Sunday, September 13, 2009

If Pigs Could Fly

Yesterday I took a jaunt to Sydney's newest (and oldest) retail butcher. I knew something was different as soon as I saw the window in Queen Street Woollahra. Paintly boldly is the motto: "If Pigs Could Fly". In the window is a small whole pig with wings and in the base of the display a bed of white feathers. This is no ordinary butchers. Father and son, Vic and Anthony Puharich are suppliers to many of Sydney's finest restaurants. "The Churchill's Butchery site has been a butcher shop since 1876, so it seemed only appropriate that we opened our flagship shop there" say Anthony Puharich, CEO of Vic's Premium Quality Meat.

Anthony was kind enough to take time out of a busy Saturday to proudly yet humbly show me around the store. There's a fine range of goodies, including charcuterie, traiteur and rotisserie. Not sure if the secret's out yet but my favourite mustards and salts are also stocked there. There's even dessert.

While we were there chef and charcutier, Romeo Baudouin was producing (natural skin) sausages on the premises including Pork Toulouse.

Some of the in-store range that took my eye were Duck Confit, Veal Sweetbreads, Black Pudding, Celeriac Remoulade and Spring Lamb Navarin (recipe from Romeo Baudouin follows):

Lamb Navarin

Ragout of Lamb with mixed seasonal vegetables. Navarin comes from the French word "navet" meaning turnip. In France this lamb dish is mainly served with turnips.

1.2kg boneless lamb shoulder
2 tomatoes diced
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspon plain flour
1 Bouquet Garni
2 bunches baby carrots
200g baby turnips
1 bunch baby onions
200g French geans
300g green peas
300g baby potatoes
25g butter
1 litre chicken stock

1. Dice the lamb
2. Finely chop the garlic
3. Heat oil in a casserole dish and brown the lamb. Remove meat and drain excess fat from the meat.
4. Put meat back in the casserole dish, add flour, salt, pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.
5. Add diced tomatoes, garlic, bouquet garni and the stock. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and cook for approximately 1.5 hours on a slow heat.
6. Prepare all the vegetables, peel and blanch them separately and refresh with cold water before adding to the casserole dish.
7. Add the baby potatoes, then 5 minutes later add the turnips, carrot, onion and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the French beans and green peas at the end.
8. Serve hot in a casserole dish with fresh sourdough bread.

Victor Churchill
132 Queen Street
Woollahra NSW 2025
61 2 9328 0402


  1. Many cultures think that lamb smells 'rank' and for those, follow the above recipe but add one step: at the very beginning: put lamb into a large casserole with cold water and lots and lots of peeled ginger. Bring to the boil, immediatley take off the heat, leave to cool in the water. Remove, discard all bar the meat, then start the above recipe. The lamb 'smell' will be gone.

  2. Loooove me some lamb and goat too for that matter!!! I need to get a bunch of posts finished and up - one for a lovely goat curry. YUUUUUM! Thanks for this recipe!! Cheers! Madhatrk(Twitter)

  3. I visited their shop the other day! great to see it going oldschool but in a sleek way (if that makes sense?)

    The Rolled shoulder is a favourite amungst our customers (, perfect for slow roasting...

  4. Love lamb and such a great recipe for Autumn in Vancouver.
    I really love going to a butcher shop.
    It is mom/pop style and it just gives you a feeling of community.

  5. It is good pig cannot fly, so it can be easily chopped and make it a great tasty food. I wonder why they use that motto anyway. Hey anyway, thanks for the recipe. It's look like delicious recipe. It will be more great if you want to cook it for me. he-he. Nice. - restaurantes de madrid