Wednesday, 3 August 2011

East London Steak Company

When I did the post about my Asian food binge, I realised that I haven't yet posted about the East London Steak Company.

One of the guys I work with alerted me to them (we were talking about Hawksmoor - shamefully I still haven't been - and apparently ELSCo supply their beef&*) about 9 months ago an pointed out that their rib eye steaks were cheaper per kilo than Ocado.

So ever since we've been having our beef delivered.

I tell you, I love these guys. I love that the website tells you each week what breed they are cutting, I love that the provenance card that comes with each order tells you exactly where each farm is, I love that the meat is wrapped in brown paper, I love that delivery is free within the M25 for orders over £25. I love that they sell my beloved slow braising cuts like oxtail, shin and cheek. I am even coming to love the very bad jokes that they text you when the order is on its way.

This is the bit where I am supposed to say what I don't like... and I can't. Every piece of meat we have bought (and this is an unsolicited post - I have paid for every single piece of meat I have had from ELSCo, they don't even know I am a blogger) has been superb. The echt beef experience. Beef as it should taste.

The only downside is that they only do beef. But I only want them to do beef - I am happy for them to specialise and do the best darned beef available in London. I just want someone else to do the same thing for pork, and the same thing for lamb. Hopefully ELSCo will be so successful that someone will apply the business model to other meats. There has to be a market.

... Edited to add, I have just identified a less-good feature. My order this morning, booked for 8am-3pm delivery, arrived at 6.30am. That is too early.

*... Edited to add a correction. Hawksmoor's executive chef Richard Turner is a partner in ELSCo, but the restaurant gets their beef elsewhere.


leaf (the indolent cook) said...

They sound great. I don't eat a lot of beef, but would love to see more services like this!

purabi naha said...

Really an interesting post. Loved reading about East London Steak Company!

Suelle said...

I haven't seen oxtail with that much meat on it for a very long time! Lovely!

Anonymous said...

i've traveled the world (well, not exactly "travel" ... more like "deployements"!) but my knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep. i've seen just about everything, understand not so much.

and i've never quite grasped how a relatively small island like yours (compared to the US's Great Plains) can produce such excellent beef.

when an American thinks beef, he thinks cowboys on the wide open plains, not double decker buses and changing the guard at buckingham palace. and yet, y'all definitely hold your own, and more.


The Cat's Mother said...

It is the oxtail that especially caught my eye as well.
What did you make with it?

HH said...

It sounds amazing! I don't think I will be able to afford it, nor will I be eligible for free delivery, but maybe I will have to make an exception for special occasions.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Leafy - it's the service that makes the difference! To get high-welfare meat handled like this is excellent.

Purabi - thanks!

Suelle - very lean and very meaty: delicious!

Steve - the grazing land seems to be very green, so you can have more head of animals per acre than you can in Australia or the US where fodder is a bit more scarce. We're not very far out of London and there are beef cattle just up the road!

Mother - that was the oxtail tom yum, but I have another package in the freezer that I am going to do a Spanish braise with.

HH - where are you going to be living?! If you stick to the braising cuts its very affordable.

Ben said...

I would love these guys too! I'm not a big beef person, but all those pictures look delicious! hehe.

Adrian (Food Rehab) said...

Everything about this post makes me smile! All meat! I'm getting a pressure cooker soon so Oxtail will be less time consuming to cook :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Ben - thanks!

Adrian - one day I will get a pressure cooker.

HH said...

FC- at the moment we will be living in Rochester - so definitely outside the M25. The braising cuts do seem quite affordable though, and sound delicious!

Alicia Foodycat said...

HH - Rochester is nice. One of the women I work with lives in Strood, so it seems to be very convenient!


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