Following the success of last year’s dinner with one of the best butchers in Scotland (John Gilmour), Hutchesons decided to go bigger & bolder this time and entertain guests with a live butchery demonstration, and a 4-course dinner paired with Arbikie cocktails.
The evening started with a welcoming reception at the bar.
To start, we were served a Pork & Venison Hot Dog with a Parma Violet Cocktail. I am not a huge fan of hot dogs, but when you mix quality pork and venison, you can’t go wrong. These gourmet Hot Dogs were bursting with flavour and every mouthful was sensational, my perception of Hot Dogs has totally changed thanks to these, but I’m sure I may struggle to find any other to stand up to them! The Truffle Mayonnaise in particular, added an extra touch of luxury to the dish. How to serve street food in a fine dining restaurant!
Pork & Venison Hot Dog
Hutcheson’s 158 Hot Dog, Bacon, Black Truffle, Celery & Truffle Mayonnaise
I absolutely loved the Parma Violet cocktail. A very sophisticated cocktail that tasted of the classic retro Parma Violet sweets, with summery elderflower notes. Delicious!
Parma Violet Cocktail
Arbikie Vodka, Liqueur de Violette, Lemon Juice, Egg White, served in a coupe
The second dish was Ox-Tail Consommé (Spiced with clove, cinnamon & ginger, ox cheek dumplings & coriander), paired with Beetroot Bloody Mary (Arbikie Chilli Vodka, fresh tomato juice, beetroot juice, tabasco, cracked pepper and a celery stick).
The consommé had a delightfully meaty, yet surprisingly sprightly flavour. The restaurant was filled with a pleasant perfume from the stock. The Ox Cheek Dumplings were crunchy on the outside and filled with a soft chunk of meat which fell apart with the touch of the spoon. It reminded me of one of my mum’s dishes – ox cheek dumplings served with beetroot soup.
Bloody Mary- yes, but only when I’m hungover! For me the cocktail was a little spicy, albeit full of flavour. All the other guests enjoyed the richness and complexity of the drink, just a little too much of a kick for me.
Between the courses, we watched butchery demonstration presented by renowned Master Butcher John Gilmour. John delivered a very interesting and informative live demo, presenting butchery techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. John wielded his knife in front of a sold out room, showcasing the technique and skills required to produce some truly perfect cuts, including; the Picanha, Rump Fillet and the Cote de Boeuf.
The origins of John Gilmour Butchers began after WW2 when William Gilmour returned from flying with RAF during wartime service. He started working with his brother John in the high-street butcher shop in Prestonpans, owned by Bob Greig. They learned all their skills and techniques from Bob, who was a complete master butcher, and had a small abattoir down the lane from the shop.
Our main course was a 60-day dry-aged Tafelspitz (Slow cooked & super rested, with butternut squash, seasonal mushrooms & asparagus). The cocktail for the course was Kirsty’s Gin, The perfect serve (Arbikie Kirsty’s Gin with Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic, Lemon Twist and Blueberries).
The dish was absolutely fantastic! The intense beefy flavour was something I’ve never experienced, and the beef melted in my mouth like butter.
Dry-aged beef has become my favourite. Dry-ageing changes the beef in 2 ways. Firstly, all the moisture is evaporated from the muscle, which creates a greater concentration of flavour and taste. Secondly, all the beef’s natural enzymes break down the tissue in the muscle, which results in more tender beef. So more tender and more flavoursome beef – what more could you want! Great quality beef speaks for itself and doesn’t need much to be added to, but I loved the addition of seasonal ingredients that made the whole dish stand out.
Kirsty’s Gin, The perfect serve (Arbikie Kirsty’s Gin with Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic, Lemon Twist and Blueberries)
Our dessert was Dark Chocolate Delice (aerated chocolate, espresso caramel & chocolate crumb), paired with The Greyhound Cocktail (Arbikie’s AK Gin, grapefruit juice, lemon juice and honey).
The dark chocolate delice was a truly indulgent dessert, with a luxurious mousse-like texture that melted in my mouth. If that wasn’t enough, there was a delicious espresso caramel sauce and chocolate crumb for elegant presentation. Honey-flavoured Arbikie’s AK Gin was the perfect accompaniment for the dessert.
The Greyhound Cocktail (Arbikie’s AK Gin, grapefruit juice, lemon juice and honey)
At the end of the meal was a raffle, where guests had the opportunity to win some of John’s produce, as well as another prize of a meal at Hutcheson’s.
I was very glad that Hutcheson’s chose to team up with the brilliant Scottish drinks brand Arbikie, a company who are pioneering the farm-to-bottle ethos! Tucked away on the road from Dundee to Aberdeen, Arbikie create amazing craft spirits, that share its name. From Arbikie Potato Vodka to Arbkie Kirsty’s Gin or Arbikie AK Gin, the origins of each ingredient in every bottle can be traced back to the green fields of the family-owned working farm, where David and his brothers spent their childhood.
Hutcheson’s organised a truly unforgettable, and very entertaining evening. Gone are the days where people are satisfied with a good plate of food. Nowadays guests want to know what they eat and where it came from. They want to know the journey from farm to plate, and the popularity of evenings like Meat the Butcher are testament to that.
I would like to thank James Rusk and the whole team at Hutcheson’s for inviting us to experience a fantastic evening.
If you want to know more about their future events, please visit their website or sign up to their newsletter.
Hutchesons Bar & Brasserie
158 Ingram Street
Glasgow G1 1EJ
+44 (0)141 552 4050
Gilmour Butchers http://www.gilmourbutchers.com/