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Serves: 4 as a starter, or 2 as a main meal
Preparation time: 10 mins, plus 2-3 hour marinating
Cooking time:  5 mins

Looking for an alternative preparation for quail? Or perhaps not tried cooking quail before? This is a quick and simple recipe may well be what you’re after. It uses shichimi – a Japanese 7-spice mix including ground red chilli, ground sansho (Japanese pepper) and roasted orange peel. It can be found in most Asian supermarkets, but if you can’t get your hands on some,you can simply make up your own mix of chilli flakes, white pepper and orange zest – which works equally well.

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Ingredients

2 good-sized free range quails, broken down into 4 supremes (breasts with wing bone attached) and 4 legs 
1 tbsp shichimi 
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp sea salt
zest of ½ an orange
100ml milk
100g plain flour
500ml vegetable oil, for frying

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Method

1.      In a medium-sized bowl, combine the pieces of quail with half each of the shichimi, pepper and salt. Add the milk and mix together well. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate for 2-3 hours in the fridge.

2.      Once the quail has marinated, just before you're ready to flour and fry the quail, add the vegetable oil to a medium sized saucepan, and place over a medium-high heat to bring up to frying temperature – around 180C. (Test with a small piece of bread, which should brown after about a minute.)


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1.      Meanwhile, take the flour and spread out in a baking dish or roasting tray. Season the flour with the remaining shichimi, pepper and salt. Drain any excess liquid from the quail and place the pieces on top of the seasoned flour. Coat each piece thoroughly and lightly dust off any excess. Transfer the coasted pieces to a plate until ready to cook.

2.      Very carefully, fry the quail in two batches, starting with the legs. Add the pieces to the hot oil gently and carefully, lowering them in gently with a slotted spoon to avoid any unwanted splashes. Cook for 2-3 mins until nice and golden, turning often to ensure they cook evenly. Using a slotted spoon, remove the legs, allowing the excess oil to drain over the saucepan briefly, before transferring to a wire rack to rest. 


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1.      Next cook the breasts. These will cook quicker than the legs so turn the heat up to high – you’re looking for a slightly hotter frying temperature of around 190C. Carefully lower in the breast pieces with a wooden spoon and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden, before transferring to the wire rack along with the legs to rest for a couple of minutes. These timings will yield meat that is medium to medium-rare and lovely and moist in the middle. If you prefer to cook the breasts all the way through, simply use the same temperatures and timings as the legs.

To serve, slice each breast in half and arrange on a serving dish along with the legs. Zest half an orange over the top and sprinkle over a little more shichimi. They are perfect served alongside dressed salad leaves and a glass of bubbles. Enjoy!

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Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer, pork devotee, home chef and Instagrammer extraordinaire. 
To see more stay tuned to this blog or follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER
Norfolk Free To Fly Quail available from, and prepared by, The Butchery Ltd.

 
 
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Serves: 4
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time:  2.5 hrs

Wild rabbit is deep, rich and earthy. Given they are animals that spend much of their time running around, it is a meat that responds well to slow braising to bring out its tenderness. This recipe takes inspiration from a Ligurian classic, with the addition of sweet balsamic onions to cut through the gamey richness.  


Ingredients

1 medium size wild rabbit - about 1.5kg, portioned into legs, shoulders, loins (split in 4), belly strips. You can ask your butcher to do this for you, or give it a go if you’ve got DIY enthusiasm – here’s a good how to video. Ensure the bones from the ribcage and neck end are kept as these can be used to make a delicious rabbit stock50g butter
3 tbsp mild olive, rapeseed or vegetable oil
3 large onions, finely sliced
3 bay leaves



Sea salt, to taste

6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
125ml balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
300ml pinot noir or similar light red wine
500ml chicken stock
Handful of pine nuts, toasted until lightly golden
12 black olives, pitted & halved
Flour, for dusting

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1.      In a large frying pan, melt the butter in 1 tbsp of the oil over a medium heat. Add the onions, one of the bay leaves and a few pinches of salt. Gently brown the onions for around 20 mins, stirring occasionally to ensure they don’t catch. As the moisture evaporates from the onions, their natural sweetness will be enhanced. Once the onions have taken a deep brown colour, turn up the heat and add half of the garlic. Cook for 2 mins, then add the balsamic vinegar and reduce the liquid by half. Transfer to a dish and reserve until required.

