As 2009 drew to a close, Meat Club looked back at a full year of fleshness and wondered how best to celebrate the forthcoming new decade. Now Meat Club evenings are normally a Wednesday affair, but by the luck of the calendar meant the most suitable date actually fell on the birthday of an ex-presidents birthday, well the good wife of an ex-president. Now such a formality would normally be completely brushed aside, but considering the wife in question, the Lady Al had been so willing to let her Lord attend an earlier Meat Club only 2 days after the birth of their first child, compassion needed to be shown. So surprisingly this rather strange act of humanity meant Meat Club would happen on a monday evening – that coupled with the fact it was only evening we could get a booking…
Revisiting the familiar
For the first time in 2010 we had decided to revisit an old haunt. The much lauded and loved St. JOHN of St. John Street, Smithfield. Would this temple of meat deliver, would it produce the goods and welcome back its white jacketed knights to the pantheon of cooking nose to tail? For such a destination their could only be one suitable dish: Roast Suckling pig times two. For as the evenings drew to their darkest, it was time to better represent that most intelligent of beasts, the pig, albeit a dead one.
The response to attend had been supreme, with several new guests having to be uninvited. The usual in/out/shake-it-all-about behaviour on the day did raise stress levels for the President, but the evening came with a full house and expectations were understandably high.
The main attraction
The run up to Christmas is a time of celebration, where many venture out to eat and drink in recognition of the years toil, the renewal of the sun god and impending birth of the baby Jesus and his own introduction to lamb and beef. On the evening in question, 28 white knights strolled boldly into the middle of the austere, concrete lined restaurant. Seated on two long tables, we quickly quaffed our fine wine before the dried pigs liver appeared. Now liver and offal isn’t universally loved by all – for some strange reason that is difficult to comprehend – but I can report that all members of club quickly lunged in discarding the vegetables to plunder the piggy bits.
Spirits grew, as we could see our impending feast of piglets sat cooling in the kitchen. The excitement was building, as these fine beasts were transferred to our tables. Then as the knife slide into the crisp crackling and the head came off, we erupted into orgasmic carnal pleasure. PIG. The succulent juices cascaded down our chins; the soft, tender and tasty flesh, melting in our mouths. This was tasty, right proper tasty.
Now its reckoned a suckling pig can feed on average 14-15 people, with some suggesting even 17. However we’re a hungry bunch at Meat Club and after eying up the piglet, we reckon 6 of us could easily devour one. In fact the legend that is Gor tried single handedly to proove this point and while reaching an almost tantric state of elation – he ‘like never before’ almost admitted to eaten too much. [ But unlike the Monthy Python wafer thin mint man he could always manage to finish his pud. ]
As our final meat celebration of 2009, we had a few announcement to make and as each new member received their jacket and said a few words, we received a pat on the shoulder, from quite frankly a rather effete maitre’d, to perhaps keep it quiet. Now we don’t profess to be saints, or the quietest bunch, but we’re not badly behaved either. The thing is some right bankers were sat close, spending their ill gotten gains from the stock markets miraculous recovery after they had ballsed up the economy. The fact they decided to even show their faces in public is galling enough, but making a suggestion that normal, decent, hard working, carnivores should curtail their enjoyment so they can gloat about their illegal bonuses is despicable. Meat Club will be supporting a Bankers Tax and look forward to gutting a few Bankers at the next butchery course.
So feeling our own pinch due to the lack of self-awareness of a couple of right bankers, our bread pudding with butternut sauce, didn’t taste as it should. In fact the whole experience took a turn for the worst and feeling rather like scalded school boys who had done no wrong, we knew that this Temple to Meat had actually closed. This was no home coming, no resurrection or birth, it was just another restaurant cashing in on the Christmas cheer. We made the best of it, but it wasn’t the fitting end to 2009 we had all looked forward to. Goodbye St. JOHN you are no longer canonised in the Church of Flesh & Guts. From this point it will be simply known as JOHN – the refuge of bankers.
So 2010 will start with Meat Club looking for a new spiritual home, a place where we will be welcomed, appreciated and regaled. Where the finer aspects of animal husbandry, butchery, preparation and fine cooking worshipped – its members rejoicing in harmony, with offerings of meat, flesh and guts.
We look forward to where this journey will take us, and we ask you London, to step forward to reach out to the brotherhood and show your kindness, passion and welcome to the finest meat appreciation society this side of Spitalfields Market.
UPDATE: Fergus Henderson, the head chef/owner of St. JOHNS met our Australian Victoria Chapter after one their sessions and expressed delight in the activities, stating he was our number one fan. So Fergus show some meaty love and invite us back. The dressing is on your hoof now.