Barbecuing a Leg of Lamb

Grilling a Leg of Lamb

Not sure about grilling a leg of lamb on the BBQ? Read this!

Bone-in or boneless, butterflied or boned and rolled, a leg of lamb is a wonderfully rich piece of meat that makes not only a great Easter Sunday dinner, but also and incredible family BBQ!

If you are not sure abut grilling a leg of lamb, here are some tips:

1. Don’t be afraid of  trying new seasonings & dry rubs

While marinades are great and mint sauce is the perfect accompaniment for a lamb roast, when the subject is grass-fed Irish Lamb on BBQ, I love a rich, fresh herb rub, with a good hint of spice on my meat… and when it comes to seasoning, the sky is the limit so use your imagination, the ingredients in your cupboard or dig into your herb garden, and have fun!

I love to use a thick garlic and Himalayan salt homemade paste combined with fresh rosemary, red chillies, thyme and mint, all crushed together in a pestle and mortar – and go heavy on the rub, as, specially if you are grilling a whole leg of lamb, the crust is only a small part of the bite… and we know you are all about the flavour!

2. Control your temperature

Lamb is a meat that really shines when it is cooked to medium rare, around 55C!

In order to avoid over cooking, use a grill thermometer with a remote probe, this keeps the BBQ lid down while still maintaining an ever critical eye over the grilling process. Keep the grill at medium heat, around 200 degrees.

3. Bone in, Boned and Rolled or Butterflied?

As a butcher (and, of course, a meat lover), I love to grill all my meats bone-in… there is just so much more flavour to it… not to mention the overall visual appeal of a whole leg of lamb on the grill, with the meat falling off the bone. It’s an epic moment and makes my barbecue!

But of course, while the bone looks great, it makes carving a little more difficult so if the idea is a quicker BBQ or to go from grill to plate in seconds, boneless is the way to go.

Now it’s up to you… call in the shop, take a leg home and let us know what you think! And don’t forget to share your photos and tag us!

Hugh


nutrition for kids

Development & nutrition for kids

Children and adolescent development and nutrition!

Child development and nutrition

As many of you may know the growth and development of children and adolescents is heavily reliant on good nutrition obtained from their diets.

The growth spurts for girls starts between the ages 8-12 and for boys starts between 10-14. Therefore, the period before and during these ages are crucial for ensuring our children are getting good quality food, good nutrition, to fulfil their potential.

Vital nutrients

One of the many nutrients required for optimum nutrition is protein. Protein, comprised of amino acids are the building blocks for growth and repair and is key in the pathway for reaching optimal energy. Other nutrients required include iron, B-vitamins, vitamin C, selenium, vitamin A and magnesium.

But how do we get our children to eat all these vital nutrients without making complicated recipes? Easy… meat from your local butchers contains all the listed nutrients required for optimum health.

It’s that simple! Your local craft butcher, provides quality and locally sourced meat so you feel comforted in the fact your feeding your family with nutritious food. Lean red meat, is an excellent source of protein and iron.

Iron from meat is the most readily absorbable form of iron from food sources. When iron is consumed in combination with vitamin C it is absorbed even faster. So, another reason of adding rich greens and colourful vegetables alongside your lean steak or burger.

Local butchers

One of the major benefits of buying your beef from your local butchers you know its grass-fed. You may say so what? Well studies have done comparisons between grass fed beef and grain fed beef and the nutritional differences are worth mentioning.

Grass fed beef are higher in omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLAs) Omega 3s provide a role in optimum cognitive development (essential for those that are studying hard) and are good for heart health.

If you haven’t heard of CLAs, they are powerful polyunsaturated fatty acids that can only be obtained from the diet and have many health benefits including helping to build muscle and discourage weight gain. They also contained more anti-oxidants such as Vitamin A and E.

Meat is extremely versatile, especially for children and teenagers. Ask your own butcher to trim of any
excess fat when buying red meat such as beef and lamb. This ensures you are getting the vital nutrients and avoiding the saturated fats.

Homemade dishes

Other lean meats such as chicken, and trimmed pork do not contain as much iron but contain good sources of protein to keep their energy up for their activities and of course concentrating in school. Lean meat can be used to make healthy homemade dishes such as casseroles, stir-fries, curries, stews, roasts and salads.

It is recommended young children and teenagers eat 1-2 servings of protein each day. Meat as a good source of protein can be consumed 3 -4 days per weeks. Other sources of protein include eggs, nuts seeds, legumes and fish. Try to eat at least 2 portions of oily fish per week also.

If you have any topics you would like covered or have any questions, send me a message filling the form below and an email to marketing@hmbutchers.com!

Chat soon, MJ


MaryJoMaguire

Introducing Mary-Jo Maguire, our in-house nutritionist!

Please welcome Mary-Jo Maguire, our in-house nutritionist!

Hi guys, I’m Mary-Jo Maguire!

I am a nutritionist and will be guest blogging here, sharing tips and discussing topics around the vast amount of benefits that all types of meat can offer.

Growing up in a family business centered around quality food and produce it was only natural I ended up following a career dedicated to food and nutrition. I have a BSc in Human Nutrition in UCD, and I am currently completing a MSc in Personalised Nutrition in the UK.

I always had a passion for healthy living, and I am a firm believer this starts at home.

Keeping it simple is key and a great place to start is your local butcher. For one you know that your meat is being sourced locally and to a top standard and you also know that meat is a nutrient dense food great for all the family.

As a nutritionist, I will be discussing topics around the vast amount of benefits that meat, poultry and more can offer. You can expect to find information on grass fed beef, bone broth and gut health, meat and children’s development, recipes and much more.

