Glasgow Loves an Old Cow
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Since December of last year, we’ve been the home of Galician beef here at The Spanish Butcher; we’ve championed it’s quality, it’s unique flavour and incomparable marbling. But it’s not just ourselves that love the stuff, the people of Glasgow have shown their appreciation for this incredible Spanish produce, eating it by the ton (quite literally, we’ve sold over 6 tonnes of it)! So why the obsession, what’s the difference?! Why does Glasgow love an old cow so much…?!

So, ok…our tongue is firmly in our cheek with that line, but it’s true; the secret behind Galician beef is down to the age of the cattle. We use the revered Rubia Gallega cattle of Northern Spain; huge, hulking beast that tower up to 6ft in height and weigh as much as 1,400kgs.

How do they get so big?!

Well, they’re actually ex-dairy cattle and produce milk until they’re around 6 years old, which is typical of dairy breeds. Where things start to get interesting is what happens after that, the farmers then put the cattle back out to pasture for another 6-8 years! The results are that the lean dairy cattle are transformed over years of grazing into behemoths.

That growing process also develops the unique meat; their organic diet coupled with their dairy pedigree leads to an intrinsic fat marbling that’s completely unique to the breed. The beef becomes rich, intense and has the most buttery of textures! All of our cuts are also dry-aged on the bone for a minimum of 35 days, and very often longer. We’re huge advocates for this process, it helps the beef grow in maturity and really intensifies the flavour.

It’s not that it’s better than Scotch beef, heck, we LOVE Scotch beef - have you seen the menus at our sister venues, Hutchesons and The Butchershop?! Galician beef is just different, equal in terms of quality with the very best beef in the world, but utterly unique in its make up.

Chef Suggests: “Go for the Grade 9 Galician Prime Rib to share, it’s dry-aged on the bone, buttery soft and super rich! Goes great with a bottle of the Finca Estacada!”

Gordon McGuire
Cava: The Unsung Hero In The World of Bubbles

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of Spanish produce here at The Spanish Butcher - I mean, the name clue is in the title! But our love doesn’t just stop at our beautiful dry-aged Galician beef & Iberican jamon…you’ve got to have something to wash it all down with and what better than a crisp, chilled glass of Spanish Cava?!

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Whilst Champagne from France and Prosecco from Italy steal the headlines, Cava often flies under the radar, dismissed as the little brother to the two big guys…but we’re here to dispel that myth and sing the virtues of what firmly believe is ‘The unsung hero in the world of bubbles’.

So…what exactly is Cava?

Cava, in a nutshell, is sparkling wine which originates from the Catalonia region in the north of Spain. The production method used to make Cava follows pretty much the same steps from vine to bottle that are used to produce champagne, however the key difference lies in the grapes!

Cava is made up of three main grape varieties; Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel-lo. The Macabeu grape is the primary grape used in all production, it is to Cava what Chardonnay grapes are to Champagne; bold, floral notes with a slightly bitter taste. The Parellada grapes and Xarel-lo grapes each bring their own unique profiles and help add bitterness, sweetness, floral notes, zesty hints etc, depending on their combination.

Cava can be supremely dry, with the driest being a Brut Nature, yet it traverses the entire palate range with a richly sweet Dolç acting as the sweetest variation of the wine.

So, what’s our tip? Well, as with any wine, it depends on your mood, what your eating and what simply takes your fancy at that particular moment! But let’s talk about one of our all time favourite Cava’s; the Segura Viudas. Now, whilst it’s by no means the oldest Cava in porduction, it’s been around long enough to build a reputation as a show-stopping-ly good wine. We sell the Segura Viduas as a Brut Reserva, which is light, refreshing and has sharp citrus notes. Alongside that there’s the Segura Viudas Brut Rosado, a non-vintage Rose Cava with spritely aromas of strawberry and redcurrant. The flagship of this collection is the Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Herded Vintage, a truly gorgeous wine by any comparison, with a slightly nutty nose, brioche in abundance and a soft honey flavour complimented by floral notes.

So the next time your feeling a bit of a thirst, make sure you swing by The Spanish Butcher and embrace Cava in all its glory; explore the different varieties, learn it’s flavours and see if you agree with us that Cava truly is the unsung hero in the world of grapes.

Chefs tip; A glass of Segura Viudas Brut Rosado Cava goes beautifully with our 30 month salt cured Iberican jamon.

Gordon McGuire
Shetland Vikings Visit The Spanish Butcher
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This time last week, The Spanish Butcher got a taste of some Scottish history when we were joined by some unexpected, yet exciting visitors!

