Gide to steak and other beef cuts

We’re passionate about meat, particularly steak, at The Jones Family Kitchen and The Jones Family Project. With both our restaurants recently voted in the Top 10 steak restaurants in London we’ve learnt quite a bit about what makes great steak. I believe that there is nothing better than a beautifully prepared and cooked piece of beef. Choosing the right cut for you in a restaurant or at home can be both daunting and exciting as there is so much variety in terms of texture and flavour based on the location of the cut from every cow.

Before considering which part of the cow is best for each dish it’s important to check the breed of cow, the way it was raised, fed and slaughtered and the length and the method of aging. We use naturally fed traditional Longhorn cattle. Their hardiness is ideal for converting grass into meat, their calm nature produces relaxed meat and their strength creates intra muscular marbling leading to flavoursome cuts. Unlike other breeds which lay down too much external fat before the formation of intramuscular fat, Longhorns not only produce large fillets, sirloins, rumps and shoulders but also naturally have good marbling throughout which gives excellent succulence, tenderness and flavour.

We also firmly believe that good steak should be dry-aged. All meat needs to be hung before it can be eaten to allow it to mature and develop its flavour. While chicken needs a few days and lamb and pork about a week, beef benefits by being aged for longer.  Dry-aging is both a science and an art and like a good wine it can’t be rushed. While the cool air circulates constantly and freely to prevent the growth of anything detrimental, the flavour of the beef is naturally altered by a combination of bacteria, enzyme breakdown and oxidation. The fibres in the muscles become tender and elastic and the flavour in the meat intensifies. Although Dry-aged meat is a little more expensive due to the additional time taken to hang, the loss of moisture and trimming of the bloom (a safe bacteria edging) the taste and texture means it is well worth it if you are interested in eating great steak.

As I mentioned, there is a huge amount a variety in the way you can cook beef and it’s important to choose the right cut for you at the butcher or in a restaurant. Here is a guide to some of the most popular cuts, where they are from and how best to cook them.

The meat closer to the front of the cow (the fore end) is sweeter and tastier. This is because the head, neck and front legs is where the majority of a cow’s movement takes place. All this movement increases muscles’ bulk and adds fat and marbling through the huge joints. The meat from this area needs to be cooked long and slow to break down the muscles and the extra fat in the joints adds flavour and naturally bastes the meat, keeping it moist. These cuts are usually the cheapest, but if not rushed and cooked with skill, they deliver unctuous flavours with robust textures.

Neck & Clod: These hard-worked muscles are very tasty and have good fat content. They need longer, slower, moist cooking and are delicious for pot roasts, stews, casseroles and burgers.

Chuck and Blade: Probably the most used muscle in the whole animal, the chuck contains a lot of connective tissue, including collagen. Collagen melts during the cooking of the meat, making the flavour intensely stronger. Chuck meat is excellent for stewing, slow cooking, braising, or pot roasting.

Brisket: This is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest. It is a common cut of meat for use in Vietnamese Pho soup and corned beef.

Rib-eye and rib steak: As you’d expect, rib steak or rib-eye is from the lightly worked upper rib section. When cut into steaks, the rib-eye is one of the most popular, juiciest, and expensive steaks. The meat from the rib area is more tender and marbled than other cuts. This extra marbling makes rib eye steaks and roasts especially tender and flavourful and well suited to dry heat cookery. A rib eye is a boneless steak whereas a rib steak has the bone in. Leaving the bone in means that extra moisture and fat alongside the bone will enhance its flavour and succulence. I’d always recommend this cut to be served medium-rare to medium, as this will melt the fat in the meat which adds fabulous flavour.

Shin and Leg: These are the ultimate cuts when stewing or braising beef as they are filled with tasty marrow bone.

The middle of the cow offers excellent tasty meat with good fat marbling in the upper part of the body and great value in the flank. These tender lesser-worked muscles deliver a finer, more delicate flavour and texture that needs far lighter cooking techniques, such as quick flash-searing or grilling.

Fillet: If your preference is for tenderness over deep flavour in a steak then fillet is the cut for you. The fillet is a long, narrow muscle wedge inside the ribcage at the lower middle of the back starting, at its thinnest point, at the cow’s kidneys. It the only muscle these beasts do not use and is surrounded by a film of fat so thin you can rub it off with the tip of your finger. It is made up of three main sections: The tail, which is the flat end, used for steak tartar and medallions; The thick end or head, used for Chateaubriand, named after the French statesman and author Francois René Vicomte de Chateaubriand (1768-1848) and Beef Wellington, which it’s believed received its name because of that well known British Duke’s love of a dish made from beef, truffles, mushrooms, madeira and pâté cooked in pastry, and The middle of the fillet which is used for steaks and carpaccio. Fillet steaks are usually cut a minimum of 1 inch thick up to 2.5 inches and need minimum seasoning. Care should be taking in marinating a cut from the fillet as flavour will be absorbed quickly and if left from more than 20 minutes could overpower the meat.

