Sophie's Meat Course
About the Show
Sophie Grigson rediscovers meat, showing viewers how to cook the finest cuts in exciting ways, but always with an eye on cost and practicality
Series 1 Summary
From the crispest cracking to tender pink lamb, modish calves liver to traditional steak and kidney, Chinatown chicken to the best of British roast rib of beef, Sophie Grigson does for meat what Eat Your Greens, her earlier Channel 4 series, did for vegetables.
Sophie is both pupil and master, learning about the origins of meat from farmers and gamekeepers for whom belief in quality and flavour is a deeply held principle. Butcher Graham Portwine instructs her in choosing and preparing meat, then Sophie demonstrates recipes specially chosen to reflect her newly-acquired skills.
Techniques are a key element to Sophie's Meat Course. Lost kitchen skills - trussing roasts, boning chicken, carving lamb, knife care, and choosing the best cut for a particular dish - are all taught with precision and flair.
Sophie looks at techniques for preparing pork, including boning, rolling and frying. Stuffed loin of pork with spiced apple sauce, pate de campagne and sweet-and-sour ribs are all on the menu.
Sophie looks at poultry, and she's not even planning to roast any of it. She explores rare breed chickens. And duck is often seen as a difficult bird, but Sophie thinks it is undervalued.
Sophie and Graham explore offal, from lambs kidney to ox heart, sweetbreads, the thymus and pancreas, testicles, haggis, liver and black pudding
Sophie and Graham demonstrate how to select, prepare and cook perfect lamb, and ask if the time has come for a mutton renaissance
Sophie goes to Somerset in search of the best beef from traditional British breeds, before sampling salt beef. David cooks brisket, and Sophie spices up fillet beef with a sweet-and-sour Thai flavour.
Game is a romantic meat, associated with frosty winters, open countryside and hunting. Good game is best obtained from specialist game dealers. Graham recommends wild duck, which has a strong, dark flavour, or the relatively rare and expensive woodcock. For a less exotic treat, pheasant has become very inexpensive.
Arthur Duffus shows Sophie around the Scottish highlands estate where he looks after some beautiful pheasants. He emphasises the importance of hanging the birds properly so they can dry out. If they were piled up, they would rot.
Graham describes wild rabbit as small, dark and rank. Farmed rabbit is tender and delicate, lean and as adaptable as chicken. Sophie prepares it using a recipe she has used ever since she found it a children's magazine. The rabbit is roasted with a coating of mustard and oil to flavour and moisten.
Sheila Charrington raises venison . The meat has enjoyed a recent rise in popularity - it is healthy, lean and full of flavour. Most of her deer are the offspring of one stag, Dunstan, and Sheila has a wonderful collection of his antlers. He has 40 deer to impregnate, so it is not surprising that he loses weight during the rutting season. Sophie puts the tender venison meat to good use, creating pan-fried steaks with a port, orange and dried sour cherry sauce.