“Here at Hagens we are dedicated to making sure you get the best meat every time. This is reflected in our the service we offer at our shops. You can speak to any one of our staff and get the best advice on our products. This old school service is something we pride ourselves on, as the art of butchery fades out due to the prevalence of pre-packed meat dominating the shelves of big supermarkets.”
I was lucky enough to attend one of the butchery classes put on by Hagens, at their headquarters in Richmond.
The classes, held once a fortnight, are an awesome way to see what goes on between the farm and the butcher shop window. Coming in to the Richmond shop, we were introduced to Ollie Hagen and Butcher Scott. Ollie gave us a break down on organic and biodynamic farming, and why it is so important to Hagens, and the consumer.
We were then presented with a whole side of beef!
Ollie and Scott showed gave us an overview of the beef, and proceeded to break down the whole side right in front of us. They showed us how a good butcher bones out and breaks down a whole side, quickly! Along the way they explained each cut, what ‘job’ it does for the steer, and the best way to cook it. The best part was also finding out about two ‘secret’ steaks that most butchers try and keep for themselves. These steaks are delicious, tender and cheap! But there are only a couple on each steer so you have to ask the right questions to your local butcher to snag them. I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag, you will have to attend to find out!
The whole steer got broken down into a variety of roasts, steaks and other cuts right before our eyes.
Next, we were kitted out with butchers aprons and our own butchers knives. It was time to get our hands dirty.
Scott and Ollie threw us in the deep end, teaching us to how to prepare our own rib eye roasts. With some newly-learnt butcher skills we managed to break down the unprepared roasts, turning out a trussed and glorious rib eye roast, to take home for supper (glorious to me anyway!)
Afterwards, we all ducked next door to the pub and enjoyed one they had ‘prepared earlier’. The chef casually strolled out, and popped down on the table a beautiful biodynamic rib roast for the whole group. We washed this great cut down with cold beers and classic pub sides.
If you have room for the ice gel packs in your freezer, hold onto them as they come in very handy, particularly throughout picnic and bbq season! They last twice as long as bags of ice, they are leakproof and have minimal condensation so your picnic items won’t be spoilt or damaged. We understand that if you're doing your online shop once a week, that you may have too many reusable gel packs for your freezer to handle.