Butchers Board

Top 12 Dos and Don’ts to Master BBQ Meat

Top 12 Dos and Don’ts to Master BBQ Meat

BBQ season is well underway, and although we'd all like to think we know exactly what we're doing at the grill - we've certainly ended up with more cremated sausages than we'd like to admit! Luckily, our list of dos and don'ts is here to make sure you master the grill and serve up the very best BBQ meat.

Do choose your BBQ wisely

If you’re in the market for a new barbecue, we’d highly recommend opting for a charcoal one. It's not that there's anything wrong with gas grills, but a charcoal grill will make sure your food has that authentic smoky BBQ flavour. It’s also important that your BBQ has a lid, as this will keep the temperature constant and the meat tender.

Don’t overlook the charcoal

Far too often, us Brits end up leaving charcoal as an afterthought. It might be convenient to pick up whatever you can get your hands on at the local shop or petrol station - but if you really want to impress your guests - take your fuel seriously. 

Lump charcoal is a safe choice for any BBQ as it’s fast-lighting and has a burn time of around an hour. Briquettes burn for up to 3 hours and are better suited to those BBQ meat cuts that require a slow roast.

If you're really looking to take your BBQ to the next level, we'd highly recommend wood chips. Soak them in water beforehand and toss them onto hot coals when it's time to start cooking. Hickory and oak give meat that traditional smoky flavour that works so well with poultry and fish, while cherry and apple wood offer a certain sweetness that compliments pork very nicely.

Do use the right tools

Tools are definitely somewhat of a status symbol for the seasoned BBQ chef. Here’s our recommended tool checklist and how to use them:

  • Long-handled tongs with heat resistant handles: So you can move meats on and off the grill with ease.
  • Temperature probe: It can be tough telling when BBQ meat is cooked through - a probe makes sure you get the perfect finish every time.
  • Barbecue gloves: The true sign of a pro, gloves mean you can comfortably rearrange coals and handle hot food.
  • Herb brush: Use some twine to attach your favourite fresh herbs (we like rosemary, thyme or parsley) to a wooden spoon. Dip in a little olive oil and brush over the raw meat before it hits the grill.

 

Don’t forget to prepare

Preparation is the key to a successful BBQ, especially if you're expecting a few guests! Plan ahead of time to make sure everyone is well-fed, starting with a burger, sausage and skewer for everyone. If you do end up with leftover food, chicken, steaks and chops keep well in the fridge and are ideal for mid-week meals.

Do choose the best BBQ meat

From the traditional hot dogs and burgers, to the racks of ribs and Ribeye steaks that take a little more BBQ expertise... There are plenty of types of BBQ meat to choose from and you shouldn't shy away from a little experimentation.

Steak is always a popular choice on the BBQ, but what's the best cut? If you like your steak juicy, opt for a thicker cut and avoid a T-bone. Ribeye is always a good idea as the rich marbling leads to intense flavour, but you can still enjoy deliciously succulent results with sirloin or fillet.

Burgers are a BBQ staple, but they're not all made equal. Show your guests that you take your meat seriously and serve up the Malpass Ultimate Burger. This 100% British beef burger has been expertly crafted to deliver restaurant-level quality at home. Don't slack on the sausages either, offer your guests a few enticing variations such as lamb and mint and pork and chilli alongside some classic Cumberlands.

Don’t start too late

Lighting the BBQ too late is one of the most common BBQ mistakes, and one that often leads to guests filling up on nibbles before the main event. Barbecues take 30 minutes or so to reach a cookable temperature, so don’t wait until your hungry guests have arrived before you get started! It’s always better to light the barbecue earlier rather than later, as you can keep the cooked food warm in a low oven when necessary.

Do marinate, marinate, marinate!

Marinades are a genius way to tenderize meats and infuse them with exceptional flavour. There are a variety of homemade and shop-bought marinades to choose from and most recipes recommend you leave your meats in them overnight. You can, however, make your life that bit easier with our range of pre-marinated meats that come primed, prepped and ready-for-the-grill.

