Preparation time: 30 mins (plus minimum 12 hours to marinate)
Cooking time: 10 mins
Some say Indonesian, others say Malaysian. Some even Thai. Wherever its true origin, one thing that can be said for sure is that satay is as delicious cooked expertly by a street vendor meticulously fanning his charcoal as it is done on your home BBQ set up. This versatile recipe is done here with beef and lamb, but works equally well with chicken thighs.
The peanut sauce accompaniment is a must. If you are not keen on braving the BBQ do try this inside on a griddle pan.
You'll need to slice your meat into strips that are about 0.5cm thick and 10cm long. If you don't feel confident doing this, ask you butcher to do it for you.
Preparation time: 20 mins (plus overnight marinade, 2 nights better!)
Cooking time: 20 mins
Summer has landed! Time to dust off those BBQs and get the coals fired up! Normally, shortribs are an economical cut that require low and slow, winter-style TLC to achieve perfection – like these braised and glazed ribs for example. However this alternative Korean technique will allow you to enjoy them all year round with equally delicious results, and minimal effort. ‘Cross-cut’ means that the shortribs are cut across the bone rather than along. Ask your butcher for the shortribs to be cut as thinly as possible. This is for two reasons. Firstly, it allows the robust Asian marinade to penetrate thoroughly and work its tenderizing magic. Second, it means the ribs can be grilled high and fast over a glowing charcoal BBQ.
Serves: 6, plus leftovers
Preparation time: 1 hour (or cheat and pre order one all done from The Bucthery Ltd) best started the day before.
Cooking time: 8 hours
A traditional Italian Porchetta involves boning a whole pig, loading with aromats before rolling up, tying and slow roasting in a wood fire oven until the skin is crackly and the meat is melting. You can also find trucks at markets dispensing this divine porcine goodness, the best in rolls with a sweet and spicy red pepper jelly or mostarda. This recipe aims to replicate this grand affair in the comfort of your own home, and with standard domestic kitchen apparatus. Though if you have the capacity to roast a whole pig, we envy you, and expect an immediate invitation! It takes a somewhat more modest portion – a boned loin of pork with the belly still attached – that is still perfect for rolling and slow roasting. 8 hours may seem a lot; but really, once you’ve got the joint prepped it simply goes into a very low oven and is forgotten about, so you can get on with your day. Though be warned – the amazing smells that will permeate your house will be a constant reminder of the delights to come! Finally, this recipe should be enjoyed at least twice – hot from the oven with your favourite roast trimmings (obvs); but then it should be allowed to cool to room temperature so that it can be sliced thinly over warm crusty bread for incredible roast pork sandwiches.
Preparation time: 15mins
Cooking time: 1 hour
There are sausage rolls, and then there are these. Spiked with Stilton – the King of English cheese, and sweet caramelised onion, the smell alone wafting through the house as they bake is impossible to resist.
The recipe suggests using shop bought ready rolled puff pastry for speed and convenience. But you could of course make your own if you fancied a challenge!
Serves: 4, plus leftovers
Preparation time: 5mins
Cooking time: 2 hours
Arguably the national dish of the Philippines, this deeply earthy, tangy dish is steeped in history, and born out of a necessity for food preservation. Consisting of only 6 base ingredients, this simple and delicious staple continues to be a favourite in every Filipino household. Extremely versatile, it can be prepared with almost any protein - this recipe uses pork belly which is slowly braised to produce a soft, melt in the mouth texture. It can be enjoyed on the day, better still the day after, and any leftovers can be transformed into the most amazing pork sandwiches. Joy.
Serves: 6, plus leftovers
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: Up to 5 hrs for low and slow, or 1 hr 30mins for high and fast
There are few things that beat great British roast beef. Fore rib is the perfect cut for the ultimate roast, and makes a fabulous Christmas centrepiece. This recipe can be done ‘low and slow’ if you’ve got the time to pop it in the oven and forget about it for a few hours. Alternatively you can do a more traditional ‘high and fast’ in a fraction of the time – either way, you can achieve great results with minimal faff!
Preparation time: 40mins, plus overnight brine
Cooking time: 5 hours
This recipe takes time, but rest assured the results are well worth it. It begins with an overnight brine, followed by a gentle low and slow roast, then a final blast to produce a wonderfully bronzed exterior. Brining adds moisture and highlights the natural flavour and subtle sweetness of the pork. Low temperature cooking slowly brings the meat up to a perfect 65C internally, and then holds it there to gently tenderize the meat by maximising the “fibre-bursting activities” of the natural enzymes within. Or so Harold McGee would say.