Sirloin: Sirloin steaks come from the large back muscle section behind the ribs of a cow. They have a stronger and beefier flavour than fillet or rib-eye and can hold their own with strong flavoured sauces. You also get Porterhouse and T-bone steaks from the back section of the cow which contain both sirloin and fillet. Porterhouses, which are from further back than T-bones, are larger and contain more fillet.

Thin Flank: The belly of the animal is best when cut across the grain and marinated for several hours and thus is great for roasts, stews and casseroles. Additional tenderness can be added by marinating the meat in a tenderizing liquid, including acids like tomato-based products, lemon juice, wine, vinegar, pineapple or ginger. Because the marinades in Asian cuisine tend to be tenderizing, flank steak is frequently used in this cuisine.

The rear of the cow has less fat running through the meat. This part produces one of the tastiest steaks – the rump – and good joints for pot-roasting or roasting but these cuts do need careful cooking.

Rump: Prime rump, which comes from the lower back of the cow, is packed with flavour but needs to be dry-aged longer or marinated to bring the flavour to the fore. At Jones we use 55-day dry aged rump from The Ginger Pig butcher, and the flavour is outstanding. The rump area also includes the Picanha rump steak which we use for our Sunday Roasts. It’s a succulent and tender cut, sometimes known as top sirloin cap. Highly prized in Brazil and Argentina, Picanha should always be cut across the grain. It cooks particularly well in a Josper.

Silverside: Beef silverside also known as Top Round in the U.S. is a lean, tough cut of meat from the hind part of the animal. It gets its name because of the “silver wall” on the side of the cut. This is a long fibrous “skin” which has to be removed as it is too tough to eat. Silverside provides a great flavour and is superb for stews, casseroles, pies and mince.

Topside: Topside of beef is a lean boneless cut from the top of the inside hind leg, also called buttock steak. Topside is ideal for roasting as well as cold cuts and makes delicious spiced beef. Stews, casseroles and pies also work beautifully with this cut.

I hope you’ve found this guide to some of the most popular beef cuts useful. Do pop in and ask any of our team for advice if you have any questions.

This year Belgravia in Bloom runs from 20th – 25th May. We love this fabulous floral festival which coincides with the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show.

From Motcomb Street, through Eccleston Yards and Elizabeth Street, to Pimlico Road, the streets around Belgravia are decked with vibrant floral installations. As well as a special installation in Eccleston Yards, which will be announced by The Grosvenor Estate shortly, we’ve created a special cocktail to toast the week. Green and Pleasant Land, made with Barentsz craft gin, elderflower, lime, sparkling white wine and cucumber, is a deliciously refreshing and happy cocktail which we first tried during that amazing sunny week in February and think will be perfect on our terrace this summer.

The theme of Belgravia in Bloom this year is ‘Language of Flowers’. Jasmine, orange and angelica, three of the main botanicals in Barentsz gin which represent amiability, generosity and inspiration respectively, are matched with elderflower meaning compassion, and then topped up with sparkling wine and garnished with cucumber. Each ingredient pairs perfectly to create an extremely tasty and quaffable cocktail. We’re currently growing cosmos which we’ll be adding to our terrace. These happy and colourful flowers symbolise joy in love and life which we think describes our beautiful terrace and our guests here in Eccleston Yards perfectly.

We chose Barentsz gin deliberately as they have recently announced a pledge to remove from the world’s seas an equal weight in plastic for every bottle bought. The statistics around the plastic currently, and predicted to be, residing in our oceans is scary. At the moment, 8 million metric tons of plastic are disposed into the ocean every year, including 236,000 tons of tiny microplastics, causing enormous damage to our wildlife and world. In five areas it has gathered in to massive patches, indeed one between California and Hawaii is the size of Texas. Known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch it consists of 80,000 metric tons of plastic including abandoned fishing gear, plastic bottles, ropes, baskets and plastic packaging (averaging out at 250 pieces of debris for every person in the world.) There are many people doing amazing work to take plastic back out and find ways of either not using it or recycling it safely. If we along with Barantsz can contribute even in a small way we’ll be very happy. We did not choose it for this pledge alone. It’s a great tasting gin which makes fabulous cocktails too! Michael Claessens, the founder of Barentsz, has created a very unique gin by distilling both smooth creamy rye with complex wheat grains. The sweetness of the wheat and the longer finish of the rye compliment and bring out the gin’s orange and jasmine botanicals. It’s so smooth you can drink it straight and also makes amazing cocktails.

