<![CDATA[THE BUTCHERY LTD - BLOG]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 06:51:02 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Miso & gochujang beef short ribs]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:02:43 GMThttp://thebutcheryltd.com/blog1/miso-gochujang-beef-short-ribs
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 mins, plus overnight marinade
Cooking time: 3-4 hrs

Miso from Japan and gochujang from Korea are similar culinary pastes made from a fermentation of rice, soybeans and salt, with the Korean version also including a warm-to-very-hot heat from red chilli powder. The flavour profile of these pastes tends to be a balance of salty, sweet, earthy, spicy, fruity and savoury, with different varieties having more dominant profiles in any of these six areas. When combined with the sweetness of mirin and the savoury notes - but principally the alcohol - of rice wine, they produce a marinade that works exceptionally well with protein. Adding a complex depth of flavour or umami and the ability to tenderise tougher muscle groups when left to marinate overnight, these pastes are perfect for cuts like beef short ribs, brisket, or pork ribs.

For more tender cuts or chicken, limit the marination time to a maximum of 4-6 hours. ​

​Note: this recipe works well for both traditionally cut and cross-cut short ribs.


​From The Butchery Ltd:

1.6kg native breed beef short ribs, cut into 4 portions (1 rib or 2 half ribs per person - you can ask your butcher to do this for you)

​For the marinade:

100g miso paste
50g gochujang paste
100ml mirin (or 4 tbsp brown sugar dissolved in hot water)
5 tbsp sake (or Chinese Shaoxing rice wine)

To finish:
4 tsp sesame or truffle oil
2 tsp shichimi / togarashi (Japanese chilli pepper)


In a small bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients together.

Once well combined transfer to a ziplock bag. Add the short ribs and massage the marinade into the meat. Seal the bag, removing as much air as you can.

​Place in the fridge on a baking tray in case of leakage. Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight for best results, but if time is limited at least 3-4 hours.




​Preheat the oven to 100C.

Remove the ribs from the ziplock bag, wiping off most of the marinade back into the bag (this should be reserved for later).

​Place the ribs on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and a wire rack to lift them up and to allow the heat from the oven to circulate around them. Pop into the oven and cook low and slow for 2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 65-70C.

​At this point, remove the ribs from the oven. Place each rib
on a piece of greaseproof paper, approximately 30x30cm.
Spoon 2 tbsp of the reserved marinade over the ribs, before folding the sides of the paper in and rolling up tightly.
Wrap each of the rib parcels again tightly with aluminium foil to prevent any leaks.



Place the rib parcels back into the oven and continue to cook for another hour, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 95C.

Remove from the oven and place on a warm dish with a few tea towels on top to keep warm whilst you make your sides.
When ready to serve, unwrap the ribs, taking care not to lose any juices.

Place on a serving dish and drizzle any resting juices over the ribs, along with the sesame or truffle oil and chill pepper.

Serve alongside your choice of side dishes - we opted for roasted sweet potatoes with chilli and coriander, and sesame-dressed cos lettuce with spring onion and pomegranate.

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Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer and Instagrammer extraordinaire. Follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER

Native breed beef, including short-rib slabs and cross-cut short ribs, available from The Butchery Ltd shop in Forest Hill.
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<![CDATA[Maple & soy glazed pork ribs]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 11:14:41 GMThttp://thebutcheryltd.com/blog1/maple-soy-glazed-pork-ribs


Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 mins
​Cooking time: 3 hrs, plus overnight cure



Sweet and sticky, rich and meaty, these pork ribs are great any time of the year. They can be cooked indoors in a conventional oven, or on an outdoor smoker or bbq set up for low and slow indirect cooking. Pair with simple sides to let the meat shine!

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Ingredients 
1.2kg native breed pork ribs (belly ribs, spare ribs or baby backs all work well). This works out at about 2-3 ribs per person depending on size. Or 300g per person, allowing for the weight of the bones. 