Choose from ribs, wings, drumsticks or thighs that have been seasoned to perfection in BBQ, Chinese or garlic butter marinades. And if that's got your mouth watering, why not supercharge your next BBQ with a Malpass BBQ box?! Get a selection of our very best BBQ meat delivered direct to your door for an unmissable price.

Don’t BBQ meat straight out of the fridge

Another common BBQ blunder is putting chilled meat and fish straight on the grill, which more often than not results in a burnt outside and uncooked centre. Make sure your meat is cooked to perfection by taking it out the fridge at least 20 minutes before grilling, giving it plenty of time to lose its chill.

Do check BBQ cooking times for meat

Do you sometimes just toss things on the grill and hope for the best? It's easily done, especially when you're busy enjoying a sunny day and good company. However, to make the most of your meats it is vital that you check the cooking times.

Cooking times usually depend on the type of meat, the thickness of the cut and the desired done-ness. For instance, steaks and burgers require each side to be seared on a high heat, before cooking on a lower heat until the middle reaches your desired done-ness. It's also good to bear in mind that although your meat may look done on the outside, it could still be raw on the inside. If you don't have a temperature probe, don't be afraid to slice into pork and chicken to check if the juices are running clear.

Don’t direct cook your thick cuts

Direct cooking is the basic method for cooking meat on a BBQ. It involves placing your meat directly over the heat, and it is great for thin cuts like burgers, steaks, fish and sausages. However, your thicker cuts will taste so much better when cooked using the indirect method.

The indirect cooking method is a bit more advanced, but easy to do once you know how! You simply wait till your coals are warm and separate them into two piles at opposite ends of your grill. Then place your drip tray underneath the grill and between the coals, and place your meat on the grill above the drip tray. Your barbecue will act as an oven, making sure your meat is slowly roasted to perfection.

Do rest your meat

If you want your steak, poultry, pork chops and tenderloin to be as juicy and flavoursome as possible, make sure you leave time to rest your meat! Once your meat has cooked, put it on a foil covered tray and stick it on the top rack of your BBQ - this will raise the temperature inside the meat and ensure a succulent finish.

Don’t forget the sides!

The meat may be the main event, but no BBQ is complete without an appetizing selection of tasty sides. Corn on the cobs are always an easy addition to the grill, as are a few baked potatoes or vegetable kebabs. Make sure you have a good selection of cold accompaniments too, such as coleslaw, potato salad and cheeses.

And there you have it, our top 12 BBQ dos and don'ts. There's nothing better than a good summer BBQ and now yours will be foolproof!

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How To Prepare A Whole Fillet of Beef

How To Prepare A Whole Fillet of Beef

Whole Beef fillet is considered the king of all the beef cuts. It is the most tender cut as it comes from the least worked part of the animal. As a consequence, fillet is expensive to buy, especially in portions. To make it more cost-effective, try buying a whole fillet of beef and preparing it yourself – the meat will keep happily for a month in the freezer and the trimmings can be used to make a tasty sauce.

When buying beef, always buy the best quality possible. Grass-fed beef has superior flavour and is a more sustainable way of farming than cattle that has been fed solely on grain.

1. Place the beef fillet flat on a large chopping board and dry off any blood or moisture with a clean tea towel

2. Begin by running your fingers between the main part of the meat and the thick bit of connective tissue which is known as the chain. This will come away from the main part of the meat, which you will need to run your knife through to separate completely. The chain can be used for mince or to make a sauce.

