That’s a nice little post on the It’s Nice That blog. Per Johansen, gluttony and art.
At Meat Club we know a few things about getting the perfect steak. You need excellent raw material – organic, mature beef that’s been lovingly raised, preferably on grass or a careful grain mix. Combined with delicate and careful aging – the longer the better, as the beef structures break down to increase tenderness and flavour.
However the pressures of modern farming and butchery make it increasing hard to produce quality beef at affordable prices. As they say – you get what you pay for – but money only goes so far.
This article from Time Magazine details one man’s search for the perfect steak – and his discovery of what difference age makes to it – in northern Spain. It’s a stimulating and educational read.
Make sure you view the photo story as well for some mouthwatering snaps of aged beef goodness.
It’s normal for Meat Club to recite some meaningful poetry after we have devoured the flesh. It’s often Ode to the Meat by Lord Byron, but at our last get together – the 7th Birthday (review pending) we through a wider cast. Here’s the poem recited by Remy Monster.
Yes I eat, dead meat.
My mind knows this is so,
but my greed closes out the know.
Conscious dictates mood,
but I need this food.
Live meat I am,
dead meat I cram.
Am I what I devour,
a beast to the core?
No I am man,
made Godly with a plan.
My Lord wants me to eat,
in the bible there’s meat,
so I enjoy my food complete.
Forgive me little
cow, pig and chicken,
soon one of you I’ll be picking,
and my lips I’ll be licking.
To you I honor,
as I round the resturant corner.
Before me on my plate,
food you have become,
my delicious mate.
What would one need were one to set out on a boating odyssey from Hurley to Walton…
It has been suggested we produce a beautiful book celebrating the meat we eat. I’m thinking interviews with leading chefs, butchers and farmers. Research into animal husbandry, healthy living and humane slaughter. Photographs of our fine beasts – in the wild, on the farm, in the butchers, in the kitchen and on the plate. Details of cuts and of course excellent recipes.
So if you want to get involved get in touch.
On our 4th Birthday a few years ago we were lucky enough to be accompanied in our eating of gorgeous, organic, rare-breed beef by two talented performers singing songs of a meaty nature. Inspired by their version of ‘Sausage Man’, several years of debate ensued as to what tracks we should be pulling together for our first album release.
So with a roll of the butchers pin, a clap of the meat hooks, we are now ready to release the track listing for a Meat Club – The Album – volume 1.
- Rib eye of the tiger
- Liver and let die
- Steak a chance on me
- Dancing spleen
- The sausage man
- Rump up the volume
- Ham and the liver
- Steak me up before you gogo
- Diamonds are for heffer
We’re working on the artwork as you read and we’ll be ‘available in every good record store’ this spring.
For an idea of some of the tracks that didn’t make the cut, here’s a short list:
- Songs of braise
- Meat it
- Veal meat again
- Cos go gotta have steak
- Long haired liver from l’pool
- Venision cleaning windows
- Pork on the wild side
A selection of quotes lifted from http://xlbx.wordpress.com/. All intelligent responses fielded.
“Animals are my friends… and I don’t eat my friends.”
- George Bernard Shaw
“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the
wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile
accidents combined. If beef is your idea of ‘real food for real
people,’ you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.”
- Neal D. Barnard, M.D., President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
“People who are willing to kill animals just to satisfy their greed for
meat are ultimately, really, killing themselves by their cruelty . . .
that is God at work.”
- Fleur Wiorkowski
“The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”
- Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
“Who was the guy who first looked at a cow and said, ‘I think I’ll
drink whatever comes out of these things when I squeeze ‘em!’?”
- Calvin & Hobbes
“About 2,000 pounds of grains must be supplied to livestock in order to
produce enough meat and other livestock products to support a person
for a year, whereas 400 pounds of grain eaten directly will support a
person for a year. Thus, a given quantity of grain eaten directly will
feed 5 times as many people as it will if it is eaten indirectly by
humans in the form of livestock products.”
- M.E. Ensminger, Ph.D.
“Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the
torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.”
- James A. Froude (1818-1894)
“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian. We
feel better about ourselves and better about the animals, knowing we’re
not contributing to their pain.”
- Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney
“As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can
be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and
justice cannot dwell together.”
- Isaac Bashevis Singer
“I believe that veganism is something we must
adopt to cleanse the earth of the damage that the meat, fishing and
diary industries have caused to global eco-systems.”
- Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd Society
I have just cracked into a bar of Mo’s Bacon Bar chocolate (pictured). A present from Simon bought in Japan, imported from USA and then re-exported as hand luggage to my fridge. Where it has sat for three weeks – being diabetic, I have to wait until the time is right for these things.
Chocolate is brilliant, no debate. Bacon is better, small debate but the House has it. Combine the two and we have the potential for a gastronomic Event Horizon.
Consider then, the hypoglycaemic, adrenaline charged culmination of a three week anticipation of bacon-chocolate ecstasy and I’m afraid the bar was never going to make the grade. Too much hype and too much hypo.
Bacon and chocolate are games for different bedrooms. Like introducing your wife to your girlfriend and hoping they’ll get along. Bad, bad, bad idea.
We were down at Simon’s Grandma’s place in the Isle of Wight last summer. The place is a treasure trove of antiquity. Even old school Bovril. Bovril made from beef.
Did you know that ‘modern’ Bovril is beef-less? The yellow bellied, politically correct, market lead, poe-faced, miserable bastards down at Unilever Foods took it out and replaced it with yeast-fucking-extract (technicall term) back in the days of BSE. What’s doubly poor is that they did it quietly whilst consecutively whining that all their beef was sourced from Argentina. Give me a rainforest over a handful of gibbering hospital beds any day.
Still, Grandma’s Bovril was good, really very good, none of that stale aftertaste, and I haven’t bought any since. That is, until I went to South Africa last week. Beefy Bovril is alive and dripping down there. Those lucky Boers. So I have illegally imported two enormous jars of it, getting it through customs by distracting the sniffer dogs with my, now confiscated, Biltong.
So, if anyone is craving a taste of the black stuff. Come round my place for a slice of buttery beefy toast.
I suppose most people have tried it – but for those that haven’t and crave the taste, the texture, the pleasure – this is the meat of the whale variety. Those who object, I guess, need to go somewhere less meaty. Now.