HOW TO... STORE YOUR MEAT
One of the most common questions we get at the Ginger Pig is about meat storage. Yup, we get it; it’s easy to forget about something once you’ve already bought it and stuffed it in the back of your fridge, even easier if you live with flatmates and you can’t remember whose food is whose. We’ve put together a handy little guide to storing correctly, making sure that you don’t risk a ruined Sunday dinner. When we say there’s nothing worse than the meat and two veg without the meat, we mean it.
Let us start off by saying a bit about why it’s so important to follow the rules at home. Because we dry-age our meat, our shop fridges need to be specially designed to hardly ventilate any air around the space at all. This ensures minimum moisture, which in turn helps to draw any moisture inside the meat out. We could go on and on about why this is a great thing, but at the end of the day it comes down to improving two things: tenderness and flavour. It’s vital to know that fridges at home are a little different; to keep everything cool, lots of air is ventilated around and there’s much more moisture inside. This can lead to the oxidisation of meat and to it going off a bit quicker.
The best thing to do, with any cut of meat you buy from us, is to take it out of the packaging (even with mince) and lie it uncovered on a plate in the very bottom of your fridge. This helps to air get to it even more, as the bottom of the fridge is the coolest place. Don’t let the raw meat touch anything else, and make sure that you’re storing different kinds of meat separately. If you’re running out of room for all those meaty goodies, it’s fine to place it on top of some kitchen roll in a sealed container.
From our meat counter to your kitchen, we prefer meat wrapped in butcher’s paper, yet there may be certain times of year when products will arrive vacuum packed. This will always be to ensure that the product arrives safely to your fridge.
Of course, it needs to be said, too, that the sooner you can eat something the better. Just in case, though, here are some more handy tips to ensure that the meat stays as fresh as possible:
● Refrigerate as a soon as our order arrives. Please see the labels for use by dates.
● Make sure your fridge is running between 1-4° We know at certain time it may be easier said than done, but try not to overfill your fridge – this can lead to a drop or an increase in temperature that won’t stay consistent.
● For perfect crackling, caramelisation and crispy skin it’s worth unwrapping any items 6-12 hours prior to cooking so that the meat’s surface has time to aerate.
●Meat is always best kept unwrapped. Store in the fridge on a plate on the bottom shelf of your fridge where it’s coolest. Store away from other items. Keep different unwrapped meats apart and on separate plates. Think about how we display meat in our counters; this is how it keeps best.
●Never mix cooked food with raw, unless it’s a steak tartare!
●Vacuum packed meat can be left wrapped, please see use by dates. When unwrapped it can give off a bit of a whiff – this is perfectly normal and will dissipate.
●We prefer our meat as fresh as possible, however, if you plan to freeze, please do so as soon as your order arrives and defrost fully in the fridge before cooking. Larger ribs of meat may take up to 48 hours to defrost fully. Never refreeze a raw product.
If you’re still unsure and want to be reassured, ask one of our butchers at your local Ginger Pig or send us an email at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to talk you through the process. If you’ve received a Ginger Pig delivery on a Friday afternoon or a Saturday and want a quick response do give one our shops a call for advice.