3. Next, remove any membrane from the top of the fillet to expose the silverskin. This is the tough sinew that does not break down during cooking and is best removed. To do this, insert a boning knife under the pointed end of the silverskin a few centimeters from the end and, pointing your knife upwards, free the tip of the sinew

4. Turn your knife around and place it under the flap you have just created. With your knife facing upwards away from the meat, run it all the way along the meat in one long slicing motion to the end until all of the silverskin is freed

5. Repeat this process until the meat is completely clear of the silverskin. It is important to face the knife upwards to avoid cutting into the fillet and losing any meat

6. There will also be a small piece of silverskin on the back of the fillet which should also be removed in the same way

7. Remove any excess or loose pieces of fat from the beef fillet, but don’t be tempted to cut away all of the fat as this will render and give flavour to the meat as it cooks

8. Now that you have your trimmed fillet you can portion it. Cut off the pointed end of the fillet until the meat is of an even thickness (around 8–10 cm). This piece can be used for mince, stir-fries or skewers

9. The beef fillet can now be tied and roasted whole or cut into individual steaks

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Easter Dinner Dishes That Aren’t Ham or Lamb

Easter Dinner Dishes That Aren’t Ham or Lamb

When it comes time to plan Easter dinner, a glazed ham or a big roast leg of lamb always feel like the defaults. They’re classics for sure, but they’re far from the only options for your spring celebration. I enjoy changing up our Easter dinner menu every year, in part because ham is usually too much food for our small gathering, and not everyone enjoys lamb. Plus it’s fun to have a rotating seasonal menu that feels new.

 

But what to make? Large cuts of beef, roast turkey, and cheesy pans of baked pasta are well-suited for the winter months, but don’t quite have the light, fresh feeling so many of us crave in April. Instead, your best bet is sticking with crowd-pleasers like pork tenderloin or pork chops with can be easily dressed up with a sauce or simple glaze. (You might not be making a ham, but you can still use a ham glaze on your tenderloin!)
 

If you want to switch it up this year, here are fresh ideas for Easter mains that aren’t ham or lamb.

1. Stuffed Chicken Breast with Spinach & Cheese

Any time you want to dress up an everyday chicken breast into a dinner that feels fancy, all you need to do is stuff it with some greens and cheese. It turns a weeknight family favorite into a meal impressive enough for guests.

Get the recipe: Stuffed Chicken Breast with Spinach & Cheese

2. Pork Loin with Herb Potatoes and Vegetables

If you’re looking for an Easter dinner that’s as wildly delicious as it is ridiculously easy to get on the table, you’ve come to the right spot. This 3-ingredient dinner (yes, really) starts with some of our favorite smart shortcuts from Trader Joe’s. A juicy pork loin roast is rubbed with a roasted garlic and herb compound butter, which adds a warm blanket of rich flavor. It’s cooked on a sheet pan with a bag of country potatoes, which happen to be mixed with haricots verts (green beans) and wild mushrooms.

Get the recipe: Sheet Pan Pork Loin with Herb Potatoes and Vegetables

3. Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

On the years we don’t have ham, this is my favorite thing to cook for Easter dinner. The tenderloin, which comfortably feeds about four, is simply cooked, but finished with a sweet and tangy mustard-flecked glaze that makes it feel fancy.

Get the recipe: Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

4. Feta-Brined Chicken Breast with Rosemary

Lots of briny feta and roasted garlic transform mild-mannered chicken breasts into a full-flavored, holiday-worthy meal.

Get the recipe: Feta-Brined Chicken Breast with Rosemary

5. Juicy & Tender Roasted Pork Loin

If you prefer to skip the ham and lamb, a juicy pork loin is a nice alternative when you need a main to feed a crowd.

Get the recipe: How To Make Juicy & Tender Roasted Pork Loin: The Simplest, Easiest Method

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Survive the morning after St Patricks day

Survive the morning after St Patricks day

Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day, or at least everyone who loves an excuse to drink during daylight hours. Indeed, the holiday has become synonymous with copious and joyful imbibing — but not everyone is as well prepared for surviving the morning after. So: To make sure your Shamrock sunglasses are the only part of your face that stays green the next morning, here are some tips to help you survive the morning after St. Patrick's Day.

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

One of the easiest ways to get yourself feeling normal again is with fluids, and lots of them. I'm talking about glasses of water, apple juice, orange juice — whatever you can get your hands on. Replacing the fluid you've lost will likely help you feel a little less miserable." Here's hoping.

