Tuesday, 29 September 2009

O'Shea's: carnivore's paradise in Knightsbridge

A recent visit to the V & A gave me a good excuse to visit some interesting sounding butchers just off Brompton Road. I'd first heard of these butchers (and got a glimpse of their gorgeous shop) on a Heston Blumenthal tv programme when he was comparing cuts of beef to create the ultimate burger.

O'Shea's specialises in beef sourced from Black Angus cattle in southwest Ireland. A vast range of steak is available, including onglet, pope's eye, the triangular picanha cut, as well as the usual classics. The beef is dry aged for between 28 and 65 days and in the shop it's fascinating seeing how the appearance of the meat changes according to the ageing. An imposing rib joint aged for 65 days looked magnificent, a world away from the bright red, watery offerings on supermarket shelves. On our visit, they had a particular speciality in stock, (rose) veal bavette. This was exquisite when we enjoyed it a couple of weekends later, well seasoned with salt and pepper and simply fried; complex, tender, enlivened by a dab of Dijon mustard and deliciously partnered by a bottle of ripe, spicy, muscular Lirac from the southern Rhône.

I also bought sausages from a broad range. Ours were Italian in style, flavoured with fennel and very tasty and meaty. I was also tempted by some lamb chops. Like the beef, this was deliciously satisfying and almost melted in the mouth. What's more, these were a decent size so we only needed one each. With a bottle of claret, this was an elegant, yet easy little supper.

A visit to this shop reminds you of what shopping really should be about – beautifully presented high quality produce and welcoming, informative staff. Really special.

O'Shea's of Knightsbridge
11 Montpelier Street
London SW7 1EX
Tel 020 7581 7771

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