A La Cruz: Don’t char for me

So much for German efficiency.

You see Herr Flade, a relatively new comer to Meat Club was tasked with writing this review. Even though he threatened to write it in German following the abuse he received for not finishing his meat. He has still not managed to complete it (Feb 2011), so you’ll have to make do with this short resume from me.

Meat Club takes time, and that’s something I’ve not always had lots of. So it can be a bit of a concern when you do things via phone and email rather than face-to-face when pulling the plans together. So when 18 carnivores turn up brandishing their meat notes it’s a bit of stress when the restaurant hasn’t seen them despite sending them through days before on email.

Despite an initial panic on both sides, the food was quickly served and enjoyed. I have to say their sausages and black pudding are something else. Very very tasty.

Once our meat urges had been sated with the quality fare we went for a tour of the Asador (the big open wooden stove) with some cooking advice from Chef included.

To finish and as a mark of respect to our Gor Gor, we had sorbet. It seemed the right thing to do. Ooh and we text bombed him to which he was most pleased, addressing my good self in his reply as El Presicunte. Tony D was less poetic, simply replying a few days later from his sick bed.

The Patnernoster Chop House

Paternoster Chop House

Paternoster menu Sep 2010

A bitter sweet affair. Gor Going Gone was the bitter… fruit engorged Middle White pork the sweet. And sweeeeeeeeeeet it was… oh god yes.

Lets deal with the food first. Now this chophouse is a fine establishment indeed and they treated us brilliantly, but it’s hard to ignore it’s location in the centre of what much of the world believes is the new axes of evil. We even learnt of the network of tunnels under Paternoster, presumably for the hedge fund bastards to reach their underground monorails which turn into submarines when hitting the Thames as they escape the imploding world. Too far…? Shall I just focus on the meat? Oh, OK.

We had the rare task of choosing starters, the steak Tartare was the obvious Meat Club choice and good it was (I nicked some off Dave B’s plate – cheers mate, and no it doesn’t make us gay). The roughly cracked egg shell holding the single yolk a thing of beauty in the centre of the meat circle of delicious raw cowflesh. I had the pigeon breast. Good but bloodless.

Then came the Sow. Oh blessed animal which lived off fallen fruit in Englands finest groves purely so it could be slaughtered and bled dry for our greedy pleasure. I’m so glad it did. The quantity might not have been perfect for the send off of Gor (did he have 3 plates of it lined up?) but the crackling was cracking and the fat was… phat. Truly lovely.

paternoster-montage

There was decent wine (the Italian was the choice…Aussie Merlot people!),and couple of bottles of Grahams Port went down nicely. The underground meatvaults got for juices flowing nicely, especially the look inside a couple of 200 litre stock pots which bubble day and night to make fine meat sauces. I want one. No, two. The highlight for me was when Chef mentioned that they have the occaisional spit roast in the meatlocker. I think he learnt that such phrases can’t be used with impunity in front of a meat men crowd.

There was a first timer amongst us.: Pete Potrella is welcome… but his unwillingness to eat the fatty portions of his pork (WTF!!!???) was slightly worrying. I think he needs a guiding hand as he makes his journey to jackethood.

The Simon Waterfall award went, quite rightly, to Simon Waterfall. Once again he was not present and probably lying naked in a lettuce field with his salad club flagellating him with leaves of Chard. The Jacket of honour went to the splendidly Bearded (he has stuck resolutely while so many in the club haven’t) Matt Wells. This was for finding a glazed breakfast for Gor to take to America to show them how it should be done. Well played sir, well played.

So to Gor himself. We are hardy Men of Meat, who have little time or sympathy for high emotion (it distracts us from the business of eating fleash) but every one of us felt a twinge as Gor bid his farewell. I get the impression that he lives meat 24/7. In many ways we all aspire on our monthly sojourns to be Gor. We will always be mere shadows of his status as the Viking of Beef. His speech was short but perfect: ‘The meat club was always about good meat in good company’. We will miss yours. We, who are about to gorge, salute you.

ED R

paternoster-meat-fridge

Flesh mob: Rivington Shoreditch

Rivington logo

Our normal plan of attack is to book weeks in advance, request a special menu and be entertained by the finest food known to man. Occasionally (usually when the organisation is going a bit off) we like to turn up unannounced and flesh mob.

Now when 12 white jacketed men walk into a crowded restaurant we often turn a few heads – usually ones of bemusement and anger. But we’re a social bunch, presenting a welcoming and friendly face of carnivourism, to allay fears that we might in fact be cannibal club.

Turning up unannounced and ordering all the meat on the menu does have its down sides. Especially if the required dish is in limited supply. And yes you guessed it – this happened at the Rivington. Meaning jealous looks all around to those lucky enough to get the Salt Beef until we realised we should just order a main course as a starter. Roll on sweetbreads, liver, kidney, lamp chop and the odd burger (yes there was a bit too much green on the sweetbread).

