14/06/2017

I’ve got some news for you that might just be the highlight of your summer – it certainly is for mine (but as a chef, I admit to being slightly obsessed with flavour!)
After months on end of testing, tasting and tweaking the recipes, I can finally unveil our new range of Marinated Chicken.

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We’ve taken meaty, free-range UK chicken breasts and thighs, and added to their natural taste with a uniquely delicious range of BBQ marinades. We’ve used specially selected ingredients such as real lime oil, garlic and smoky paprika to infuse truly mouth-watering flavour into the tender meat, for an end result you simply have to taste to believe.

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Imagine – juicy, succulent chicken thighs, glistening with garlic & herb or sweet, smoky BBQ glazes. Both thighs and breasts enriched with zingy peri peri or sweet chilli & lime – such fantastic summer flavours!

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They’re all ideal for pan to oven cooking, or of course, barbecuing. If you like, you can just pop them on the barbecue for the last couple of minutes of cooking, to get that lovely smoky flavour and the all-important stripes from the grill… mmm, enjoy!

Eddie

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If prepared well, eating a good Sirloin Steak can be one of life’s little pleasures. But if you’re not a trained butcher, how would you know what this cut is, and what makes it such an enjoyable eat? As a master butcher, I think I can help there…

Sirloin Steaks – also known as New York Strip Steaks in the USA – are cut from the very best meat to be found in the primal. The whole striploin, or sirloin, is a primal cut to be found beneath the back of the animal, between the ribs and the fillet. In fact, that’s how it gets its name, which comes from the French ‘surloine’, meaning ‘below the loin’ – loin is the old name for the fillet.

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Combining the finest tender meat of the whole striploin with an outer edge of fat down one side, these steaks cook really well and are a the ideal combination of flavour and tenderness. They occupy the perfect balance between the extremes provided by other steak cuts – not too lean, fatty, tough or mild, you certainly don’t have to be a steak aficionado to taste their instant appeal. No wonder the sirloin is known as ‘the nation’s favourite steak’!

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What to look for in the perfect Sirloin Steak…

• Grass-fed – you just can’t match it for flavour. Grass-fed beef has a richer, sweeter flavour than grain-fed, and won’t leave a greasy aftertaste.

• Well matured – about 28 days should be right, certainly no less, or the flavour and tender texture just won’t be developed enough. Smell it once it’s been at room temperature and before you cook it – it might sound odd but the raw beef should have a gorgeous, buttery aroma.

• Good marbling – although not as heavily marbled as ribeye or some of the humble cuts, sirloin steaks should still be streaked with tiny flecks of fat throughout the meat.

• Butchered with care – all gristle and silverskin should have been removed so you don’t have to leave anything on your plate. Traditional hand cutting will always get the best results.

Trimmed of excess fat – known as ‘special trim’ in the trade, just 5mm left on should be plenty for a great flavour when cooking.

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These are the criteria I would measure any Sirloin Steak against, and would select mine accordingly. They are features which ‘come as standard’ with all Donald Russell Sirloin Steaks, which is just as well; if you can trust a traditional butcher to look after the essential details for you, you can just get on with enjoying your steak.

I always pan-fry mine, following our fool-proof cooking guide, and eat it with fried onions, mushrooms and our Alpine Fries – they just go straight from the freezer into the steak’s pan while it rests, and take on all its beefy flavour. My word, that’s making me hungry now!

Mark Farquhar
Head Butcher

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27/04/2017

If I said ‘The Big 4’ to you, would you know what I was talking about? They’re actually our top steak cuts – Sirloin, Ribeye, Fillet and Rump. We treat each very differently here in the butchery, and, once cut, the final steaks have their own distinct qualities to offer.

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Fillet, being the least used muscle of the four, is naturally very tender, so we only mature it for 21 days, to help bring out its subtle flavour. Its buttery tenderness makes this a seriously prized cut, and it’s what you’ll find tucked inside our delicious Beef Wellingtons.

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Sirloin gets its name from the French surloine, meaning ‘beneath the fillet’, which is where it is to be found as the butcher is preparing the full side of beef. It has worked a little harder than the fillet, so we hang it for longer, for 28 days. Many people consider Sirloin to have the ideal combination of flavour and tenderness.

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That’s the minimum time we ensure our Ribeyes are hung. They benefit from a little extra time, to make sure the creamy fat which makes them so tasty has transformed into the perfect waxy texture in its swirls and eye. Only then will it render beautifully in the pan and melt in the mouth, releasing all that flavour.

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Lastly, we have Rump. On the back haunches of the animal, it has worked with every step these outdoor reared beasts have taken as they graze the fields. All this work means it has a full, deep, beefy flavour and a definite ‘bite’ to the meat. We allow it to age for a full 35 days, or even longer, until it’s tender enough to be seared as a steak. Our butchers cut our signature ‘Pavé Rumps’ from one single muscle within the rump, trimming them of all fat and gristle.

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Of course, we cut many more steaks than these four – take a look at our Speciality Steaks for starters – but these are the real ‘big hitters’ for a reason. They’re what most of our customers keep coming back for, again and again – and you can rest assured that we’ll continue to pride ourselves on selling you nothing but the very best of them!

Mark Farquhar
Head Butcher

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