Scots put forgotten forequarter back on the menu

Scottish meat bosses took to London in a bid to reintroduce the capital’s restaurants to the sometimes forgotten pleasures of forequarter meat.

Quality Meat Scotland hosted the event for Scotch Beef Club patron HRH The Princess Royal and club members from throughout the south-east at the historic Butchers’ Hall in London.

It was aimed at showing how use of better-value and overlooked cuts will ensure that they could continue to put top quality Scotch Beef on the menu.

Acclaimed Scottish butcher Jonathan Honeyman, gave an overview of the importance of working with the natural muscle structure of meat to ensure consistency, and cuts that are high in flavour and tenderness

To whet the appetite of the guests, UK Chef of the Year Simon Hulstone, from the Michelin starred The Elephant in Torquay, cooked a lunch recreating the dishes he prepared for the culinary Grand Prix Bocuse D’or earlier this year.

Margaret Stewart, who manages the Scotch Beef Club said: “This seminar is about saving some of these fantastic cuts from the mincer and showing that using these techniques is a great way of surprising and delighting their customers.

“Better use of the forequarter is good news for everyone in the meat production chain. For farmers and butchers it means better use of the whole carcase, enabling them to sell the whole animal, ensuring more even distribution of value and less reliance on the fillet and sirloin.

“For restaurateurs, it enables them to have top-quality fully assured Scotch Beef on their menus, and offer their diners incredibly tasty, imaginative dishes that are great on taste and not too heavy on costs.”

The cuts used in the demo were the shin, specifically from the forequarter, rather than the hind, featherblade and leg of mutton cut.

Jonathan also demonstrated the differences between traditional methods of butchery and new techniques aimed at producing smaller, more easily managed portions, which can deliver consistency due to the complete removal of the nerves and connective tissue that make meat tough.