Our quest for provenance has just started

Gozo Beef T-bone Steak

As a restaurant in Gozo we constantly harp about our efforts to promote local produce and ingredients to support our menu. Some might feel that we are overstating our endeavours. At the end of the day words such as local and authentic are so regularly and loosely used. But believe us that we are seriously committed to our constant quest for provenance.

For example this morning we had an early rising to meet our local butcher. We wanted to be the first to select the few prime cuts available from the fresh beef carcass that had just arrived from the local abattoir.

Normally most establishments would never consider local beef for their menus. This would even include ourselves. But lately we have had a reckoning as we believe that there is potential in the quality of local beef from Gozo.

You see for traditional reasons local butchers purchase beef once slaughtered and sell it immediately to customers. Therefore local beef is not sufficiently dry aged to improve the tenderness and flavour profile of the meat. From one end you can’t blame the local butcher because dry aging can result in weight loss on the actual carcass they have just sourced from the farm. But from the other end consumers do not enjoy the optimum of the local beef they have just purchased. Ironically in this case, fresh does not mean that it is better.

Gozo rack of beef ribeye
Gozo rack of beef ribeye ready for dry aging

Therefore we decided to change our current modus operandi. This morning we have started what will hopefully be a regular routine by selecting the desired prime cuts from the local beef carcass and dry age them for at least 21 days. Unfortunately the dry aging process will result in us losing at least 20% on the weight of the beef we will purchase. But on the other part we will be priming local beef for our diners to indulge and enjoy.

This weekend we will be carrying out our first trial as we have our first selection of dry aged Gozo beef to go on our menu. The photo above is a T-bone cut which we plan to serve. Complimented with some anchovy butter and French mustard, rest assured that fellow meat lovers will be drooling.

Our quest for provenance might not be so straightforward and convenient, but we certainly find it satisfying and rewarding when we win the heart and belly of our customers.

Next time you decide on going out for dinner, give Maldonado Bistro a consideration. From foodies to foodies, in food we trust.