The way that a good barbecue adds char and smokiness to meat is lost on few, but there is so much more to fire cookery than chucking sausages on for a sizzle. Mastering the art of fire allows you to explore new cuts, new dishes and entirely new approaches to food that can elevate your home eating way beyond the everyday.
We've teamed up with fire cooking expert Genevieve Taylor to bring you recipes and fire cooking advice to do just that. She joined us for a day on the farm in Devon recently, where we got stuck into carcass breakdown, a farm walk, fire cooking and of course plenty of eating. Here's what she had to say about it:
"It was such a privilege to spend a day at Pipers Farm, learning about butchery and the Pipers farming ethos. I learnt so much I barely know where to start.
Firstly, cows are exceedingly heavy. I helped break down a back quarter of a Ruby Red cow, seeking out the elusive rump tail - which was what I cooked and we ate for lunch, grilled hot and fast, served on toast with romesco sauce and spring onions (we'll share the recipe soon!).
After lunch, Pipers Farm co-founder Peter took me for a stroll around the farm and filled me in. He was really keen to stress that Pipers are not doing anything new in farming terms, what they are doing is old, goes back to how things used to be done. In one sentence, that’s quite simply taking native breeds that come from the area of the UK they are situated in (mid Devon), rearing them on an all natural diet in a stress free environment until they reach their natural maturity. So simple when you read it, huh? It resonated so strongly with why I wrote Charred, a vegetarian BBQ book not trying to ‘turn’ anyone away from meat eating, just trying to expand the hardcore barbecue carnivores out there into embracing the omnivorous lifestyle.
Humans are omnivores, this is the way we are biological designed. And cows are ruminating herbivores, so Peter just makes sure the diet they eat is the diet they are 100% evolutionarily designed for. What I didn’t know was different native breeds have evolved to thrive on the quite specific plant diet to their own area. That that plant flora facilitates the cows only gut flora, makes them strong, resilient, healthy. So their sh*t is super healthy too, which makes it very attractive to hundreds of insects that depend on it. They in turn work that waste back into the soil making it strong and healthy and resilient.
This is what a healthy ecosystem is. The world will THRIVE on healthy ecosystems. Again, sorry this is long, but with my biological background it’s fascinating as well as very important. Over and out 🔥😎"