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The big weekend is finally here! With the sun and warm weather starting to arrive, two whole days off work to look forward to, and plenty of chocolate eggs for children and grown-ups alike to scoff, we at Farmer’s Choice online butchers love Easter – and that’s without even getting into the delicious range of Easter recipes we’ll be cooking up using our free range meat products and fresh vegetables from the online store!

The most popular meat dish to enjoy at Easter is lamb. The tradition of Easter Sunday roast lamb is older than Easter itself, dating back to the first Jewish Passover, where the sacrificial lamb was roasted and eaten with bread and herbs. The rise of Christianity saw many Hebrews convert to this faith, bringing their traditions with them: thus when Christians began to celebrate the resurrection of Christ – the “Lamb of God” at Easter, the tradition of eating lamb remained.

Roasted Leg of lamb with Lemonand Thyme - Easter Recipe - Marie Rayner

Nowadays, people tend to think of eggs before lamb at Easter, but many families still sit down to enjoy roast lamb on Easter Sunday. This year, why not serve up our recipe for roasted leg of lamb with lemon and thyme? Use Farmer’s Choice’s whole leg of lamb and cook for two hours to enjoy an utterly sublime Easter Sunday dinner.

Time’s running out for you to place your orders for your free range meat, fresh vegetables, deli products and pantry items in time for Easter. To do so, head to the online shop, click the ‘Add to Cart’ button underneath your selected items and head to the checkout at the top right of the page.

EGGS-CELLENT! FIVE TIPS FOR MAKING PERFECT BOILED EGGS THIS EASTER

Whether you’ve won your free range lamb in the Farmer’s Choice Easter competition or purchased it from the Easter section of our online shop, you know that’s what you’re having for your big Easter dinner. But what light bites can you enjoy in the build-up to your big Easter meal? Eating chocolate eggs all day isn’t an option, you’ll feel sick and the children won’t be happy with you – so how about serving up some delicious Farmer’s Choice free range hard boiled eggs for breakfast or lunch this Easter?

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Regular Farmer’s Choice contributor Marie Rayner has come up with this handy guide to making perfect hard boiled eggs this Easter:

1. Older eggs are a lot easier to peel than newer eggs. Always use eggs that are at least one week old, if not older. If you have eggs that are close to their expiration date, so much the better!

2. Don’t let the name deceive you – boiled eggs should never actually be boiled! Keeping them at a steady simmer is much better. Boiling toughens the yolk. Never add salt to the water, but do add a touch of vinegar – it will make the eggs easier to peel.

3. Always bring your eggs to room temperature before boiling. This will make them less likely to crack.

4. Don’t stack your eggs in the pot. Have them laid out in one layer. If you have too many eggs to do this with, you need a larger pot! You only need about 1 inch of water over the top of the eggs. More than that and it takes too long to boil. Less than that and your eggs won’t stay covered.

5. As soon as your water comes to the boil, remove your pot from the heat, pop a lid on and let them sit in the boiling water for 17 minutes if you’re using large eggs, and 20 minutes if you’re using jumbo eggs. At the end of that time, drain and then run cold water over them until they are cooled down. Let them sit in cold water for about 10 minutes and then drain. For ease of peeling, roll them around and allow the shells to crack while they are still in the water. Let them sit for a few minutes.

For ease in peeling it helps to use older eggs and to begin peeling at the large end of the egg under cold running water. I usually tap the large end on the counter until it cracks, then give the egg a gentle roll all over before peeling them under a slow running tap. You will get perfect results almost 100% of the time.

For truly delicious hard boiled eggs this Easter, make sure you use Farmer’s Choice free range eggs from Swanmore, Hampshire. High in protein and low in saturated fat, these delicious eggs make a perfect prelude to a hearty Easter lamb dinner, courtesy of Farmer’s Choice online butcher!

 

Easter is coming, and with it a lovely long bank holiday weekend! This gives us the chance to relax and unwind with friends and family, and what better way to do that than to enjoy a delicious dinner together on Easter Sunday? And what better meal to serve this Easter Sunday than a sumptuous Farmer’s Choice lamb dinner?

This Easter, in addition to our range of Easter products and Easter recipes, we at Farmer’s Choice online butchers are giving our customers the chance to win the BRAND NEW Easter lamb pack worth £39, free of charge. It contains everything you’ll need to serve up a lamb feast on Easter Sunday: one Farmer’s Choice leg of lamb, plus broccoli, cabbage, onions, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots and mint sauce.

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All you have to do to win this fantastic prize is head over to English Mum, and tell her in a comment what your favourite Easter treat is. Could it be something you’ve cooked on the barbecue to celebrate the sun coming out again? A secret egg you purchased for yourself when buying the children’s? Leftover lamb sandwiches on Bank Holiday Monday? Or is it the main event and the prize on offer here, the delicious leg of lamb with loads of fresh vegetables?
To DOUBLE your chances of winning, simply like Farmer’s Choice Free Range on Facebook, and to TRIPLE them, follow Farmer’s Choice on Twitter! Not only can you improve your chances of winning (just make sure you let English Mum know you’ve liked and followed in a comment), but you’ll get regular updates on the latest news, new products and special offers from Farmer’s Choice.
So, what are you waiting for? The competition ends at 9am on Monday 14th April, so get commenting, liking and following. You could be celebrating Easter with a lovely lamb feast free of charge, courtesy of Farmer’s Choice!

