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le petit boucher

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  1. Hi all I'm sensitive to not bombarding e-gullet with business but I hoped the situation we have might be of interest to some on here. We are a small, independant food business based in East Sussex/Kent border with two main branches to our business: We are a wholesale butchery - originally a High St butcher our meat supply 25 years ago all came out of Smithfield. Quality was variable and provenance unknown. As a result we started going direct to local livestock farmers. That was then and now is now, as a result of what I hate to call a 'trend' in people's approach to food other butchers; and then later restaurants etc. came to us and the wholesale business grew: Butchers are easy, they tend to demand for example a side of beef, 6 lambs and 3 pigs in a week. When a caterer asks us for 12 whole filets we are then left with the rest of 6 animals to deal with; Our other business basically seeks to make use of and adding value to principally, the forequarter of beef which we primarily do by producing meat pies, in the same way that butchers have always made puddings and pies and hasslet and brawn etc etc. The current way we operate is very much word-to-mouth with local businesses and some work in London. What we really need is someone to put a bit of commercial immperative into it. The role would be part time and could be really flexible - possibly suiting someone with children in school etc. If anyone is interested please drop me a pm/email at ben@sussexfarms.co.uk
  2. i'm certain that is normally at home in a watercolour artists kit bag.
  3. Yes! My first stop would be Judges. Emmanuel is an extremely accomplished baker. I'm certain they will be open to supplying your wedding with his excellent bread. Ben
  4. i have to agree, are those the defining categories of the british restaurant scene? if so i'm worried about the future. Also, a coupke of cliche choices i feel... but it has to be said, a whole section on italian, a whole section on tapas and not one on french? my thoughts on their choices: If Effings in Totnes is anything like Effings in Exeter, cheap it is not (although I was a student at Exeter Uni at the time) I would have mentioned the Greyhound at Battersea in the wine section as they tried something different and very wine driven - and awarded for one of the best winelists in the world apparently. can't comment on anything else much.
  5. i had a telephone call from the f-word last week! they wanted a pig for gordon to carry around, within the hour! we didn't have anything that size but hey, would have been a giggle
  6. a copy of larouse gastronomique - i always get something foody in the stocking from mother... safron i think last year, morels the year before.
  7. I have come across this. Not sure waitrose would bother with it for their sausages, as they could use a mix of pork/sow/wild boar which would be far more cost effective. I'm actually really encouraged by the responses and i think its one of those grasp the nettle things, just go for it rather than wait for a response which will prob. be too late. Regarding sourcing, your local milk producers should have male kids to cull otherwise half their goats would be billys which is a: none too productive (flashbacks of king-pin bull milking argh!) and b: a sure recipe for horned chaos.
  8. Thank you both. Home mail-order is a distinct possibility, although would be likely tied to a whole/half carcase quantity as-per-usual with this type of offering. Low turnover makes full use of the carcase almost impossible if you offer prime-cuts. However, you can make good use of all of it with burger/kofte mince and i have in the past eaten amazing goat sausages! I understand it is cropping up on one or two restaurant menus, i'd order it...
  9. I currently work for our familly wholesale butchery, Natural Farms. We farm source directly and locally from the best quality stock and supply clients including many of londons top butchers and some pretty nifty restaurant clients. I'm really into the idea of sourcing the best quality goats in our area and having a go with them. The tribal elders think I'm insane, so I've a good mind to go it alone (having the advantage of being able to put it through our existing infrastructure) Would anyone here take an interest in such a product? Would organic matter to you? What type of cuts would you require and what kind of cooking would you be interested in using it in? Personally, I find the idea of the best quality english kid, locally (and organically?) sourced a really exciting idea but am I alone? Any feedback, comments or advice (such as seriously, dont bother!) greatly appreciated.
  10. le petit boucher


    Maybe start'em young? I remeber all of this type of cooking on holidays to grandmothers in France. That was where I really cut my teath in food, digging carrots with my grandfather, going to meet the little charcuterie van that came to the village once a week, eating globe artichokes and so on. Nostalgia has possibly tinted my memories of it all but it (tongue included) was perfect. The recipe isn't quite finished but i forgot the cable to upload photos. I'm introducting a friend to it today, the bet is if she likes it she'll eat another favorite of mine, brain. If she doesn't like it I have to eat something "weird" of her choosing.
