Miscellaneous

Hans Baumann

What makes our Minced Steak the best?

How can I be so certain that our Minced Steak will create truly memorable meals? Because over 40 years of experience goes into making sure of it! Since 1974, we have focussed on bringing you the very best in flavour. We know that for our Minced Steak to stand out from the crowd, it needs treating differently from the very start.

cattle

So first of all, we insist that our cattle are slow grown and grass-fed outdoors. Only this natural lifestyle gives the subtle marbling and healthy muscle tone that produces beef with the ultimate flavour and perfect texture. Other cattle may be grain-fed, which piles the weight on fast, but never gives the superior flavour or texture of grass-feeding.

mark

Our expert buyers work hard to source the very best of this beef, carefully examining each week’s offering to ensure that only the premium carcases are selected. They look at a number of things, including the firmness of the lean muscle (‘soft’ meat doesn’t eat well) and the level of marbling (how fat is laid down within the meat).

factory

Once we’ve selected the best, we mature it traditionally to deepen the flavour even further. Maturation is costly, as conditions need to be kept at exactly the right chilled temperature, with a constant flow of air. The meat loses a lot of weight to evaporation, and the outside sections darken and need to be cut off. However, we never cut costs here, as proper maturation improves the final quality to quite a remarkable degree.

mince

Only once it’s fully matured do our butchers use their impressive knife skills to hand cut each carcase into roasts, steaks and casserole cuts. Their experience allows them to slice each cut to perfection, carefully retaining the flavoursome trimmings.

mince2

And what happens to those? Why, we mince them, of course! So you see, it’s not much wonder that once our customers taste the old-fashioned depth of flavour of our Minced Steak, they never want to go back to the supermarket version. Ours has been treated exceptionally from the outset – I insist on nothing less!

Yours sincerely,
Hans Baumann

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02/03/2016

Matthias Schmitt

Hello again!

I’m here today to tell you all about our Osso Buco. It seems to be quite an unfamiliar term for some people, so please allow me to explain a little more…

Osso Buco refers to both an iconic Milanese dish, and the cut of meat that’s used to make it. It translates literally as ‘bone with a hole’, which is actually a fairly accurate description. You see, the cut is a cross-section of a shank, cut straight across so that it includes chunky meat around a slice of bone. But the hole is not an empty space – oh no; it’s packed with that most lovely of treats, bone marrow, which adds a fantastic richness to the finished meal!

veal osso buco

The Milanese speciality involves braising the Osso Buco with white wine, vegetables and stock, and serving it with a saffron risotto. The older version of the dish is simply flavoured with cinnamon and bay leaves, and served with a tangy gremolata – lemon, garlic, anchovies and parsley, all minced up together. A slightly newer version includes tomatoes, carrots and celery. Both of these traditionally use veal as the meat, although other meats can sometimes be used as well – here at Donald Russell, we sell Veal, Venison and Pork versions of Osso Buco. It’s a gorgeous recipe, and one which I thoroughly recommend you take the time to prepare one day!

pie4

If time is not on your side, though, don’t worry – you can always enjoy our own Slow Cooked Pork Osso Buco in Sage & Onion Gravy. One of our range of Slow Cooked Mains, this is a dish I’m particularly proud of – the long, slow cooking ‘sous vide’ renders the meat so tender it just falls away from the bone. Surrounding it is a deliciously thick, silky gravy, full of the complementary flavours of pork, sage and onion – and of course, that lovely bone marrow. All you have to do is pop it straight in the oven from frozen. It really couldn’t be easier!

Well, I hope that’s explained a little more about this most wonderful of traditional cuts. Whether you prepare it yourself, or try our slow cooked version, I trust you’ll be licking your lips –and maybe even your plate.

Enjoy!

Matthias

Veal Osso Buco Offer

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Corrie Cheyne

In our house, it’s usually the same couple of people who organise most of the festive food for the extended household. It’s great fun – they love it – but it can sometimes mean that the chefs don’t end up getting much of a break (I don’t know about you, but we get through a LOT of food over a big family Christmas!).

So we’ve started a new tradition. On at least one day over the holidays, no cooking gets done. We’re quite strict about this – anything goes so long as the oven or hob is not turned on – but funnily enough, no-one minds. That’s because on this day, we often end up having the best feast of all!

ham2

What we do is put out a great big ‘help-yourself’ buffet. It gets spread out somewhere coolish at lunchtime, and stays there for the rest of the day. Everyone drifts up as they feel like it, ready to pick at another little slice of whatever takes their fancy – and believe me, there’s a fairly constant stream of nibblers. It’s all completely easy-going, and everyone gets the chance to put their feet up and relax. Ahhh!

salmon

Take a look at what’s on offer, and you’ll understand why this new tradition is a favourite with our household. Sitting in pride of place is that celebration essential, a juicy ham studded with cloves. Beside it, a platter of salt beef – there’s always a bit of a competition to see who can carve the thinnest slices of this! Beside both of these sit little pots of mustard, chutney and piccalilli, and loaves of crusty bread.

ham

There’s always a bit of salmon, too. Sometimes a whole side of smoked salmon for us to slice as we please, or a side of hot roasted salmon to flake off in delicious chunks. Ready sliced gravadlax keeps things easy – it’s my mum’s favourite so it usually makes an appearance!

smoked_salmon

There must be at least one old-fashioned cold pie, too. Whether it’s traditional pork, chicken & ham or my own favourite, game, it never lasts very long before being reduced to a few crumbs of gorgeous, hot-water pastry.

If anyone’s feeling particularly energetic (I jest) we’ll sometimes put out a pot of confit duck or smoked mackerel pâté. As both of these only involve mashing up the main ingredient with a little cream, they fit perfectly within the ‘no cook’ rules, and are seriously good dolloped on a cracker or two.

confit

And of course, being an all-day feast, there has to be something sweet on the table too. Our current preference is these extra-creamy cheesecakes, and for those moments when you can barely manage another mouthful, our wonderfully indulgent patisserie selection are the perfect dainty treats.

So there you have it. Our new family tradition of giving the oven a day off is fast becoming our favourite day of the year – hardly surprising when we’ve got all this to choose from!

desserts

Yours aye,
Corrie

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