MY SEXY BUTT

Unfortunately we are not discussing my derriere.  I have been told that it is rather ample for a man although it makes buying jeans an absolute bastard! The bloody era of Indie and 16 year old pop stars has not done anything to assist the cause either when skinny jeans became all the rage. No one wants to see a six foot one ex rugby player in skinny jeans. I have tried them at Mrs Shack’s insistence and my legs looked like two sausages trying desperately to escape their casings.

Nowt to do with post but really made me chuckle

Talking of sausages why don’t you go "put kettle on" and get your “brew’s mashing” whilst we travel to Yorkshire for today’s meaty adventures at the Shack as I tell you all about The Grid Iron Meat Company based in North Yorkshire.

Grid Iron claim that their goal is to give you the service that you would expect to get from a local artisan butcher – with personal service, attention to detail, freshness and experience in cutting and cooking meat. They even have their own maturation room in their butchery where they use Himalayan rock salt to help draw out moisture of their pork and beef products.  Well I’m game for a review, let’s see if the proof is in fact in the (Yorkshire) pudding!

Why do Grid Iron put so much love in their meat? I asked Director, Ian Smith who told me;

My father was a butcher with a shop in the Yorkshire Dales, so I grew up working holidays and Saturdays, first in the back of the shop but then progressing to being put in front of customers. This was before health and safety got involved. I learned from an early age that the customer was always right and the importance of quality products and faultless customer service.

At the age of 18, like most kids, I thought I knew best and went off to work in TV, film and music for a number of years before starting my own production company and then  digital agency. I represented a number of local food producers, helping them to grow their business on the internet. 

I’ve always had a love affair with food and cooking, particularly with meat, and having reached a certain point in my life I decided it was time to “scratch the itch”. I approached Charles Ashbridge from Taste Tradition (award winning farmers and butchers), who at the point was a client, with a proposal to partner in a direct to retail business. This became an online butchers, Taste Tradition Direct.  Through TT Direct we supply home cooks with the same native breed meat that Taste Tradition supply to top chefs throughout the UK.

Grid Iron Meat is an extension of this, but our aim is to go a stage further and offer particular single breeds and a more bespoke service. At Grid Iron, we like to engage more with the customers to find out exactly what they want, in the same way as my father used to do in his shop. Our goal is to use the whole carcass as efficiently as possible with minimum waste. We’re developing our own range of charcuterie products, both in house and using award winning artisans to make products with the cuts we send to them. For our charcuterie we tend to stick to Longhorn for beef and Gloucester Old Spot for pork.

Essentially Grid Iron’s aim of the game is to utilise the technology of today to provide the services of the rapidly diminishing local butchers. I’m also all one for the “waste not, want not philosophy” as you know from past recipes anything we can’t fit in our bellies from the grill goes straight into a well designed meal for the next day or in a Tupperware box for lunch. I’m always the envy of my colleagues when they have just bought their meal deal and I’m tucking into left over short ribs.

When I was dribbling all over the website it dawned on me that it has been yonks since I had a decent hot dog, it just doesn’t seem to be something you see very often anymore unless you count the shrivelled mess that they dole out at the local cinema all served up in a mouldy week old bun. Well I wasn’t disappointed with Grid Iron’s offerings. I simmered six of these bads boys in a saucepan before a flash sear in a griddle pan for a quick lunchtime treat. I was pleasantly surprised at the meatiness and subtle smokey flavour - definitely not your average hot dog there’s a reason why they refer to them at “Top Dogs” on the website, no need to slather them in ketchup and mustard just to get some taste.

What was of most intrigue to me however was the Steakholders Club. A Club just for meat? Hell yes, sign me up. Ian explains the purpose of the Club;

Through our SteakHolder group we select specific animals and offer them first to the group. We also encourage members of the group to buy larger cuts and have them aged by us.

I was sent two steaks from the Steakholders Club;

First a bone in sirloin from a 9 year old Dexter Cow. Perfectly sized for my Saturday lunch, the cuts from the Dexter are small in comparison to the larger breeds. But what it may lack in size is more than picked up in what you gain in flavour. I was grinning to myself like a restaurant critic exclaiming “why, what a wonderful nutty flavour” whilst slipping my knife through it’s buttery texture. Definitely a Steakholder Club winner – bigger is not always better. Plus Chuck had a smashing time gnawing his way through the leftover bone. His face stunk of steak for days, as did my beard.

Check out that Marbling!

Then there was the Tomahawk Steak from the forerib of a British white and had been aged 50 days especially for the Steakholders Club. The British white was from the Mount Grace Farm and was left intact apart chining the back bone and French trimming slightly. And yes it was as beautiful as it sounds. Not only was it the size of a small chihauhau but was exactly how you would expect good British Beef to feel like, huge slabs of thick red meat encased in a trim of protective fat. By smoking the steak slightly to start and transferring to a searing hot pan I cooked the steak in it’s own fatty goodness spreading the flavours about like a bush fire.

And I had to of course leave the best for last, Grid iron’s Boston Butt. Ian says that he himself loves to cook outdoors and that the Boston Butt is one of his own go tos for a set it and forget it slow cook.

All of Grid Iron’s Boston butts are prepared by butchers from native breed pork, normally Gloucester Old Spot. Being slow growing, the rare breeds used have meat with a good fat content that adds flavour and bastes the meat during slow cooking.

The piece I was given had the rib and skin still attached to retain the ultimate flavour during the cooking process as the heat distributes more evenly - everything tastes better on the bone.

I removed the skin to make crackling and it would have been a waste on the low and slow so I baked this separately at a high heat and for the rest of the day I found myself picking at pork scratchings!

I gave the pork butt a liberal coating of French's American mustard before coating in Traeger's Pork & Poultry rub and set the Traeger Timberline 850 to 135C.  At about 4 hours in I wrapped it in tin foil to help it get through the stall.

When the internal temperature hit 91C I took the pork off the heat and rested it for an hour before giving it a good pull.  Fill your boots with this video:

 

Having been influenced by Epic Meal Time after last weeks bacon “heart attack on a plate” sarnie video I wanted to make something epic of my own to serve up to the family and what better than Giant Pulled pork burgers with a Camembert Cheese dipping sauce. Not quite a 1000 pieces of bacon, but a festival of meaty goodness all the same!

I used two whole Sour dough cobb loaves as burger buns each with two especially made giant homemade beef patties, lettuce, fried onions to create this showstopper which we dramatically cut into quarters at the dinner table to many oohs and ahhs.

So my closing comments on the Grid Iron Meat company? You might pay just a couple of quid more than your big brand “horse scandal” supermarkets but what you’re gaining is experience, trust and a company who genuinely cares about what you put in your mouth. These guys have been quick to respond to any of my questions about their meat source and encourage their customers to get in touch for questions, recipe suggestions and comments.  Check out their website for yourself by clicking HERE and tell em Jack sent ya!

And of course a few new recipes added this week including something sweet to enjoy after your own Sexy Butt:

OLIVE AND ROSEMARY CIABATTA

JACK'S CHUCK IT ALL IN ROCKY ROAD

 

 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Alice Wood says:

    Great post. Food looks amazing as usual.

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