Pancake Day is almost upon us! Whether it’s circled on your calendar months beforehand or you’re surprised to find out it’s the big day and find yourself rushing around looking for ingredients before they sell out, everybody’s a fan of Shrove Tuesday.

Pancake Day occurs yearly on the Tuesday of the seventh week before Easter, and is traditionally celebrated as pancakes are a perfect way to use up foods such as sugar, eggs and milk before the fasting season of lent. Here in the UK, the day was once a “half-holiday.” Church bells would ring at eleven o’clock in the morning to signal the beginning of the holiday and to remind housewives to begin preparing their pancake batter, and was thus known as the “pancake bell.” It was once believed that the first three pancakes prepared were sacred – these pancakes were marked with a cross and put to one side to ward off evil spirits, and in the Midlands, it was thought that given the first pancake made to the chickens would ensure their fertility for the next year. The biggest pancake in history was made in Rochdale in 1994 – it was fifteen metres in diameter and weighed three tonnes. Tasty!

This year at Farmer’s Choice, we’re not feeding our pancakes to the chickens and we’re not too worried about evil spirits, nor are we having a pancake race. We’re celebrating Pancake Day with two brand new pancake recipes from Marie Rayner:

Bacon and Polenta Pancakes
This delicious recipe uses polenta to create a thicker, more robust pancake, in which the batter is mixed with tasty Farmer’s Choice free range bacon and cooked to perfection, before being liberally drizzled with yummy maple syrup and butter. Just as good served for breakfast as for dessert on Pancake Day, this recipe is sure to leave you wanting more.

Bacon and Polenta Pancakes Recipefor Pancake Day - Marie Rayner

Big Breakfast Supper Waffles
If you have a waffle iron, pour in your pancake batter and create this recipe for an indulgent Pancake Day breakfast with bacon, eggs, tomatoes and plenty of tasty cheese. If not, simply make regular pancakes – it’ll still be a delicious, filling breakfast for all the family to kick off Pancake Day.

Big Breakfast Supper Waffles -Pancake Day Recipe - Marie Rayner

These Pancake Day recipes are slightly on the unorthodox side, and of course there’s always the option of simply serving up the classic pancake recipe on the big day. Elegant in its simplicity and wonderfully cheap to make, all you need is flour, sugar, milk, butter and eggs, plus whichever of the endless topping options you choose. For best results, use our free range eggs from Swanmore, Hampshire for your batter. For your toppings, try our fruits and berries, cheeses, and either our dry cured or oak smoked bacon – the choice is endless!

Pancake Day this year is on Tuesday, March 4 – so you’ve no time to lose. Make sure you’ve ordered all of your products from Farmer’s Choice in time for the big day!

FOUR ROMANTIC RECIPES FOR VALENTINE’S DAY FROM FARMER’S CHOICE

Valentine’s Day is the traditional time of year to express our adoration for that special someone in our lives. Many couples choose to eat out for their Valentine’s Day dinner, but we at Farmer’s Choice think this is all-advised. Restaurants on Valentine’s Day are packed, expensive, and eager to rush you out and get the next customers in. A much better expression of love is to make something for your partner – and what better way to do that than serving up a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner made from Farmer’s Choice’s delicious, healthy and affordable range of free range meat products, seafood, vegetables, and deli products?

Cooking up a free range feast requires a lot of planning: do you keep it a surprise or tell your partner? What drinks will you serve? What music will you play? Well leave those decisions up to you, but we can help with the most important of all: what will you serve? At Farmer’s Choice free range, we’ve got a Valentine’s Day recipe for everybody.

Cook the Perfect Steak
Steak is a fairly safe bet for Valentine’s Day – but many people think the process of cooking a steak is easy and don’t pay it enough attention, resulting in a steak that hasn’t been cooked to its full potential. This recipe from Marie Rayner advises readers on how to cook the perfect steak for a perfect Valentine’s Day. Simply select a steak to cook from our range of beef steaks and choose which delicious fresh vegetables to serve it with from our greengrocery.

Gammon Steaks with a Tangy Gherkin Sauce
Add a touch of class to another regular staple of the meat-eater’s diet by serving up this unique gammon dish. Forgo the fried egg and pineapple which, while delicious, says “Friday night in February,” and make a delicious tangy gherkin sauce, which says “special, romantic, magical evening.” For best results, you’ll need a delicious free range Farmer’s Choice gammon steak.

Port and Cherry Sauced Pork Cutlets
With the port and cherry sauce, which also contains raspberry jam, imbuing your free range Farmer’s Choice pork tenderloin with that lovely deep shade of red that goes hand-in-hand with the occasion, this is a perfect dish for Valentine’s Day.