  11. i want a cone-pizza franchise in the uk! i love it.
  12. For those familiar with Ireland you'll know they have red lemonade, which is infact lemonade by default unless you specify otherwise in the pub (but why aren't you drinking guiness?) It tastes a little like a drink we have in the UK called Tizer, is that something you have in the US?
  13. I firmly believe we're far too precious about offal, but i'm probably preaching to the converted. I'm privilege to have ready access to such delicious things but that in a fact is a sad truth of the lack of market we have for it in our business. Thank god for Fergus Henderson et al. who put it back on the map. I wanted to share this little recipe I'm cooking to keep me sane in the "R&D" kitchen working on pie fillings, another story! This is my first recipe I've shared and I'm not even sure if this is the proper form? First take one ox tongue. This one here is from our principal beef man, William Alexander. Here it is in a sauteuse deep enough to cover it. Included is fresh thyme, white onion, half a bulb of garlic sliced through with skin etc peppercorns and salt. There would have been a bayleaf or two had i had one to hand. It takes a very long time to poach, so much so that I never bother timing, rather i let simmer and test for "give". With the thick outer membrane it will however remain very firm. When your curiosity is perked stabb it to find out if its done. Here it is poached and drained (discard water) Now you have the satisfying job of peeling the thick outer membrane to release the sticky flesh. Now slice into slices as thick as your thumb, starting at the tip of the tongue and lay them out in your chosen pot. As this is a very nostalgic recipe for me, a beaten and cracked old thing seems to suit. As you get to the thicker part of the tongue, remove the lower portion of muscle. You will also notice the lower part of the tongue has other tissue running through it, I remove this only because my grandmother did but it does look ickie. To follow is the final stage, where the tongue is braised in a tomato sauce with cornichons for crunch and tartness, which I'll update when done.
  14. From my limited knowlege I'll add the following contributuion: The steak cuts you mention as cut across the grain run along the vertebrae and are the highest quality. Others such as flank need slicing thin across the grain. Skirt is that way because thats how it comes in the beast and butchers do little to it. The french call it bavette and the butcher will slash the grain before selling it to you. As a butcher, we cut steaks that way because: most you mention are sevral muscles running together, we cut across so we get consistency in quality and portion control. Fat in or around the muscles ends up in all the steaks, without having one too lean and one too fat. We cut through any interconective tissue (esp on rump etc). and possibly most powerful, convention: thats what you chefs order!
  15. Thanks Eg indeed, and thank you slacker. Glad they arrived safe. We split a bag to take some samples out (for yourself and one or two others) and it lasted about 3 days! Now all the doorways have scuff marks around hip/waist level.
  16. What kind of veal is it and where is it from? Just curious. I think I would stear away from something as strong as bacon and goats cheese for my personal taste. I would look to something fatty and mild, like a fantastic little cheese made by my friend and cheese genius Eddie Bestbier, about 6 miles from me. Maybe with a little sage? I'm looking forward to the suggestions from the propper chefs. Are there any established "classics" when stuffing veal?
  17. I'm sure there is an economist who claims the consumption of squid is a highly accurate indicator of economic development in the west.
  18. le petit boucher

    faux gras

    As someone who is half french there are two things that annoy me about anglo-saxons, and i nearly thought you'd commited one, then I realised you hadn't!!! The second of my pet hates is when people call fois-gras a pate. it clearly isn't, wether its fresh, or from a jar. Fois gras is exactly that, liver. ofcourse it is possible to prepare a pate including fois gras, or a pate de fois gras but as my second reading of your post assured me, thats what you were aluding to, phew! sorry for doubting! This recipe sounds great though, as a very fine chicken liver parfait. i'm afraid if i accepted it as a fois gras substitute the embassy would make me surrender my passport...
