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On the ground floor of Jamie Oliver’s meat-mecca Barbecoa, you’ll find the restaurant’s own chop shop, where (unsqueamish) groups can learn the art of butchering cows, pigs and fowl
Words: Damien Gabet
We’re here for the beef. Directed by the unlikely looking (svelte, kempt) butchery manager, Marco Peerdeman, we were soon kitted out and wielding steel. In his Italo-Dutch lilt, he kicks things off chatting about good beef, bad supermarkets and how to avoid lancing yourself.
To the faint sound of funky house (yeah, bit odd), we begin our mammal sculpting. Treated properly, the 25kg cow side in front of us will yield tall, dark, fat-marbled steaks. The best kind. Our challenge, though, is to prepare the rib-eye and fore rib (on-the-bone roasting joint).
Trying to turn these dry-aged slabs of joy from abattoir to recipe ready is, unsurprisingly, tricky. Too tricky, indeed, for one of our group, who manages to slash a gaping fissure down the wrong part of the cut. There’s always one, eh? Ahem. Marco kindly replaces his laser-quality French trim for ours.
At the end of the session, he tells us that what we’ve cut, we keep. It’s nearly £100’s worth of fat-riddled rib eye and fore rib. Something tells us we’re going to be very popular this
90-minute sessions include beef (£225), pork (£125), and lamb and chicken (£125) and are available 1pm to 7pm, Monday to Saturday.
Barbecoa, 82 Watling Street, EC4M 9BX,
tel: 020 3375 5553
This article was first printed in Square Meal Venues & Events, Summer 2013