If you have any topics you would like covered or have any questions, send me a message filling the form below and an email to marketing@hmbutchers.com!

Chat soon, MJ


Everything about Dry Age Beef

Everything you need to know about Dry Age Beef

And how our Pink Salt Dry Age Fridge work!

Dry age beef is meat that has been drying (or hung) for several weeks; only the higher grades of meat, such as strip-loins, ribeyes, T-bones and sirloins, can be dry aged, as the process requires meat with a large and evenly distributed fat content.

The process of dry-ageing usually forms an external “crust” on the meat’s surface (which is trimmed when the steak is cut for you) and promotes growth of certain fungal species on that external surface of the meat.

This happens thanks to a process called autolysis that allows the natural enzymes and amino acids in the meat to break down the collagen and fibres.

Our grass fed beef is specially good for dry ageing because, unlike grain fed cattle, our Irish cows generate increased levels of alpha-linolenic acid, which is in fact an omega 3 unsaturated fat, that adds even further intensity of flavour within the marbling as the beef is aged.

After all, we know you are all about the flavour!

So how does our Pink Salt Dry Ageing Fridge work?

The salt blocks, put together to form the back of the fridge, acts as a state-of-the-art natural refrigerator and this ageing process changes beef in two ways.

Firstly, moisture is evaporated from the muscle, creating a greater concentration of beef flavour and taste. Secondly, the beef’s natural enzymes break down the connective tissue in the muscle, which leads to more tender beef.

It’s also worth saying that in our de-humidified, precision temperature controlled Pink Salt Ageing Fridge, the external bacterial bloom is greatly reduced if not removed entirely to ensure that the internal ageing isn’t affected by external factors because the intensity of nitrates delivered by the dry, chilled, saline environment inhibits external bacterial growth, increasing the growth of the right fungi – best of both worlds.

Ok, but what can you expect from meat aged on our Pink Salt Dry Age Fridge?

Well, our Pink Salt Dry Age Fridge sucks the moisture out of the air so the meat can safely dry naturally, allowing for the increased flavours to seriously amaze our customers, without bacterial growth that can often be associated with naturally dry aged meat.

And whilst naturally dry aged meats can be aged safely up to 40 days or so, salt ageing not only breaks through that barrier but also delivers a beautifully intense flavour you will just love.

Now it’s up to you… call in the shop, take some dry aged steaks home and let us know what you think! And don’t forget to share your photos and tag us!

Hugh


Dry Age Steak

Best meat cuts for your BBQ

Best meat cuts for your BBQ

Dry Age Steak

Best meat cuts for your Bank Holiday BBQ: sirloin, pork neck fillets, dry age rib-eye and more!

Looks like the sun is going to make a badly wanted appearance this Bank Holiday weekend so waste no time, take your BBQ out of the shed, give it a good clean and enjoy the long weekend. We have tips for the best grilling experience!

When it comes to feeding hungry crowds on a hot day, serving up flame-loved meats is a must. And while the Irish barbecue is not exactly a fancy feast, after a long winter like the one we just had, it’s worth putting out some special cuts to celebrate!

From pork neck fillets to dry age beef, here’s our guide on how to make the most of your chosen cut of meat.

Best for grill

Striploin, rib-eye, fillet steaks and yes, our ever-popular homemade speciality sausages are the top picks because they’re affordable, easy to barbecue and are packed with flavour.

However, cuts such as flank and rump are as tasty, cook quicker and are great budget-friendly options if you are entertaining a crowd.

To maximise flavour and succulence, try grilling your meat on the bone, especially T-bone or sirloin on the bone. Why? Because the bone helps the flesh retain moisture and texture.

For something extra special we suggest a thick rib-eye on the bone.

Dry age

Dry ageing allows beef to age for up to six weeks in a cool room, exposed directly to the air, so the natural enzymes in the meat allow it to tenderise, darken and shrink, forming a crust that when trimmed, expose a rich red meat inside.

For best results with dry age beef on the grill, go for a nice fat cut about two to three centimetres thick, and to appreciate the full flavour profile, aim for medium-rare, seasoning with just rock salt and pepper.

But whatever you do, don’t leave it on the BBQ for too long, the ageing extracts some of the moisture, so dry-aged meat cooks quicker than other cuts.

Temperature tips

To make the most of your cut of meat, make sure your barbecue is “super hot and super clean” before cooking, even if it means you have to turn down the heat when grilling begins.

It’s also crucial to let meat warm to room temperature before you start cooking it “this relaxes the flesh and allows it to cook more evenly so you have a more tender and juicier meat and less chance of overcooking or drying out the steaks.

Once barbecuing begins, let the meat colour but only to the point when a little juice or blood still comes through when gently pressed. Flip once and let the other side colour, then lift the meat off the heat while it’s still pink in the middle and rest it on a plate, where it will keep cooking as it cools.

You don’t have to keep touching and flipping it, just let it be – but don’t forget about it!

Go slow

But if you fancy trying something really different, how about a beef brisket, beef cheeks or beef short ribs – that you can leave braising in red wine overnight? You can also try pork neck fillet, chops, ribs or diced shoulder of pork, marinated overnight using simple ingredients such as good quality olive oil, garlic and herbs.

Either for the beef or the pork, after marinating, cover with foil in a baking tray or pot, then cook in the oven at low temperature (80ºC to 100ºC max) for 12 hours. The result is an incredibly juicy fall-apart meat, great for a pulled beef or pork sandwiches.

Hope you enjoy your Bank Holiday weekend – share your photos and tag us!