2. Eat

Finding the right hangover cure can often be a struggle, especially when your stomach is feeling particularly sensitive.

But a study has revealed that eating a fry up in the morning is the best answer to fixing that feeling of nausea.

British Lion eggs, who carried out the survey, found more than a third (38 per cent) of Brits who chose to eat a fry up recovered from their hangover in less than three hours, compared to 19 per cent of those who took painkillers and three per cent who stayed in bed all day.

 

Surviving St Patricks day collection

3. Painkillers

It's another obvious choice - especially when you wake up with that feeling like your head's in a vice - but the NHS actually recommends taking painkillers .

It says that buying over-the-counter pills can help with headaches and muscle cramps but avoid aspirin as it can further irritate the stomach and increase feelings of sickness.

Instead, opt for a paracetamol-based remedy or ibuprofen lysine, which absorbs quicker and one with codeine (found in 'plus' brands) is like taking two painkillers at once, experts say.

38 per cent) of Brits who chose to eat a fry up recovered from their hangover in less than three hours, compared to 19 per cent of those who took painkillers and three per cent who stayed in bed all day.

 

Surviving St Patricks day collection

 

— British Lion Survey

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Looking for something different this pancake day?

Looking for something different this pancake day?

Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day, is celebrated the day before Lent, and is believed to be the last day of indulging before fasting for Lent.

 

Why pancakes? Traditionally, pancakes were a good way to use up any fresh ingredients before the 40-day period of Lent, such as eggs, butter and milk, but as with any calendar celebration, it is also a great excuse for us to indulge in some tasty food!

 

As well as sugar and spice, and all things nice, pancakes are also great savoury! Here are some delicious savoury, meaty recipes to try this Pancake Day.

American style pancakes with sausage

Ingredients

 

500g/1lb 2oz sausage-meat

450g/1lb self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

600ml/20fl oz buttermilk

3 large free-range eggs, separated

50g/1¾oz butter, melted, plus extra for frying

maple syrup, to serve

 

Method

 

1. Put the sausage meat in a large frying pan and break it up using a wooden spatula or spoon. Fry the meat, stirring regularly and continuing to break it up, until well browned and cooked through. If a lot of fat has rendered out, turn out onto a piece of kitchen paper, otherwise leave in the frying pan, off the heat, until you need it.

 

2. Put the flour in a large bowl with the baking powder and add a pinch of salt. Mix to combine and remove any lumps then make a well in the middle and set aside. Combine the egg yolks, melted butter and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.

 

3. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour and whisk until well combined. Add a large spoonful of the egg whites and fold in using a large metal spoon. Stir in the rest of the egg whites, trying to preserve as much of the air in the whites as possible. You should have a fluffy, bubbly batter.

 

4. Heat a frying pan (preferably around 20cm/8in) to a medium heat and rub over a little butter. Pour 1½ ladlefuls of the batter into the frying pan – it should spread out to around 20cm/8in in diameter. Take a couple of tablespoons of the sausage mixture and sprinkle over the pancake. The pancake will rise up around the sausage meat as it cooks. When the pancake has browned on the bottom and is firm enough to flip, turn it over quickly and cook for another minute on the other side. Repeat with the rest of the batter and the sausage meat. Serve with maple syrup.

Beef and horseradish pancake rolls recipe

Ingredients

 

115g plain flour

Pinch of salt

1 large egg, beaten

25g butter, melted

200ml whole milk

3tbsp vegetable oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

350g prime steak mince

150ml tomato pasta sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4tbsp creamed horseradish

2tbsp freshly chopped chives

 

Method

 

1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease a shallow ovenproof dish. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and melted butter. Gradually whisk in the milk to form a smooth batter. Set aside for 30 mins.

 

2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat 1tbsp oil in a frying pan and cook the onion for 5 mins until softened but not browned. Add the mince and continue to cook, stirring, for 5 mins. Pour in the sauce, add plenty of seasoning, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for 10 mins until tender. Cover and keep warm.

