I sometimes get invited to events during the work day that i'm unable to attend, but sometimes send my glamourous assistant i.e. my wife, along instead. Here's her take on a recent EBLEX Beef event...
I love meat! And recently, along with much of the population, I've turned into a bit of a meat snob. I care about where my meat comes from and how well the animals were cared for. Therefore, I was delighted to be invited along to an event run by the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX).
EBLEX exists to enhance the profitability and sustainability of the English beef and lamb sector and they invited some of us along to teach us about some of the things they have been working on. From visiting other countries and holding their own research, they have devised some new cuts of beef that aim to add millions to the value of the steak market. This is made possible through using seam butchery techniques.
We started with a presentation explaining their techniques and how they have been devised. This was then followed by a butchery demonstration and then the various cuts were cooked and we were able to taste them.
We ended the afternoon by cooking up our favourite cut and eating them with a selection of salads. On leaving we were given some fantastic goody bags containing two packets of 'flat iron' steaks and lots of other ingredients to go with them. These have now provided two dinners for my husband and I. I must say that the flat iron steak is not a favourite of mine. Cooked plainly I find it had an irony flavour (much like onglet). However, when cooked in a sauce or marinade, it was lovely.
Butchers, supermarkets and restaurants providing meat adhering to the standards set by EBLEX are entitled to display the Quality Standard Beef mark. This guarantees the quality from source right through to supplier.
Having learnt everything, I would now actively seek out places that provide Quality Standard Beef. My one gripe is that I can't easily find out who does have the mark. I think EBLEX's website would benefit from having an up to date list of those currently providing Quality Standard Beef.
One other thing to note would be the fantastic venue. It was at L'Atelier de Chefs on Wigmore Street. I resisted the urge to browse through the fantastic cooking utensils they sell and I'm sure I'll be back soon for one of their classes.