A squad of Shetland Vikings joined us for some well-earned, refreshing Muchacha Rosa cocktails before tucking into our outrageously good, dry-aged Galician beef. Reared from the famed Rubia Gallega cattle of Northern Spain and renowned for its buttery soft texture and rich, intense flavour, there wasn't a morsel left in sight! It’s safe to say, these Vikings were not disappointed with their meal.

They joined us ahead of the Follow the Vikings Festival this September, which will be held to celebrate Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Held over two weekends, the festival is due to take place in Unst, Britain’s most northerly island and one of the Vikings first landing places in the North Atlantic and in Lerwick, Shetland’s capital.

Visitors can expect re-enactments of Viking combat and a re-creation of Viking life, ensuring an educational and enjoyable day out for the whole family.

A huge thanks to Visit Scotland for getting us involved in such an exciting project and as for the Vikings, we hope to see you back very soon....

 

 

 

Gordon McGuire
Jamon Iberico de Bellota

This particular jamon really is something truly special. It comes from the renowned Black Iberico Pigs of 'Green Spain' who are allowed to roam the countryside with complete freedom.

 

Their diet, which consists mostly of acorns (‘bellota’), develops the most intensely sweet, floral and nutty flavour, with a stream of luxurious fat which simply melts in the mouth! Strict regulations mean that there can be a maximum of 2 pigs per hectare of land so that they can digest the proper amount of acorns each day. The acorns contain a chemical in them known as ‘oleic acid’ which can also be found in olives, making them full of flavour.  This is why these pigs are also known as ‘olives with legs’! Purely because their fat is as healthy as extra virgin olive oil.

 

The Jamon that we serve here at The Spanish Butcher is cured for 30 months, a process that magnifies those flavours to unsurpassable levels of awesome! The longer time this ham is spent curing, the more rich and intense the flavour.

 

This treat really is the perfect starter as well as a glorious nibble with a drink at the bar!

 

For many ham lovers, this stuff is as good as good gets.

And who are we to disagree?

Head along to 80 Miller Street and try it out yourself!

 

Did you know…  Spain produces an astounding 40 million hams a year making it the biggest producer & consumer of ham in the world!

Gordon McGuire
Introducing; The Spanish Butcher

Restaurant group Rusk & Rusk are set to open the doors to their latest venture this weekend, as The Spanish Butcher arrives at 80 Miller Street in Glasgow’s bustling Merchant City.

The independent operators, who own award-winning venues The Butchershop Bar & Grill and Hutchesons Bar & Brasserie, are about to deliver another cavalier concept to the cities burgeoning restaurant scene. The 80 cover venue will continue in the same vein as its sister restaurants, with premium meats high on the agenda, this time the focus being very much as the name suggests with Spanish meat & fish taking centre stage.

With Grade 9 Galician steak, 30 month salt-cured Iberico Jamon, whole Turbot and grilled octopus on the menu, along with some of the best home-grown produce from Scotland’s larder, the emphasis is firmly on delivering a unique interpretation of steak & seafood. Group Development Chef John Molloy said: “the menu is inspired by Spanish & Mediterranean flavours, but we’ve always been champions of great ingredients grown here in Scotland, so we’ve looked where possible to merge them with the best produce from Spain."

When asked the question of why Spanish cuisine was the way forward, co-owner James Rusk told us that “We’re renowned for using the very best of Scotch steak in our restaurants, so for us, this was opportunity to showcase our passion for world class beef by introducing steak from Spain’s Galician region. The unique difference between the two is the length of time the cattle are reared, Spanish cows are considerably older than ours, by over a decade, so the flavour profile is something else altogether, and it’s very exciting to be sharing that with the people of Glasgow”.

It’s more than just the food at The Spanish Butcher, co-owners James & Louise Rusk wanted to deliver a highly stylised decor, taking inspiration from New York’s dining scene, with the end result being a mature, Manhattan loft-style vibe to the venue. To pull the vision together, Rusk & Rusk engaged the services of renowned architects Mosaic, with lead- designer Stuart Black telling us "The brief was to design a city centre venue that felt like a destination, with a real energy and freshness about it. New York has a massive history and great design language, and we’ve aimed to capture that with this project."

For the two restauranteurs behind Rusk & Rusk, the challenge of their 3rd venue has been met with a stoic belief, that Louise Rusk describes as being; “restaurants, for us, are about evoking emotion and creating memories, people not only expect great food and service, we believe our customers want to experience great spaces, so it’s pivotal that our restaurants are designed with that in mind. Whilst the best quality produce and excellent customer service are crucial components, so too are the settings in-which they’re housed”.

Over 1,000 people have already made their reservations in the first two weeks since bookings at The Spanish Butcher were officially opened. There is plenty of anticipation about The Spanish Butcher’s arrival, and with a track record of delivering excellent dining destinations, it’s sure to be a strong addition the Glasgow restaurant scene. 

Gordon McGuire