We were thrilled when ITV’s new programme BBQ Champ decided to film at the Stansted Park Farm Shop as it was a chance for us to showcase some of the fantastic local meat that we have available in our butchery.
The BBQ Champ contestants were split into two teams of four and given a choice of beef, pork, lamb or chicken. They then had 2.5 hours to light their Drumbecues and complete their cooking – which we had the privilege of tasting and commenting on afterwards.
The meat came in large primal cuts so that the beef was a whole rib. Our beef comes either from the Stansted Estate or neighbouring farms. We have both Aberdeen Angus and smaller Dexter cattle grazing on the Stansted pastures, although we also use Hereford beef as well.
BBQ Champ asked for Aberdeen Angus that was dry aged and grass fed. The estate has entered into Environmental Stewardship to benefit mammals, woodland and farmland birds and invertebrates and to maintain and restore the historic parkland and pastureland. As a result the pastures contain a large quantity of grasses, herbs and wild flowers that provide a varied diet for the livestock.
The Stansted Farm Shop butcher ages the beef for at least 28 days to ensure that the beef flavour intensifies – water gently evaporates from the meat as it ages, leaving a more concentrated flavour and a darker colour, while at the same time enzymes break down the meat so that it is more tender and melt-in-the-mouth. This is the traditional method which supermarkets tend to avoid as it is expensive and time-consuming.
The butcher then prepares each primal and will cut steaks, roasting joints, dice or mince depending on what he needs.
As a result, our beef is full of flavour and tender as well.
The BBQ champ contestants had beef rib and prepared ribeye steak from the joint. What was their cooking like and who was the winner on the day? You will have to watch the programme which airs on 31st July at 9pm.