Brighton Food Society's excellent dinner nights. Promoting interesting and high quality food suppliers it was the turn of the award winning (snigger snigger) Well Hung Meat Company. As we tucked into a selection of their charcuterie, including my favourite cured meat - Bresaola, they showed us videos of their happy animals and farm in Devon.
Essentially a meat delivery service, the WHMC, as the name suggests, pride themselves on hanging their organic meats for the optimum time. Which, unsurprisingly, is far longer than supermarket meats. The hanging time is not only determined by the animal (up to a week for lamb, pork and chicken and up to three for beef) but can also vary between the breeds. Meat is then butchered by hand using traditional techniques only when it is perfect. It's not rocket science that well reared animals fed on grass and good air, not antibiotics and other scary stuff, is going to taste better. Grass fed meat is also higher in vitamins, omega 3 and something called linoletic acid which I have no fricking idea what it is but sounds like it does you good.
Anyway the proof is in the eating.
Do I need to tell you how good the carpaccio was? No I don't because it looks incredible. But I will tell you that hanging meat properly if you are going to eat it rare or raw is key. I've had my fair share of flabby, squishy and lacklustre carpaccio but this was the perfect texture, sweet and tender.
The rack of lamb rubbed with za'atar spice was also fantastic. Lamb isn't my favourite meat but this was so good and flavoured with all those lamb loving herbs and tangy spices. We also tried a selection of Pong Cheeses as well as their own Holy Cow Cheddar.
Wines on the night were kindly supplied by PIWOSA (Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa) and I think I have a new love. Recently converted to white wines, I've been enjoying Chenin Blancs but The FMC from Ken Forrester Vineyards was outstanding. Far darker than most of this variety I've come across, and with a touch of the dessert wine about it, I'm going to treat myself to a few bottles. It worked well with the sweetness of the meats we had on the night but totally gluggable on its own.
Dessert was provided by our host for the night Matthew at Flour Town Bakery which you should check out if you are in the Palmeira Square area. A fantastic cafe and all the pastries and cakes are baked in-house.
The monthly Well Hung meat boxes vary in price but fall roughly around the £80 mark. Which is quite a whack of money but far more than me, Mr Foodie and Baby Foodie would go through in a month as we stick to the best meat we can afford from our butcher twice a week tops. Hell will freeze over the day I buy 3 chickens for a tenner I tell you. However, they also sell individual items for smaller households or those on a budget and can also prepare meat by request, great for foodies and chefs at home. This is a fab service if you want decent meat, something different or can't get to your local butcher during opening times.