|Everything you always wanted to know about meat*|
|Information about our meat and its origins.||Go to cuts and wine matching ↓|
Aberdeen Angus beef
Sir George Macpherson-Grant, 2nd Baronet of Ballindalloch, developed the breed on his farm at Ballindalloch Castle during the 1800s, and the same pure-bred Aberdeen Angus herd is in existence today, making it the oldest cattle herd in the world.
The highland farms of the Cairngorm National Park continue to produce some of Scotland's finest beef today and at Meat N16 we are delighted to stock beef that we can guarantee is sired by Aberdeen Angus bulls on the local farms. For centuries, farming and cattle rearing have been an integral way of life in the highlands of Scotland resulting in the skilled and refined production methods that ensure that we are selling some of the finest beef in the world.
We hold beef in our shop, and ensure that it is hung for a minimum of 20 days before our butchers prepare it to the standards that we set ourselves, in order that our customers can enjoy one of life's great treats.
|Cuts, Recipes and Wine Matching|
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Fillet is the leanest, softest cut of beef (the underside of the sirloin). It nestles inside the vertebrae of the animal and, when removed, would have no natural bone attachment. Fillet is deemed the most 'luxurious' of the beef cuts and lends itself to steak for grilling, or in one piece for roasts. Most likely to be eaten rare or medium-rare. Fillet is the cut of meat used in two of our more famous dishes; Beef Wellington and steak tartare.
The sirloin comes from the 'saddle' of the animal, sitting between the fore rib and the rump. In Britain we tend to have the sirloin as steaks without the bone. However, it also lends itself to being cut and cooked on the bone. Sirloin is also the prime cut for roasting. When sparing no expense, the sirloin's large round eye and moderate but important fat cover, is the first choice for Sunday roasts.
Attached to the sirloin, going towards the shoulder, the fore rib is often accepted as the 'king' of the cuts. The fore rib is the four (or sometimes five) bones after the sirloin and will be cut square as its bones connect to the rib cage. Its gelatinous fats and natural marbling give it fantastic, melt-in-the-mouth flavour. A very versatile cut. On the bone the fore rib can be roasted or cut thick to be grilled, or boneless (rib eye) it can again make for a delicious roast or, more likely, be cut into steaks. A good rib eye steak (cooked medium) is one of the great culinary pleasures of the world.
At the other end of the sirloin from the fore rib, the rump is a hard-working muscle that needs to be treated with care. The rump should always be hung for at least 25 days, and for those who really want to enjoy their meat, will be rewarded with some of the best steaks on the beast. Rump can be versatile and is suitable for those who want their meat cooked from rare to well-done. The rump naturally divides via an inner sinew and can be seperated into two cheaper roasts, as is popular in France, but there are better roasting joints.
The topside sits on the opposite side of the upper-leg to the rump. Another hard-working muscle but not as good for steaks as the rump. The topside is lean and thus ideal for roasting. The topside is the best of the cheaper roasting cuts. If completely seperated from its covering fats, and sinews removed, it is the ideal cut with which to produce a stunning 'rare roast beef' for salads and sandwiches.
The shin from the hind leg would be considered the better, but the shin from the fore leg will never disappoint. Imagine the work these muscles have to do to carry these beasts, and it becomes easier to understand how and why the shin is bursting with flavour. Whether cooked on or off the bone, it is always worth adding the bone to the braise or stew so as to release the flavoursome marrow in the middle of the bone into the naturally sticky sauce.
'Things I must do before I die'. Add 'cook an oxtail' to the list. The oxtail is made up of a succession of smaller bones, each covered in a little meat and full of natural gelatines. Don't waste your time; get the butcher to cut it into pieces and spend your time removing the meat from the bone after cooking. Great for stews, but the oxtail, with its own juices, makes one of the world's great soups.
The flank is the belly part at the leg-end of the animal. When referred to as skirt, it is often served, cut thinly, as steak (bavette to the French). It can be absolutely delicious but will always need to be chewed well. The flank also lends itself to casseroles and stews.
A really good versatile cut from the forequarter of the beast. It comes off the beast in big pieces, and although usually boneless, it is delicious cooked on the bone. The chuck is a dark, chunky meat with good fibres running through it. It is great for braising and the meat makes great pies. The chuck is also first choice for mincing and makes delicious burgers.
Depending on the size of the animal, the neck and clod can produce a lot of tasty meat. While it is possible to stew or braise, the best use of the meat is mince for ragus or sauces and, like the chuck, lends itself to delicious burgers.
From under the neck, the brisket covers the rib cage. The brisket will never be a tender piece of meat and will invariably be tastier from older cattle. The primary use for brisket is boned and brined to make the best 'salt beef'. A really good salt beef from brisket is a triumph from a very ordinary piece of meat.
Primarily only the heart and the kidneys would be widely used in Britain. Slowly braised and served with winter vegetables, the heart can be a deliciously warming pleasure on a winter's night. The kidney has huge flavours, and a truly great steak and kidney pie is one of those dishes that will always remind us of our grandmother and school days.