Thursday, 28 October 2010

Beef class at The Ginger Pig

VEGETARIANS LOOK AWAY, CLOSE YOUR BROWSER AND COME BACK TOMORROW!
Last night Nick and I went to The Ginger Pig at Marylebone for a night of BEEF. 
Yes I was one of only two girls there, with ten men plus our two butchers Borut and Perry... aaand yeah Beef is a bit of a macho meat and there was a hint or two of macho-ness in class but so much fun.

I would have loved to have taken more pictures so I could explain the cuts and take you step by step through it all but to be honest your hands get pretty bloody. When you've got your hands clean again Perry likes you to slap the meat. I'm not sure if this is to tenderise or flatten or just because it's satisfying and he likes the sound it makes?

So, we went in and donned some white coats and talked about dry curing the beef and where The Ginger Pig raise their free-range animals and how they do it, explaining that Organic isn't always better (http://www.thegingerpig.co.uk) We talk about the fattier meat- the sweeter. The meat near the head, the shoulders and neck and also the shins are the muscles that are worked the most so require the most cooking. 


We start with a little competition - who can hold half the carcass arms stretched out in front of you for more than 25 seconds? The winner gets to take home a massive ribeye steak when we came across it.. 


Nicko hard at work...
We learn about every cut of meat, what it's called as it is, on the bone, off the bone, what you should do with it how long to cook it. We all have a go at sawing through bones and slicing through meat, could get a job as a butcher and save yourself the gym membership, it's hard work! 
Boy did it pay off, whilst we were each creating our Cote De Boeuf (sawing, slicing, rolling, slapping, cleaning the bones and learning butcher's knots) Borut was resting enough beef to feed 40 for 12 of us. Served with Dauphinoise potatoes and salad. Whilst we had a lesson in carving from Borut, Perry was transforming our work tables into a dinner table, this duo have this class wrapped up! 



You could almost hear the ravenous rumbles in our bellies so when all dished up with plenty of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon it felt like the beginnings of a pie eating contest (Well the standing up, the paper cloths,the overalls, the sheer anticipation) But once the first bit of beef melted on the tongue silence fell upon us. 
 Pure carnivores eating in bloody whites.. 
 And then as if we weren't all stuffed the most amazing bread and butter pudding arrives!


I have to say the class comes at a price (£135) but it is worth every penny. 
Not only is it three hours, its so informative and interactive and with a delicious dinner and wine you'd think it was enough but you also get to take home your Cote De Boeuf all wrapped up plus bones for stock. When weighing your meat for cooking purposes you'll see you're taking home £££ in beef to wow your friends. 

I loved this night, Nick loved this night and if you love meat, you will too. Borut and Perry are fantastic and teach you more than you'd expect to learn with all the banter and yummy extras thrown in there too. 

Thank you Perry and Borut.


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