For the dry rub:
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper




For the glaze:
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
1/2 tbsp light brown sugar 


To garnish:
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tsp Korean red pepper flakes (chilli flakes work well too)


Sides:
500g frozen sweetcorn
50g butter
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp maple syrup

1 large sweetheart or hispi cabbage, quartered and softer tops removed (save for another dish, e.g. coleslaw)
2 tbsp reserved pork fat (see method below)
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Method
1. Mix the dry rub ingredients together. In a dish large enough to hold the ribs snugly in a single layer, mix the ribs and the rub together. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to cure for a minimum of 2 hours. Better if you can do 5 hours, better still overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 110C. Remove the ribs from the fridge. Brush off any excess rub and pat well with kitchen paper to dry the surface. Place the ribs fat side up in a large roasting tin, lined with grease proof paper (for easier clean up!). Space the ribs at least a 1/2 inch apart. Place in the oven and slow roast for 1.5 hours.


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3. Remove from the oven and drain off the fat which will have rendered out. Reserve fat for cabbage. 

4. Add the glaze ingredients to the roasting tin with the ribs. Turn the ribs around to coat with the glaze. Cover tightly with foil and return to the oven for another hour. 

5. After the final hour, remove from the oven and allow to rest, covered, for 30 mins. Now is a good time to prep your sides. 




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6. Turn the oven up to 200C. Place an oven safe pan on the hob over a high heat. Add 2 tbsp of the rendered pork fat. Once hot, add the cabbage quarters and sear on each of the cut sides until lightly golden. Transfer to the oven to finish cooking, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with sea salt and reserve until required. 

7. Meanwhile, boil a kettle and add hot water to a medium sized pot. Add the frozen sweetcorn and place on the hob over a high heat. Boil for two minutes and then drain. Return the drained sweetcorn to the pan and add the butter, maple syrup, sea salt and pepper. Mix well and reserve until required. 

8. Once the pork has rested remove the foil, and turn the ribs around again a few times to coat well with the glaze. Garnish with the chopped spring onions and a sprinkle of the red pepper flakes. Serve alongside your sides and enjoy!

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Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer, home chef and Instagrammer extraordinaire. 

To see more, stay tuned to this blog or follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER

Native-breed pork is available from The Butchery Ltd. This was Old Spot, from one of our regular farmers, Maurice Trumper from Monmouthshire. 

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<![CDATA[Pork carnitas, sweetcorn salad and spicy tomato salsa]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 12:26:45 GMThttp://thebutcheryltd.com/blog1/pork-carnitas-sweetcorn-salad-and-spicy-tomato-salsaPicture

Serves: 4-6
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: approx. 4.5 hrs


A take on French pork confit crossed with American pulled pork using Mexican flavours... Need we say more?!

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Ingredients 

1.5kg native breed boned pork shoulder, rind removed and cut into approx. 3 inch chunks


For the carnitas
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
4 bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, peeled and
sliced in half

2 tsp ancho chili flakes
2 tsp chipotle chili flakes
2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medium orange, sliced in half 
100g lard, melted
1/2 cup rapeseed or vegetable oil

For the salsa
5 medium vine tomatoes, skins removed and quartered
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves of garlic
2 jalapeño chillies (remove seeds if preferred)

For the sweetcorn salad
1 cup of frozen sweetcorn (off the cob)
2 tbsp sour cream or crème fraiche
Juice from 1 lime
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked hot paprika
30g parmesan or grana padano cheese, grated

To serve
2 limes, each cut into 8 wedges
20g fresh coriander, roughly torn
100 ml sour cream or crème fraiche
100g guacamole 
4 small tortillas per person
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Method
Begin by placing the pork and all the other carnitas ingredients (except the oranges, lard and oil) in a lidded casserole pot, large enough to hold the pork snugly in a single layer. Squeeze the juice from the oranges into the pot, and toss in the squeezed halves. Add the oil and lard and gently mix to combine. Place a lid over the pot and place into a preheated oven at 125C for approx. 3.5 hours, after which the meat will be soft and giving.



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With a slotted spoon or similar, carefully remove the pieces of pork from the casserole pot, and transfer to a baking sheet or roasting tin to cool slightly. Using two forks or simply your hands, pull the pork to separate into shreds. It’s ok to have varying sized chunks. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a dish and reserve.

