Just a decade ago, a steakhouse in the tiny village of Axpe, in the Basque province of Bizkaia, surprisingly slipped into The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. With self-taught chef Bittor Arginzoniz at the helm, Etxebarri demonstrated that the first cooking technique known to man, fire, was making a major comeback.
Since then, grills have become part of haute cuisine all over the world. This has also happened in Ibiza, where the combination of outdoor grilling and the best cuts of meat is an unbeatable formula. Fire away!
SUSTAINABLE, LOCALLY SOURCED MEAT
If just a few years ago the idea was to curb meat consumption, now the tables have turned. The promotion of grilling as a primitive but infallible technique has gone hand in hand with the message of “less meat, but better quality”. In the case of Ibiza, this means highlighting the value of traditional native breeds. Formentera and Ibiza’s porc negre is the local pork that, when grilled, provides the chance to ap- preciate the contrast between its juicy meat and crispy skin.
Ibizan lamb is also a (very) local breed – one of the animals that best represents the island’s traditional live-stock farming model. The lambs’ free-range rearing and pasture-based feeding determine the flavour of their meat.
And we mustn’t forget the local chicken, which is raised naturally and free range, making its meat very healthy. When it’s grilled, it tastes like Sunday at the beach!
THE BEST CUTS IN THE WORLD
Beyond the local breeds, Ibiza is a great place to enjoy the best meats on the planet. In the island’s restaurants the grills are brushed up to perfection so their flames are ready to caress delicacies such as T-bone and tomahawk steaks, as well as cuts from pedigree breeds such as Simmental, Hereford, Friesian and the exclusive Japanese Wagyu – you’ll find them all in the best butchers’ shops on the island. In the end, this is what real luxury is: the best possible grilled product. As simple as it is foolproof.
A 30-day T-bone steak?
Dry ageing is in fashion. It is achieved by blending and maturing the best meat.
- The cuts must be maintained at a constant temperature and humidity.
- The aim is to break down the fibres of the meat to achieve a much more tender texture.
- As the water content reduces, the flavours and aromas of the meat are enhanced.
- The maturing period usually ranges between 30 and 45 days.
- ‘Extreme’ ageing means more than one year. It is only suitable for thrill-seekers.