 

We thought we knew a fair amount about whisky before we started hosting The Blend by Chivas but we’ve learnt a huge amount more about this very popular spirit.  Not only is it the most popular spirit in more countries worldwide than any other, but closer to home there are currently more than 20 million casks of whisky aging at the 128 different distilleries in Scotland alone. For someone with an interest in whisky that’s a breathtakingly exciting array of flavours and styles to try.

We’ve welcomed over 700 guests to join Phil Huckle, Senior Chivas Brand Ambassador, to The Blend, over the past four months. Some have been passionate whisky lovers while others have not known much about whisky but were joining a whisky loving friend or someone interested in learning more. However, whatever their knowledge level I am certain, like me, that everyone, has learnt something that they did not know about the interesting story of this very popular distilled alcohol.

For some it has been learning the difference between whiskey (Ireland and the USA) and whisky (Scotland and most other countries) and the many theories on the etymology of these two words. Without doubt the subtle differences in Gaelic in Scotland and Ireland and the different countries that the intrepid Scots and Irish travelled to will definitely have a bearing on that, but to me there is no doubt at all that with the name deriving from the Gaelic for ‘water for life’ (uisce beatha in Ireland and uisge beatha in Scotland) it has quite rightly become one of the most popular spirits in the world.

For others it has been the challenge of blending their own whisky to bring out their favourite flavours. Prior to the nineteenth century whiskies were single malt but following work by Sir Anthony Perrier (1770–1845), built on by Robert Stein in 1828 and then by Aeneas Coffey who patented the column still known as the Coffey Still in 1830, it became possible to blend malt and grain whiskies to produce a lighter, sweeter and more importantly, consistent whiskey.  During The Blend each guest was given six different styles of whisky to blend into their personal perfect blend with their favoured percentage of fruity, floral, creamy, citrus or smoky flavour.

For me when I participated in The Blend it was not just the challenge of getting the right blend (how much of a flavour would be the right hint without overpowering the other flavours!) but the part that phylloxera played in whisky’s success story and that I found fascinating. Whisky was the winner while this pesky pest decimated many of the popular vineyards in France and elsewhere. At the time Brandy & Soda was very fashionable, almost certainly the drink of favour with many of residents close to us here in Eccleston Yards. The 1860 Revenue Authorities Act to allow blending of “plain British spirit” with pot still malt whiskey, which followed the 1823 Excise Act sanctioning the distillation of whisky in return for a licence, simultaneously coinciding with the opportunity for this new precious cargo to be taken around the world in equally new, and at the time speedy, steamships along with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which saved these ships more than 6,000km of travelling in the North Atlantic and Southern Indian Oceans by offering a direct route via the Mediterranean and Red Seas, meant that Whiskey & Soda quickly took its place.

This fortuitous timing for whisk(e)y producers much have had a bearing on its current popularity in so many countries around the world. Though its increasing popularity since must be credited to the subtle complexities and variations in the spirit. Over the past decade its popularity has soared again and with more than 40 bottles of Scotch whisky shipped overseas (to 175 counties) every second it now accounts for more than 20% of all UK food and drink exports giving the UK government £3bn a year in tax. In France it has become so popular that more Scotch is sold in a month than Cognac in a year.

Photo credit: Rashmi Narayan (Instagram @rashnarayan_traveller)

English Longhorn at The Ginger Pig

Steak can taste very different according to the breed of cattle it comes from and how it is reared. Our steak here at The Jones Family Project is from team at The Ginger Pig. This has been a very deliberate choice. We believe that the naturally fed traditional Longhorn cattle they rear and the way they rear them produces steak that tastes fantstic.

Longhorn cattle are one of the oldest breeds of British cattle, originating from the North of England, but they fell out of favour for many years as people focussed on lean meats that could be produced intensively and quickly. Tim Wilson, founder of The Ginger Pig, has been championing this bred for over 20 years to world-wide acclaim. Last year, we hosted a delegation from The Japanese Meat Association at The Jones Family Project who were visiting the UK as they had heard about and wanted to find out more about Tim’s Longhorn cattle and their steak.