Place a sieve or colander over a large bowl and transfer the remaining contents from the casserole dish to drain the fats and pork juices. Leave to stand for a few minutes, after which the fats and pork juices will have separated with the oil rising to the top. Using a baster, transfer the pork juices to a separate pot, leaving the fat in the bowl. If you don't have a baster, you can instead separate the fat carefully with a large spoon, leaving the pork juices behind. Add about 1/2 a cup of the fats to the pulled pork and mix to combine. Cover the pork with cling film and refrigerate. Save the remaining porky flavoured fats to use for roast potatoes!

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​Next, make the salsa. Place the reserved pork juices into a pot with all the salsa ingredients and 150ml of water. Place over the hob and bring to the boil. Cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Blend the ingredients together with a hand blender or similar until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate until required.

To make the sweetcorn salad, preheat an oven to 200C. Place the sweetcorn in a roasting dish with 1 tbsp of the reserved pork fat. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven to roast for about 15 minutes, giving the pan a shake every 5 minutes. You’ll get a mix of golden and caramelised edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Transfer to a bowl, and combine with the remaining salad ingredients. Reserve until required.

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About 10 minutes before you want to serve, place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and add as much of the carnitas mixture as you need. About 150g per person will be plenty. The remaining carnitas can be kept in the fridge for a few days. Spread the carnitas into a flat layer in the pan. Once one side has turned golden and crispy, carefully turn over to crisp up the other side. You want a mix of soft and juicy in the middle, and golden and crispy on the edges, so try not to mix it up too much in the pan. Transfer to a serving dish. Meanwhile warm your tortillas for 20 -30 seconds in the microwave. 

Serve the carnitas and tortillas alongside the salsa, sweetcorn salad, guacamole and sour cream. Let people build their own tacos and top with a few coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy with cold beer and tequila!

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Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer, home chef and Instagrammer extraordinaire. 

To see more, stay tuned to this blog or follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER

Native-breed pork is available from The Butchery Ltd. This was Oxford Sandy & Black, from Wales and the family farm of our very own butcher Ben Curtis. 

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<![CDATA[Easter lamb with a "spring" in it's step]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:13:20 GMThttp://thebutcheryltd.com/blog1/easter-lamb-with-a-spring-in-its-stepPicture
We love sheep, at all ages – love lamb, love hogget, love mutton. We would even go far as to say that traditionally raised lamb is the ideal year-round British meat: it is hardy for farmers, often grazes on land not suitable for anything else, always popular in our counter, and versatile for home cooks. 
Yet, the idea of spring lamb is a tricky one for us, as butchers who specialise in traditional and native breeds from small farmers with high ethical values.
It is traditional in this country – and many others – to eat lamb at Easter. And, because Easter falls in the spring, people often talk of eating "spring lamb" at this time. But spring lamb can be a confusing term – thanks to marketing from supermarkets. It actually means lambs that have been raised on spring pastures.

Lambs are generally considered ready to eat anytime after three to five months old, so the lambs we eat at spring are not "spring lambs".  Commercial demand has pushed the breeding cycle out of sync with nature. Traditional and native breed sheep raised in a traditional way, the kind we sell, don’t usually lamb until the weather gets warmer, when it is safe to birth outdoors and there is plenty of food to support the mother and her lamb in the pasture. Once they’ve weaned, lambs can graze on all the new grasses and flowers in the pasture. (That’s why if you ask a butcher when they think lamb is at its most delicious, they’ll tell you late summer.)
To meet the commercial and marketing demand for spring lamb, sheep are artificially inseminated then birth in late autumn or winter, in sheds. Sheep would be hardy enough to winter outside if they didn’t have lambs to care for. However, conditions indoors can be cramped which stresses the sheep, and animals are fed on concentrated feed – not pasture or silage. These aren’t the kind of animals that we like to buy, or eat.
We will, of course, have lamb in the counters at The Butchery Ltd for Easter: they won’t be spring lambs; they’ll be a little older, but full of flavour. We are lucky enough to have them from two of our longtime farmers: Clifford Freeman has sent lovely Ryelands, one of England's oldest sheep breeds. Sue Money-Kyrle will be supplying the black-faced Llanwenog; these are older animals who have already grazed for a spring and a summer on the hilltop pastures of her beautiful farm in Gloucestershire.

