news-story2

Hard to believe as it is, not everybody likes Turkey, or needs such a large bird. So what are the alternatives? Well, our wonderful food team have already posted a superb recipe for a succulent goose. A roasted goose with crispy skin and that dark sticky meat is certainly a thing of beauty, with that added bonus of all the beautiful fat for your roasties too. I’m even partial to a nice piece of sourdough toast with a little bit of the dripping spread on it and a smidgen of white pepper. At Barbecoa we get our geese from Essex – again, easy on the food miles, but mainly because they’re of a superb standard; high welfare, as you’d expect. They are out on grass all day and fed locally-grown corn at night to give them the rich coat of fat and that juicy flesh. As rough rule of thumb I advise our customers to work on half a kilo per person.

There is also a whole range of other poultry to choose from. Our wonderful free range chickens from Label Anglais, and at this time of year they grow some big roasters up to about five kilos, so there’s enough left for a few sarnies (well, maybe). We are also doing apple fed cockerels from Adlington - they are all free from growth promoters and hormone additives. I must confess I’ve not tried one yet, but am really looking forward to tasting something new. We will also have free range ducks and a wide range of game birds available.

As an alternative to poultry there is always the choice of a juicy bit of gammon. Whether smoked or unsmoked, boiled or roasted, they can make a stunning joint. Gammons lend themselves to all sorts of gorgeous flavour additions. I’ve used orange and tangerine skins with treacle, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and mace to really increase the flavour, then glazed them with some soft dark brown sugar in the oven. The variations are limitless. Superb hot or cold and a true Christmas treat.

Well, I’ve got a bit carried away here and haven’t even got around to the alternative cuts of beef, pork or lamb we are going to have available. Maybe I’ll be able to squeeze another blog in before Christmas.

Steve West

About the author

I used to love going into the butchers when I was a kid. I remember the smell of the sawdust and watching the butchers cut a great big steak off of a rump, and being fascinated. I've been a butcher since I was at school and started working for my childhood sweetheart’s father in his butchery. Before that I'd always wanted to be a zookeeper and work with animals! In 1986 I won the Welsh Lamb Butcher of the Year award and got to give a presentation to Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street, which is a definite career highlight. I’ve always worked with quality meat but never with beef that’s been hung for as long as it is at Jamie's Barbecoa, where I now work. Our dry-ageing and the fact that we're so selective about what we sell makes our products special. I haven't yet seen a single bit of meat that I wouldn't want to sell and it’s such a buzz when customers come back and tell me how good last night’s meal was. There’s quality throughout the range – it’s good being an ambassador for that.

Steve West's blog

tags

, , , , ,

More news

news-story2

Boston butt: a true American favourite

By Steve West
news-story2

Festive alternatives to turkey

By Steve West
news-story2

Buying your Christmas turkey

By Steve West
Beef, brisket, pot roast

Brisket - best pot roast for cooler climates

By Steve West
dry aged beef

Dry aging at Barbecoa

By Steve West
butcher-blog

A Butcher's Blog: BBQ

By Steve West