2.      Whilst the onions are browning, make the rabbit stock. Place a medium-sized pan over a high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and fry the rabbit bones from the ribcage and neck with a couple pinches of salt and a few twists of pepper. Cook until well browned, approx. 5 mins. Add the remaining half of the garlic, along with half of the rosemary and thyme and cook for a further 2 mins, before deglazing with the wine. Once the liquid has reduced by half add the chicken stock, and reduce by half again. 


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3.      Next, lightly dust the rabbit loin chops, shoulders, legs and belly strips in seasoned flour. Place a large frying pan over a medium high heat, add the remaining oil and brown the floured rabbit pieces, approx. 2 mins per side. Transfer to a plate to rest. Deglaze the pan with a couple ladles of the rabbit stock, making sure you scrape up all those golden nuggets of flavour from the pan. Return the contents of the pan to the rest of the rabbit stock.




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4.      Preheat the oven to 175C. Place the rabbit pieces into a casserole dish along with the balsamic onions, toasted pine nuts, olives and remaining bay leaves, rosemary and thyme. Strain the rabbit stock and add this to the casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Make a cartouche with some greaseproof paper just smaller than the size of the casserole dish, and place this over the rabbit before covering with the lid of the casserole dish. (Note: if you don’t have a lid, you can simply cover tightly with foil.)

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5.      Place the dish in an oven and cook for 1.5-2 hours or until the rabbit meat is fork tender and comes away easily from its bones. About 30 mins before the end of cooking, remove the lid and cartouche to allow the sauce to thicken slightly. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 mins.
Serve with potatoes (dauphinois or mash), and dark green vegetables (Italian cicoria or cavolo nero). Enjoy with a glass of the same wine you used to make the sauce – surely that makes perfect sense!

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Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer, pork devotee, home chef and Instagrammer extraordinaire. To see more stay tuned to this blog or follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER
Wild rabbits caught in Kent, available at, and prepared by The Butchery Ltd. 

 
 
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Serves: 18-22, plus leftovers
Preparation time: 1 hour plus overnight brine
Cooking time:  4.5 hrs plus 1 hour resting

Whether it’s Christmas or Thanksgiving, many traditionalists will insist that it’s just not the same without a good old roast turkey forming the centrepiece of the festive meal. Paired with all the familiar trimmings and lashings of delicious gravy, sometimes tradition is truly hard to beat. Safe to say we want it to be done well – the last thing anybody wants is a dry bird. This recipe suggests a few easy tweaks to the basic approach, to safeguard against this fowl crime. Firstly: brine. Submerging the turkey for a good amount of time in brine will help to boost juiciness, and the addition of a few aromatics will complement the natural flavours of the bird. Second: butter. Lathering copious amounts of flavoured butter under the skin, directly onto the breasts will baste and season them internally as they cook, again serving to keep that all-important moisture locked in. Third: accuracy. Cooking to exact internal temperatures with the help of a meat thermometer will ensure against overcooking, and undercooking for that matter. These simple steps will help to make your bird that extra bit special; after all, your friends and loved ones deserve it.


Ingredients

1 x 9kg free-range turkey, use the trimmings and giblets for the gravy (right, below) 

For the brine - you can skip the brine is still have a lovely Roast
8 litres of water
250g sea salt
250g brown sugar
8 bay leaves
1 lemon, zested and sliced
2 tbsp peppercorns
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds

For the compound butter
250g unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 tbsp truffle salt (you can use any other flavour, or regular sea salt)
½ cup (packed) finely chopped fresh rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley
½ tbsp freshly ground black pepper

For the stuffing or CHEAT and order from The Butchery Ltd
600g sausage meat
24 rashers rindless streaky bacon
400g day old bread, cut into 1cm cubes
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 sticks celery, finely chopped
10g fresh sage, finely chopped
½ a nutmeg, finely grated
100ml marsala
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large egg
½ tbsp freshly ground black pepper
Salt, to taste