If you want to read more about lamb, here is an excellent Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall article from the Guardian.

If you want to wait for actual spring lamb later in the year, we recommend ham or cockerel to feed a large family at Easter. But make sure you order in person at the shops, or online here. That also applies if you want some of our delicious, real lamb.
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<![CDATA[Sweet soy roast chicken with a grilled leek, aubergine, chicory & tomato Thai dressed salad]]>Mon, 13 Mar 2017 12:49:44 GMThttp://thebutcheryltd.com/blog1/march-13th-2017Picture
Serves: 4-6

Preparation time: 20 mins, plus 2 hr minimum marinade time

Cooking time: approx. 1.5 hrs

An Asian twist on the classic roast chicken, served alongside a vegetable salad with a punchy thai dressing.
You will need to begin this recipe at least 2 hours ahead of when you want it, to allow for marinating time. 



Ingredients
 
1 whole free range chicken, as large as you need to feed your crowd


For the marinade 
2 tbsp kicap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp each of garlic powder, ginger powder, ground turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, Chinese 5 spice, chilli flakes
1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
Zest from 1/2 a lemon
For the salad
1 medium aubergine, sliced into approx. 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium leek, tough green leaves removed, and sliced into approx. 1/4 inch rings
1 small chicory heart, leaves separated and sliced lengthways into approx. 1/2 inch strips
3 medium vine tomatoes, quartered
Good handful each of fresh mint and coriander, roughly torn, plus a few extra leaves for garnishing
For the dressing
Juice of 3 limes
2 tbsp palm sugar (light brown sugar works too)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp crispy roast chilli in chilli oil (available in most asian supermarkets, but if you're unable to get your hands on some you can substitute with 1/2 tbsp each of chilli flakes and sesame oil)
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Method
To begin, combine all of the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Place the chicken in a dish and pour 2/3 of the marinade over the chicken. Rub the marinade over the skin of the bird, working it into all areas well. Pour the remaining marinade into the cavity of the bird. Truss the chicken with some butchers string - this video shows a really great technique. Cover the chicken with cling film and place in the fridge to marinate for at least two hours, or overnight.

When ready to cook, take the bird from the fridge and preheat the oven to 200C. Remove the cling film and transfer the bird to an oven safe non-stick pan. If you don't have one of these, a roasting tin lined with greaseproof paper will do the trick. When the oven is at temperature, place the chicken on the middle shelf of the oven to roast.

After 30 minutes, take the bird out and baste with the roasting juices, which should be starting to caramelise from the sugars in the marinade. Turn the oven down to 170C and return the chicken to the oven. Continue to roast for another 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the bird, basting every 15-20 minutes.



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Whilst the bird is roasting, place a couple of large frying pans on the hob over a medium heat. Place the sliced leeks in one pan to dry toast until lightly caramelised. In the other pan heat 2 tbsp of rapeseed or vegetable oil and once the oil is hot, gently fry the aubergine on both sides until lightly golden. Once cooked, transfer both the leeks and aubergines to a plate lined with kitchen roll and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.

Remove the chicken from the oven when an instant read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 70C in the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. If you don't have one of these, the old ‘juices run clear’ method will do. Allow the bird to rest for 20 minutes. The internal temperature will continue to rise to at least 75C during this time.
Whilst the bird rests, combine the salad dressing ingredients in a large bowl, whisking together until the sugar has dissolved. Add the grilled leeks, aubergine, chicory, tomatoes and herbs and toss well.

Carve the chicken, and place on a serving dish spooning over all of the delicious caramelised roasting juices. Serve alongside the warm vegetable salad, garnished with the remaining herbs, and steamed jasmine rice. 

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Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer, home chef and Instagrammer extraordinaire. 

To see more, stay tuned to this blog or follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER

Fosse Meadows free-range chickens are properly free range, at least 80 days old, and available from The Butchery Ltd.

