Neat Meats restores the art of butchery
Neat Meats is a name that is synonymous with quality and the butchery used by many top restaurants including two of my favourites in Queenstown, Botswana Butchery and Madam Woo.
As everyday consumers, we are now fortunate to have their latest premises here in the south, recently opening at ‘The Landing’ in Remarkables Park, Frankton.
With hanging carcass in the window, they age their meat to ensure they only offer the best of the best to their clients. They have taken the art of butchery back to how it should be, where we can once again associate the meat on our plate to the animal it belonged.
The Erikson brothers, farmers from Gisborne, started this company nearly 15 years ago. Eldest brother Simon, back from his OE (where I met him when I was living in the Cayman Islands many moons ago), saw the potential in providing quality meat to Auckland’s top restaurants.
I amlike a kid in a candy store when I go into Neat Meats. The selection is breathtaking. Don’t get me wrong, the local supermarkets and established butcheries of Queenstown are fantastic and offer a diverse range of excellent quality produce. However, it is definitely worth making the trip from the supermarket over the road and checking out the great prices and faultless quality. While you are there, make sure you pop in to the new Asian Food Market next door. As always, it’s important to support these new artisan places.
The recipe below, using some of Neat Meats’ mouthwatering venison, is simple, yet you can pull it off as a delectable little number at a dinner party.
Venison has a more gamey rich taste than beef, is lower in fat and slightly higher in iron and other minerals and vitamins, which can make it a good choice.
Venison leg steaks Ingredients
4 venison Denver leg steaks (about 150g to 200g each) 2 parsnips peeled Vegetable oil
Red Wine Jus
2 chopped shallots
cup port (if you have none replace with red wine)
cup red wine 1 sprig rosemary 1 bay leaf 2 cups good beef stock Salt to taste 2 tablespoons butter
1. Remove venison from the fridge at least 20 mins before cooking. Season with pepper, then sea salt just before cooking. 2. Panfry the shallots for the jus until slightly caramelized/browned. Pour in wine, port and herbs and simmer until reduced by half. Next pour in the stock and reduce again by half. 3. Meanwhile, if you have grater that can julienne, use this to julienne your parsnip. If not, use your peeler, peel strips off the parsnip, then slice into thin strips approximately 3-4mm wide. 4. Take a fry pan and cover the bottom with oil. Heat to a high heat and fry the parsnip in small batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and set aside. 5. To cook the venison, heat a pan to medium high heat. Venison is best served medium rare to rare. Approximate cooking time for rare is 1 min each side per cm thickness. These steaks tend to be around 1.5 cm thick so about 1.5-2 mins each side should cook it perfectly. Once cooked set aside to rest for at least 5 mins. 6. Strain the reduced jus through a sieve, bring back to the boil. Remove from the heat and mix in the butter just before serving, season to taste. 7. Serve immediately with your choice of vegetables. Here I have used fondant potatoes and asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. Place the parsnip crisps on top of the venison and either serve the jus in a jug or pour over the meat. Serve 4
Neat Meat Venison Denver Leg Steaks with Red Wine Jus.