Nose to Tail Fortnight 2012

I came across Nose to Tail Fortnight through some judicious twitter following. It is scheme run by Ethical Eats to encourage London Restaurants to be more thoughtful and less wasteful in their meat consumption. What a good thing. Lots of restaurants got involved in different ways, from cooking a whole animal through the week, to holding an offal feast. Sadly I didn’t have the pennies or the time to go down and join, so I made up my own task here in Leeds.

I decided to try to eat my way along an animal. The ‘animal’ I ended up eating was made up of lots of different ones – I don’t like to let an offal go uneaten. The task helped me to expand my offal experience and I blogged about what we’d made every day.

Here is a day-by-day list of the posts, just in case you fancy investigating:

So there you go, all of nose to tail in one place! Our favourite recipe was the roast veal heart, but all the things were good to eat. I also learnt a lot more about trying to get the very last bits of goodness from meat and not being afraid to re-invent things the following day.

Several companies helped out by supplying the offally bits. The most important one being the butchers of Leeds Markets. They have offal as a matter of pride and are all great traditional butchers or independent offal retailers (that’s phrase you don’t often hear). Credit where credit is due:

  • My head, lungs and  trotters came from Bennett’s Butcher. They are the one set away from Butcher’s Row near Fish Row. They seem to specialise in pork offal. I’ve heard good reports over their steaks, so come January I’ll be knocking on their door.
  • The calves feet came from the African Butcher, who I thoroughly recommend. They have a great range of interesting sausages and supply ox cheek, chicken necks and hearts and lots of other cuts. Yum.
  • The tripe obviously came from The Tripe Shop. The lady who works there is really helpful and knowledgable. The tripe is great. If you’re cooking tripe in Leeds, please don’t buy a prepack from Morrisons, but go here. It’s the best.

I’m as on the ball with the Leeds farmers markets as I would like to be, but I have found that Kirkstall Deli Market  (last Saturday of the month) and Headingley Farmers Market (second Saturday) are both great:

  • My venison kidney came from Round Green Farm who are Yorkshire based – do look out for them out and about (and in some Asdas). The pies are delicious and venison offal is brilliant. Another super helpful company.

I do always try to shop locally, but sometimes mail order is a bit handier (*sob*) for my busy busy busy routine. So again, thank you for supplying and helping in my offal quest:

  • Tail and heart are Heaves Farm Veal, supplied by Alternative Meats, who provided a really good service for my massive offal box that arrived.
  • Testicles came from Keevil and Keevil, who have been very supportive in my offal quest! (Even offering to supply me with a special 30kg of sweetbreads).

A final credit and thank you goes to Hargreaves Butchers in Pinchbeck in Lincolnshire. They are brilliant. They don;t do any online, but will organise telephone orders. The sausages are the best Lincolnshire sausages (The Ultimate Sausage) and their Haslet is wonderful. They even gave me some caul fat for free! (I had just bought a gross of sausages though.)

I’m sure everyone has their favourite suppliers and we are all so lucky that so many people run these businesses for us. Thank you very much, one and all, for helping me eat from the tail to the nose in 2012!

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