What’s Your Beef? Provenance Butchers Notting Hill.

A Meaty Little Number in Notting Hill – Provenance Butchers:

Being invited to review a Butcher Shop is not your everyday ‘restaurant review’.  But, I was curious about Provenance – partly because their ethos to promote traditional animal husbandry.  I’m a ‘grass-fed’ beef fan.  I really CAN taste the difference and while the science may at times be obscure (perhaps something to do with the food industry?), the evidence suggesting that grass fed meat is better for you is something I’ve already written about.  And, the idea of a Wagyu beef Wellington piqued my interest still further.  While Notting Hill isn’t quite my village it’s near enough for me to shop there sometimes and so I felt obliged to pop along and check out what they were up to.

Provenance Butchers Notting Hill

Provenance was launched last summer by Kiwis Erin Hurst and Guy Gibson.  Discontented with the quality of supermarket meat and yearning for the taste of the fabulous steak they enjoyed growing up in New Zealand’s pastoral paradise, Erin and Guy set out to create a butchers with a difference; selling only grass-fed, free-range meat.  Wagyu features strongly on the counter – a Japanese breed of cattle that is famous for it’s marbling, but which is also meant to be healthier, with the particular ratio of mono unsaturated to saturated fats and levels of stearic acid supposedly helping with cholesterol issues normally associated with red meat.

Provenance butchers notting hill

Erin at Provenance told me that they visit all the farms that supply their shop, generally staying over for a night to really get an understanding of how the place operates.  And, that they work with pastry supremo Julia Cotter, another Kiwi, and Leith’s trained chef who has worked with Yotam Ottolenghi and Peter Gordon to offer a range of pies and savoury pastries (including the Wagyu beef wellington) to their customers.  There’s also a range of deli meats and sauces, with names I know and love including Trealy Farm and Luchito.  And of course there’s the meat.

Provenance Pies, Notting Hill

I was sent away with a selection of sausages and beef.  I actually got quite nervous about cooking the beef – two different types of Wagyu steak – the first Oyster Blade, Flat Iron or Strip Steak, the second a prime Wagyu Rib-Eye.  I’ve learnt that you can very easily spoil excellent meat by not understanding the way to cook a particular cut.  Oyster Blade is a lean, relatively thin steak that is best suited to pan frying and that, under normal circumstances, I might have used in a posh stir fry or stroganoff.  But I really wanted to serve the meat ‘pure’ so that I could compare it with the ribeye.  Because it is both lean and thin it’s very easy to overcook it.  Get it right and you’ll have a wonderfully well flavoured steak for less than half the price of a ribeye or fillet.

Wagyu Oyster Feather or Strip Steak

Strip Steak from Provenance Butchers

 

Ribeye, although it is much loved by the meat world, is something I generally avoid because of the fat.  In fact, a really good ribeye will be marbled throughout – and Wagyu beef even has a grading system for the amount of marbling.  This particular steak, retailing at just over £40 a kilo, was apparently a grade IV level of marbling.  Again, I was nervous – to ‘melt’ the fat, I’ve been advised to cook ribeye over a medium hot flame.  And I really didn’t want to spoil this rather expensive steak!

Wagyu Beef Steak

Actually both steaks were a great success.  A suprise to me, I did prefer the ribeye – the fat really had pretty much completely melted by the time the steak was cooked (2 minutes on each side and 4 minutes resting!).  I used my griddle for it, lightly coating the steak with oil and seasoning with salt and pepper before adding to the pre-heated pan.

Wagyu Ribeye from Provenance Butchers in pan

Both steaks had that wonderful, unique flavour that grass fed beef has – but the ribeye was just more tender and melting.  And, having said it was expensive, my 220g of prime wagyu ribeye retailed at just over £10 – so a lot cheaper than ordering it in a restaurant where you’ll be paying upward of £40.

Wagyu Ribeye from Provenance Butchers Cooked Medium Rare

As for the Wild Boar with Apple Sausages – well, inspired by my visit to La Polenteria, I had a try again at making a Tuscan style tomato sauce.  Only I added in carrots and celery (probably not very authentic), along with the red wine garlic, onion and tomatoes.  Very delicious, there will be more about this dish in my next recipe post.

If you’d like to try some of Provenance Butcher’s meat, you’ll find them to the North end of Notting Hill

33 Kensington Park Rd,
London W112EU
And they deliver to addresses in W10, W11, W2 and W8. Free of charge on all orders over £50.

Disclaimer: I was provided with samples of meat from Provenance Butcher.

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Comments

  1. I love their frontage! Rather far from me but you never know they might open a branch in Hackney…

    A good local butcher is such a privilege these days, I really value ours and feel guilty buying meat elsewhere. Our local is East London Sausage Company – I ought to write a post about them really!

  2. I love a good steak and your’s looks delicious. Definitely high quality beef – you can really tell.

  3. Now I am quite tempted to cook beef steak Japanese-Peruvian style ;) I can never tell whether the beef on my plate is ‘grass-fed’ or not but I can if it is goat’s meet :D Each to her own! hahaha

    • I think if you did a side by side test you could tell. I’ve done just that at a steak house in London where one of us ordered the USDA and the other the same cut in English Grass Fed Beef

  4. Mmmmm that steak looks perfect!! What a great new Butchers… x

  5. The steak looks really nice. It is so hard to find a decent butchers these days.

  6. Great review of the butcher shop and the process of cooking these delicious steaks. Have been a chef for over 12 years I understand the importance of cooking a steak the “right way.”

    Now I just wished I live a bit closer!

  7. It’s been ages since I last had a steak, and these sound mouthwateringly good! The beef looks top class. Dreamy.

  8. Looks wonderful. Nothing like a good steak. It an ocean away but I remember great Kiwi beef when I visited New Zealand.

  9. I love steak and go to our local butchers when I can. He is always great and happy to answer any questions, even swaps recipes!

  10. Now that steak looks like what steak should look like, if you get my drift! Lovely looking shop and a butcher like that is worth its weight in gold!

  11. Ohh, this is an interesting spot to review!;-) Have to say, there is something just so charming about going to specific stores…(butcher, cheese shop, bakeries) to get what you need. The food is always so much better, too, since it’s all they specialize in.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Fiona!

  12. Good meat is so wonderful. I’m headed out to a local butcher shop in Atlanta tomorrow so I can pick up some sausage-making goods. Time to put my new meat grinder to good use!

  13. these look delicious. I often buy some prime or choice meat on special or clearance when they need to move it out and then I split the steak into 2 or more portions for different meals or people. I love your food though. SO GREAT.

  14. I prefer to buy fresh meat at my local butcher rather than pre-packed ready meat from super markets, they always go smelly pretty quick!

  15. Oh Fiona, that steak looks cooked to absolute perfection. You did that cow proud!
    Love a good butchers, and being able to trace your meat is a necessity if you care about animal welfare and what goes on to your plate.
    Janie x

  16. This is a really cool story! Have some more veggies with your meat! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Oh my that does look good Fi!

  18. You are very lucky to have a good quality butcher close to where you live. Those steaks look amazing.

  19. Alison Clark says:

    Looks great another place to visit when I’m in London next , your reviews haven’t let me down yet .

  20. They certainly look amazing steaks Fiona. I’d rather eat steak less often and eat better meat when I do, as a mediocre steak is just so boring.

  21. charlotte clavier says:

    I dont live far from Notting Hill & i didnt even know this butchers was there. The steaks look fabulous Ill definitely be off there to get some :) xx

  22. Chris Bull says:

    Having read this and seen the gorgeous mouthwatering photos I think a trip to Notting Hill is in order :-)

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