Seasonal recipes. Techniques. Sourcing Tips.
Tim Wilson, The Ginger Pig
Shop for meat with knowledge and enjoyment.
For a cultural appetite rallied around a hearty serving of the perfect Sunday roast, the relationship between an Englishman and his butcher lends a traditional and important contribution to the meat on our plates. With a heritage that traces back to the 1870s, the English butcher is often able to deliver invaluable advice and insight into meat quality and preparation, that cannot be found on the sticky labels of hermetically sealed meats displayed on supermarket shelves. To acquire the best meat, nothing can replace the honest and candid advice of your local butcher. Most butchers’ would be able to shed light on the heritage, provenance and preparation of meat, setting you up for the perfect meal.
As a renowned institution, London based butcher’s The Ginger Pig embrace a thoroughly field to farm approach that guarantees the best quality meats for every one of their customers. Framed by the dry aged beef joints hanging in the display window, we speak with its shop manager Liam Moore, to provide a comprehensive meat buying guide that encompasses various considerations and tips for purchasing the best meat for your perfect meal.
A GUIDE TO BUYING MEAT
Start with an idea of how you want to cook it or the recipe you are following.
If you have a slow-cooked casserole in mind, you’ll want to leave with a piece of meat that will improve with every hour in the oven until it falls gently off the bone. If you are hosting a thirty person barbecue with little time to prepare, you’ll want something quick and tasty that needs far lighter cooking. Using beef as an example, the diagram below gives you an idea of the diversity of cuts that come from a single animal.
TIP # 2
The priciest cut of meat won’t always suit your purpose.
This is a common misconception that often blind-sights people buying meat and wine, we have to learn to stop judging produce on its price tag and take the time to understand its provenance and preparation requirements. By sourcing the right cut, properly prepared by the butcher you are half way towards creating a meal that you can be proud of.
TIP # 3
How we display it in our shop is how you should keep it at home.
If you bring meat home wrapped in plastic, it sweats and goes off quicker. So put it on a plate in your fridge and let it breathe,
Using beef as an example, the diagram below gives you an idea of the diversity of cuts that come from a single animal.
3. Salmon Cut : A 1 1/2 kilo joint for quick roasting at a high heat, rest and serve pink.
6. Rump : Sitting next to the sirloin, this cut will deliver a rich-tasting steak. Ask your butcher for a slice from the upper end.
7. Fillet Mignon: The lower, narrow end of the fillet. Slice into small chunks.
8. Fore Rib: Makes an excellent roasting joint due to the layer of fat that bastes the meat in the oven.
10. Onglet: A barrel shaped piece, perfect for braising of flash frying.
16. Brisket: Concealed in flavour-adding fat, this piece is perfect for pot roasting, braising and pies.
Tim Wilson, Store Manager, The Ginger Pig
Never be afraid to ask the questions, a good butcher will always have the answers.
Ask your butcher where your meat came from, how it was reared and when it was delivered to the store
The quality of the meat doesn’t start with the butcher, but with the farmer. With a focus of sustainable sourcing and good animal husbandry, The Ginger Pig select breeds that are often native to the British Isles, allowing them to slowly develop and enjoy their lives. By paying attention to sourcing the right breeds that are perfectly suited to unique methods of cooking, they deliver superior quality and taste to their customers. With a strong family ethos, Ginger Pig butcher’s pride themselves on being able to tell you the story behind each animal down to the name of the farmer that reared it.
Consider the seasonality of the cuts of meat.
Knowing the seasonal availability of lamb, pork, beef and game will guarantee that the food on your table is fresh and worth every mouthful. Following the Glorious Twelfth (August 12th the date that marks the beginning of Britain’s 121-day grouse shooting season), Ginger Pig have provided a Roast Grouse recipe. Perfectly paired with handfuls of watercress, this lean roast is the perfect twist on a classic Sunday meal.
The Ginger Pig began over 20 years ago, with a near-derelict farmhouse and three Tamworth pigs. We now farm over 3,000 acres of our own pasture and North Yorkshire moorland, and work with a small network of like-minded farmers to supply our London butchers’ shops. At the heart of everything we do is good animal husbandry and welfare; livestock that is looked after well in the field will simply taste better on the plate.