Rivington starters

Thankfully the main main course requirement was in plentiful supply – not surprisingly – steak cooked rare. Speyside flat-iron, Aberdeenshire T-Bone and Bannockburn rib – all excellent.

Even the first distinguished JACKET made an appearance – a sign of any great Meat Club evening.

So as the evening faded to a close the flesh mob had been a clear success and a few of our fellow dinners had some added meaty spice to their own evening entertainment – dinner party anecdotes for sure.

Rivington - selected mains

Roast: The definitive meaty breakfast

Roast logo

A few months ago the good proprietor of Roast (Borough market) offered a special breakfast his chef had cooked up. We are no strangers to Roast , who had given us a superlative 4th Birthday a few years ago, complete with a rendition of that meaty musical classic “I’m a sausage man“. So we knew this would be special. Not one to duck a challenge, we accepted. Our youthful zeal on what was an excellent sunny morning, held no foretelling of what was to come.

Roast 2010 Breakfast Menu

The first item alone was enough to fuel you for a day, believe.

Roast 2010 Bacon Steak

And then several platters of this turn up, lovingly cooked with British Dripping, you know you have a MEAT FEAST. And it was even 8:30 in the morning.

Roast 2010 extra platters

Put simply it was and I quote:

Out of control

Top kill for your arteries

Artery damage. Thank you for my heart attack

Surely there is no greater salute to Meat Club’s higher purpose than booking an appointment for a cholesterol check après le repas.  Today I made that booking, and I make that salute!

That bacon steak was frankly out of control.

In future I will be approaching bacon steak meat challenges with the trepidation they deserve.  Five pints of water later, I’m still thirsty.

Phenomenal carnage this morning! The saddle back bacon was a feast in itself. I & my ruined gastrointestinal tract salute you Roast!

The whole event had been filmed by a Canadian TV Channel wanting to know what a real English Breakfast was – they certainly found out.

2009: A meaty feast

To those that listened I said 2009 would be a Meat Club year to remember, I rest my case:

January
The Hope & Sir Loin, Farringdon (Breakfast)

February
Le Bouchon Breton, Spitalfield Market

March
Great Queen Street, Covent Garden

April
Garafa Argentine Grill, Highbury

May
The Cock Tavern, Smithfield (Breakfast)

June
Goodman, Maddox Street

July
Boundary, Shoreditch

August
The Old Bell, Hurley
The Hinds Head, Bray
Fox & Anchor, Smithfield (Breakfast)

September
Cattle Grid, Soho

October
Quality Chop House, Clerkenwell (Flesh Mob)

November
The LUXE, Spitalfield Market (Game Edition)

December
St. JOHN, Smithfield

Christmas Special: St JOHN

st.john logo

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…

st.john-menu

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.

st.john-starter

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.

st.john little-pigs

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. ]

st.john tucking in

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.

st.john-gor & hats

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.

Flesh Mob: Quality Chop House

So far 2009 had been a full and meaty year, and such devotion to flesh and guts takes dedication and planning. When it looked like October might be meatless we had to act. Step forward to Flesh Mob.

Send out a call to flesh to the Meat Club, decide a venue to meet and get stuck in flesh and guts.

This charge was met by 8 hungry carnivores descending on a hostelry just south of Roseberry avenue. Having refreshed our tastebuds with simple hops, barley, wheat and water we made across the road to the working man’s quality meeting place, the Quality Chop House. Normally home to our MC Breakfasts, but a change in opening times put pay to that.

Now we normally all eat the same thing but given our select number we decided quite strangely to select a number of different dishes.

Our selection of pork chop, rump steak and calf’s liver & bacon was accompanied with a request to keep the veg stuff to a minimum. After the usual gorging of lightly cooked flesh and wine we indulged in some all important banter with fellow guests and restaurant staff.

Flesh Mob @ Quality Chop House

Now we could have re-enacted a MJ video, sung a love song, performed a scene from a fitting theatre piece, but no. At Meat Club we do things differently, we simple remember the wondrous beauty that is meat and the fine company it attracts.

We came, we saw, we meat, we conquer.

Thank you Quality Chop House.

And a sad goodbye to Dezza and Zolty – you will be missed on these shores.

quality-chop-dezza-zolty

Carniverous Carnality (An ecstacy in four thrusts)

There is more to life than eating
For there is drinking too
But there is more to life than drinking
Sometimes I need to pooh

But eating, drinking, shitting
Are all beyond the pail
For when it comes to fucking
It’s pleasure without fail

So my joy tonight when presented thus
With food and meat galore
With hardy men who swear and cuss
With wine each corse to pour

To top it all with brain and ball
Still sliding down my gullet
I’m going to both shit and fuck you all
Because I have not bought my wallet

Tig

After my rendition of the above I lost my wallet on the way home. Funny… for you.

