TB : Stuffing inside or outside ?
NFM : Officially outside, secretly inside...... remember the temperature probe.... yawn
TB:Do you have pigs in blankets with your Turkey ?
So here is wishing you all a fabulously tasty meat filled, stress free festive season and hope to see you down at Maltby St this Saturday or we are doing three days next week 22nd, 23rd and 24th as are most of the other traders.