Breaside Meat Market
Few people know as much about meat selection and preparation as Caroline McCann, owner of the award-winning butchery, Braeside Meat Market.
We asked her to test drive a Big Green Egg for a few weeks and give us her verdict.
What were your first impressions of the Big Green Egg?
I couldn’t wait to try out the Big Green Egg. I particularly wanted to try smoking some meat in the Egg as I’d heard great things.
What did you experiment with first?
We make our own smoked bacon at the shop and that was the first thing I attempted. I just couldn’t believe the flavours that we achieved with the Egg. There was a depth and nuance to the bacon that was unbelievably good. After that, we just went wild and tried anything and everything on the Egg.
So you would give the Egg’s smoking capability a thumbs up?
Without a doubt. We made some home-smoked pastrami and when I tasted it, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! The smoke was subtle enough to bring out the meat flavour and complex enough to really add another dimension. Everything we tried was amazing.
You used the Big Green Egg for a cooking demonstration at Taste Festival.
Yes, the Robertsons Butcher Block was a lot of fun. We supplied the meat, Robertsons brought the spices and Big Green Egg was used to cook. I did a home-made bacon smoking demo on the Egg using some Jack Daniels barrel smoking chips that Big Green Egg had recommended and the result was ridiculously divine. When we opened the lid ready to remove the bacon, the smell reached the audience and there was a collective sigh as everyone looked longingly towards the stage – I wished I’d taken a photo! We also cooked a semi-deboned chicken flattie which was so moist and the subtle smokiness was just perfection.
Are you planning to get a Big Green Egg of your own?
I’m definitely planning to get a Big Green Egg. I want one for my shop as it would be perfect for smaller scale smoking and for cooking some low and slow dishes. I want my customers to experience the flavours that can be achieved with a Big Green Egg.
Is it safe to say that you are a fan?
I just love that Big Green Egg! It’s easy to use, controllable and everything I’ve cooked has been a hit. I’m not scared to get round a braai and cook but the Big Green Egg is definitely a way for women to enjoy outdoor cooking more. You can cook your meat and vegetables at the same time and have a whole meal done with very little hassle. And the best part is that you can sit outside by a Big Green Egg, enjoy a glass of wine and not end up smelling like a bonfire as the Egg is enclosed and retains all of the heat and smoke inside.
Off topic, but how did you come to make a meat dress for Lady Gaga?
When Lady Gaga came to South Africa, the Sunday Times contacted us and said they wanted to present Lady Gaga with a meat dress made from the best South African meat. My assistant and I spent 4 hours making the dress and we made it uniquely South African with boerewors trimmings and belt.
Did Lady Gaga love it?
Yes, she and her team loved the dress, although at 30 kg’s it wasn’t something she’d be able to wear for any length of time. Afterwards, we donated the dress to Johannesburg Zoo so the carnivores got to eat some prime grade, grass fed meat that day!