Showing posts with label butchery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label butchery. Show all posts

Friday, 22 March 2013

A Visit to Donald Russell in Scotland



 I was very pleased to be invited  by Donald Russell,  to go to their HQ in Inverurie near Aberdeen, Scotland.  Donald Russell, the Scottish butchers, was set up about forty years ago when it only supplied the trading industry. As a butcher they don't just supply beef, but any meat you can think of including poultry, fish, game, ready dishes, pasta, meal planner boxes and speciality breads and quiches. Nowadays, their products are available to buy online. You have a choice whether you have your order sent chilled or frozen. They hold the Royal Warrant, supplying the Royal household. They supply many high-end luxury hotel and restaurants around the world as well.
 I was very happy to discover that  my companion in this adventure was the charming Ernest.  It was a long day, we took an early flight which was about 1h30mins from Heathrow to Aberdeen.  We were collected by the lovely Liz Webb, marketing executive and whom I have met before in London. She drove us for another 20 minutes to Donald Russell HQ.  When we arrived we met Hans Baumann, the managing director and Stefan Kolsch, the head of NPD and Outsourced products. Stefan is responsible for all the photography  and development of all recipes for the brand too.  We heard about Donald Russell story including the ups and downs of animal health scares  and diseases that plagued the 90's. We had a good tour of the butchery: sourcing of beef, maturation and merits of freezing. We were shown the route from Intake to maturation, cutting line  and portion which are done by hand by skillful butchers and the packaging area.
I was impressed by the amount of people working behind the scenes. On the tour we were told that all their animals are of UK origin with 80% coming from Scotland farms using the highest  quality control,  maturity. We slightly tapped on the current topic of provenance. Nowadays the consumer wants to know where the food comes from. We were told that they source their meat based on quality and not on breed.  We were told that provenance of Donald Russell's meat can traced to a farmer and a batch number but not a particular animal.

The Tour starts
             
wet maturation - vacuum packed
air-dry maturation area

Lunch time at Donald Russel can be quite an event with lots of products to be developed and photo shoots the kitchen is quite often buzzing. We sampled some of Donald Russell's non-meat products too. Our chef was Stefan Kolsch

 
lunch! 
tender chicken korma


tasting  Donald Russell's soups,  above their bestseller Scottish soup cullen skink
 

tasting meat and learning how to cook meat properly by Ronald Russell:


1. Before cooking, remove the defrosted meat from its vacuum packaging and pat dry with kitchen paper. Allow the meat to ‘bloom’ and come to room temperature for up to 30 minutes before cooking.
Preheat the oven and a small roasting tray (with the fan turned off) to 80ºC.
Heat a griddle or frying pan on high; add a little olive oil to the pan or brush the oil directly on the meat to avoid using too much. Sear the meat on all sides for 4-5 minutes in total to brown it all over. This will vastly improve both the flavour and appearance of your meat.
2. Season the meat with salt and pepper (do not season before searing as salt can draw the moisture out of the meat). Place the meat on the preheated roasting tray and set the meat thermometer to the 60-65ºC. Insert the probe horizontally into the centre of the meat and place the meat in the preheated oven with the thermometer cord through the door – the main unit remains outside.
3. Keep the oven door closed during cooking. Opening the door lets heat escape and increases the cooking time. When the thermometer beeps (after 60 – 90 minutes), your meat is ready to serve straight away. There is no need to rest your meat as it has rested during the cooking process – the lower temperature allows the meat juices to circulate continually during cooking so the meat stays incredibly soft and the joint is cooked more evenly.
Hints and Tips for Low Temperature Cooking
- Always preheat your roasting tray as a cold one increases the cooking time. Do not be tempted to transfer the meat to the oven in the same pan used for searing as this will make the meat cook too quickly.
- If your guests are late you can keep the meat warm at 60ºC for around 30 minutes. If your oven doesn’t have a setting as low as 60ºC, simply switch off the oven.
- It is possible to use a gas oven on its lowest setting for Low Temperature Cooking, but the cooking times given will be reduced – using a meat thermometer becomes imperative!


on the way to the butchery masterclass



 above making meatballs in the premises - we've been told : no horse meat added! they also make their own sausages
packing  the orders




