One of the best aspects of our Islington neighbourhood is the convenience to food. Four supermarkets, a farmers market, not to mention about eight million restaurants on Upper Street, all within a ten minute walk of our flat. My favourite new discovery, though, is a local butcher, Turner and George. Located about a ten minute walk away as well, this spot has become my new obsession. I have vowed to buy all meat products from this place. Why you ask? It is the best butcher I have ever been to.
As you can see from their display window below, they are serious. They break down whole animals, which, depending on when you go, you can find hanging from meat hooks around the store. Nothing is hidden in a back room cooler. The first time we went, there was an entire cow hind quarter hanging in the middle of the store. The next time, a whole lamb. They dry age all their animals on the bone. They grind meat to order if you need to make meatballs. They have all types of game as well as bone marrow, beef hearts, sweetbreads and kidneys. They sell bricks of beef drippings. The best part? It is not crazy expensive.
About 1.5kg (3lbs) of ground pork and beef was £9. I bought a massive 1.6 kg rack of pork spare ribs for about £12 that was enough ribs for three people for dinner plus leftovers. It is slightly more costly than a supermarket but cheaper than stores like Whole Foods. Plus, the flavour is way more intense and concentrated. The pork ribs were the meatiest ribs I have ever seen and the ground meat was hands down the best I have ever tasted.
This week I decided to make Vietnamese pho broth from scratch, which requires beef bones so I headed down to Turner and George in search of some bones. The butcher was breaking down a cow behind the counter when I arrived. When he heard my request, the butcher took a saw to the cow leg, snapped off a large section (2kg), then ran it through a band saw to make smaller pieces to fit in a pot. All for free. They also put out a bucket on the sidewalk with plastic baggies full of bones for people to take home to their dogs. Smart.
I feel lucky to live so close to an establishment like Turner and George. I look forward to exploring the store more and cooking top quality meat. This is becoming a full blown crush.
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