David - Flinders + Co's Founder
Tell us a bit about you!
2010 was time for a change, and it seemed moving the family to a small island in the middle of Bass Strait, farming lamb and processing meat was the result. From those early days the business continued to grow, with James, door-knocking at top-end restaurants with a cooler bag of samples, and the rest, as they say, is history. We soon outgrew Flinders Island but I continue to be passionate about all aspects of the meat industry.
How do you select which producers you work with?
Brands that are iconically Australian and partnerships that align with what the Market stands for - high quality, local produce, food provenance and environmental sustainability.
What made you decide to open a retail store and why did you choose South Melbourne Market?
We had been getting the same enquiries from chefs and restaurants, wanting to buy our product for personal use. Then we also had public requests from those dedicated foodies who wanted access to high quality meat. And it was that home cooking foodie home that we felt was represented by the South Melbourne Market customer, they would truly appreciate access to a range of premium meat. Then of course the market is in our own backyard, and it is important to us to support and grow local business where we can.
What differentiates you/is your point of difference from other butchers?
Our relationships we have created with quality suppliers showcasing premium Australian brands.
What is your favourite cut of meat and the best way to cook it?
There's nothing like a juicy eye fillet, I like how I can easily to cook it on the BBQ! What I love about cooking the eye fillet, is that you can also save money by purchasing a whole eye fillet (or Tenderloin) for the family, then cut it to your desired thickness portions or cook as a roast. We have a helpful page on our site with tips on preparing it…
But the key things to remember when working with a whole eye filet are:
- Pat the whole piece dry with a paper towel
- Remove the silver skin – this is a tough and chewy connective tissue which will not help the eating experience.
- You can then roast the whole piece or make individual portions – be aware that if roasting whole, the tapered end of the roast means the meat will cook unevenly, so it is best to tie your roast into an even shape. On our eye filet information page we even show you how to truss the roast.
- Be sure to season and cook to your preferred done-ness. To make things even easier, we are now selling The Meat Stick at our stall, it is a marvelous kitchen tool, the thermometer has its own app which will help you set the correct cooking time for your meat, every time.
Have a look at Flinders + Co expert way to prepare eye fillet at home here
Joe - Flinders + Co Store Manager
How are you finding working at the Market?
I have found the South Melbourne Market very welcoming, it’s a great place to work, always busy and something is going on. I have had great satisfaction setting up and running the stall since we opened in May.
Best selling item is Black Opal Wagyu – Thin Slice Short Rib with a high marbling scoring of 9, these come in beautifully presented handy trays, we can’t keep up with demand.
Do you have any tips for storing fresh meat at home?
It’s really easy, if you are planning to cook it within the next 2 days, just take out of the plastic packaging, keep in an airtight container to maintain maximum freshness. When you go to cook the meat, bring it to room temperature before hand, around 30 - 45 mins, depending on the size of the cut.
What is your best-kept secret?
My favourite and a very surprisingly delicious cut is Oxtail, it is versatile and so underrated, perfect for slow cooking and soups, especially over these colder months.
What would be your desert island dish – if you could only take one dish to a desert island, what would it be?
I’d take something that would comfort me and keep my energy levels up, Pure Black Agus Ribeye Steak, add some chips and that’s a classic Aussie cook up there.