 

3. For the pancakes, stir the batter. Lightly brush a small frying pan with a little of the remaining oil and heat until hot. Spoon in 3tbsp batter, tilting the pan back and forth to coat the bottom. Cook over a moderate heat for 1-2 mins until lightly golden then flip over and cook for a further 1 mins.

 

4. Turn on to a wire rack lined with baking parchment and continue the process to make 12 pancakes in total, stacking each in between sheets of parchment.

 

5. Spread each pancake with a little horseradish and then spread with some meat sauce. Roll up tightly and place side by side in the dish. Cover with foil and bake for about 15 mins until piping hot. Serve immediately, sprinkled with chives.

Banana pancakes with crispy bacon & syrup

Ingredients

 

8 rashers smoked streaky bacon

140g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 ripe bananas, 1 mashed, 1 thinly sliced

2 large eggs

25g butter, melted, plus a little extra

125ml milk

 

 

Method

 

1. Heat the grill to high. Arrange the bacon on a baking tray lined with foil. Cook for 5-7 mins until crisp, then turn off the grill but leave the tray inside to keep warm. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and sugar with a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre and add the mashed banana, eggs, butter and milk. Whisk to a smooth batter without any flour lumps.

 

2. Heat a little butter in a large frying pan. Once sizzling, ladle in small dollops of the pancake batter, leaving a little space between each, as they will spread out. Put 2 or 3 slices of banana onto the surface of each pancake and cook for 2 mins over a medium heat. When you see bubbles appear between the banana slices, flip the pancakes over and cook for 1 min more, until puffed up and golden. Transfer to a plate and keep warm with the bacon while you cook the rest. Serve the pancakes with the crispy bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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Christmas Dinner

How To Get That Christmas Dinner Just Right

Rarely is more pressure applied to a cooking performance than at Christmas - unless you happen to be a contestant on Masterchef, that is. Fundamentally, it is not the most complex of culinary tasks, but with such high expectations, it is worth taking measures to ensure you get it just right. 

Get The Best Equipment
Like with most things in life, the quality of the tools you use will impact on the quality of the finished result. Although this may involve a relatively large investment, it will make cooking throughout the year a more pleasurable experience, too. A high-quality and decent-sized roasting tin is a must and, on top of this, it is worth having a quality peeler, carving knife, gravy separators and turkey basters.

Not only will quality equipment help to ensure that the quality of the food is of a high standard, but it will also remove some of the stress. When you have a cupboard full of parsnips and potatoes, for example, the last thing you want is a poor quality peeler. It can also be crucial to ensure that you have enough tin foil and baking paper far in advance, as these often run out as Christmas approaches.

Prepare Early
Rather than frantically rushing around the supermarket at the last minute, it is worth writing your Christmas menu, along with a list of ingredients, long in advance. This will ensure that you don't forget, or miss out, any vital ingredients.

You can also choose a starter, or desserts, that you can prepare in advance. This will reduce stress on the day. It also means that, if you are creating something slightly experimental for the first time, you can make mistakes and it's not the end of the world.

It is also worth giving your kitchen a thorough clean before the culinary madness begins. Everyone works better in a clean and organised space.  If you start with a clean slate, there is less chance of everything becoming completely disorganised before the end of the festive period.

Order Your Turkey Early
Turkey is eaten more because of tradition, than as a genuine preference. It is not the best meat, and thus it is even more important to ensure that you get a quality bird. As anyone who has left it too late before knows, there isn't an endless supply of quality turkeys. You don't want to be frantically running around at the last minute, only to get your hands on a tiny bird. There are many websites where you can order a quality turkey well in advance.

https://malpassbutchery.co.uk/collections/christmas


Get Some Support
Although your partner or children may not be the most gifted in the kitchen, it is often the simple things that become time-consuming. Don't feel like Christmas dinner has to be a solo mission. No-one will begrudge you requesting a little support. This can make you feel more at ease too. Turn some music on, have a little glass of wine - not too many - and allow the dinner to take care of itself. After all, by this stage, with all of the preparation you have put in, you should be all set to produce a masterpiece.