Goodman: A near religious experience

From the Blackberry of the fearsome M(onste)r Wells

Goodman-logo

Grass vs Grain in a meaty melee at Goodman

The atmosphere was tense in the back room of the Goodman. The lure of free booze at ‘Tig and Waterfall’s tiny suit emporium’ had proved a big attraction and our party had been a bit late arriving at our destination, harried all the way by El Pres snapping at our heels.

Once seated Dr Gill quickly brought the proceedings to order and introduced our erstwhile hosts for the evening – Head Chef John Cadieux and Restaurant Manager David Strauss.

Goodman Head Chef

A Canadian Chef is often a good thing when it comes to the expert grilling of beef and John did not disappoint. It was clear that this was a man who dearly loved his meat as he eulogised passionately about the virtues of his 28 day dry aged ‘product’.

Mr Strauss took to the floor and welcomed us to the establishment although he appeared to be stalling, the Butcher was coming but was running late which made David our emergency meat feast fluffer – so to speak (apologies David).

Then the curtains parted and we were bathed in the presence of the flaxen haired messiah of meat – Mr Jack O’Shea of Knightsbridge, butcher to the stars and purveyor of heavenly beef, descended from eight generations of Irish butchers, the keeper of meaty secrets…..

Goodman Butcher O'Shea

The wait had been worth it as Jack launched into a sermon about the near mythical qualities of his 90 day grain fed Irish rib that left some members of our party embarrassingly aroused.

The scene was set for an epic contest, in the blue corner we had the grass fed of England and in the red corner the grain fed of Ireland but like every great fight there had to be a match before the main event. On this occasion the undercard was no let down consisting as it did of a sublime chicken liver and foie gras pâté accompanied by melt in the mouth beef carpaccio.

The warm ups over, we moved on to the main event as platter after platter of immaculately grilled rib emerged from the kitchens escorted by bowls of chips, spinach for Waterfall and finally some béarnaise sauce. This was the showdown we had all been waiting for and it definitely did not disappoint. Both meats were amazing, the grain shaved the grass for me but it was a points victory and it was by no means unanimous. And it just kept on coming. Now I am a man with a healthy appetite (some say too healthy, which is why I can’t get into one of Social Suicide’s jockey tops) But even I was beaten and if there is such a thing as a meat hangover I definitely had one the next day.

goodman-grill

After the meal we were invited to tour the kitchen by John the Chef. He showed us his incredibly hot charcoal grills, hand-built especially for Goodman, to his exacting spec. He then took us into the ageing room, a charnel house of prime rib, ageing to perfection, yet another near-spiritual experience.

goodman-chiller

With the evening all but over we returned to the dining room where Gor was deservedly presented with the Jacket for ‘carnivorousness above and beyond the call of duty’. Then while the ladies in the party had coffee and dessert, the men polished off the last of Mr O’Shea’s red wine from Bulgaria (is there nothing this man cannot do?) and contemplated a culinary ruckus that would live long in the memory of those who had witnessed it.

Goodman I got the jacket

Pictures courtesy of ‘Gor. Words by Monster Wells.

Three men in a boat & a lamb called Supper

First came Jerome K Jarome, two mates, the names of which I can’t remember without looking them up, and a dog called Montmorency. They set out to row upstream, probably from Richmond to Oxford, but again my recollection is hazy, on a trip designed to relieve them of various imagined Victorian alements from consumption to rickets but left them with piles and hypothermia. The book’s a good read and has become a bible to Thameside pubs ever since. Specifically, the Bull at Sonning.

Next came three daft commedians and a dog called Licence Fee retracing Mr Jarome’s expedition’s steps but made more “accessable” by them dropping off to see other BBC cronies along the way. A pretty good watch and entertaining in the genre of “try to forget there’s a film crew about”, they too gave up some way before Oxford because one of them had left the iron on and the other two were on the verge of ripping each others throats out. i.e. just before it got really interesting.

Well, next, there comes Meat Club – or a thinned out hard-core of proper meat eating, chest beating Amazon types – with an enhanced and fine-tuned version of the trip. Two boats, six men, no dogs and no delusions of therapy. Oh, and we’re rowing downstream not up and we’re not going to the Bull. We’re going to the Old Bell Inn at Hurley. The food’s better. In fact, it’s exceptional or should be if it’s still the chef from The Anchor and Hope – there seems to be some confusion. Either which way, we’re having a couple of slow roasted shins of lamb, starters a-la-carte, deserts from the cart and a full English in the morning.

From the Old Bell, we row through some stunning countryside to Walton. Sixteen miles and three meals a day makes for 9 gastronomic opportunities, or one every 8 miles. Now, Jarome makes no suggestions for riverside cooking, but I know that a joint of beef rubbed with olive oil and salt, wrapped in foil, chucked in the fire and eaten after a hard day’s rowing, makes your mouth cum.

Cardiac.

« Previous PageNext Page »