For the gravy
turkey trimmings – neck, wing tips…etc
4 chicken wings, jointed
turkey giblets (optional)
2 large onions, roughly chopped
500ml white wine, reduced to 250ml over a medium heat
500ml good chicken stock
3 tbsp plain flour
turkey roasting juices and 3 tbsp of reserved turkey fat

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Method

1.      Prepare the brine the morning before the big day. In a large pot, bring half of the water to the boil with the rest of the brine ingredients. Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, continue to boil for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat. Add the remaining half of the water, and allow to cool completely. In a suitably sized container, submerge the turkey in the cooled brine. Add a little more cold water if the turkey is not quite covered. Cover and place in the fridge for around 12 hours. 

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2.      Just before going to bed, remove the turkey from the brine, pat dry inside and out and place on a wire rack over a roasting tray. Salt the skin lightly all over and place in the fridge uncovered, overnight, to allow the skin to dry completely.


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3.      Another useful job to get out of the way the day before is the stuffing. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the bacon. Lightly grease a loaf tin with butter or oil. Line the tin with the bacon. The intent is that the bacon will eventually completely encase the stuffing so you’ll need to overlap the rashers and also leave enough hanging over to enable the wrap around. If you think this is too fiddly, you can just chop up the bacon and mix it in with the stuffing, before placing in a roasting tin. Cover with foil and place in the fridge until required. 


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4.      The following day, remove the turkey from the fridge about 2 hours before you plan to cook, to come up to room temperature. Half an hour before cooking, preheat the oven to 200C.

5.      Meanwhile, prepare the flavoured butter. Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and combine well. Next prep the turkey to receive the butter. Working from the top of the breast, the neck area, carefully loosen/separate the skin away from the meat, taking care not to tear the skin. The flat plastic handle of a spatula or similar can be useful to reach the far end of the breast, particularly with larger birds. Place half of the butter under the skin on one breast, and gently work the butter down by pressing the skin to evenly coat as much of the breast as possible. Repeat for the other breast. 
6.      Lightly rub the skin with olive oil and season the bird inside and out with salt and pepper. Place any leftover fresh herbs inside the cavity, along with some lemon zest if desired. Tie the legs together with some butcher’s string. Insert an oven-proof meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, without contacting any bone. Cover the turkey loosely with foil and place in the preheated oven. 

7.      Roast the bird for 40 minutes initially at 200C, then turn the oven down to 150C. Continue to roast until the internal temperature reads 65C (about 3 to 4 hours depending on the size of the bird), basting every 30 mins or so. 


8.      About an hour and a half in, start the gravy. Fry the turkey trimmings and chicken wings over a medium heat with a little olive oil in a saucepan. Once golden, add the onion and turkey giblets (if using) and continue to cook for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Turn the heat down and cook gently, stirring occasionally until the onion has taken a deep brown colour, about 20 mins. Turn up the heat and then deglaze the pan with the reduced white wine. When the liquid has reduced by half, add the chicken stock. Once the liquid returns to the boil, turn the heat back down and keep at a gentle simmer until required.

9.      Once the temperature of the turkey has reached 65C, turn the oven back up to 200C, remove the foil and continue to roast for approximately 30 more minutes, until the internal temperature reads 75C. This is also a good time to pop the stuffing into the oven (you want this to ultimately reach an internal temperature of 75C, also).

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10.      Once the turkey has reached 75C, the skin should be nicely browned. Remove from the oven and check that the temperature of the other thigh is also at temperature – if not, place back in oven for a little longer. Remove from the oven, transfer to a resting dish and cover loosely with foil and a few tea towels for insulation. Allow to rest for 1 hour while you cook the rest of the trimmings and finish off the stuffing and gravy. The temperature should continue to rise about 5 degrees up to around 80C due to residual heat, before cooling back down.

11.     To finish the gravy, pour the contents of the roasting tin into a jug and allow the roasting juices and the fats to settle. Using either a baster or a spoon, separate the fat and the roasting juices. Place 3 tbsp of the fat into the roasting tin and place over a high heat. Once bubbling, add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes or until the flour is lightly browned and cooked out. Deglaze the pan with the roasting juices, ensuring all sticky bits are scraped from the base of the pan, before adding to the saucepan of simmering stock along with any resting juices from the turkey. Turn the heat up on the saucepan to reduce the gravy to the desired consistency. Pass the gravy through a strainer and reserve until required. For the stuffing, remove from the oven after 1 hour – like the turkey, check that the internal temperature has also reached 75C before allowing to rest for a few minutes.

