Dear Truffler: strip steaks, homemade vinegar

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Indy Lifestyle Online

On a recent holiday in Grand Cayman where the supermarkets are supplied from the US, we bought, barbecued and enjoyed New York strip steaks that were beautifully marbled and very succulent to eat. On returning home we quizzed our local butcher to no avail. Can you please tell us where this cut comes from?

On a recent holiday in Grand Cayman where the supermarkets are supplied from the US, we bought, barbecued and enjoyed New York strip steaks that were beautifully marbled and very succulent to eat. On returning home we quizzed our local butcher to no avail. Can you please tell us where this cut comes from?
Wendy Pridie, Hereford

New York strip is sirloin. You won't find US beef sold here because, unfortunately, what makes it so succulent is the hormones they feed the cattle. You're right that a marbling of fat gives steak succulence and flavour. Look for steak from a source that can tell you what breed the meat comes from, as this, along with what the cattle are fed on, determines the marbling and the flavour. Graig Farm Organics isn't far from you. It sells steaks from Herefords and Welsh Blacks, both local breeds that are fed to give them a good distribution of fat. Sirloin steaks of around 200g are £22.32 per kg. You can buy from the farm shop at Dolau, from the website: www.graigfarm.co.uk, and from Graig Farm's nearest stockist to you, Cornish Organics, New Court Mill, Bacton near Hereford (01981 241396).

Every year after Christmas, I mean to find out whether there's a way of making wine vinegar from the leftovers of all the bottles I have opened. Is there more to it than just leaving the wine to sour?
PJP Thomasson

Delia's been mocked recently for suggesting that cooks freeze leftover wine in ice-cube trays for adding to future sauces. But freezing wine seems a better bet than trying to make it into vinegar. I enlisted the help of the Womens' Institute's home economics advisor and she drew a blank. "If there was an easy way to do it we'd have found it," she said. One other source says vinegar can be made by leaving the wine in a cool, dark place for up to a year in glass jars covered with muslin. Strain and add a teaspoon of brown sugar per pint. Even this rather crude method warns that good wine won't necessarily make good vinegar. If there are other pickles and preserves you'd like to make the WI (020-7371 9300) runs a variety of short courses around the country.

E-mail truffler@independent.co.uk or write to Dear Truffler, 'The Independent', 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS. Sorry I can't reply to you all personally but I will do my best to answer your questions here.

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