Sagardi celebrates 15th Txuleton gastronomic season with a special menu
As the wonderful festive season unfolds, with it comes the Txuleton Gastronomic Season at Sagardi, the Basque Country’s annual celebration of this beloved and culturally important meat.
This year the celebration is special because it’s the 15th anniversary of this not-to-be-missed event for meat-lovers, which has become internationally renowned, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Sagardi group.
This three-week gastronomic festival pays homage to the Basque Txuleton, the Basque grill and the classic Tolosaldea Menu, with the hand-peeled and wood-roasted piquillo peppers and of course, the simple yet intense black beans from Tolosa.
In celebration of this special culinary event, Sagardi is launching a delectable Tolosaldea menu from Wednesday 20th November while stocks last. For this occasion, renowned artist Mikel Urmeneta has produced a typical drawing inspired by the Pamplona bullfights.
Named after the small city where the famous Tolosa black bean is grown, the Tolosaldea menu also showcases the renowned Rubia Gallega Txuleton matured beef, carefully selected by Sagardi’s butcher Imanol Jaca.
These cows have been raised by the last rural farmers for more than ten years; fed turnips, greens and carrots from their own land, in addition to their natural grazing. The result is red meat with clean notes of soil, milk and pastures – flavours that are persistent and keep us coming back for more, without saturating the taste buds.
The quality of the Txuleton is supreme. The secret to exceptional meat lies in giving the animals totally natural feed and exquisite care from the day they are born. These factors create a marbled, streaky piece of meat covered with a natural layer of fat with aromas of grass and fresh wheat.
Sagardi proudly say they don’t believe in long ageing periods. Following Basque tradition, meat can be aged between two and five weeks, depending on the quality, size and type of fat. The main objective of this process is allowing for the muscles to relax, letting the superficial and infiltrated fats blend into the meat, and enabling the natural chemical processes to take place. This process is done on-site in cold, ventilated meat maturation chambers, between 10 and 30 degrees Celsius and 70% humidity. This creates a healthy, clean, naturally flavoured meat. All in all, a noble gastronomic product.
The meat is then cooked on the Basque grill. With its own unique design, this grill is a basic part of prestigious Basque cuisine. The steaks, which range from one to three kilos each, are grilled over oak hardwood to get the hottest coals, with coarse sea salt to seal the meat and let the fat and juices inside confit, in keeping with tradition.
As the butcher says: “The Basque are the only people in the world who grill 18-year-old cows with limitless fat, and have done for the last 100 years. Our culture with these cows is similar to that of Tuna in Japan.”
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Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
To book a table at Sagardi, 95 Curtain Road London EC2A 3BS, call 020 3802 0478 or visit their website here.