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12.      When ready to serve, carve the turkey, allowing for a portion of white and dark meat per person. Plate alongside a slice of the stuffing, your favourite trimmings and a generous drizzle of the turkey gravy.


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Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer, pork devotee, home chef and Instagrammer extraordinaire. To see more stay tuned to this blog or follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER

Free-range bronze turkeys farmed by Nick & Jacob, Fosse Meadows, Leicestershire, are available to order for Christmas at The Butchery Ltd, while stocks last. 

 
 
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Serves: 8
Preparation time: 30 mins (plus minimum 12 hours to marinate)
Cooking time:  10 mins

Some say Indonesian, others say Malaysian. Some even Thai. Wherever its true origin, one thing that can be said for sure is that satay is as delicious cooked expertly by a street vendor meticulously fanning his charcoal as it is done on your home BBQ set up. This versatile recipe is done here with beef and lamb, but works equally well with chicken thighs. 
The peanut sauce accompaniment is a must. If you are not keen on braving the BBQ do try this inside on a griddle pan.

You'll need to slice your meat into strips that are about 0.5cm thick and 10cm long. If you don't feel confident doing this, ask you butcher to do it for you.


Ingredients

1kg beef – denver cut works well
1kg boned lamb shoulder
32 bamboo skewers
Coriander sprigs and rice or noodles, to serve
  
For the satay marinade
12 shallots, roughly chopped
2 large red chillies, roughly chopped
4 lime leaves, finely sliced
4 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
30g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks, roughly chopped
8 tbsp kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp turmeric powder
2 tsp chili powder
8 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
100ml water, approx



For the dipping sauce
100g unsalted peanuts
150ml kecap manis
100ml lime juice
100ml fish sauce
3 tbsp crispy fried shallots
15g fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 red chilli, finely chopped

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Method

1.      Place all the satay marinade ingredients except the water in a food processor and begin to blend. After 2 minutes, begin to add the water slowly until the mixture comes together in a rough puree.

2.      Slice the meat into strips, about 0.5cm thick x 10cm long. Keep the beef and lamb separate, in different bowls




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3.      Combine the marinade evenly between the bowls of beef and lamb and mix well to coat evenly. Thread the meat onto the skewers. (Note: It's OK to fold the meat back onto itself as this will create little pockets to hold the marinade.) Place the beef and lamb skewers into separate ziplock bags – double them up in case of leakage. Place the skewers into the fridge to marinate for at least 12 hours, or up to 3 days. 

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4.      An hour before you plan to serve, light the charcoal on your BBQ. Meanwhile prepare the dipping sauce. In a dry frying pan, toast the peanuts until golden. Allow to cool slightly, then finely chop or blend for 20–30 seconds in a food processor. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl, reserving some of the coriander, spring onion and chilli for garnish. 

5.      Once the fire has died down and coals are white and ready, grill the satay skewers for 8–10 mins, turning regularly to colour evenly all over. (You may need to do them in batches.) Some charred black bits here and there are great for extra caramelised flavour and texture! (Note: these can be cooked indoors under a hot grill, or on a griddle pan, for the same amount of time).

6.      Once done, allow the satay skewers rest for a couple of minutes. Garnish with some sprigs of coriander. Serve with the dipping sauce alongside your choice of rice or noodles.




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Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer, pork devotee, home chef and Instagrammer extraordinaire. 
To see more stay tuned to this blog or follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER
White Park beef farmed by John Lean, Tiverton; Dorset Down lamb farmed by Robert Hyde, Dorset. Meat dry-aged by The Butchery Ltd.

 
 
In the interest of reducing waste, we’ve been considering a change in our plastic bag policy for a while. We think the new laws for the big retailers are brilliant and, as the issue is in the public mind, we’ve decided that now is the time to make our change. 


We encourage our customers to bring their own bags when they shop with us. 


