EBLEX launches ‘Slowly Does It’ campaign

13 October 2014

Quality Standard Mark (QSM) Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder Croquettes and Braised Chuck Tender of Grain Fed Beef were selected to showcase the benefits of slow cooking at a special lunch event which took place in London recently.

EBLEX launches ‘Slowly Does It’ campaignAttended by chefs and menu developers from a range of pub and restaurant groups, the event marked the launch of EBLEX’s ‘Slowly Does It’ campaign. Designed to inspire caterers to make use of the whole carcase, ‘Slowly Does It’ encourages the use of some of the less popular cuts which are widely available and offers great value for money.

Foodservice project manager for EBLEX, Hugh Judd, explained: "Slow cooking is going through a revival at the moment; it really brings out the flavour of the meat and enables caterers to use a variety of cost-effective beef and lamb cuts to create wonderful dishes. With just a little imagination, traditional cuts such as the lamb shoulder and chuck tender can be used to create contemporary recipes that will really stand out on menus.”

Guest speaker at the event, celebrity chef Brian Turner, said: "Farmers put a lot of energy and effort into getting the meat just right. The quality doesn’t get any worse at the tail end; the cuts simply need to be cooked differently because the muscles have had to work harder. In fact, the flavour is often far superior because the meat has been cooked for so long.

"Of course, the key to slow-cooking is not to turn the heat up; the French call it ‘tremblant’ (to tremble), in other words, the meat should be left to simmer at a low temperature for a long time so that it doesn’t dry out. After it’s been cooked, leaving it to stand for another 12-24 hours will really bring out the flavours.”

David Baker, farmer and producer of the grain-fed beef served at the event, said: "Creating consistently high-quality beef starts on the farm. We take bull calves (steers) from the dairy industry and feed them with cereals we have grown ourselves using our unique grain-feeding system. That means we can guarantee full traceability of our feed as well as our beef; that, combined with the strict animal welfare standards we adhere to, enables us to produce high-quality beef for the foodservice sector.

"We work very closely with our catering butcher, producing primals to their specification, which, in turn, enables them to meet their catering customers’ exacting standards. Of course, all of this hard work is wasted if the cuts are not cooked properly. Certain cuts do require slow cooking at a low temperature, but the time invested is well worth it, as it really brings out the tenderness and flavour of the beef.”

Canapés served at the event also showcased slow-cooked cuts: ‘Roasted Marrowbone, Toasted Sour Dough, Parsley and Shallot Salad’, ‘Neck of Lamb Koftas with Cumberland Sauce’ and ‘Shin Braised Beef Mini Cottage Pies with Worcestershire Sauce’. Craft beers and ciders, chosen to complement the flavours in each of the dishes, were also served.

Hugh added: "Talk to your butcher to find out which added value beef and lamb cuts are on offer throughout the year and how best to cook them. And remember that sourcing through the Quality Standard Mark Scheme will enable you to provide your customers with guarantees of quality, consistency, assurance and traceability.”

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