Hi folks,

I thought it was high time I reminded you why we call Ribeye the ‘Butcher’s Favourite’ steak. We butchers find it the most deeply flavoured because of the lovely fat rippling through it, and besides, we’re too mean to pay for fillet. (That’s a joke, by the way. Never let it be said butchers are mean, especially Aberdonian ones!)

The Ribeye is cut from the Forerib, within the ribcage, and fairly close to where the Sirloin comes from. You can see this illustrated on p10 of our How to Meat Perfection guide. We butcher the Forerib down to the Ribeye Roll, removing cartilage, gristle and excess fat, and cutting it free of the rib bones. It’s from between these very rib bones that we cut our legendary Beef Rib Trim, by the way.

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Once this is all trimmed down, only the ‘eye’ muscle remains – hence the name. We’ve already matured this cut on the bone for a minimum of 28 days, to bring out its rich flavour and allow it to become nice and tender. It’s got fantastic marbling, and a lovely seam of fat running right through it, which is what adds the really deep, beefy flavour. The fat melts into the meat during cooking and resting, making it succulent and juicy – ‘affa fine’, as we say up here!

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Our highly trained butchers – under my supervision, of course – slice this lovely chunk of meat into our famous Ribeye Steaks. They do it the old-fashioned, traditional way, by hand, for the very best results, and have an amazing eye for exactly how thick to cut each one. We do different weights of Ribeyes, and they all have to be within just a few grams of this weight to pass muster.

It’s a lot of work to go through, and a long time to wait for it in the first place, but we know that only by following each of these steps can we guarantee the fantastic eating quality that we pride ourselves on. And believe me, when it comes to putting a steak on my own plate, I’m a Ribeye man every time!

Cheers for now,

Mark Farquhar
Head Butcher

Posted by Mark in Head Butcher   |  Leave a comment

Corrie Cheyne

Earlier this summer, we spoke about how to poach a chicken.

Once it’s cooled, the meat’s so fantastically juicy and succulent that it’s just amazing in salads, where it can play a starring role.

You really can make these up to suit yourself – throw some of your favourite ingredients together and see what happens – but if you need inspiration, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Best served on a sunny day, with a glass of something cold. Enjoy!

Chicken salad with new potatoes

Take the time to shell raw peas for this recipe, and make sure you do add the dressing to the potatoes while they’re still warm – it makes all the difference to this tasty salad. The potatoes make it satisfyingly substantial! If you fancy a bit more of a bite, try adding some finely chopped spring onions.

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  1. •  3 cups poached chicken, chopped
  1. •  2 heads little gem lettuce, in leaves
  1. • 2 cups asparagus, blanched and chopped into 2cm lengths
  1. • 3 cups small new potatoes, boiled in their skins and halved
  1. • 1 cup raw peas, shelled
  1. • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn

Dressing

  1. •  6 tbsp good olive or rapeseed oil
  1. •  5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  1. •  2 tsp lemon zest, finely shredded
  1. •  2 small cloves garlic, crushed
  1. •  3 tsp Dijon mustard
  1. •  Pinch of sugar
  1. •  Salt and pepper to taste

Make the dressing first. Cook the new potatoes and, while still warm, halve them and mix with half the dressing (this allows them to absorb plenty flavour). Mix everything else together and add to the potatoes. Serve immediately, while potatoes are still slightly warm.

Thai Chicken Salad

This salad is full of punchy flavours and textures – serve it with extra lime wedges if you fancy. Play around with the dressing until you’ve got it to your taste – it should have a fantastic mixture of sweet, sour and salty tastes. The best way to mix this dressing is shaking it up in a jar to combine the ingredients, before adding it to the salad. Remember to put the lid on, though, or it could go horribly wrong!

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  1. •  3 cups poached chicken, shredded
  1. •  3 cups raw white cabbage, shredded
  1. •  3 large carrots, grated
  1. •  1 cup peanuts, toasted and chopped
  1. •  1 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  1. •  1 cup spring onions, finely sliced
  1. •  ½ cup radishes, finely sliced

Dressing

  1. •  1 clove garlic, crushed
  1. •  2 tbsp soy sauce
  1. •  3 tbsp rice vinegar
  1. •  Juice of 2 limes
  1. •  3 tsp sweet chilli sauce
  1. •  Pinch of chilli flakes (be careful!)
  1. •  1 tbsp peanut butter
  1. •  1 tbsp sugar, to taste

Chicken and avocado in yogurt, garlic and dill dressing

Make sure all the ingredients are properly chilled before adding this yogurt dressing. The dill gives it a really summery taste that I just love! I recommend making the croutons first, to give them plenty of time to cool down. Then mix the salad ingredients with the dressing, and sprinkle the croutons on top. If you prefer, you can sprinkle the crumbled bacon on top of each dish, too, rather than mixing it though the salad.

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Croutons

  1. •  3 thick slices white bread, cut into 2cm dice
  1. •  3 tbsp olive oil
  1. •  1 clove garlic, crushed

Mix all the crouton ingredients in a bowl, transfer to a baking tray, and bake gently in a medium oven until golden brown. Transfer to kitchen paper to cool.

  1. •  3 cups cold poached chicken, shredded
  1. •  8 rashers of steaky bacon, grilled till crispy, cooled and crumbled
  1. •  3 large, ripe avocados, diced
  1. •  1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  1. •  3 cups pea shoots
  1. •  4 cups watercress
  1. •  1 head little gem lettuce, leaves separated

Dressing

  1. •  1 cup natural yogurt
  1. •  1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  1. •  2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  1. •  1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. •  1 garlic clove, crushed
  1. •  Salt and pepper to taste

All recipes serve 6

Yours aye,
Corrie

Posted by Corrie in Cooking Tips & Recipes, NEW to Donald Russell   |  Leave a comment

…Sounds like a bad Christmas cracker joke, doesn’t it?

I’m a man of simple tastes. Give me a good bit of meat, properly cooked, and I’m happy. And to be frank, I’d rather have a sausage bap (that’s a sausage or two in a soft bread roll to anyone who didn’t grow up in the North East) than a plate of artfully arranged microherbs and blobs of jelly, or whatever it is they do on Masterchef.

sausage prep

But when it comes to that sausage bap – well, that’s when my tastes can get relatively exotic! Much as I love our classic Pork Sausages, I can get pretty excited about some of our other types, too – and there are plenty to choose from…

sausages barbeque

Take our Artisan Pork Sausages, for instance. Pretty similar to our classic ones, but with the cunning addition of a wee bit of ham and some onion for sweetness. My wife won’t let me bring home the classic ones anymore – she loves these too much!

sausage casserole

We do Beef Sausages, too – I love these in a sausage casserole – and Lamb, Mint & Garlic, which definitely pack a punch of flavour. For an extra kick, I’ve even been known to have them with sweet chilli sauce, much to my wife’s disgust – hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, I say!

swiss sausage

Our Chipolatas are good and chunky, giving you more bite than most – perfect for parties (you’ll never look like a stingy host with these!), or ravenous kids. Our selection of Swiss Sausages goes down a treat for lunch. Hans is a big fan, of course – and I must admit to being partial to one of the smoked ones in a bit of baguette with mustard. Beats your average hot dog hands down!

sausage recipe

But if I had to choose my favourite kind, I’d be hard pushed to decide between our Pork & Leek ones – the leek adds a sweetness that I can’t get enough of – or the Pork & Cheese. Wee nuggets of Red Leicester cheese in a sausage – how can anyone not think that’s amazing? If you haven’t tried them yet, do it – you’ll love them. Trust me, I’m a butcher!

Posted by Mark in NEW to Donald Russell   |  Leave a comment