I must admit that before yesterday I had no clue what dry aged beef was, I knew it was hung before being cooked but apart from that I was clueless! At times during the day I had to remind myself that I was there to do a job as I was so enthralled with what Allan “Willy Wonka of Beef” Morris was telling us with such passion and deep-rooted knowledge.
The day started with a tour of my local abattoir where the cows are treated with dignity from the moment they enter the building. This may not be for everyone but I think if you enjoy eating meat it is important to know what has happened to the animal. I won’t go into any of the details but rest assured it is dignified and respectful to the animals from start to finish.
We continued on to a farm in Longford where we met Tom who has been a farmer all his life. We were treated to hot tea and cake from his lovely wife who welcomed us into her lovely farmhouse with great pleasure. So interesting to hear from Tom about his herd and what breeds have become more popular in recent years.
We continued on to a state of the art meat factory to see what happens the cows once they have been slaughtered. Amazing to see how technical the whole process is and how exact the beef needs to be before being selected for the Donald Russell brand. Fantastic cuts of meat were hanging in the chill area waiting to be shipped worldwide to high-end restaurants and hotels. Allan went back to his butchering roots to explain the different cuts and where they come from, we were all hanging on his every word.
I came home with my mind in overdrive after having such an amazing experience and being in the company of so many talented chefs. I must mention as well the delicious lunch provided by the Fatted Calf in Glasson, absolutely beautiful and after the morning in the abattoir I think we were all delighted to see some fish on the menu!
So all in all what an amazing opportunity, delighted to have been asked along and huge thanks to Allan for the incredible experience.