Seriously … ?? August 2nd 2023 – it’s pouring with rain, and it’s not overly warm. The duty increase on wine just added nearly £1 to the price of our favourite tipple and the Newsletter for August is late…… !!
I think I am going to lift the gloom with a large Steak, Sauce Bearnaise and Green Beans.
Well, I can’t be blamed for the weather or the duty on wine, but I did have a week in Spain, so it is my fault that the Newsletter is late. Sorry
Of course, as is expected at this time of year, there are a lot of people away, and the shops are quieter than usual, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of great products to think about. As above, I did cook myself a steak recently and I was delighted that it cooked so well and tasted so good. We buy most of our beef from our friend Jim Buchan of Highland Meats, in Scotland. Jim is another of those suppliers who I have known for a long time. Our history goes back more than 30 years. So, Highland Meats became the obvious choice when I was looking to improve our offer a number of years back.
In Britain, we produce beef throughout the land of the very finest quality. From the very tip of the South West, all the way up through Southern England into East Anglia and the Midlands. On up to the Lake District, bringing in the fabulous beef from Wales, and don’t forget Northern Ireland. Keep going into the North and across the border into Scotland. A quick browse around the High Street and into local shops will throw up the multitude of breeds available, and there, already, is a delicious dinner table debate, ‘which is the finest eating breed’? Longhorn, Shorthorn, White Park, Galloway (belted or otherwise), Dexters, Welsh Black and Aberdeen Angus. The list is endless. We could debate forever our own favourites, but we would all agree on one point; it is the work that goes in on the farm that determines the eating quality on the plate. Free ranging, eating natural herbs and grasses, a peaceful, stress free life, and good barns and natural sileage during inclement weather.
At Meat London I have dedicated myself to beef mainly from Scotland. We are small shops and we don’t have the space to age, prepare and sell various breeds. Most of what we sell is Black Angus, but sometimes our suppliers tempt us with something exciting from the Isle of Man, Essex or Wales etc. We hang all of the steak meat in our shops for between 25 and 30 days before our butchers get to work, and yes, we can find your cut of choice. It sometimes takes a day or two to fulfil requests of something not so mainstream but we haven’t been beaten yet.
So, there we are. It won’t rain forever. We will get back to our BBQ’s and we will eat outside again, but in the meantime, brush off the stove top grill and practice your steak cooking.
Who likes Black Pudding?
Do you like Black Pudding? I do. It’s a must for my Sunday breakfast, but my wife not so much. One good thick slice is just right, and I put it in the oven while everything else is being prepared. As with our beef, the Black Pudding comes from Scotland. We get it, along with the Lorne Sausage, from Grants of Speyside. They also produce our Haggis in January, but we’ll come back to that. Again, as with the beef, arguments will rage as to who produces the best Black Pudding. The Scots, the Irish, the English, the Welsh, North or South, and let’s not forget that the Spanish and the French produce their own versions too.
Boudin Noir (France) and Morcilla (Spain) are both delicious, and have their place. They are usually less course than British Black pudding, and are likely to have regional additions (apples, onion, rice etc). In the right place, they can be a meal on their own, but they don’t replace a our very own Black Pudding at the breakfast table.
As the Ashes series finished this week, with both side sharing a very honourable draw, from a great series, I was reminded of the hot day that Troy and I had at Lords. We saw a great days cricket, met family and friends and had plenty of food and drink from groaning picnic baskets. Which takes me back to the top of the page. The deli sections at Meat NW5 and Meat N16 have a huge array of picnic favourites. Air cured and cooked hams, salamis and saucisson sliced to order, just the way you like it. Pork Pies, Sausage Rolls and Scotch Eggs. We have a very respectable selection of cheeses from around Europe and an even bigger selection of cold wines from around the world. As promised, the weather will change, so if you want to plan a summer picnic, speak to our Teams, who will put together a sumptuous feast.
The next Newsletter will be on time!!