I’m on a mission to find out which London butcher has the best T-Bone steak. This week I check out McKanna meats in Holborn.
After a lengthy gap in the T-Bone Tour, I finally got back to trying to find the best T-Bone steak in London. McKanna meats had come recommended by a couple of followers on the Steak Society Facebook page, so I had to check it out.
Confusingly, the butcher shop also seems to be called Theobalds with McKanna meats being the trading name of the butcher. I walked in and immediately noticed a large cut of T-Bone on the counter. The butcher told me it was Longhorn beef and aged for about 30 days.
I have to admit, I was thrilled to finally find a London butcher that was selling Longhorn beef. I’ve made trips out to the Ginger Pig and Turner and George, which sometimes have Longhorn, but they’ve never had it available at the time. The Longhorn is one of my favourite breeds and I’ve never had a bad steak from a Longhorn cow.
I asked for a kilogram and anxiously watched as the butcher weighed it to see the price (nervous that it’d be pricey due to the location of the butcher and the breed). I got 1.05kg for just over £22! (£21 per kg). This is a very decent price.
What is Longhorn?
The Longhorn is a special breed from Craven in northern England and is the result of breeding programme during the 18th Century that crossed horned Heifers with Westmoreland bulls. The breed fell on tough times from late 18th Century through to the 1980s and almost went extinct. Thankfully the breed was rescued by the rare breeds survival trust and has now recovered.
The Longhorn cows are distinguished by their long horns that typically curve inward. These horns give the impression that the breed is dangerous or aggressive, whereas Longhorn cows are actually calm and docile. This breed is also distinguished by its white and brown colouring with a white marking that runs down the length of their back and down through the tail.
Longhorn beef is highly marbled and produces a succulent and tasty steak.
McKanna’s Longhorn steak
I cooked the steak on maximum heat for 3 minutes each side for a rare steak and rested it for about 10 minutes. The beef was soft and almost fell apart as I cooked it.
The T-bone was excellent. The sirloin was tender and beefy and had pockets of rich succulence whereas the fillet simply melted in my mouth. This was an exceptionally good piece of beef especially considering how cheap it was.
The Longhorn T-Bone was one of the best of the T-Bone tour. It was also the first Longhorn steak and one of the cheapest steaks despite the butcher being located in Holborn. This puts McKanna into third place with the full leader board visible below.
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