The truth about meat. Revelations of Her Majesty’s Best Butcher
Richard Turner — chef, restaurateur and one of the most famous butchers in the UK.
He received awards for the best steak in England, published several cookbooks, constantly advising various publications writing about meat. At the festival Gourmet days in St. Petersburg, where Richard came as a guest chef, we learned from him a couple of professional secrets
What did you think about Russia before you came here?
I had very vague ideas about your country. I haven’t met any Russians, except for two soldiers, but these were not typical Russians, but crude ones "cool" guys.
And I thought that Russians are all such — strong, aggressive, not very educated.
That men in Russia daily drink a lot of vodka and are ready to give anyone in the face.
Honestly, it is this image of the Russians that, as a rule, is created by our mass media.
Fortunately, when you come to your country, you quickly understand how far this is from reality.
I have been to Russia several times, and each time I like Russians more and more.
1. Any animal can become a steak. Therefore, each steak has its own characteristics. And rule number one is you must constantly learn, practice, improve.
That is, to cook, cook and cook exactly the type of meat that you prefer.
2. For me main seasoning for steak is sea salt. Good quality, with large crystals.
No other steak spices are needed. Why mask the natural taste of good meat? Sometimes I add some pepper, but more often just salt is enough.
I salted the meat on both sides, it is the Italians from only one side of the steaks salt.
3. I never cook meat just taken out of the fridge.
Your steak should be at room temperature before frying.
4. I I like to cook steaks on a small fire and bring them to 57-59 degrees in the middle of a piece of meat — it turns out longer, but the result is better.
5. But if you cook steak in a pan, then the opposite is true — very fast and at maximum temperature.
Heat a frying pan and fry steak for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Do not forget that the right steak is not two, but six sides!
And do not forget to give the steak for five minutes to «rest» after roasting, covering it with a piece of foil.
Anyone will tell you that red wine. But not me. I prefer beer. Craft beer is perfect for beef.
Well, vodka, of course.
How do you feel about alternative cuts?
From my point of view, these are more tasty pieces of beef than the so-called premium cuts.
They have a more intense and interesting taste. But the buyers in my butcher shop still think differently and prefer to buy Ribey and Striploin. I do not argue with them, but slowly, step by step, I convert to my faith.
I believe that alternative cuts have a future, and dishes from them in a couple of years will become an international culinary trend.
And I also love offal, and I cook absolutely everything — ears, tails, hooves, entrails.
Kidneys, I do not soak before cooking in milk and do not clean out the fat, it is useful when frying.
Heat a frying pan, salt and fry the kidneys in their own fat until golden brown, until they are covered on both sides with a crispy crust.
Then I cut them into thin strips and serve them with bread fried in butter.
My favorite way to cook a liver is to fry it quickly in butter and serve it with pepper-vinegar sauce, bacon and mashed potatoes.
The liver remains soft, tender, with a very strong liver aroma and taste.
I wash the heart and marina in a weak acetic solution mixed with salt, so it becomes softer. Then I cut them into thin strips and carcass for about an hour in broth or in salted water with greens and different roots.
But best of all is the stuffed heart.
Again, you need to marinate it, then make an incision, stuff it with fried onions, chopped lard, chopped vegetables — carrots, celery or fried mushrooms, stitch up with cooking string or pinch with toothpicks, fry from all sides and stew for an hour in chicken or vegetable broth.
Then cut into slices and serve with mashed potatoes or peas.
I chop the meat with a heavy knife to make a large mince.
But this requires skills, so at home it is quite possible to do with a meat grinder with large holes. I make minced beef and pork or beef with fat.
I like Ratio: 80 percent of meat, 20 percent fat — in this situation, your burger will always be juicy.
If you add even more fat, the cutlet risks exploding in your kitchen. Or, on the contrary, will be discouraged if you are cooking a burger on an open fire and fat is actively flowing out. Then instead of a juicy piece of meat you will get a dry sole.
I salt mince, but never salt already formed cutlets.
I do not like to add other products to mincemeat — onions, greens, pickled cucumbers, but I like to experiment with different products when I make a burger. Loyal buddies of patties — onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and certainly cheese.
I really like cheese in burgers, both ordinary and blue.
Be sure to add ketchup and sometimes mayonnaise.
My burger is always fat, so that the cutlet is fried, but not overdried. You may not know that it is forbidden to cook steaks and burgers in the UK medium rare.
I believe that this is a crime against humanity!
But the law is, the law, and I cook plump puffy burgers.
Buns must be fried on the fire so that they become crispy, otherwise all the charm of your perfectly cooked burger will be lost.
Does the burger assembly order matter?
Yes. The main rule is that the cutlet should not come into contact with the bun so that meat juice does not soak or soak it. I repeat once again — The bun must be crispy!
Therefore, I put lettuce and onions on the lower loaf, then cutlet, then cheese, then pickled cucumbers, tomatoes, ketchup, and again the salad.
Close the top bun and go!
Do you prefer to work with beef?
Not at all. Honestly, my favorite meat is pork. This is really great meat!
The best in the world.
And I am a great pig-eater.
Name a couple of your favorite pork dishes.
Just a couple ?!
I can call a hundred. My favorite is the pig head. I thoroughly wash my head and then fry.
The second dish — pork legs.
They need to boil, chop, add spices, boil again, cool, add anchovies.
It turns out such a flood.
We call a similar judo — «jelly».
Traditional Russian snack.
I definitely like Russians more and more!