For the whole of October, our strong and sexy as as a butcher, jute carriers bags will be reduced too £2.50.

We will, for now, still offer our reusable, biodegradable biothene carrier bags, but we will charge 10p for each bag.  

All money collected will be donated quarterly to the Rare Breed Survival Trust – a UK charity dear to our business, hearts and tummies.


We will happily replace ‘new for old’, free of charge, on our biothene bags and jute carriers if they’re getting too battered to use safely and effectively. (We have a family who has been using the same biothene carrier weekly since Christmas 2013, see if you can beat their record!)


SMALLER PRINT

We know the big retailers are only charging 5p for each bag, but our bags are far superior and cost us 9.89p each. Any arguments, please take it up with the future.
 
 
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Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

As delicious as chicken liver pâté can be, you might be wondering what else to do with these inexpensive, vitamin and nutrient packed tasty little morsels. This super-speedy stir-fry recipe has big, bold and spicy Asian flavours, but fear not – the livers hold their own alongside them. The key to their cooking is to sear them quickly, caramelising their exterior while keeping them lovely and pink inside so they don't lose their moisture and natural sweetness.



 
 
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Serves: 6
Preparation time: 10 mins (plus overnight marinade)
Cooking time:  about 2 hrs

This recipe takes the flavours from a simple sweet and spicy marinade and combines them with the subtle complexity of wood smoking. 
If you’ve not tried low-temperature BBQ cooking, or even smoking, this recipe is a good place to start. The preparation is quick and easy, and the cut of meat relatively forgiving to the flexibility of timing and temperatures.



 
 
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Serves: 6

Preparation time: 20 mins (plus overnight marinade, 2 nights better!)

Cooking time:  20 mins

Summer has landed! Time to dust off those BBQs and get the coals fired up! Normally, shortribs are an economical cut that require low and slow, winter-style TLC to achieve perfection – like these braised and glazed ribs for example. However this alternative Korean technique will allow you to enjoy them all year round with equally delicious results, and minimal effort.  ‘Cross-cut’ means that the shortribs are cut across the bone rather than along. Ask your butcher for the shortribs to be cut as thinly as possible. This is for two reasons. Firstly, it allows the robust Asian marinade to penetrate thoroughly and work its tenderizing magic. Second, it means the ribs can be grilled high and fast over a glowing charcoal BBQ. 



 
 
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Serves: 6, plus leftovers
Preparation time: 1 hour (or cheat and pre order one all done from The Bucthery Ltd) best started the day before.
Cooking time: 8 hours

A traditional Italian Porchetta involves boning a whole pig, loading with aromats before rolling up, tying and slow roasting in a wood fire oven until the skin is crackly and the meat is melting. You can also find trucks at markets dispensing this divine porcine goodness, the best in rolls with a sweet and spicy red pepper jelly or mostarda. This recipe aims to replicate this grand affair in the comfort of your own home, and with standard domestic kitchen apparatus. Though if you have the capacity to roast a whole pig, we envy you, and expect an immediate invitation! It takes a somewhat more modest portion – a boned loin of pork with the belly still attached – that is still perfect for rolling and slow roasting. 8 hours may seem a lot; but really, once you’ve got the joint prepped it simply goes into a very low oven and is forgotten about, so you can get on with your day. Though be warned – the amazing smells that will permeate your house will be a constant reminder of the delights to come! Finally, this recipe should be enjoyed at least twice – hot from the oven with your favourite roast trimmings (obvs); but then it should be allowed to cool to room temperature so that it can be sliced thinly over warm crusty bread for incredible roast pork sandwiches.


 
 
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Serves: 6

Preparation time: 1 hour (starting the day before)

Cooking time: 6 hours

A classic French-style red wine slow braise takes this economical cut of beef and transforms it into the ultimate comfort food. For best results, this recipe is done in two stages. Firstly, the beef is gently braised alongside its aromatic braising companions before cooling down for an overnight marinade. The following day, the shortribs are removed from their flavoursome bath, which is then reduced down to a sticky, umami-rich glaze to anoint the ribs with their own concentrated essence. A final blast in the oven caramelises the ribs for added depth of flavour