Saturday, April 18, 2009
O'Shea's my new Number 1 Butcher in London
Dermot O'Shea is descended from eight generations of Irish butchers. In 1998, he and his sons and daughter opened a butcher's shop in Brussels, which quickly became one of the most popular amongst the cognoscenti in the city supplying a very demanding epicurean audience. In 2006 he and his two sons opened his second shop in Knightsbridge, London. Cathal now runs the Butcher concession in Selfridges Food Hall whilst Darragh runs the premium Knightbridge shop.
He sells high-quality meat, including an outstanding grass-fed, barley finished Black Angus beef from South West Ireland and Perthshire in Scotland that provides perfect conditions for this breed that produces not only excellent "prime" cuts like sirloin and fillet but superb Onglet, Bavette and stewing classics like Cheek and Shin.
Just looking at this fine Beef not only shows the marbling but that it has been hung from between 30 to 60 days .
The Knightsbridge store also has outstanding organic and free range pork (Landrace)from Childhay Manor (Dorset) as well as excellent British Lamb from Yorkshire, Shetland and Wales depending on the season.
The Rosé Veal is sublime (Irish) full flavoured unlike the majority of pale Dutch Veal mostly found in the better butchers in London. It is how Veal should be i.e. a young animal as opposed to the Dutch produce that is treated like a Guantanamo Bay prisoner.
The shop also produces excellent homemade pies, pasties, hams , gammon bacon and sausages. There is often a scrum at lunch for the famous homemade baguette sandwiches.
Darragh runs a very serious premium business focused on excellence in terms of selection, correctly hanging and maturing their meats as well as clearly identifying their provenance.
I have had the pleasure of meeting Dermott and Darragh and it's clear within minutes that they are true artisans and this is a business committed to promoting excellence in gastronomy. Seems like the O'Shea's not only know their meat but also are well traveled and understand how different nationalities cook theirs.
Unfortunately during these tough economic times many of our top London Butchers are lowering their standards by mixing up their offerings with inferior and cheaper meats with very dodgy provenance.
For me O'Shea is now the leader of the pack in London leaving Lidgates, Allen's of Mayfair, Harrods, and Ginger Pig etc behind. This has all been achieved in 3 years.
Until further notice I will single source all my meat from this establishment.
11 Montpelier St.
Tel: 0207 581 7771