|At Txogitxu with owner Imanol Jaka|
|Meats Section at Don Serapio|
|Don Serapio Canned Tuna, a long way from the standard tinned Tuna|
|Local Produce at Don Serapio|
|More Local Produce at Don Serapio|
|Imanol sorting out the meat labels|
Behind him the art of his friend the famous Basque Artist Juan Gorriti
He further explains that when you touch the fat of the cow, your hands should become wet - meaning greasy - and must smell of grass and butter. He actually demonstrated that technique and fair enough his hands were lubricated with grease and smelled of fields of grass. Then Imanol goes back to dealing with farmers and explains why he buys straight from the farmers: "Good produce is all about finding a good farmer. Urban logic doesn't work in this senario as farmers logic is different. Farmers are down to earth people. They have good logic and are very natural, which urban people can't understand. I go out to the farms and choose the farmer, not the cows. Because with good farmers you will definitely get good meat. I look in a farmer's eyes and that is where the relationship starts. The eyes can tell you everything." Imanol is always looking for the produce that is "made by a person for a person" and for him work ethics come first. "It is a building of a long term relationship. It is about trust and mutual respect. And I have been happy - meaning blessed."
"I know meats are not exactly what pops to your mind when you think Spain, but trust me - and I have tried quite a lot of premium meats from around the world - when the experience of eating meat becomes as descriptive as that of drinking wine, where you use expressions such as: "tones of earth" "hints of grass" "flowery aromas" "evocative of a meadow"... mind you we are still talking about describing the flavour of meat at the end of the day! Then I would say, hands down this is the best meat I have ever had!" - Culinary Destination - North of Spain
- Choose the best quality produce available. To determine quality use Less Eyes and More Nose. Hands must get wet and smell of butter and grass when rubbing the meat or the fat. Look for marbling which will give superior flavours.
- Do not over handle or over interfere with the flavour. Let the flower - flavour - of the meat speak for itself. (I love the use of flower to mean flavour. Flowers are synonymous with good smell, with meadow and field, with layers upon layers of goodness). No need to Marinate, add spices, herbs...etc. Just a sprinkling of salt crystals and a tiny drizzle of olive oil will do.
- It is best to place the steak over a grill or wire lined griddle so the meat gets flavoured by the smoke of its own drippings.
- Subject the meat to high flame at first to sear on all sides. Then, move to lower heat and cook gently to the desired doneness.
- Must have meat blue or max rare for the best experience. If it becomes gray then you have killed it the second time and took away its flavour.
- You must rest the meat for 5 minutes before serving to keep it moist and avoid bleeding on your plate.
- Imanol Jaka : http://www.txogitxu.com/
- Related posts: Culinary Destination - North of Spain , Gastronomic Societies: A Gentlemnen's Club
- More photos on the following links: Culinary Catalonya and Madrid , Culinary Basque Country
|Art by Juan Gorriti|
|Don Serapio Pastry section -|
Leaving on a sweet note