Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Have a butcher's...


Saturday 3 November saw the first collaboration between delicious. and Simply Beef and Lamb, with a butchery masterclass at L’Atelier des Chefs cookery school in central London.
Danny Lidgate imparts advice as the gloves go on...
Forty keen cooks joined us over the course of the day to be tutored by fifth-generation butcher extraordinaire Danny Lidgate, head of the famous Lidgate’s butchers of Holland Park. What this man doesn’t know about cutting up meat is really not worth knowing. Danny kicked things off by dividing an enormous rump of beef into its constituent parts, explaining all about muscle fibres, sinews and why fat is so very, very good. He explained wet-ageing vs dry-ageing (dry wins hands-down), and grain-fed vs grass-fed (it’s got to be grass-fed for us).

Next on the butcher’s block was a half-carcass of lamb that Danny jointed with exacting skill. After a brief Q&A session, in which the boys in the audience displayed a somewhat morbid fascination with the workings of an abattoir (who knew that some lucky cattle go to meet their maker to the strains of a string quartet?!), attendees were let loose on their own leg of lamb, which Danny taught them to butterfly.

The boys were rather pleased with their very sharp knives!
Seeing how people reacted to the satisfaction that comes from using a sharp knife to expertly cut a joint of meat made me sad that this sort of thing isn’t taught in schools – but I was really pleased to see so much enthusiasm and willingness to learn. One of the comments I heard most often was how great it was to be able to have some knowledge to go into a butcher’s with. I think the reason why many people favour pre-packed meat is that they’re intimidated by having to ask a butcher for a specific cut or preparation – they’re afraid they’ll get it wrong. After just a morning’s tutoring, the students I spoke to were much more confident, and looking forward to using their new skills.

After a few cooking tips from me about ways to cook their beautiful legs of lamb, our guests left full of plans for enjoying the fruits of their labours – and all for £25. Comparing that to, say, £150 for a morning’s tuition at one of London’s top butchers, I think we might be onto something special. Keep checking delicious. magazine for similar events in future – we have ideas afoot…

1 comment:

  1. Well that was a very nice get together and mostly a very good learning experience for all. Conducting such workshops always makes success in cooking profession with new dishes added to recipes in mind.

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