In the final live class of the course, you will be taking inspiration from Daniel’s pork cheeks, Alison’s rabbit and Kerry’s venison, creating a dish that really makes the most of the meat that you have chosen.
For the final live class you will create a dish using two cuts from a sustainably sourced animal.
This brief is all about tapping into the seasons, and making use of the whole animal.
This decision is completely up to you, but we do encourage you to go local, go obscure, and go under-appreciated!
Using multiple cuts from the same animal is a brilliant way to enhance the natural flavour of the meat, and there are lots of things to consider when deciding what to make.
The first step is to go to your local butcher and start asking questions! What are the different cuts they have in store, and what different qualities does each cut have?
For instance, a belly cut is likely to have a higher fat content than a loin, and cuts like the shin or shank will have a lot of collagen and connective tissue that will require slower cooking to break down.
Once you have chosen one cut that you want to use, think about another cut that will compliment it. For instance, if one of your cuts is quite lean, then you may want the other cut to have a higher fat content to add a little richness to your dish.
Once you have decided on your two (or more cuts), you will need to decide how to craft them into a wonderful dish. If you are going to take a slightly tougher cut and slow cook it in a braise, then you may want to fry or pan sear a more tender piece of meat to provide a different texture.
Finally, have a think about what is the natural flavour of the meat you are choosing and what seasonal ingredients will help it sing.
If it’s a game animal, why not use something smokey, sweet or earthy - wild mushrooms, beetroot and autumn berries are classic pairings for these very flavourful cuts.
If it’s a fattier cut of meat like pork or lamb, you may want to use something that will cut through the richness, so bringing some acidic elements and fresh herbs will help balance the dish.
If you choose a meat with a very delicate flavour, make sure not to overpower the natural flavour of the meat with ingredients that are too punchy and bold.
This month’s live class has a lot of scope for experimentation, so don’t be shy - ask what your cohort thinks, and share your ideas with the group.
Find out what fish your fellow cohort members are preparing, and let them be an inspiration for you to try something new! And if you do venture further afield why not let the community know how your plan is coming along during the brining or smoking process.
Same goes for if you are struggling to think of an exciting pairing for your dishes - ask what you think would go well with your initial ideas and let your fellow cooks spark some ideas!