TURNER & GEORGE
Turner & George started out over 10 years ago as the East London Steak Co.
The men behind it our Richard H Turner, legend of the grill as chef and restaurateur with Hawksmoor among his many credits – not to mention the Meatopia festival. Wherever fire meets food you’re likely to find a Turner signature seared somewhere.
James George had been Turner’s butcher and friend since George started his wholesale butchery in the late 90s.
“James approached me with the idea of setting up in online retail. We expanded into bricks and mortar (399 St John St, London EC1) and focused on building the brand to the well-loved name it is today,” said Turner.
“We’re not actually very big, which is important as the kind of meat we sell is in short supply. So we can focus on the quality of our meat, customer service, welfare of the animals we buy and eco-ethics. I think much of this can be lost when companies get bigger.”
Turner says most of their customers when barbecuing simply allow the quality of the meat to speak for itself. “Those who cook low and slow tend to buy our pork – shoulder and belly being favourites. Personally, I’ve got a thing for pigs’ heads, which yield around a kilo of the best tasting pork available.”
Turner is also a fan of “all the icky bits – cheeks, tails, offal and sausage. Given the choice I prefer to leave prime cuts for our customers.” It is no surprise to learn that his hero is Fergus Henderson, founder of St John restaurant in Clerkenwell.
SURREY HILLS BUTCHERS
This Oxshott butcher is owned by Simon Taylor, captain of Team GB Butchery.
“I’ve been working in traditional butchers since the age of 13. We are now in our 10th year and have seen our biggest growth ever. Just under a year and a half ago we had one traditional shop; now we are present in four sites,” said Taylor.
“We are here to serve and to offer people guidance through our knowledge of the quality produce we sell. It is not in my interest to sell a bad piece of meat, be that from mass production farming method, or simply poor-quality controls. We are here for repeat custom and to build and form long-term returning relationships.”
Taylor says the pandemic has shown that supporting the local community is more important than ever. “We have seen an influx of customers, who would have normally bought their produce from supermarkets, opt for shopping local and therefore purchasing reliable, accessible and traceable products. They trust us and have the confidence that the produce has been farmed sustainably.”
When it comes to cuts on the barbecue, Taylor says cote de boeuf is very popular with customers. “We select and age prime ribs of beef. The ribeye muscle is removed with the rib bone attached and these are then sliced as on the bone rib eye for maximum flavour.”
Then there is the more affordable bavette steak, which can be caramelised and rested; then sliced against the grain to, says Taylor, compete with any of the classic steaks. “Rubs and marinades work particularly well with bavette steaks.”
When it comes to home cooking Taylor goes for a tomahawk. “This adds theatre and a sharing element to the cooking. I pair the tomahawk with dirty cooked onions and celeriac. Serve this all on a sharing platter with a chimichurri sauce and a tomato balsamic salad.”
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BBQ magazine: Rupert Bates. email@example.com
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