Teriyaki Cod with Wasabi Mash
Few things will impress your partner more than surprising her with this unique Valentine’s Day dish. Much easier to prepare than it sounds, the wasabi mash will certainly spice up the evening.

These are just four examples of simple, delicious, healthy and affordable meals to be cooked for Valentine’s Day using Farmer’s Choice free range products. If they don’t take your fancy, head to our recipes page, where there are dozens more easy-to-follow recipes to wow your woman or charm your chap using delicious free range goods from the Farmer’s Choice shop.

Roses are red, violets are blue, we love free range food, and so should you – celebrate Valentine’s Day this year with Farmer’s Choice!

Here at Farmer’s Choice free range butchers, we believe that the best way to see in the New Year is surrounded by friends, family, and free range treats! Whatever you’re doing to see in 2014, Farmer’s Choice meat packs, vegetable packs and condiment and sauce packs ensure that your New Year’s food will leave your guests well fed by the time midnight comes.

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Farmer’s Choice’s set packs are perfect for feeding the guests at a New Year’s Eve party. The family essentials meat pack comes in small, medium and large varieties and contains a range of meat cuts, from cuts small enough to skewer on kebabs to a large topside beef joint, perfect for a New Year’s dinner party. We also offer small, medium and large vegetable packs with all the vegetable products you’ll need, whatever you’re serving your guests. If you’re looking to put together a stew for your New Year’s party, we have the winter stew vegetable pack, offering leeks, swede, onions, parsnips, carrots and turnips, perfect to combine with your meat products to create a delicious warming stew. Try our cooking sauce and curry lovers packs to imbue your chosen products with a range of fantastic flavours.

If you’re stuck for something to cook up for a New Year’s do, why not visit our recipes page? We’ve dozens of recipes for you to choose from, all of which are guaranteed to make mouths water, whether you’re sitting down to enjoy a New Year’s Eve meal, munching on nibbles with your champagne as you toast in the New Year, or need something simple as you nurse a sore head in the first morning of 2014. Whether you want to serve up simple nibbles such as BBQ turkey kebabs or wow your guests with something along the lines of the pan fried lamb fillet, we have a recipe for every kind of occasion.

 

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These delicious free range food packs from Farmer’s Choice aren’t just perfect for a New Year’s party – they’ll provide delicious, sustainably sourced, free range meat and vegetables all year round. If you’ve never used us before, make it your New Year’s resolution to go for a food pack from Farmer’s Choice in 2014. You won’t regret it!

Merry Christmas! Yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year, so deck the halls and let it snow, because ‘tis the season to be jolly and here at Farmer’s Choice free range butchers, our range of festive Christmas food, Christmas hampers, Christmas recipes and Christmas competitions is making us feel very…Christmassy!

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Christmas is the time of year when we can all indulge ourselves guilt-free, and Farmer’s Choice is the option to go for if you’re wishing to buy Christmas food online and fill up on festive free range meat and poultry this year. We offer Christmas hampers with a range of meats accompanying turkeys of all sizes (or if you feel like breaking tradition this year, duck, goose, three-bird roast, capon chicken, or turkey crown), so whether you’re feeding four, fourteen or forty this Christmas, you won’t be caught short. Our hamper selection also includes the Christmas Essentials pack, which offers all the vegetables necessary for Christmas dinner, and a cheese selection and platter pack – perfect for enjoying on the evening of Christmas Day, or indeed for a cold Boxing Day lunch.

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Ah, Boxing Day lunch! Boxing Day lunch gives one the opportunity to pick and choose their favourite parts of Christmas dinner, put it in a sandwich and add all the condiments they wish, without the disapproving frown of a distant aunt tutting at your overindulgence. In addition to the cheese and platter pack, we provide a pantry pack offering a wealth of sauces, chutneys, dressings and condiments to compliment all that cold turkey and stuffing.

If you need a hand cooking the family’s Christmas dinner this year, or are looking to feed them something slightly unorthodox, then check out our recipes page. Here, you’ll find full instructions for giving Christmas turkey a spicy, exotic twist with A Not So Traditional Turkey Dinner, or keeping it slightly more traditional with Turkey Breast with Herb Stuffing and Gravy, Christmas Chestnut and Pork Stuffing Balls, or Glazed and Spiced Christmas Gammon.

We’re even looking to provide one lucky user with a rather generous Farmer’s Choice Christmas gift by way of our Christmas competition. Head over to Feeding Boys and a Firefighter for more information – all you have to do is leave a blog post comment, with bonus entries to be earned. Enter now for your chance to win this delicious selection of Farmer’s Choice free range treats!

As you can see, there’s something for everyone at Farmer’s Choice this Christmas – whether you’re most looking forward to cooking the feast or eating your body weight in delicious Christmas food. There’s no Christmas like a Farmer’s Choice Christmas, so head on over to our shop page and start putting your festive feast together today!

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