Anni’s Pølsemakeri is the best butcher shop in Oslo. At least it’s my favorite, and very conveniently located in the food court Mathallen. I used to go to Strøm-Larsen at Torshov before Anni’s Pølsemakeri came to town. Strøm-Larsen is still a nice place, and a good butcher, but Anni’s is more of a mom-and-pop store. Or rather a mom-and-son store. Anni Byskov usually resides at the actual butchery in Ringebu, while her son Daniel runs the shop in Oslo.
Anni’s Pølsemakeri is the place you wanna go for the best sausages in town, obviously, or really high-quality burgers à la Heston Blumenthal. To make the Heston-burger Daniel mixes the perfect amount of meat and fat, which he carefully grinds while making sure to align the strings of meat. He then rolls it tightly, wraps it in plastic like a big sausage and freezes it. The next day it’s easy to cut the sausage into round discs. Burger perfection, ready for you to slap on the grill.
If Daniel isn’t working you might find one of his trusted employees behind the counter. They’ll always be able to help you with special requests, whether you are looking for horse meat, rabbit, sweetbread, oxtails, pork cheeks, dry aged meats or even the legendary Kobe beef at some occasions.
I recently picked up a piece of 120 days dry aged entrecôte at Anni’s Pølsemakeri. Here are a few tips on how I prepared it and served it with a simple béarnaise sauce.
Leave the meat out of the fridge for a few hours. Ideally, you want it to reach room temperature. Cut it into 2-3 cm thick pieces. This allows you to apply enough heat to the meat to obtain the Maillard effect – the caramelization of the meat’s surface – without cooking it all the way through.
Drizzle some neutral oil like rapeseed over the beefs. Rub with a good amount of salt. Set your pan to medium high-temperature, and use either neutral oils or clarified butter to fry (or a mix). Fry the beefs for 2 minutes on each side. Take the meat off the heat, and leave it to rest for 5 minutes. Set your oven to 180 degrees C. Cook the beefs for about 6 to 8 minutes (depends on the thickness) or until a thermometer says 52 degrees C in the core. Once again leave them to rest for at least 5-10 minutes before you serve. Apply freshly ground pepper over the entrecôte.
The Béarnaise Sauce
- 500g butter, unsalted
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 shallot
- 1 dl white wine
- 1/2 dl white wine vinegar
- fresh tarragon
- 1 medium plant fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 handful salt & pepper
Melt the 500g of unsalted butter on low heat in a pot. Set aside, but try to keep somewhat warm. In another pot on medium heat; add shallots, 1/4 of the tarragon and the sprigs, white wine, white wine vinegar and 4-5 twists of ground pepper. Cook until 1 tbsp of liquid remains, then sift through a strainer to remove the herbs and onions. Allow the liquid to cool while you ready a water bath. Bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat completely.
In a glass bowl that can be lowered slightly into the water, add the egg yolks and the concentrated liquid. Start whisking. A big heavy whisk is preferable. You want a good foamy consistency before you start pouring the melted butter very slowly into the mixture. Whisk heavily. Start with a few drops of butter, then add more when you are comfortable. It may take a bit of butter and some time for the temperature of the egg yolks to rise in order for the emulsion process to start properly. As long as you do it slowly, it should work out fine. Once all butter is added and you’ve whisked it together to a thick sauce, add the 3/4 of the chopped tarragon and all the chopped parsley. Add salt to taste.
Leave the sauce in the bowl immersed in water to keep it warm, but pay attention to the temperature to make sure the emulsion doesn’t start to break. If it does; quickly add some drops of cold water and whisk heavily.
How do you cook a perfect beef? Feel free to leave a comment below.