Last week we attended the Woodlands Jersey Beef ox roast and jazz event – it was one of the best beef, and least London-like, experiences of my life. I had a simply cracking night out.
The only problem with the evening was that it was so extremely un-London, in an open barn with four dim bulbs to illuminate proceedings, that I couldn’t get any pictures at all. Hence this article is illustrated by a picture of a cut we ate on the night, that we purchased a little piece of the next day.
The difference between this and a London event wasn’t just that it happened in an open-sided barn in the middle of nowhere (empty warehouse raves in the Docklands are not even remotely similar), but that it was suffused with an unhurried sense of relaxed friendliness. Such an absolute lack of harassment simply doesn’t happen in Town. The important things were that everyone felt at ease and satisfied at the event and I rather liked that attitude.
Satisfied I certainly felt! I utterly adored all three cuts of the Jersey steer that were roasted (top rump, topside and silverside). The butcher doing cooking duties said he’d have preferred them medium-well but I’d have like them a bit more on the ‘bloody rare’-side, not that I felt they were really over-cooked.
They were cooked well enough to show the extra-ordinary quality of brilliant Jersey beef. The flavour! THE FLAVOUR! When I want to eat meat, which is quite regularly, I want it to give me visceral pleasure and this animal, that gave its all to fill my belly and put a massive grin on my face, did so with stunning style. Woodlands Jersey Beef take a lot of care of their animals and Jersey beef is just the nuts[ref]"Jersey Beef is just the nuts!" is a comment from my Jersey Bean chum Dan Richardson; he couldn’t be more accurate![/ref] so a mouthful of this meat could hardly be more gratifying.
The pulsing perfection of this fulgurating flesh brought home the sad fact that most meat most people eat is simply rubbish. Supermarket meat is almost invariably anodyne and devoid of real meat satisfaction; it doesn’t make one feel good to eat it. Indeed, let us not hold back here: most mass-market meat is utter crap that is profoundly depressing to eat.
If I were in the mood to theorise I’d suggest that there are so many people who are vegetarians (or similarly unhappy and damaged) simply because they’ve been brought up on a diet of piss-poor, supermarket meat. If I had a choice of eating supermarket ‘value’ sausages or carrots on a regular basis it wouldn’t take long to learn to loathe those grey tubes of gristle and end up being a royal pain in the arse every time I went out for a meal.
Most of these poor peoples’ minds and palates have been so profoundly harmed by their experiences with shit meat, sold and served by people who shirk their duty to open young people’s minds to all that is good in life, they cannot be helped. However, if you could give a truly undamaged vegetarian some Woodlands Jersey Beef, surely there would be an incomparably more pleasure-themed Damascene conversion. This meat was of life enhancing quality.
And what more is there to add? The jazz was smooth, the real ale fresh, and we made the last train home with big grins on our faces. Woodlands Jersey Beef have an online shop on their website and will soon be opening a physical shop, more details on their site as well. Try this beef – there is a yawning hole in your life until you do.