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Five Minutes With: ‘The Natural Butcher’ Craig Cook

We chat with Craig Cook of Prime Quality Meats and The Natural Butcher to learn the secrets of cooking the perfect steak, how to pick quality meat and why it's important to know where your meat comes from.

Five Minutes With: ‘The Natural Butcher’ Craig Cook

What is your favourite cut of meat and how do you cook it?

Beef Prime Rib. I especially like to cook this on the BBQ. My tip with this would be to season with your favourite spices (salt, pepper, garlic etc), seal the meat first in a hot pan, and then cook for 6 minutes, turn once, and cook for another 6 minutes, before resting the meat on the BBQ shelf for at least 10 minutes (I like to rest it on this tray as it is no longer cooking but is still kept warm while it sits).

What are your favourite autumnal side dishes?

For Autumn, roasted vegetables are always a favourite to pair with a nice cut of meat. My favourite would have to be brussel sprouts. I like to roast these and then toss them with some cooked ham and onion for extra flavour.

How can we recreate restaurant quality meat-dishes from the comfort of our own home?

My biggest recommendation, second to picking a premium cut of meat, is to stick to the recipe! Recipes are created by the experts for a reason. They know what they’re doing, if you don’t stray from what they say you can’t go wrong!

What do you enjoy about cooking with the Natural Butchers range?

I know that every piece of produce is natural – from paddock to plate I know that I will get the best end result in my meals using the best meat available.

How long should we rest meat for before consuming?

10 minutes minimum. When the meat rests it softens and settles, this relaxes the molecules of the meat to tenderize the cut and increase flavor. After BBQing I especially like to place my meat on the BBQ shelf to keep it warm while it rests.

What should we look for in a quality piece of meat?

The main thing to look for is colour and texture. Look for the meat to be a pink-red colour, moist to touch, and for the fat to be a chalky white colour that is noticeable dry.

What is the difference between biodynamic meat and regular grass or grain fed meat?

Quite simply, biodynamic meat is related to a process that enriches the earth. We use some of the holistic biodymanic principles to regenerate the earth at our farms.

How does biodynamic farming affect the quality of the meat?

Naturally enriching the earth affects the soil and the produce grown from it. As our meat is 100% grass fed, the quality of the earth’s soil and what grows from it is of high concern for us. We do everything we can to ensure this process is as premium and natural as it can be, enriching the health benefits and quality of the meat.

What is the secret to cooking the perfect piece of meat?

My secret is to only turn the meat once if BBQing or grilling to retain the meat’s juices.

Why is it important that people invest in quality meats?

Their Health! The biggest health advantage that comes from 100% grass-fed beef is the higher quality of constituent nutrients. Our grass-fed beef contains increased amounts of healthy omega-3 fats and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

Renowned celebrity chef Adrian Richardson has teamed up with Craig Cook from Prime Quality MeatsThe Natural Butcher for a one day Meat Masterclass at Bondi Junction Westfield. At the event, taking place on Saturday May 14th with two sessions, 12pm and 2pm, Adrian will entertain and educate guests with tastings, and demonstrations of how to cook the perfect steak, beef rib with mushrooms, and gnocchi with pork ragu.

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