Nose to tail eating

We believe that nose to tail eating is a way to appreciate the animal that has lived its live for us to enjoy its precious meat, so we might as well stretch it as far as we can. Fergus Henderson’s chef at St. John Restaurant and author of the book the Whole beast: Nose to tail eating, is one of the pioneers of this growing trend. More and more fine dining chefs are climbing on board, and they are now the ambassadors for this previously discarded, and normally considered undesirable cuts of meat. We also encourage our friends to be more adventurous and try the uncommon cuts if they are available at their favourite eatery. With the renowned chefs taking the lead and making these cuts looking sexy, the public has embraced these selections with open arms.

We had a confit fried lamb’s heart salad on the menu for a while at Dutch East Restaurant and the feedback was amazing. Most guests that had this dish asked for the recipe and said that they will love to try this at home.

The deboned lamb head tourchon was a hit with the South African people.

Most people will try this type of cuts if it’s all dressed up by a renowned chef or restaurant, and this helps people to warm up to these unique flavoursome cuts. We all will think about making it at home or at least try to replicate the dish that we had.

Lamb heart, pigs cheeks, pork belly, pork trotter, calves liver, sweetbreads is just a few that I saw available on upmarket restaurant menu’s.

Beef ribs, beef brisket, lamb ribs, lamb tails has established itself already as firm favourites among consumers. This is where the personalized butchers come into the picture again. It is great if your butcher can advice you to try cheaper cuts and helping you to choose a  better cut for your recipe. But the best way is to butcher at home, then all this wonderful and flavorful cuts will become available for you to experiment with and too enjoy.

The best braising steaks and cuts might also be very good on a braai or in smoker.  Go out and embrace the nose to tail eating culture, you will be surpriced!!



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  1. April Smestad


    I want to ask, if beef tail is basically considered “ox tail” and is it worth messing with? We raise , butcher and sell a small number of beef each year. Being a die hard Andrew Zimmern fan and the fact I do not like wasting meat , had started experimenting with more unconventional “parts” . Tongue was first, and found it to be VERY nice. I do not agree with cooking it with the skin on as I believe it creates a foul taste…I skin it before hand and the flavors come alive. Second was heart…great stuff, deer heart too most any. Third was cutting the cheeks out of the face….very good meat there too. So I was thinking about your opinion about the tail?

    • Hi April
      Ox tail or beef tail is a very prized cut in South Africa. Its one of the best braising and stewing meats there is. I would highly recommend going after the tail. There are endless ways of cooking ox tail. Ox tail is the most popular cut used in the traditional South African Potjie kos dish.

      Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.


  2. Jean

    Awesome to see Dutch East embracing the “whole” picture…
    Deboned pig’s head rolled up and cooked sous-vide… Heaven.

    Keep the posts coming!

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