Last night saw another great collaboration with local artisan butcher Steve Rossiter, as Loaf ran it’s first lamb butchery workshop. We started off the evening with a grand tour of the locally reared organic Texel lamb that Steve had brought along, pointing out the familiar and the unfamiliar cuts. Steve then got to work on one side of the lamb, showing us the traditional butchers cuts. Under his expert guidance, he then passed over his knives and saws to the students, who got to work on the other side of the lamb, taking off first the leg, then the breast, chump, loin, rack, shoulder, and finally the neck – all done very skillfully!
We then had a break to eat our starter – chump chops with cannelini beans and salsa verde, washed down with a nice Cote du Rhone. It was back to the butchery soon though as Steve demonstrated how to bone out all of the joints we’d created, giving us lots of tips on knife skills. He then demonstrated stuffing and rolling on the breast of lamb joint (stuffed with a nice dry spiced chickpea stuffing), and taught us all how to tie proper butchers knots. The students then picked the joint they’d like to take home, and stuffed and rolled it themselves. Finally we sat down to a beautiful slow cooked neck of lamb curry with basmati rice and cucumber raita. All in all it was a fantastic evening, and I learnt just as much as the students. Steve is an incredibly talented butcher who shares his huge knowledge and passion with gladness and patience. It makes me realise just how important it is to cherish the artisans we have around us, in any area, but especially in food.