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<![CDATA[Cattle cover stars & sweet bitters news]]>Wed, 22 Feb 2017 09:49:35 GMThttp://thebutcheryltd.com/blog1/cattle-cover-stars-sweet-bitters-newsAn exciting week in the news for good meat and things we stock Picture


​On Sunday (19th February), the Observer Food Monthly published their 5th annual "OFM 50" - the 50 things they love most in the world of food right now. (here)

It's a great list of delicious things to eat, and interesting/ethical producers. 

Very excitingly, John Lean's White Park beef was on the cover.


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White Park is a traditional native UK breed, and we think John Lean farms some of the best. We're proud to be named in the article, but even prouder to be the exclusive stockists of this remarkable, deeply tasty beef, slow-grown and pasture fed. 

We have some in the cool room at the moment. Follow Nathan on Twitter and Instagram (@naththebutcher for both) to find out when it will be in the counter. 





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Also in the list was Asterley Bros Dispense Amaro, an excitingly complex and fragrant bitter that is made in SE London, with lots of English ingredients, including Kentish hops, dandelion, hyssop and vermouth made with Kentish pinot noir grapes. We stock it in the Forest Hill shop, as we love it - brilliant on its own, in a spritz, or in a G&T. 

There's an interesting piece in the OFM 50 about mob grazing, which is a practice a lot of our farmers use. It's a nice insight into the kind of ethical farming we're interested in supporting and how happy, healthy animals are raised.

There's also love in the OFM 50 for black garlic, a deliciously caramelised preserved garlic, great in cooking. Which we also stock - although not the brand mentioned, we'll have to look into that!

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And, on the Saturday, the fabulous Thomasina Miers recommended using Fosse Meadows chickens in her recipes, here. Obviously, we love Fosse Meadows chickens. They were our first choice when we started The Butchery, way back in 2011. We tasted a LOT of chickens, and these came out ahead by a mile. They're still the only ones we've ever had. 

These Costwold White and Cotswold Gold birds are genuinely, truly free-range, slow-grown to 80 days, which gives them a richer, deeper flavour than other birds. From a full roast to the stock you make from the carcass the next day, we think you can absolutely tell the difference. 

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<![CDATA[How to cook the best pork chops]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:14:15 GMThttp://thebutcheryltd.com/blog1/january-23rd-2017Picture

​For porky perfection (with crackling!),
​get yourself a pair of native breed chops,
​cut about an inch thick each, and follow these steps... 

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Remove the skin and trim off any excess fat - if you leave a couple of centimetres on the chops, that will be plenty. (Keep the trimmed fat to render for roast potatoes!)
​Score the fat on the chops in a diamond pattern to help it to render when cooking. Do not cut all the way into the meat, a few millimetres will do the trick. (Note: it's much easier to do this step when the meat is cool i.e. at fridge temp and firm.) You can ask your butcher to do this if you prefer.
 
Prepare a quick salt cure with some sea salt and some flavourful aromats of your choice. Combinations that work well include:
- fennel seed, lemon zest, chipotle & garlic
- rosemary, garlic, black pepper & bay
- Sichuan pepper, chipotle, coriander seed & cumin seed

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Use about a tablespoon of salt to a tablespoon of aromats for two pork chops. Combine the ingredients and rub into the pork. Leave to cure for at least an hour, and up to 3. Once cured, brush off any excess cure and pat the pork chops well with kitchen paper. The surface of the meat should be dry before cooking.

While the pork chops are curing, place the pork skin in a pan half full with salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 15 mins, and then drain. Transfer the pork skin to some kitchen paper and dry well. Rub a few pinches of sea salt onto both sides of the skin, before laying flat on some greaseproof paper, just large enough to fold over the skin. Fold the paper over and place between two flat baking sheets. Place on the top shelf of an oven preheated to 230C and cook for about 15-20 mins or until the skin is golden and crackly. Check a couple times towards the end of the cooking time to make sure it doesn't burn. Remove from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Reserve until required. 
 