  19. Have you considered curing with the skin on? is this a big no-no i know nothing about? Its what I would do and then remove the skin as and when i used the pancetta
  20. I make one or two hams for myself from time to time. agree with previous poster on not getting confused with a watter-added product, yuk. i cure mine in what i have found is a very efficient method, but you need a bit of kit i'm privileged to have access too. I make up a "dry-cure" or salt + whatever flavourings. I then tunnel bone a leg of pork up to the knee, and leave on the trotter (i leave the food on, and remove the bone above the knee but without cutting into the ham) a good butcher who buys real pork can do this for you. i then stick the leg + salt mix into a vac-bag and vacume pack the lot. This removes the need for huge buckets, the finished article sits cleanly on a chiller shelf and i find the vacume helps drive in the salt/flavourings. Cure to your tastes but i usually allow 5 days. This is actually incredibly consitent compared to making a conventional brine. 5 days gives a strong brine (same as 7-8 in a 30% wet brine) I rinse, soak for an hour (probably less as i'll get bored) and cook in lots of fresh water @ 95C for 3-4 hours (i'll check more accurate times as notes are at work) Then you have so many options to glaze/bake/roast and others will have better ideas on this than me.
  21. infernooo, since no one else has answered this post either way, i will: that is indeed what we generally call a flank steak here in the US. i buy them all the time; it's one of my favorite cuts of beef. what we call a skirt steak can be seen here or here. it's significantly thinner than what you bought and as you can see the grain runs across rather than along it. ← We cut SKIRT in the UK too, although it is only recently becoming popular with some of our cheffy clients with the hold english-cooking-revival. What you have been buying infernoo is, in my oppinion, skirt, as is that pictured in the above links. SKIRT is indeed the muscular tissue that controls the diaphram, which gives your rib-cage a bellows effect to help you breathe. It is these muscles that spasm when you have the hic-ups, which should help ilustrate their role/position. The reason for the different appearance of the two cuts shown by you and above is that there are three musclegroups, one down each side between the diaphram and the rib-cage (shown in the links) and one running through the centre (shown by you) which explains why the grain of the muscle runs that way. Skirt is also used, and much prized by the french and known as "bavette". Standard technique is for the butcher to slash it deeply across the grain to break the long fibres. FLANK in the UK is a single sheet of muscle that runs along the cod fat on the abdomen. It has a totally different grain due to its fundamentally different function. It is much leaner and paler and very tight grained. We don't use it in the UK as a cut, which is why I'd be curious to try it as described, I'd imagine the charachetristics I've described would lend itself to the types of cooking described. If you talk to a good butcher, he should be able to cut you some flank meat. If he's English he'd be glad of it, we have practically no market for it.
  22. Interesting input, thanks. We actually came up with the format for a very cool pie and mash cafe in Brighton: www.pokeno.co.uk for them we formulated the pies to have stiff enough fillings to eat on the hoof. They're recipes draw on international influences, however I was keen to make this range very very english: here are some i'd thought of: mutton and vegetable beef cooked in a great local beer (Hepworh & Co) beef and kidney as above pork with wild mushroom do those with any feelings on the english market think this is the way to go? everyone else seems to be into cool, funky, weird pies but my gut says a pie is a pie, and thai green chicken belongs somewhere else!
  23. Hello all, along side our wholesale butchery business we have a production kitchen. i'm sure, all of you having talked to your butchers will know that those who do things properly have a real problem as follows: you go to significant effort to source the best in locally produced animals, you find them and build up a long working relationship with some great farmers. Next, you buy and kill a bullock using a small local abatoire (which we're very lucky to have as those in the UK will understand!) Then a chef asks you for 6 whole fillets. problem is your poxy animal came with two! so we need to use much of the rest, for this our little production kitchen makes pies. I'm currently creating a whole new range of pies for some caterers and retailers (UK) we have a format and a recipe (a really good suet/butter pastry, quite rustic and robust) but what would you like to see put inside them?
  24. A client of mine sells them in kilner jars, fill a load up, serve your client then run them through the glass washer. the client in question seems to have created a bit of a stir as almost every second bit of press he gets is about his scratchings! http://www.canteen.co.uk/index.php?m=Press...006&cat=3&id=86 http://www.canteen.co.uk/index.php?m=Press...07&cat=3&id=136 Or go old-school and fill up a massive glass jar and serve them by the scoop? then into little bowls. I'd be impressed by either. either way I'm sure your local supplier would be happy to do away with the crummy little bags and sort you out a sack.
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