Butchery Masterclass



butchering 


butchering, trimming and weighing the fine cuts



Butchering lamb - valentine's hand cut heart shaped
I have tried this tender and juicy cut of lamb before - read about it here: Valentine Lamb
It was a great day even if a bit cold the temperature is set quite low at the butchery to preserve the meat. I particularly enjoyed learning to cook at low temperature.  Thanks to Wild Card and Donald Russell for organising the trip and for the nice hospitality.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Butchery Masterclass and Recipe for Steaks in Coffee Sauce

Last week I was delighted to attend another butchery masterclass by EBLEX at  L'Atelier des Chefs. The evening was a lesson in butchery and steak tasting by the expert Master Butchers Dick Van Leeuwan, Martin Eccles and Food Advisor Denise Spencer Walker. In the past I've been invited to other butcheries classes beef and lamb by the lovely people at EBLEX.
The event
EBLEX is the organisation for beef and lamb levy payers in England. They exist to enhance the profitability and sustainability of the English beef and lamb sector. Their aims are
to help the beef and sheep meat supply chain become more efficient; to add value to the beef and sheep meat industry. EBLEX backs up fully assured beef and lamb products from farm to retailer through quality standard schemes, giving  retailers high levels of guarantee about the meat they buy. The additional requirements of the Quality Standard are designed to diminish the impact of animal age on eating quality – giving retailers and, ultimately, the consumer with improved and more consistent product.
The whole supply chain (farm, abattoir, wholesaler, butcher, retailer) need to be signed up to the scheme in order to utilise the Quality Standard Mark.
The Quality Standard Mark was launched as a means of informing consumers which beef and lamb products met EBLEX's strict standards regarding the farming and supply chains of meat products.
The mark also acts as indicator of origin, with animals born, raised and slaughtered in England carrying the St George's flag, while Scottish and Welsh meat bears the Union flag.

The evening started with the butchery masterclass and afterwards we tasted different cuts of meat
Butchery Masterclass
Meat butchery is an age old art and it can take a number of years of working in the trade to become a master butcher. Taking extra care when cutting meat does not only provide leaner and more tender cuts, but it produces more consistent and appealing eating quality cuts. Master butchers Dick Van Leeuwan and Martin Eccles from EBLEX demonstrated their butchery skills and educated us about all things meaty.
 steaks cooked to perfection by Denise
A guide to cooking steaks can be found here: simply beef
taking notes

Tasting the different steaks : flat iron, Brazilian's favourite the picanha, bistro and bavette

Eblex also have an app Ifillet to help cooking steaks to perfection.
 
Here is my recipe for steaks in coffee sauce. The main ingredients beef and coffee are two of Brazil's most important commodities. 
steak in coffee sauce
Steak in coffee sauce

Serves 4

Equipment: frying pan, food processor

Ingredients:
800 g steaks
150 g of streak bacon in cubes
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 strong espresso coffee cups
4 cloves of garlic
1  cup of  onion diced
½ glass of red wine, about 125ml
150ml of fresh cream
3 bayleaf
thyme
3 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of fresh pink peppercorn
salt and pepper to taste

Method:
1) Rub the olive oil, garlic to the steaks add bay leaf leave marinating for 1 hour at room temperature.
2) In the meantime dice the onions and fry till caramelised. Once ready, mix the fried onions in a food processor with the ½ glass of wine. Reserve.
3) In a  fry pan melt the butter and fry the steaks over high heat for 2 minutes each side.
4) Remove the steaks from the heat and reserve the rare steaks seasoning  with salt and ground pepper to taste and cover it to keep it warm.
5) Back to the frying pan fry the streak bacon with the onion puree till the bacon is golden and crispy
6) Add the beef back into the pan
7) Add the cream, fresh pink peppercorns stirring until it begins to bubble.
8) Then mix in the coffee and thyme and stir until simmer.
9) Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

 For more recipes visit EBLEX site : www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk