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​When ready to cook the pork, place a heavy based frying pan on the hob over a medium high heat. After 2-3 mins of preheating, place the chops in the pan standing upright on their fat side. You can lean the chops on each other to keep them balanced. Render the fat for about 3 mins. By this point there should be a couple of tablespoons of fat in the pan. Turn the heat up to high, then start to cook the chops on each side for about 2 mins per side. You're looking to colour each side well with a nice initial golden crust.
 
Next, turn the heat down to low and add a good knob of butter to the pan. Begin to baste the chops with the browning butter using a metal spoon and by tilting the pan. Do this for about 4 mins, flipping every minute. This will help to develop the crust to a deeper golden brown. (Note: these timings will yield pork that is slightly pink in the middle i.e. medium. If you prefer it more done, continue to baste for an extra 2 mins for medium well, or 4 mins for well done.) Transfer to a dish to rest for 5 mins.

For the ultimate fried bread, toast some thick slices in the pan you've just cooked the pork in, turning so both sides go golden. Rest the pork on top as you're cooking, so any resting juices soak into the bread. 

Serve the rested chops with the crackling and sides of your choice. 
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Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident,
regular customer and Instagrammer extraordinaire.
Follow Mike on Instagram 
@4TELIER

Native breed pork chops available from The Butchery Ltd shop
​in Forest Hill.

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<![CDATA[Turkey tips!]]>Mon, 19 Dec 2016 10:24:59 GMThttp://thebutcheryltd.com/blog1/turkey-tipsPicture
Got the jitters about your Christmas roast? 
Have a read of these tips from some turkey roasting veterans.


Easiest Roast Turkey


We get our turkeys from Nick & Jacob at Fosse Meadows. As well as raising the best poultry in the land, they are dab hands in the kitchen and have a range of recipes on their site for making the most of their tasty birds. 

To roast a turkey, they recommend the following method:

Preheat oven to 230C/Gas Mark 8. Remove turkey giblets and reserve. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan, brush the turkey generously with rapeseed oil and season with sea salt and black pepper and cover with foil. Place the turkey in the pre-heated oven and cook at this temperature for the first 30 minutes. Then, lower the oven temperature to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and cook for approximately 30 minutes per kilo, basting every hour. Remove the foil for the last half hour, then rest for half an hour after cooking. 

See the full method on their site,​ here



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Mike's Turkey Tips

We asked our favourite local Instagrammer, Mike Heywood, to give us his best turkey tips. We ate his Thanksgiving turkey, so can testify to the deliciousness of the method!

3 easy steps for a perfect Christmas bird

1. Dry brine. Brining in its traditional sense (submerging the whole bird in a solution of salt, sugar, water & spices) is a proven method for locking in moisture, tenderising and seasoning the bird from outside-in and inside-out. Dry brining has the same effect, minus the water. The key ingredient is the salt, which once rubbed all over the bird initially draws surface moisture from the meat, then dissolves into this moisture before getting reabsorbed back into the bird taking along with it any flavourings and seasonings of your choice. (We used about 1.5 cups of sea salt mixed well with 2 tbsp each of ground coriander seed, fennel seed, black pepper & Sichuan peppercorns). It's important to also season the cavity of the bird well to enable the 'inside out' bit of the process to work. The bird can then be left on a tray, uncovered on the lowest shelf of your fridge, happily for 2-3 days. Dry brining also means you can do away with trying to find a vessel large enough to contain the bird plus a huge amount of water sitting precariously in the fridge! When ready to cook, just remember to brush off any excess salt from the surface, and wipe out the cavity with some kitchen paper as the bird will have taken all it needs by this point. 

2. Trussing.
This video shows a really great technique (on a chicken but works just as well for other birds) and explains why it's important to truss the bird well (protect the breast meat from drying out, encourages better air circulation and maximises crispy skin). Just ask your butcher for a bit of extra string when picking up your bird, and follow the easy steps in the video.



