Braised shin of Quality Standard English beef served with roast bone marrow was the highlight of a special St George’s Day menu devised by Tom Kerridge, chef proprietor of the only two Michelin-starred pub in England.
The three course meal was served to a group of chefs attending a Pub Chef Study Tour organised by a leading pub industry magazine and held in association with EBLEX.
Prior to lunch, the chefs were taken to a farm in Beaconsfield, where they were introduced to farmer Andrew Allan who showed them his herd of organic, pedigree South Devon cattle. Andrew explained how the calves stay with their mothers’ growing naturally on their rich milk, before being weaned at around nine months. They are then reared separately on a grass-based diet and finished at around 26 months. The end result is meat which has a nice creamy colour and excellent marbling.
Back at the pub in Marlow, Tom, who sources his beef from an EBLEX Quality Standard Mark Scheme approved butcher, spoke to the chefs about the need to source great produce from great suppliers. He said: "Farmers work hard to bring us great quality ingredients and our job is to pass them on without messing around with them too much."
EBLEX’s foodservice project manager, Hugh Judd, was on hand to explain the benefits of joining the Quality Standard Mark Scheme. The scheme, which has recently been enhanced, now has even tighter specifications covering animal age, carcase classification and maturation. Together, these factors provide a guarantee of consistency and improved eating quality. He said: “The new scheme standards provide one of the highest levels of independently inspected quality assurance for meat in the United Kingdom. By sourcing Quality Standard beef and lamb, chefs can have confidence in the quality of the meat they are serving, thereby protecting their own reputation and that of their business.”
As well as highlighting the new scheme standards, Hugh was also keen to showcase the range of alternative beef and lamb cuts recently developed by EBLEX. He said: “In the last year or so, we have brought a number of added-value cuts of beef and lamb to market, to help caterers increase their own profit potential at a time when many are struggling to make a profit, as ingredient costs across the board continue to rise.
“The alternative beef and lamb cuts enable chefs to maintain quality and service standards while adding variety and interest to menus. In fact, we’re seeing an increasing number of chefs using less well-known cuts from the entire carcase to exploit the added value potential they can offer.
“Carcase balance is even more critical when every penny counts and, while these cheaper cuts may previously have been minced or diced, they are now being more imaginatively used and are delivering better value throughout the whole of the supply chain. Many of these are best suited to slow cooking, so we have also developed a range of cuts which are ideally suited to sous vide cooking.”
The new added value cuts feature in the fourth edition of EBLEX’s highly acclaimed Meat Purchasing Guide and Cutting Specification Manual. The total number of beef, lamb, veal and mutton cutting specifications now stands at 320. All of these, as well as the sous vide range of cuts are available to download from www.eblextrade.co.uk.
Hugh said: “Now is a great time to introduce new ideas as customers are generally willing to try new dishes if they are presented well. The key is to ensure that all members of staff are knowledgeable about the dishes they are selling and what makes them stand out, ie the cut of meat, depth of flavour and tenderness it delivers.”
The enhanced Quality Standard Mark Scheme for beef and lamb provides one of the highest levels of independently inspected quality assurance for meat in the United Kingdom. The standards contain combined guarantees of food safety, animal welfare, care for the environment and enhanced eating quality.
EBLEX is the organisation for beef and lamb levy payers in England and is a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
It exists to enhance the profitability and sustainability of the English beef and lamb sector. Its aims are:
- To help the beef and sheep meat supply chain become more efficient
- To add value to the beef and sheep meat industry.
The EBLEX Trade Marketing team supports businesses throughout the retail and foodservice supply chains for beef and lamb. From abattoirs and processors to wholesalers, independent and multiple retailers and foodservice operators, we work with businesses to improve their operational effectiveness and assist with beef and lamb product development, marketing and promotion. Visit our website. Twitter. Facebook.