Beef Shin and Brisket are both great cuts for slow-cooking. The shin is usually bought in medallions with the bone in or out and is ideal for stews, casseroles and braised dishes. Brisket is taken from the belly and produces a lovely tender, melt in the mouth meat when slow or pot roasted. Then there is the Chuck and Blade taken from the fore ribs. Usually sliced and diced for stewing.
Lamb Shank and Lamb Neck are both slow cook cuts that fall from the bone after a long slow cook. The Lamb Shank cut is from the lower end of the leg. It’s flavoursome and generously offers plenty of tender meat. The Lamb Neck is an inexpensive cut that needs long slow cooking. It can be bought on or off the bone and is ideal for stewing or braising. Lamb Breast is also a slow cook cut that is full of flavour. It can be quite fatty, but this melts off during cooking and can be poured away before serving.
The king of pork cuts for slow cooking includes my favourite; Blythburgh Pork Shoulder, on the bone. Ask our butcher to score the skin deeply. As with all meat cooking leave the joint out of the fridge for an hour or so until its at room temperature, rub olive oil and coarse sea salt deep into the skin and the place in a very hot oven at 220 for 30 minutes. Watch as the skin becomes crackling then cover in foil, reduce the oven temperature to below 150 and take the rest of the day off! Come back with friends when ready, enjoy the crackling with a cold beer whilst the pork rests under foil then just shred the meat onto a fresh ciabatta bap with Dijon mustard and a slice of stuffing.
Never resist the market! The escalation of demand for smokehouse-style cuisine has dominated the restaurant sector over the last couple of years (my favourite is Shotgun btw - outstanding cocktails in addition to a delicious menu) and this dovetails perfectly with one of our mantras which is that the most flavoursome meat usually comes from unfashionable cuts cooked low and slow. I blogged about this some time ago and to remind those of you who remain unconvinced, here are the benefits...
Flavours - these intensify during a longer cooking process. Whilst prime cuts aren’t great for this, less expensive cuts, especially those on the bone, or with fattier qualities, such as shoulder and leg demand it.
Texture - that very special texture where the meat “falls off the bone” can only be achieved by slow cooking of these types of cuts. There is no better eating experience (in my humble opinion) than pulling apart a slow cooked morsel of pork, beef or lamb and enjoying the soft yet textured mouthful smothered in its own intense gravy.
Economy - whilst demand remains as high as it is for what are deemed to be prime cuts, all good butchers will have plenty of the less sought after pieces that they need to shift. These will be priced in order to sell quickly so the butcher can make use of the whole carcass, nose to tail.
Stress free cooking – whereas the more expensive joints and steaks require a degree of precision the slower cooking process is far more relaxed. Timings are more flexible and the cooking can be done and checked when it suits the cook. Walk the dog, go to the pub, watch a film! You’re not tied to the pan or the oven.
So our butchers have been working hard in the ‘lab' below our Hampstead shop to create prime cuts of British meats with the smoky flavours of the American BBQ. These are classic slow roasts, authentically hand prepared, flavoured, spiced and packed ready for you to take home to cook on a very low heat. You'll fill your kitchen with wonderful sweet spicy cooking aromas before tucking into unctuous shreds of flavoursome meat. Our range now includes;
Prime Beef Brisket - cured and gently spiced in a smoky seasoning of pepper, garlic, paprika, pink pepper & jalapeño chilli
Blythburgh Pork Shoulder - cured and gently spiced in a smoky seasoning of paprika, garlic, peppers & onion
Prime Beef or Pork Ribs - in a variety of wonderful marinades, to include Sticky Maple & Hickory Smoke, Smokey Bourbon, Texan Spice & Arkansas
We also provide the cooking instructions at our shops and you can pick up everything else you’ll need to complete the meal.
The ideal accompaniment to a smokehouse meal is a chilled craft ale, equally lovingly designed and prepared. We treated ourselves to a vert thorough day of sampling last month and delightful and quite niche range of London-brewed lagers, pils, stout, IPA and ale from our new friends at Vale Brewery, Signature Brew, Camden Town Brewery, Hiver and The Fourpure Brewing Co.