Wednesday 24 February 2010

Venison Steaks - simple supper.

Had a delicious "special night" supper on Monday - fried venison steak (seasoned, and put in the pan for about 12 minutes - 4 mins on each side, 4 mins covered), and served with some steamed cavalonero (salt, pepper, olive oil) and some carrot and parsnip chips - just very thinly sliced or peeled, covered with olive oil and salt, and put in a hot oven for about 40 mins - keep an eye on them, I think I overdid them by about 5 mins!

No more shanks

Upon the request of our lamb producer we have removed lamb shanks from the website for the time being. We thought it would be interesting to share the reasons. The shank is a cut of meat that comes from the leg, just below the knee. The problem is that this means that to provide a shank the butcher must breaks up the whole leg. However, it is important that the butcher can provide a whole leg because there is always a demand for it - for roasts etc. So it proves very difficult for a small producer like Beatbush to provide shanks and not lose out.

As an alternative to shanks, Nicola at Beatbush recommends the knuckle end of shoulder as a classic, slow cooking alternative that will serve the purpose perfectly.

Support your Prince and eat mutton!

We have mutton available this week. The virtues of this meat are fast becoming noticed once more. Believe it or not, much of mutton’s recent resurgence is down to Prince Charles and his Mutton Renaissance Campaign - which makes an interesting read. Mutton is really good in pies and puddings, slow-cooked dishes and is used heavily in India, the Middle East and North African cooking, so if you want an authentic flavour for these types of dishes then mutton is the one you want. The meat itself is very different to lamb, it has rich taste and a unique texture. During slow and gentle cooking the flavour of the mutton mellows and sweetens during and the results are truly delicious.

Definitions of when lamb becomes mutton have long varied. However, it is now generally agreed that the animal should be aged two years or more, and hung for at least two weeks: the result is a juicy, well-flavoured meat, firm but not tough. Mutton cuts are the same as with lamb, although they are usually. Have a look at the mutton section on for the whole range.