You’ll need an ovenproof meat thermometer, this is essential. They’re an extremely useful kitchen tool for cooking meat safely and accurately. Here’s a link to the one I use, but any similar will do the job like the ones they sell at The Butchery Ltd for £6.50
Not enough time for low and slow? Skip to the bottom for a high and fast alternative.
We've had Hugh’s Fish fight, lots of people fighting the corner for chickens and some fabulous work for farm animals in general especially from Compassion in World Farming, though apart from the banning of sow cages in the UK, pigs have not had much welfare publicity. Though now we have The Pig Pledge & The Pig Idea part of the Feeding the 5000, which The Butchery Ltd did all the butchery for last years Trafalgar Square feast. The food waste fed pork was exceptional with a huge depth of flavour, we have since also butchered a few other special pigs,[ fed on by products like whey and seen some very flavoursome pork. We believe, that as with cattle & sheep growing animals more slowly & naturally with a varied diet leads to a higher nutritional value in the meat, that all old fashioned "real meat" flavour & depth that is missing in a lot of modern meat. Alternatively pigs that gain a large part their nutrition from a single source take on some its elements, do you want that to be GM modified imported soya and corn, or whey from a local dairy or used hops from a brewery? Compare some of your local supermarket pork to the last bit of Spanish Jamon made from black pigs raised on acorns if you need any help making that decision.
Generally we don't get on the bandwagon as there are just so many "do-gooding" options out there. When we started The Butchery Ltd in 2011 we decided that we would source well raised meat from sources we felt comfortable with and let the taste & general quality of the meat speak for its self rather than preaching ethics to everyone, but pigs dead & alive have had our heart for so long that we seem to have gotten on the wagon.
Pigs by their very nature often end up being farmed in less than idyllic circumstances. The Foot & Mouth outbreak of 2001 in the UK, led to the sudden & total banning of feeding any scraps from human consumption, to pigs. Since 2002 this has been a EU wide ban, a crying shame for our growing food waste problem, more details can be found on the The Pig Idea solutions.
Food waste is a problem prevalent in the world, feeding pigs and other animals our food waste is one angle, The other is not to make as much waste to begin with. Everyone making more effort to use all parts of the animals they choose to eat and only buying enough for their needs, means we can eat less but better raised meat.
Well fed and raised pork can be easily bought throughout the UK & is fabulous value for money, we see hundreds of people from all walks of life & cultures buy this type of pork from us every week, long may this continue as its the only way to support the small farmers we buy from, not to mention our growing staff and ourselves. Most supermarkets & many, but definitely not, all independent butchers and farm shops can supply those wanting to purchase higher welfare pork, but read your labels and ask questions, be aware of general answers & understand that unfortunately some schemes are more about the marketing & pretty labels than the animal welfare (see here for details). For example Red Tractor guarantees British, but not necessarily very high standards of welfare.
More people buying higher welfare fresh pork is fab to see, but we would like to spread this word & thoughts further, many of the UK's favourite “meats” are from processed pork, bacon, ham & sausages. Start checking your labels & asking some close questions and you might get a bit of a scare, aside from the salt and the "E numbers" your processed pork product is much more likely to have been factory farmed and, or, from abroad. Why is this bad? Well apart from the fact that the UK's pig farmers need all the support they can get & the unnecessary food miles, farming standards vary wildly. A cry we often find ourselves muttering is "Not all meat is created equal".
So next pork pie, pepperoni pizza, bacon butty or ham & pickle sandwich you buy - check its happy pork, if nothing else, your taste buds and health will thank you, as, better raised pork has more flavour it tends to need less processing & if someone cares enough to use high welfare pork your probably going to find they care enough to make sure it tastes just fab. Next time you see that piece of heart or liver in the butchers window, snap it up and try a new recipe.
So take the PIG PLEDGE and remember bacon, salami, ham & sausages are pigs too!
A very interesting piece about the new breed of butchers in town from the Food Program on BBC4
It features amongst others our amazing friends Dario and his wife Kim at M.A.D last year. Sheila Dillon always curates a interesting well considered pieces for her show.
An Australian butcher Nathan Mills and his partner Ruth Siwinski in London, passionate about real meat from great farmers, butchered with respect and eaten with relish. Remember not all meat is created equal.