Monday, 1 October 2012

Butchery Class with EBLEX and Henry Herbert

Butchery Class at the L’atelier des Chefs
Last year, I was invited to an afternoon butchery demo and meat tasting by EBLEX.  This year they have re-launched their Quality Standard Mark Scheme, so to spread the word a group of journalists and a very few food bloggers were invited by EBLEX to an evening of butchery masterclass at the L’atelier des Chefs by Henry Herbert, from the Baker Brothers fame.  The scheme was updated due to the high standard of meat quality and to remain a genuine higher quality product the Quality Standard Mark Scheme specifications needed to be strengthened. As beef and lamb becomes more expensive, it is even more important that consumers’ expectations on eating quality are not compromised. We were also told that the Quality Standard Mark Scheme for beef and lamb provides one of the highest levels of independently inspected quality assurance for meat in the United Kingdom. The standards contain combined guarantees of food safety, animal welfare, care for the environment and enhanced eating quality. 


The EBLEX Quality Standard Mark Scheme was launched in October 2004 to stimulate the market conditions in England. Following extensive trade consultation and research the EBLEX board has decided to strengthen the scheme specifications for Quality Standard Mark beef and lamb to improve efficiency and add value in the supply chain.
The new specifications cover animal age, carcase classifications, maturation and, where appropriate, further specifications during the processing of the product. 

The scheme has gone from strength to strength.
All major multiple retailers are members of the scheme, major processors, wholesalers, catering butchers and approximately 1800 independent retailers.


 Quality Standard mark helps consumers identify quality meat at point of purchase

Standards and specifications of the scheme cover
• Farm assurance
• Animal welfare
• Animal age and gender
• Seasonality
• Care for the environment • Quality assurance
• Carcase classifications
• Maturation regimes
• Food safety
• Eating quality
Scheme Benefits
• Enhanced eating quality
• Assured from farm to point of purchase, providing total product integrity 

• Independently inspected
• Consumer confidence, encouraging a purchasing preference
• Better returns through the supply chain
• Improving carcase yield and value
• Provenance
• Consumer marketing campaigns
• Trade marketing support
• Point of sale and consumer literature
   Product assurances and specifications Beef and Lamb:

Henry Herbert has just launched with Quality Standard beef and lamb, a Master Butchery campaign. The aim is to demystify  and educate  butcher shopping experience and pass butchery tips and hints to the nation's cooks. Master butchery class can be found here
After the introduction Henry confidently started the butchery masterclass with a insight into his background, moving on to butcher a massive piece of beef and a 1/4 carcase of lamb.  After that we were handed over a whole leg of lamb to butcher ourselves over the guidance of Henry and the EBLEX team.  

butchery class


Whole leg of lamb butchered by me: de-boned, butterflied, lamb shank prepared
After the butchery class, we had an excellent lamb diner with wine. The  good atmosphere and the very welcoming hosts made the event a nice and positive experience. Each one of us were given our butchered lamb to take home and this is what I made with mine.

Roasted butterfly lamb with tomato and mint salad 

marinade the lamb:  rosemary, thyme, garlic, white pepper, 2 tsp of lime juice, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 thumb size of grated ginger. Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.



Next day start the gravy:
for the gravy: lamb bones, 1/2 cup of red wine, 1 bulb of garlic, 2 tspsoon of grated ginger, rosemary, thyme, 2 bay leaves, 2 carrots, 2 onions, spring onions, water to cover. let is simmer and cook in low heat for 3 hours.
 

 The lamb:  sear the lamb both sides in a big pan


Place the lamb in a oven proof dish, add red white about 2 cups and cover with foil


Place in the oven at 180C for 45 mins  if you like a bit pink in the middle and 10 mins without the foil to crisp the outside fat or 1 hour if you like well done and 10 mins to crisp the outside fat.

 The Tomato and Mint salad: 
Olive oil, handful of mint, 3 medium tomatoes diced, 1/2 lemon ( juice and zest), 1 red onion diced, 1 tsp of coriander, salt & pepper. Mix all in serve in a bowl.
The meal


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Butchery and cooking steaks with EBLEX and Red Tractor

Warning: If you are vegetarian look away now. This post is all about red meat. 
Brazilian food diet is mainly meat based, so it's not uncommon to find beef in our plate more than once a day. I was over the moon when I was invited to a butchery class and meat tasting at L'Atelier des Chefs  by EBLEX and Good Relations. The event took place in September at this impressive venue, which is one of the largest cookery school and food events site with cooking facilities in London. Even though I eat meat regularly, I wasn't completely familiar with all the cuts available in the U.K. 


