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Tuesday 9 August 2011

A cut above!!

by Simon Fernandez (@ferdiesfoodlab), in partnership with East London Steak Co for The Jamie Oliver Foundation

Introduction to East London Steak Co:  The East London Steak Co. is a new online delivery concept launched by acclaimed chef Richard Turner and butcher James George. This new venture offers the finest naturally reared beef from selected rare breeds to customers within the M25 area.

The East London Steak Co. source the highest quality beef from British farms. Every animal is hand-picked and selected using strict criteria, which ensures all cattle are grass fed, have been traditionally farmed and reared in an environment which meets the highest standards of welfare.

The East London Steak Co. only use five main rare breeds of beef, including Dexter, Galloway, Longhorn, Shorthorn. The beef is dry-aged on the bone for a minimum of 28 days or longer on request.

Richard Turner, director of the East London Steak Co. is a restaurateur and chef who has worked with renowned chefs including Michel Roux Jnr, Pierre Koffman and Marco Pierre White.  James George, also director of the company, has worked as a butcher for over 10 years; their professional background brings a unique partnership to the business, as they both understand first-hand the necessary components needed to enhance the quality and taste of the beef.

The Experience
I was expecting delivery of the meat in between 5am and 8am. At around seven I received a text msg to inform me that my meat was 20 mins away, and delivery was imminent.

Got up, had a shower and got a coffee on the go . . .  and waited with baited breath.

It arrived in a very cute van! And I don't mean that it was a nice colour or anything like that. It was a micro van, and clearly with green credentials.
A very polite - and frankly, for that time of the morning, quite cheerful guy handed over a couple of boxes: nicely packed, and in tact - had clearly been treated with care.

It's nice to know where your meat is from, the type of animal it came from and it's provenance, how it's been reared and butchered.

Types of steak that we used - before I go any further it's important to note that East London Steak Co sponsored the event and the beef, both for some of the test runs and on the night were contributed by them. The quality and taste of the beef was the amongst  the highest I've ever encountered, the marbling and fat content of the fillet and the forerib gave them both astonishing flavour and tenderness.

For the test run I picked cuts that I've been meaning to use but just haven't had occasion or time to - things like ox cheek, hanger steak (onglet), forerib and bone marrow.

Here are some of the things I tried out:

Ideas, recipes and ingredients tested for supper club - posts to follow
Liquorice "Smoke Cured" Hanger Steak

Hanger Steak, Chips and Ginger Carrots w/ Tarragon Sauce and Horseradish Sauce

Fore rib with to be served w/ roast potatoes and ginger carrots

Ox Cheek - and Garlic
Braised Ox Cheek

Roast Bone Marrow

Briased Oxtails w/ Onions & Green Beans

Fillet Roulette - something I came up with in the Alps at Christmas thought I'd share!

Recipes for each one to follow . . . . . look out for the Jamie Oliver Foundation fundraiser series. 8 fab recipes!!!

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