One last bit of advice is to remember that no-one ever complains about having too much food at Christmas. Make a feast, and if it's not all eaten up on the day, it will be sure to disappear rapidly over the next couple of days.

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Traditional Roasting Guide

Traditional Roasting Guide

Roasting in a hot oven is the traditional way to cook large joints of meat. It is a very easy way to cook a meal for a large number of people. This method is suitable for any of the better quality, naturally tender cuts of meat weighing 950g or more. It is not suitable for humbler joints which need to be roasted with liquids for a longer period of time to encourage them to become tender.

1. Prepare the joint

Before cooking, remove the defrosted meat from its packaging and pat dry with kitchen paper. Allow the meat to 'bloom' and come to room temperature well in advance or for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Plan ahead - take your joint out of the freezer to defrost two or three nights before cooking.

2. Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to the required temperature (see table below). Starting with a very hot oven helps to seal the joint to prevent juices escaping. Then the temperature is reduced to cook evenly all the way through. Season the joint generously just before cooking.

Season at the last minute, otherwise the salt will draw out the juice, drying your meat.

3. Cook to your liking

Cook the meat for the recommended time (see table below), and/or use a digital meat thermometer. A large joint will continue to rise in temperature by a further 3-5ºC after it is removed from the oven. Be careful not to overcook, as this will make the meat dry and tough.

Meat thermometers are so easy to use and take all the guesswork out of roasting

4. Rest your joint

Once your joint is cooked to your liking it is important to rest it. Place it on a board or platter, cover loosely with foil, then leave in a warm place for at least 20 minutes. Resting is just as important as cooking, as it allows the meat to become warm, moist and tender all the way through.

You can rest large joints for up to 60 minutes in a warm oven

5. Carving

For carving we recommend a large wooden carving board. Ensure your carving knife is very sharp as it makes it so much easier to carve neat, even slices. Carve the meat across the grain into slices approximately ½cm (¼") or more thick and arrange on a serving dish or individual plates.

Put a non-slip mat or damp tea towel underneath your carving board to help prevent it slipping.

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Healthy Butter Chicken Recipe

Healthy Butter Chicken Recipe

Curry is the most popular dish in the UK - but, let's face it - it's not the healthiest! Your family will love our healthy take on this classic Indian dish - it packs all the flavour - but has a fraction of the calories. Enjoy.


Ingredients

For the chicken & marinade

100g low-fat Greek yoghurt
4-inch piece fresh ginger - chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 red chillis, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 lemon, juiced
800g chicken breasts, diced into inch cubes

(why not double-up on portions and freeze - we're doing a great offer of 1.8kg chicken breast for £12.00!

For the sauce

30g butter
3 Small onions, finely sliced
4-inch piece ginger, chopped finely

4 cloves garlic, crushed
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp fenugreek
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chilli powder
3 tbsp tomato concentrate
2 tbsp vegetable oil
80g low-fat yoghurt
A bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

Method

1. Let the chicken marinade in the fridge with all the marinade ingredients for a minimum of 30 mins or preferably overnight.

2.  When you're ready to cook, start by melting the butter in a large pan over medium heat and soften the onions for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and completely soft.

 Add the ginger and garlic, then the paprika, garam masala, fenugreek, chilli powder and tomato concentrate, stir and let this infuse with the onions - finally add the chopped tomatoes.

At this point, you can add 300ml water and simmer for 20 minutes, until thickened.

3.  Heat a pan with the vegetable oil. Add the chicken pieces and fry for 5-6 minutes until brown all over. 

 4. Add the cooked chicken to the curry sauce and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Stir in the yoghurt and coriander.

Serve with rice? A naan? Maybe some popadoms? - Who knows...after all, it's your curry!

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