Dear readers, I thank you for listening to my meat fuelled ramblings, since I have been eating meat again these last few years, I have made a part of the pact to myself that I would try to understand meat more, and learn how to get the best out of the different variety of cuts that are available from a good butcher. And in understanding the cuts, learning how best to cook them.
Skirt is a much undervalued cut of steak from the ribcage area called the plate and is a fraction of the price of the more usual cuts, and usually destined for mince or pies. It’s very lean, packed with flavour, and if treated right melt in the mouth tender. If you like you steaks cooked past medium, then I’m afraid this isn’t the cut for you as it needs to be cooked ideally rare to medium rare otherwise it will toughen right up.
To get the best flavour, go for a dry aged outdoor reared steak, you’ll need to remove the tough outer membrane, which peels away with your fingers, or ask your butcher to do this for you. This wonderful steak was dry aged Aberdeen Angus from Andrew Gordon Butchers.
Heat a griddle pan to screaming hot, it should be smoking. Season up the steaks with coarse sea salt and crushed black pepper. Cook the steaks for 2 minutes each side, and leave to rest on a warm plate, drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil.
I served mine simply with some toasted sourdough with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, and a plain rocket salad.
Cut the steak against the grain, you should be able to see the lines of the grain easily in this steak. The deep beefy flavour is truly something to behold.
So….. do you?? With the recent scandal of extra ingredients appearing in supermarket burgers, have you lost confidence in the meat you buy there?
Well if you haven’t already, there’s no better time to get acquainted with your local butcher, and if you build up a good relationship with them, you can trust your meat, and what goes into your burger.
Since I started to eat meat after being a vegetarian for so long, it has always mattered to me where the meat I eat comes from, so I always discuss the meat with the butcher, what beef is it? where has it come from? I was very fortunate to have been offered these Gordonian Luxury Burgers to try, they are dry aged Aberdeen Angus, from Andrew Gordon are a huge 200g each. The aroma was deep and beefy as they cooked, with no rubbish in them, they cooked to perfection on a griddle, and the taste was outstanding, seasoned perfectly, I was quite confident to serve it medium rare, to keep it moist, but with a thick savoury crust from being cooked on a high heat on the griddle.
So, without preaching, maybe it’s time you got to know your local butcher?
On a recent visit to family in the Cotswolds we decided to head to Chipping Sodbury, which was close for some provisions, knowing that “The Fabulous Baker Brothers” Tom and Henry Herbert had their shops here, naturally we headed straight for here, but it was great to see other great shops in this delightful town.
I was very impressed with the range of lovely goodies on offer in both the butchery and bakery, the butchery had well aged meat and game, was well presented and looked very tempting, I bought some stunning Tolouse sausages, which were well flavoured with herbs and garlic and made with quality pork, and a Scotch Egg, that although looked good I was a little disappointed with to be honest, the egg was cooked perfectly, but I found the sausagemeat a bit on the dry side and the crumb coating had parted company with the sausagemeat.
In the bakery we were tempted by a beautiful French style loaf, some treacle tarts, and a lardy cake (which didn’t make it back far enough for the photo), the loaf was fantastic, with a crisp crust and soft crumb and was perfect for a sausage sandwich using the tolouse sausages and lashings of mustard. The treacle tarts were lovely and moist without being too sweet, and the lardy cake was stunning, it took me back to how these cakes used to be when I was a child and before the health police ruined them.
A real treat, and certainly worth paying a visit if you’re in the area.