Originally, farmers bred cattle to be easy to handle, hardy and strong enough to pull their ploughs. Longhorns were popular and useful. These traits also meant that they were good to eat and they were one of the original breeds that made England famous for its fine roast beef. Sadly, though they fell of favour with the advent of machines and more intensive farming methods and by the late 1970s there were less than 500 registered breeding English Longhorn cows.

Happily, this trend has now been reversed with more and more people realising that this wonderful breed with its distinctive traditional white stripe along their back, beautiful horns and dark blue roan or lighter red brindle coat not only look fabulous but also convert our lush UK grass into excellent steak. The number of these stunning cows is now increasing and is there are now more than 2,000 registered breeding cows.

However, it is not just genetics that creates a good steak. It is the food they are fed and the way they are handled. Longhorn cows have a gentle nature and make great mothers and the high butter fat content of their milk gives their calves a great start in life. Once weaned, here in the UK we are lucky enough to have a good supply of rain which means that our cattle can be kept outside roaming free munching succulent nutritious grass for longer than in many other countries.

The Longhorn is slow to grow which means that it has longer to convert this grass to muscle and fat. The very traits that made it an excellent and popular choice with farmers years ago are true today and the reason why it makes some of the best beef in the world. Their quiet, gentle nature and careful handling by farmers, such as The Ginger Pig, with high welfare standards, produces relaxed meat. Their hardiness is ideal for converting grass into meat and their strength (now not needed to pull a plough apart from for show!) creates intra muscular marbling leading to flavoursome steak. Unlike other breeds which lay down too much external fat before the formation of intramuscular fat Longhorns not only produce large fillets, sirloins, rumps and shoulders but also naturally have good marbling throughout which gives excellent succulence, tenderness and flavour.

Photo: Lohengrin one of The Ginger Pig’s English Longhorn bulls.

Duncan and I have always believed in having an extensive and varied list of wines by the glass. It not only allows guests who do not wish to drink a carafe of bottle the option of a single glass but also allows guests to play with different pairings throughout their meal and explore wines that they may not know. We are very excited to be adding Orin Swift’s Papillion to our by the glass and bottle list at The Jones Family Kitchen.

Compared to many other producers with long lineages the rebel with an artistic bent, Dave Phinney, and his company Orin Swift, are new giants in the pantheon of established lauded wine estates. Robert Parker called Dave Phinney “one of the most talented winemakers of our time,” and I concur. He’s been doing some very exciting things and I believe he and his wines fully merit the recognition they’ve been getting.

Dave Phinney Orin Swift

The history of Orin Swift Cellars dates back to 1995 when Dave Phinney visited Florence on a whim to spend a semester “studying”. It was in Italy that he was introduced to wine and how it was made. He was immediately hooked. He ditched his ideas of becoming a lawyer. Four days after leaving university he moved from Arizona to Napa and he took a job with Robert Mondavi Winery as a temporary harvest worker. Deciding that if he was going to work hard he was going to do so for himself, one year out of university, in 1998, he founded Orin Swift Cellars (named from his father’s middle name, Orin, and his mother’ maiden name, Swift.) Over the next decade he explored and experimented while he made wine both for himself and others. His wines met with considerable success and have meant that he now owns vineyards not only in Napa but also in Chile, France and Spain.

What’s so different and special about Dave Phinney’s wines? He has a restless and inquisitive mind which pushes established wine rules and has turned some of the assumed wine making wisdoms upside down. In his own vineyards, he lets his grapes hang on their vines longer than most vineyard owners to get greater flavour concentration and viscosity. He tops up grapes from his own vineyards, by buying and blending grapes from a huge array of vineyards around the world. If he has one immutable rule to his wine making it’s that he’s committed to only creating wine from the best possible vines he can find, making sure that they are farmed properly, and being fastidious about when the grapes are picked. The demand for Orin Swift wines is huge and it’s not easy to grab a bottle as because of his insistence that he’ll only make the quantity of wine that he has the right quality of fruit for.

The Papillon 2015 we’ve listed is a Bordeaux-styled blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc (15.1% alcohol). It’s a stunning rich, full-bodied, unctuously textured wine with notes of cherry and blackberry. which is delicious now and will last for many years. It has a stunning and instantly recognisable label. Another of Dave Phinney’s many passions is photography. The labels for his wines are always unique and thought-provoking. For Papillion he has chosen the soil and grape stained hands of Vince Tofanelli, an old school vintner in Napa Valley, taken by celebrity photographer (turned wine maker too) Greg Gorman.

