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Tom Hixson x Leiths School of Food and Wine

Tom Hixson x Leiths School of Food and Wine

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 15:59:22 Europe/London

Choosing Quality Cuts for Winter Warmers by Leiths School of Food and Wine

At Leiths, we always make sure that we use the best ingredients available to us because we know that it makes all
the difference to the finished dish.

Our Diploma students start by learning classical French techniques, to give them a solid foundation of skills. As they progress through the course, they develop their own unique styles as culinary professionals; taking cuisines,
seasonality and new trends into account as they cook.

The School (in West London) was founded by Prue Leith and Caroline Waldegrave in 1975 and, since then, our ethos hasn’t changed. It’s all about cooking unfussy, truly delicious food with quality ingredients.
So, you’ll understand why we jumped at the opportunity to work with Tom Hixson of Smithfield on our butchery masterclass, which you can attend on 8th December!

When cooking with meat it’s crucially important, now more than ever, to ensure that you’re selecting quality cuts
and making the most of them.

What we love about Tom Hixson of Smithfield is the amount of choice on offer, but sometimes it’s hard to know what’s best for certain dishes. At this time of year, it’s all about stewing, casseroling and braising meat, which is why we’ve put together a little winter guide to steer you in the right direction.

Which cuts to choose
The team at Tom Hixson are professionals in this field, so you should never be frightened to ask them for advice
when selecting meat. They’ll be more than happy to advise on cuts and cooking.

As a rule, the tender cuts of meat (fillet and rib) are most suited to frying, quick-roasting or grilling. Less tender cuts (neck and chin) are most suited to slow-cooking, braising or stewing. Either way, it’s important to have a layer of fat or marbling, as this gives the meat a much better flavour and offers increased tenderness when cooked.

Chuck & Blade – This cut is often sold as braising steak, a little tenderer than stewing steak, and can be ideally used in casseroles, stews and for braising. Blade steak is also sometimes known as ‘flatiron steak’.

Oxtail – One of the most flavoursome and inexpensive cuts of beef. Oxtail is most often sold cut into individual
vertebra. Long and slow braising will release their excellent, rich flavour.

Thick Flank – This joint is also known as ‘top rump’ and is good for slow roasting as a joint or braised in pieces.

Leg  Shin – Generally sold as stewing steak, it is best used for long, slow cooking to break down the high proportion of connective tissues and denser fibres. It also makes for brilliant thick sauces and gravy.

Brisket – Usually sold ‘boned and rolled’, and sometimes salted, this joint is suitable for slow cooking or pot roasting.

Thick Rib – Typically sold as braising steak. This cut is somewhat tenderer than stewing steak and is ideal for use in casseroles, stews and for braising.

Clod – This is an economical cut that is flavourful but much less tender. Cut from the middle of the shoulder, this is usually sold as stewing steak or used in burgers. Clod is suitable for slow cooking in stews.

Neck – This cut is generally sold as stewing steak. Long and slow cooking will release a good flavour and produce a very tasty gravy or sauce.

Popeseye – A very tender steak, which cooks very quickly as it is a relatively thin cut. However, it’s a great option if browned quickly and used in a casserole or as a tasty savoury ingred.ient in a meat pie.

We hope these tips will help you when you’re browsing through the wonderful options on the Tom Hixson website.  Happy stewing and, if you need any help with those all important cookery skills, check out our calendar of classes and courses at!

Written by Lily Grouse


WIN a place on the Leith’s Butchery Course where you will #BrushUpYourButchery skills. All meat is supplied by Tom Hixson of Smithfield which means there will also be plenty of delicious meat to eat and take home. 


1. Subscribe to the Leiths school of food and wine here

2. Follow Tom Hixson of Smithfield and Leiths on Instagram - @tomhixsonmeatlondon and @leithscooking

3.  Share a photo on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter of a meaty dish you’ve cooked and are proud of by tagging Tom Hixson’s and Leiths and using the hashtag #BrushUpYourButchery. 


The winner must be available to on December 8th 2018 to attend the class.

Entries close 22nd November. The winner will be announced on Friday 23rd November.

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Posted in Foodie News By

Sally Hixson

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