Sunday, 30 September 2012

'my busman's holiday..'

So when living in London, the obvious place to go to on holiday is the tropical and balmy Manchester. Barmy is the word. However I wanted to spend my summer break learning the ways of a different butchery. Now, being a Northern girl myself I didn't find it too difficult to adapt but I was astounded to see the difference in what people were buying and talking about what they were cooking. Food is so veryb regional. So I went to WH Frost which is a long-serving Chorlton based family business. This was after @frostybutcher was willing to take me on for a week.

The week was a real insight into the workings of a different business, specialising in retail and catering. I spent most of my week working in the shop, prepping meat, and I removed a lot of marrow from bones for burgers - which was more fun than it sounds. However, I was also treated to a visit to the abattoir - which was a fascinating experience, and one I wish to repeat and learn more about. Learning how to buy meat when still a full carcass is a skill not many master, but Jack Frost has it nailed.

A big thank you to the team at Frost's for making me feel so welcome and making me feel at home. Even if @frostybutcher ended up with a cup of tea thrown over him. What a fabulous week, such a privilege. Ah well back to work tomorrow in beautiful Holland Park but perhaps I'll partake in a Northern Sunday lunch first..


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

'game I've been cheating..'

So the Glorious Twelfth came and went. Now, the reason I hadn't mentioned it too much was because to my shame I am not a big game fan at all. I do actually eat it but when given the choice I find it a big hassle and too strong a flavour. But I'm Northern and a lot of my friends shoot. So due to pressure from friends and the fact that we sell it! How can I sell something I haven't tried?

I thought I'd actually give grouse a go, it being the first bird and all.. Now grouse are, I have to say an anorexic creature. There is no fat on these birds at all. You can imagine why I was dubious. So when I cooked it off I whacked on some smoked streaky bacon. I had initially hoped this would remove the game flavour and replace it with crispy bacon. This turned out, shockingly, not to be the case.

But it did infuse the breast of the bird with moisture. I found the meat to be juicy with a pleasant flavour. No one was more surprised than me. The texture of the meat was gentle and smooth, and the meat was almost sweet. I am without doubt a convert. The skin was too strong but the flesh itself was very soft and tender indeed. Perfect September starter material. And yes, starter as there is still nothing on these tiny birds, but blimey what a taste.