Robert Parker’s consistently given Papillion 94 and 95 points in his highly regarded reviews. It’s a fabulous wine alone but also pairs perfectly with our Josper grilled Ginger Pig steak which is why I’m delighted to be including it to our list. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do by the glass, carafe or bottle.

Jones Family Kitchen - Eccleston Yards

The Grosvenor Estate has been hard at work regenerating and transforming historic Eccleston Yards into a stunning pedestrian only courtyard to relax and enjoy 🙂 We’re very excited to be joining Barry’s Bootcamp, Central Working, Eccleston Place, SMUK,  Re:Mind, 50M and Tailor Made London in our new adventures there 🙂

– Barry’s Bootcamp – the fourth London studio of the original cardio and strength interval workout founded in 1998
– Central Working – shared workspace with capacity for more than 500 entrepreneurs in 26,000 square feet of space
– Eccleston Place by Tart London – a multipurpose venue incorporating a restaurant, retail space, fashion photography studio and events space
– SMUK – a Scandinavian beauty salon offering treatments and services focused on natural beauty.
– Re:Mind – London’s first drop-in meditation studio and eco-lifestyle store;
– 50M – a fashion concept by Something & Son to provide a world-first affordable retail space to rent by the meter, day or month;
– Tailor Made London – affordable high-quality bespoke tailors offering cutting edge 3D body scanning technology for garments that fit perfectly.

 

Without wanting to run the risk of sounding like some sort of lush I have to admit to loving wine, cocktails and the two combined. For many years Kir Royals, Sangrias, Spritzs and Belini have been popular but I believe we’re about to see a new resurgence and greater choice in wine based cocktails.

At best your first thoughts of mixing wine with spirit might make you think of the already mentioned Sangrias and Spritzs, nice but not anything new. At worst it is suppressed memories of the bad hangovers you had when you raided your parents’ drinks cabinet, drinking from half empty bottles of whatever was left over. If however you are a bartender with a sense of adventure and willing to experiment then you can add all sorts of wonderful, flavours and aromas to your cocktail list. When wine is used as a cocktail ingredient and not just the base then your options really start to open up. The huge variety of wines available means that you are only limited by the pairing that you can come up with. Wine can enhance and complement almost any flavour that you are looking for. Are you looking to add a jammy fruit, may be some oaky smokiness, or wanting to add depth in terms of tannin; well then, like with many things in life, wine is the answer.

Summer drinking is all about sipping something cool while enjoying a few happy rays. Sitting with on a terrace outside a restaurant with a wine cocktail and a good meal accompanied by great friends is one of life’s great pleasures. Wine cocktails are often lighter and more refreshing than many traditional alcoholic drinks, which makes them ideal for long leisurely sunny summer afternoons. They are also often easier to pair with food and a great way to start a meal.

Most wine cocktails use a chilled base of perhaps rosé, Champagne or Prosecco, but this is not always the case and in our new cocktail list we’ve a new mini menu of special wine cocktails. La Vie En Rose is perhaps our most traditional combining the lovely scent and fresh vivacious tangy flavour of rosé wine with our own house infused rose vodka. It pairs beautifully with Oliver’s fabulous seafood, salads and charcuterie. Our Sangria Sunshine is a twist on Sangria with our own house made Sangria Shrub and a classic Italian Soave by Bertani. We’ve taken inspiration from Greece with our Pining For Attica using Retsina combined with fabulous organic juniper, angelica, fresh lime peel, bay laurel, cardamom, red raspberry leaf and honey notes from the Battersea-based fabulous Dodd’s gin. This drink has sweetness, but with a slightly bitter a finish. It’s what I like to call a proper drink, with a bit of a kick that will keep you happy. With Little Old Lisbon, as you’d expect we’ve travelled to the Douro River in Portugal where we’ve chosen port from one of the oldest Quinta’s, Quinta Do Crasto. We have added some of our own wine syrup made using Pinot Noir and red grape juice and then perhaps not to be expected paired it with a trip to Kentucky using Wild Turkey Rye whiskey to create a twist on the Old Fashioned.

Our bar team are very picky when it comes to choosing cocktails for our featured lists and the last one to make the cut is Blanc Canvas, a tall summer drink characterised by the sweetness of the mango, the brightness and evergreen notes of the Lillet Blanc and the refreshing acidity and minerality of the Chenin blanc.