EBLEX is the organisation for beef and lamb levy payers in England. They exist to enhance the profitability and sustainability of the English beef and lamb sector. Their aims are
to help the beef and sheep meat supply chain become more efficient; to add value to the beef and sheep meat industry. EBLEX backs up fully assured beef and lamb products from farm to retailer through quality standard schemes, giving  retailers high levels of guarantee about the meat they buy. The additional requirements of the Quality Standard are designed to diminish the impact of animal age on eating quality – giving retailers and, ultimately, the consumer with improved and more consistent product.
The whole supply chain (farm, abattoir, wholesaler, butcher, retailer) need to be signed up to the scheme in order to utilise the Quality Standard Mark.
The Quality Standard Mark was launched as a means of informing consumers which beef and lamb products met EBLEX's strict standards regarding the farming and supply chains of meat products.

The mark also acts as indicator of origin, with animals born, raised and slaughtered in England carrying the St George's flag, while Scottish and Welsh meat bears the Union flag.


EBLEX also supports the Red Tractor scheme. Red Tractor Farm Assurance beef and lamb scheme aims to maintain, develop and promote integrated Assurance standards to support  members within the red meat industry.It also highlights the high standards followed by UK producers and aims to give consumers the assurance they need on food safety and animal welfare. The scheme also sets standards for other critical paths in the meat supply chain: livestock feed, transport, markets and abattoirs to the highest standards at every step of the way, from farm to plate. The Union flag in the logo lets you know that the food has been farmed and packed in the UK.
Purchasing meat guide : EBLEX - meat guide  
For a tender piece of beef,  buy meat that's been hung between 7 and 28 days.
 

Meat butchery is an age old art and it can take a number of years of working in the trade to become a master butcher. Taking extra care when cutting meat does not only provide leaner and more tender cuts, but it produces more consistent and appealing eating quality cuts. Master butcher Dick Van Leeuwan from EBLEX demonstrated his butchery skills and educated us about all things meaty.  
Dick Van Leeuwan -  Master Butcher
I like the silver glove
For in depth on various meat butchering click here: EBLEX Food Service
Meat tasting
We liked the rump steak- tastier
Expensive, lean, good taste but not the best
Picanha - I was surprised that not many people knew about this cut of meat. It's well known and a must have at barbecues in Brazil
Not so sure about Bavette (skirt/flank) - strong flavour, strange coarse texture.  Bavette is common in France  they use it on Steak & Frites. 

 How to cook a steak
Glorious meat! - sorry vegetarians!
We also shown how to cook a good steak.  
1) take the meat out of the fridge 30 to 60 mins before cooking  2) Don't stab your steak with knife or fork before cooking it! 3) rub the steak with olive or sunflower oil 4) cook the steaks medium heat  5) adding salt before or after cooking is a personal preference.  see guide below for some tips:
The lovely Denise, home economist at EBLEX, demonstrating how to prepare meat properly
@SlowFoodKitchen and I shared frying pan and meats
Lunch!
 
  We received a goodie bag too!  There were 4 big flat iron steaks, knifes, a recipe (see below) and products to try the recipe. So that was dinner and lunch sorted out for a couple of days.
We were  introduced to flat Iron steaks, is the American name for the cut known as "butlers' steak" in the UK. It is a relatively unknown cut of meat. This deep rich flavored meat is best cooked medium or medium rare and resting time is crucial.
Timings for the steaks: 
3-4 minutes on each side : medium rare
5-7 minutes on each side : medium
Resting time : 5 to 10 minutes covered in foil
Here is the Flat Iron with Date barbecue sauce - delicious!
In Brazil we love a steak with a fried egg on top.  This traditional  and very simple dish is called 'beef a cavalo' "horseback-riding steak", as an allusion to the appearance that the fried eggs are "riding" the steak.  I added some fried onions, a few small shavings of Parmesan, vanilla salt and a couple of very small Brazilian chillies called cumari.
 that's how we cook Picanha in Brazil - slow-roasted barbecued
for more recipes visit EBLEX site : www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...