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3. 2 stage cooking - low and slow, then high and fast.
​Cooking the bird first gently in a low oven for a long time enables even cooking, and helps to retain moisture. Holding the bird at its target internal temperature of 72-75C for as long as possible will also maximise tenderness as the natural enzymes in the meat get to work breaking down the fibres. A digital meat thermometer is the safest and most accurate way of achieving this. These are generally inexpensive and easy to find in most kitchen shops or online. Just insert the probe into the thickest part of the thigh, as close to the bone as you can get without touching it. Place the bird initially into a 100C oven, then once it gets to around 65C internal temp, turn the oven to 75C. In terms of timings if you can set aside a minimum of 5-6 hours, or even better up to 9 the effect only gets better. Finally, the high and fast stage. About 1.5 hours before you plan to eat, take the bird out of the oven. Turn the oven up to its highest setting and once super hot, return the bird to the oven and blast it for about 20 mins or until the skin is perfectly golden all over. Remove the bird from the oven and allow to rest uncovered for an hour, in which time your oven is free to finish off the other trimmings as required.  

A note about stuffing

Food safety guidelines recommend that stuffing is cooked separately to the bird – no, in fact, stuffed! We roll ours into a log, or cook in a baking dish like a meatloaf; or sometimes, we roll it into balls and cook it around the bird or vegetables for the last 30 minutes of roasting. 

In the cavity of the bird, we place a couple of sliced lemons or oranges and a good handgul of bay and thyme or sage. 
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<![CDATA[Lamb keema curry with marrow bones & peas]]>Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:08:00 GMThttp://thebutcheryltd.com/blog1/-lamb-keema-curry-with-marrow-bones-peasPicture
​Serves: 4

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: about 2.5 hours minimum, or up to 7 hours if desired

Traditionally made with goat meat, this preparation works equally well with lamb or mutton. Lots of slow cooked onions add a sweet savouriness, and the toasted spices give a warming and smokey background to the dish. The use of saffron, although a little unconventional, brings a deep richness, which alongside the fatty marrow, makes this a pretty perfect winter warmer. 

1 kg native breed lamb or mutton mince
500g lamb marrow bones (beef works too)
 
3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter – can be substituted with coconut, rapeseed or vegetable oil)
​3 good size onions, finely sliced
1/2 tbsp sea salt

1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
1/2 nutmeg
1 star anise
8 whole cloves
Seeds from 12 green cardamom pods
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 heaped tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp ginger powder

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6 good size garlic cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
3 red chillies, de-seeded if desired, finely chopped
2 tbsp double concentrate tomato paste
300g vine tomatoes, quartered

​Good pinch of saffron, optional
1 cup frozen petis pois (or garden peas)

500ml water, approx

2-3 tbsp fish sauce, to taste

Handful of fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

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​In a large oven safe saucepan or casserole dish, heat 2 tbsp of the ghee on the hob over a medium heat. Add the sliced onions and the sea salt and begin to soften. Cook slowly until brown and smelling sweet, approx 20 mins.

Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over a high heat and add 1 tbsp of the ghee. Brown the lamb mince in batches taking care not to overcrowd the pan. This will help to avoid the meat from steaming and will develop a good deep colour. Once well browned transfer to a sieve or colander placed over a bowl to drain off any excess fat. Repeat until all mince is browned.



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While the onions are cooking and the mince is browning, take a small frying pan and place over a medium heat. Once hot, add the whole spices (except the saffron), turn the heat down to low and dry roast until fragrant, approx 5 mins, shaking the pan occasionally. Once toasted transfer the spices to a mortar and pestle and grind to a fine powder. Combine with the other powdered spices and reserve.



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Once the onions have browned, turn the heat up and add the garlic and chillies. Sauté for 3 mins, then add the spice powder, reserving a few teaspoons for later. Stir for about 20 seconds and then add a splash of water so the spices don't burn. Then add the tomato paste and keep stirring for 1 minute to cook off slightly. Next add the tomatoes. Continue to sauté for 2 minutes, then add the water and saffron. Stir to combine and once boiling add the browned lamb mince, again stirring well to combine. Once the mixture returns to the boil, turn the heat down to a simmer. Nestle the marrow bones standing upright around the curry. Cover with a lid and transfer to an oven preheated to 120C.
Slow cook for a minimum of 2 hours. The dish can be cooked for much longer if desired to really develop a deep rich flavour - up to around 7 hours or so. More water will need to be added and stirred in periodically to prevent it from drying out.