Why limit yourself to pouring wine straight from the bottle. Join us and share a few of our bar team’s wine cocktails on our terrace this summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Simon Burrell

We and Flying Fish who supply our fish are deeply concerned about the levels of Sea Bass currently in UK waters. Like Cod, which was under threat but happily has now returned to sustainable levels, Sea Bass is a long-lived and slow growing species of fish. Capable of living up 30 years the male Sea Bass matures between 3-6 years old and female at 5-8 years of age. Since the 1970s they’ve been fished commercially at a rate which has been putting Wild Sea Bass into danger. Thus you will not be seeing Wild Sea Bass on our menu.

However, the good news is that it’s currently about to be the best season to catch Turbot. In spring and early Summer Turbot come into shallower water and become easier for shore anglers and Day Boats to catch. Turbot are very similar looking to brill but have an almost completely circular body and rougher skin. Though excellent Turbot can be found throughout the UK, one of its favourite habitats is the South West where our wonderful supplier Flying Fish is based.

I’m already been working on some tasty recipes for this delicious firm white fish.

Photo of Dawn in Newlyn Harbour by Oliver Pollard

It’s well known that we’re a meat led restaurant and our Josper chefs love cooking the fabulous steaks we receive from The Ginger Pig. What’s perhaps less well known is our commitment to sustainable fish and fishing. One of the treats of working in hospitality is the diverse and fabulous producers we meet. Across all the products we use, we’re lucky and very happy to be working with so many suppliers who are passionate about what they produce and have ensured that their products are top notch. Oliver Pollard, who joined us as our Executive Chef, recently has introduced us to the fabulous team at The Flying Fish and we’re delighted.

We may not always have your favourite fish or shell fish on our menu on the day you visit but judging by the fish we’ve already sampled we’ll have some very tasty seasonal West Country produce. Each morning Oliver or one of his team will be called by the Flying Fish team for an update on that morning’s catch and will order our fish delivery according to what’s in season and available.

During a visit to The Flying Fish before our opening, Oliver was both reassured and impressed by their commitment to sustainability. Fish and other seafood is only bought from day boats run by responsible fishermen and have their sustainability policies regularly checked. They’ll never be involved in selling fish which has been targeted at a crucial breeding time and all their fishermen take care in the size of net they use to eliminate the unintended catch of younger juvenile fish.

 

We firmly believe that the seasonality of Flying Fish’s approach is not only good for our fish stocks and ensuring that our children and our children’s children have fabulous fish but also delivers the best tasting fish and shell fish. We’re looking forward to incredible St Austell Bay deep water mussels after the summer months…

Photos: Dawn in Newlyn Harbour and Day Boats in Newlyn Harbour by Oliver Pollard

Sirloin Steak The Ginger Pig

If you like your steak to be full of flavour, moist and juicy, it’s worth learning about different types of fat that you see in and around a steak. The most important of which is the intramuscular fat known as marbling. Steak with good levels of marbling running though it will not only keep moist and succulent while it is being aged and cooked but the unsaturated (healthy) fat that forms the marbling will add flavour to the meat in the process.

The amount of marbling can depend on several factors including the breed and age of the cattle. Also, whether they’ve been grass or grain-fed. Good marbling can still be achieved from grain fed cattle but the taste is not as meaty. At The Jones Family Kitchen our steak comes from The Ginger Pig. We believe that the naturally fed traditional English Longhorn cattle they rear and the way they rear them produces steak that tastes fantastic on the plate.

In beef cattle, there are two types of fat which develop in three distinct places.

Subcutaneous fat is the layer, known as the ‘bark’, that is most obvious to see. It is formed between the skin (or rind) and the lean tissue and runs along one side of steak cuts such as sirloin.

Intramuscular fat is formed in two places. Firstly between an animal’s muscle and often seen at the edges of stewing steak. Secondly, as unsaturated (healthy) fat in the muscle fibres themselves, where it can appear as thin creamy streaks or specks and the pattern it makes here is known as marbling.

 

 

 

(Photo of Ginger Pig Steaks by Kristin Perers. Top row (left-right) rib eye, wing rib, prime rib. Bottom row (left to right) T-bone, sirloin.)

 

 

 

Within the same animal the amount marbling varies from one cut to another. Cuts of meat with a lot of marbling mostly come from the loin region. There is more marbling on cuts further forward such as a rib eye, while the sirloin and fillet which comes from further back, is a leaner steak.

Longhorn cows grow slowly and as they do they convert grass into muscle and fat. Unlike many other breeds, which lay down excessive amounts of external bark fat before the formation of intramuscular fat can take place, Longhorns naturally produce good marbling without excess external fat cover.