Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Dear Tesco

Dear Sir

I have been your royal customer since 1989, the year we moved to England from Greece.
My local Tesco is Old Amersham branch in Buckinghamshire which is great for us not only it is near also has fish section and butcher.
I am a Korean born food writer and food blogger and teaching Korean cookery at home. I do not shop only at Tesco, I do go around any where like any foodie to find the best for my cooking.

I was so pleased that I found skirt beef , ox cheek meat were in your butcher section, I love to cook with not familiar cuts and specially slow cooking . I knew skirt beef makes good flavoursome steak and wanted to cook at home but it is hard to find unless I go to expensive famous London butcher or Selfridges. I always thought it is mad, why cheaper cuts beef are not available , like Skirt beef or Hanger's Steak meat.
Of course my favourite steak is Ryb Eye Steak but they are too expensive, we can have only special day, like birthday, anniversary.

Anyway your Butcher section sell this skirt beef from 2012( I think?) and we enjoyed medium rare skirt beef steak time to time for 2 years now.
Suddenly you do not sell anymore since early February, Why ?
I understand it is a commercial reason, and I might be the only one buying as a steak cut, others just for Cornish Pie perhaps, if this is the case you should educate your customer through your cookery magazine, Real Food.
I have seen a lots of recipes on chicken or other meat recipes as budget meals, never seen a budget steak, for 1kg £8, I can feed family, 4 people. I know it is not a low budget meal but certainly it is budget treat meal as I do.
It has to be cooked as medium rare or medium, if cook well done, it will be  too stringy and chewy.

If you knew that the most famous French Chef in UK, Albert Roux's favourite meal is Skirt beef steak and English chips! this would change your mind.

As a Korean food writer, I use them for my Korean spicy beef and leek soup instead of Brisket beef, now I have to order my local butcher specially as they never stock them in the shop.

As ox cheek is no longer available at  your Tesco but luckily now Waitrose is selling them along with another cheaper cut, feather blade.
Ironically I do shop at Waitrose more often than ever to buy these cuts.

As lamb wing shank is no longer available at Tesco from November, 2013 ( I think?) , you know they make excellent stew dish with red wine and tomato just like other expensive lamb shank also very good Lancashire Hot pot, meaty and soup in the pot is so tasty because of  the bone.  Now Waitrose has them.

Still you sell  good lamb's kidney and Ox kidney, I am thankful for this.
I do make very good devil's kidney, they cost often less than £1 and we can have lunch with a slice of toast for 3 grown ups. how economic is it!!

I do appreciate it is purely commercial reason, but do you sell a lots of expensive cuts like Sir loin, ryb eye, fillet, and prime rib joint?

Isn't it ironic I do shop more at Waitrose, well known for upper middle class shop for cheaper cuts of meat??

Skirt Steak
Skirt Steak with Chips

Ox cheek stew with red wine

Monday, 17 February 2014

New Korean Food event at Robinson College, Cambridge University



Slow cooked belly pork

Dr Michael Shin , Robinson College, Cambridge University and I are organizing 3rd Korean food event on 5th of march for 70-100 invited guests.
I had a meeting with college chefs on 12th of February, I made sample dishes at home, Bibimbab and Belly Pork Bossam, they all loved the taste.
As ever, college chefs so willing to be my right hand (literary) chefs and all are excited about making new Korean dishes.
We are serving, Belly Pork Bossam followed by Bibimbab with miso soup, kimch, mooli salad for the dessert, Lemon Tart and Fruits salad .
I am so proud to cook in this event at Cambridge University, what a task, and the best way to promote Korean food to the future generation in Britain. Hope Korean government would notice Dr Shin's idea and his enthusiasm for Korean food.

Watch this space I will write a blog after the event.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Kimchi, bulgogi class on 8th of Februaray

brined cabbage with kimchi stuffing

instant kimchi

Korean cucumber salad

Korean beef BBQ , bulgogi
8th of February was my first Korean cookery date, 2014 but unfortunately I broke my arm during the festive season , I had to adapt as a left hand cook for now.
I have considered to cancelling this class  but this one has planned in late November and most of them as a present for Christmas, as I can do most cooking with my left hand, and did not have a heart to disappoint their Christmas treat.
Luckily my an old royal student, Dan offered as a  my helper.
 Making authentic cabbage kimchi is a long process, mostly brining , salting is most important and Difficult, should not be too salty, takes a few hours.
15 per cent salt water solution and turn cabbage now and then, try to get crunch top and soft leaves makes a good kimchi.
Making kimchi stuffing. cut mooli like match stick, crushed garlic, ginger, Korean chilli flakes, spring onion, Korean anchovy sauce and Korean salted baby shrimp, mix well and leave for at least 1 hour.
Luke is making kimchi

making kimchi in the class
ashes and drain the salted cabbage on to the stuffing bowl, put stuffing top side leave by hand and repeat leave by leave and, fold in half, wrap tight with outer leave, store in the air tight jar. push all kimchi to prevent any gap between kimchi.
 Leave in a cool place for a day and put in the fridge to ferment, or just put in the fridge which takes longer to ferment.

I was so glad the class went so smoothly, they cut, sliced vegetables . all of the made their own kimchi and took home.
Bulgogi and refreshing cucumber salad , dresses up with sugar, sesame oil, sesame seed instant kimchi , they seem all enjoyed class and the meal.
It was a huge relief for my side and great satisfaction as a left  hand cook and I and Dr Shin, Robinson college, university of Cambridge will put another Korean food event in March.

One thing I had to address, just 2 hour before the class one lady who applied the class, sent email saying she is not able to come as she has to attend the dinner. it was the most unprofessional attitude, and I was very disappointed by this not because I had spent money on ingredients , not respecting other people's work. it would be fine at least gave me 24hours notice at least.
Another lady just did not turn up without any excuse and still I have not heard from her. it was the very first time happened to me, I might have to address when they apply my cookery class, make sure they do respect my work.  well, well, you learn something along the way.

 meal after the class