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About 5 mins before serving, remove the curry from the oven and place over a medium heat on the hob. Check the consistency, stirring in a bit more water to loosen if required. Season with the fish sauce to taste. Mix in the frozen peas, cover and cook for 2 mins, or until the peas are defrosted and the curry is steaming hot.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the coriander leaves and a few pinches of the reserved spice powder. Serve with steamed jasmine rice, and roti prata or naan bread.


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If you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers they can be used to make a spiced shepherds pie. Simply top with some buttery mashed potatoes, laced with leeks sautéed with a teaspoon of the spice mix from this recipe. Place in a hot oven until warmed through then under a grill to brown the top. 

Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer and Instagrammer extraordinaire. Follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER

Native breed lamb and mutton available from The Butchery Ltd shop in Forest Hill.

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<![CDATA[Pork belly salad with watermelon, chicory, Thai herbs & pickled chillies]]>Mon, 21 Nov 2016 12:21:08 GMThttp://thebutcheryltd.com/blog1/pork-belly-salad-with-watermelon-chicory-thai-herbs-pickled-chilliesPicture
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 mins, plus overnight stage
Cooking time: about 2 hours total

A Thai inspired preparation that balances sour, salty and sweet flavours to complement the fatty richness of top quality pork. Let this unassuming combination of ingredients bring freshness and zing to those cool autumnal evenings.
You do need to start the recipe the night before.


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1 kg of native breed boneless pork belly

2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp Chinese 5 spice powder

For the salad

1 small chicory heart, leaves separated and sliced
lengthways in approx. 1/2 inch strips

1/2 small watermelon, outer skin removed and cut into
approx. 1 inch chunks

Handful each of fresh mint, coriander and basil, roughly torn. Plus a few extra leaves for garnishing.

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For the pickled chillies
2-3 medium red chillies, sliced (discard seeds if you prefer it less spicy)
50ml rice wine vinegar (white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar works too)
100ml water
2 tbsp light brown sugar

For the dressing
Juice of 3 limes
2 tbsp palm sugar (light brown sugar works too)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp  roast chillies in oil (such as the Eat The Bits chilli oil available at The Butchery, or others available in most Asian supermarkets, but if you're unable to get your hands on some you can substitute with 1/2 tbsp each of chilli flakes and sesame oil)

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Place the pork belly in a saucepan with the sugar, salt and 5 spice powder. Add enough water to cover and place over a medium heat with the lid on. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and leave to cook for an hour. Turn the heat off and allow to cool in the liquid.

​Once cooled to room temperature, remove the pork and discard the liquid. Pat the meat dry and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Place another sheet of greaseproof paper on top of the meat and another baking tray. Place some weighty items on top to flatten the pork and transfer to the fridge to cool and set, about 4 hours or overnight.



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Next, make the pickled chillies. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, water and sugar to a boil. Once boiling, add the sliced chillies, stirring briefly before turning off the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a clean jar or other sealable container. Place in the fridge to cool and reserve until required.


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About 45 mins before you want to eat, preheat your oven to 200C, and place an oven safe pan on the hob over a medium-high heat. Take the pork from the fridge and transfer the meat to a cutting board. Cut the pork into approx. 1.5 inch cubes, and place skin-side down in the pan. After crisping the skin slightly on the hob for 5 mins, transfer the pan to the oven and cook for about 15-20 mins or until crisp and golden.

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While the pork is crisping in the oven, make the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Reserve until required.

Remove the pork from the oven and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to cool it slightly.
In a large mixing bowl bring together the salad ingredients, pork belly and two thirds of the dressing.


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​Toss the salad gently and then arrange on a serving dish. Drizzle over the remaining dressing, scatter the remaining herbs and a few pickled chillies. Serve with steamy hot jasmine rice.


Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer and Instagrammer extraordinaire. Follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER

Native breed pork available from The Butchery Ltd shop in Forest Hill.

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