Self-confessed cookery addict James Hardacre reckons he ‘hit the jackpot’ when he found G.N. Badley & Sons.
James, who has lived in St Georges for nearly 15 years, said he first came across the shop when he was searching for ‘quality meat at a good price and friendly staff’.
“I kind of have an addiction to cooking and smoking meat, and buy all my meat from them,” he says.
“The three favourite things I buy are Beef Short Ribs, Beef Skirt, and Smoked Streaky Bacon.
“Beef Short Ribs are my favourite thing to smoke, and Lee prepares them for me perfectly.
“Beef Skirt is perfect for a hot and fast cook - super succulent, it makes an amazing taco.
“And Smoked Streaky Bacon crisps up beautifully; it doesn’t shrink like the supermarket stuff. And bacon makes EVERYTHING taste better!”
He added: “Why do I choose to buy this meat from Badley’s? Because I get quality produce, at great prices.
“But most of all, it’s the friendly, very understanding and helpful staff. I’m always going in, asking for weird and different cuts - some with American or Brazilian names.
“Kay and Lee chat with me to work out exactly what I really mean, so they can source the meat I want, for my crazy experiments!”
And here are three of James’ recipes using his Badley’s meat, which he recommends you giving a try:
BEEF SHORT RIBS (cooked low and slow on his Weber Smokey Mountain 18”)
The day before, you remove the skin and rear membrane, to make it easier to cut once it’s done.
Cover it in 50/50 (50% kosher salt flakes and 50% fresh cracked black pepper) and let it sit in the fridge for 12-18 hours.
Start the smoker around 5am. Take the meat out now, so it comes up to ambient temperature.
Depending on the size of the ribs, this can be an 8-10 hour smoke, so fill your smoker well.
If you are using briquettes, you can use the ‘OCD’ method for a nice slow, predictable burn.
Once the Weber is up to temperature at around 250-280f (120-140c), the ribs go on, indirect.
Throw a few chunks of wood on to make it extra tasty. I usually use chunks of old oak whisky barrels.
Then, the hardest part . . . the wait.
Every hour or so, spritz it with a spray bottle of apple juice (or Aspalls Cider, if I want to go extra luxurious) and check the temperature.
The internal temperature needs to be 204f (95/96c) for the meat, as the cartilage melts at this heat, making the ribs succulent and juicy. Make sure you do the “wobble” test.
Suggested sides include jacket potatoes (throw them on the coals, wrapped in tin foil, when the meat hits about 190f(85c) so they are ready with the meat.
Or Mac ’n’ Cheese which can be cooked under the meat, catching extra flavours.
BEEF SKIRT (Hot and fast on gas, or even better, direct of charcoal – ‘Dirty’ style!)
The day before, put the skirt in a bag with a good glug or two of dark soy sauce, a handful of dried chilli flakes, a thumb of grated ginger and 4-5 crushed cloves of garlic. Mush it all about and put it into the fridge to marinade overnight.
Get your coals nice and hot. I suggest using a starter/chimney.
Make sure you use a high quality fuel, if you are doing to go dirty.
I now use Caradoc Charcoal exclusively. Gives an amazing flavour, lights quickly and lasts forever. As well as making the meat have a deep smokey taste.
If it’s a full piece of skirt, which Lee usually sources for me, I will cut it into three. The thin piece for “hot ’n’ fast" and the other two for slower offset/indirect smoking.
All three can go onto the grill, away from the coals for 20 minutes. I usually throw a chunk of apple wood onto the fire, for a little added sweet smoke.
Then put the thinner piece, DIRECTLY onto the charcoal, 2-3 mins each side, until it is done for your liking.
Remove and let stand, loosely covered with tin foil or butchers paper for at LEAST 10 mins. Need to let the myoglobin settle back into muscle, to stop the meat being dry when you cut it.
Leave the other larger pieces on the grill, indirect, turning a few times for about 30-40 mins or until they hit the IT for your liking.
(Take them off a little early if you are not eating them once they are done, as meat continues to cook, even off the heat.)
When cutting your “dirty” skirt, make sure to cut against the grain! By cutting against the grain, you cut through the fibres, shortening them. This makes the meat even softer and more succulent.
I usually eat this with a nice salad.
The smoked skirt does great the next day or two in Tacos, or even as a base for incredible chilli.
ROAST LAMB LEG
Use a large pot (check it fits in your oven!)
Rub leg with olive oil, season well using plenty of fresh ground pepper.
Place on top of a trivet of course cut celery, onions and carrots.
Use 300ml decent red wine, a handful of olives, and bulb of garlic, cut in half few sprigs of rosemary then cook on 160c for 3 hours.
The pot needs to be covered, to keep the flavours in the meat.
Check every half hour and add a little water if drying out, to prevent burning, and make sure you get a nice gravy stock.
Highly recommend accompaniments are new potatoes, carrots and cauliflower cheese. Plus, there should be enough meat left over for a shepherd’s pie later on in the week!