Festive Recipes

Just a few alternatives for that festive table.

Cranberry Glazed Roast Beef with Mulled Wine Gravy and Yorkshire Puddings

cranberry-glased-roast-beef

Ingredients:

  • Sirloin Beef Joint (you can also use rib or topside joints)
  • Shallots or small red onions x 8
  • Cranberry Sauce 75g
  • Mulled Wine 1 pt
  • Beef Stock 300ml
  • Gravy Granules

For the Yorkshires:

Allow 100g – 175g of raw meat per person for boneless joints and 225g – 350g for bone-in joints. – (Gas mark 4 – 5, 180ºC, 350ºF)

Time to cook: Rare – 20 mins per 450g plus 20 mins, Medium – 25 mins per 450g plus 25 mins, Well Done – 30 mins per 450g plus 30 mins.

Method:

Take the beef sirloin joint and place onto a rack in a roasting tin and open roast in a preheated oven. 50 mins before the end of the cooking time place 8 shallots or red onions, peeled and left whole, into the pan and return to the oven.

Meanwhile make the Yorkshire pudding batter. In a bowl mix together flour with the eggs, then add milk and whisk until smooth. Add 1 chopped red onion and the fresh thyme and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the glaze for the beef mix together 45ml cranberry sauce with 45ml mulled wine. Brush over the beef during the last 15 mins of cooking time. Once cooked wrap the beef loosely in foil and allow to rest. Increase the oven temperature (gas mark 7, 220ºC, 425ºF), Divide 30ml oil between 12 small Yorkshire pudding tins and heat in the oven for 5 – 10 mins. Pour the batter into the heated tin and cook for 20 – 25 mins until well risen and golden.

To make the gravy add 300ml hot beef stock to the roasting tin and stir to mix with any meat juices. Drain off any excess fat and transfer to a saucepan. Add 150ml mulled wine and 30ml cranberry sauce. Bring to the boil for 5 – 10 mins, add 15ml gravy granules and stir until thickened.

Roast Loin of Pork with Bacon, Black Pudding and Cranberry Stuffing with Rum soaked Apples

roast-loin-pork

Ingredients:

For the Stuffing:

For the Apples:

  • Eating Apples
  • Lemon
  • Rum
  • Ground Ginger

Allow 100g – 175g of raw meat per person for boneless joints and 225g – 350g for bone-in joints. (Gas mark 4 – 5, 180ºC, 350ºF)

Time to cook: Medium – 30 mins per 450g plus 30 mins, Well Done – 35 mins per 450g plus 35 mins.

Method:

To make the rum soaked apples cut 2 – 3 eating apples in half or into thick slices and remove any pips. Rub the cut surfaces with a little lemon juice and place into a dish. Pour over 150ml rum and add a pinch of ground ginger. Cover and leave to soak for as long as possible or overnight ensuring the cut surfaces are immersed in the rum.

Take a pork loin or leg joint and dry the rind, score and rub with 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp salt mixed with 1 tsp ground ginger. Place on a rack in a roasting tin and open roast in a preheated oven.

For the stuffing, mix together sausagemeat, chopped bacon, chopped black pudding, fresh breadcrumbs, chopped cranberries and chopped onion. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Shape into 12 – 15 balls and cook alongside the pork for 20 – 25 mins until cooked through. Add the apples to the oven for the last 10 – 15 mins of cooking time, place around the pork.

and last but not least

Spiced Rack of Lamb with Roasted Red Cabbage

rack-of-lamb

Ingredients:

For the Red Cabbage:

  • Red Cabbage 450g finely shredded
  • Onion 1 sliced
  • Eating Apples 2 peeled, cored and chopped
  • Orange zest and juice (1 orange)
  • Orange Marmalade 2 tbsp
  • Red Wine Vinegar, 3 tbsp
  • Cinnamon ½ tsp
  • All Spice ½ tsp
  • Pinch Nutmeg
  • Butter 1oz

Allow 2-3 cutlets per person. – (Gas mark 4 – 5, 180ºC, 350ºF)

Time to cook: Medium – 25 mins per 450g plus 25 mins, Well Done – 30 mins per 450g plus 30 mins.

Method:

Place the red cabbage, onion, apples,  zest and juice of the orange, orange marmalade, red wine vinegar, cinnamon, all spice and pinch of nutmeg into a roasting tray or large ovenproof dish. Mix well and dot with butter, cover with foil and roast for approximately 1½ hours, stirring halfway through until the cabbage is tender.

Take the rack of lamb and calculate the cooking time. Make slits into the lamb and stuff with the zest of 2 oranges. Place onto a rack in a roasting tray and open roast.

To make the spiced butter, mix together 20z butter with 1tsp cinnamon and 2 tsp all spice.

During the last 20 mins of cooking time spread the butter over the lamb and return to the oven for remaining cooking time.

 

February – What’s in Season?

It may be wet, windy and cold outside but fresh in from the veg patch is nothing but colour.  This months’ fresh produce is just full of yellows, oranges, purples and reds, it’s enough to will the sunshine back!

Season Citrus Fruit from Outside the UK

Seasonal Citrus Fruit from Outside the UK

The list of what’s good right now, from Farmer’s Choice, is surprisingly long:

Vegetables

Bananas*, Blood Oranges*, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage (red, white, green and Savoy), Cavolo Nero and Curly Kale, Celeriac, Chicory, Leeks, Lemons*, Limes*, Onions, Oranges*, Parsnips, Pineapple*, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Satsumas, Spring Greens, Swede

*In Season but not grown in the UK

Colourful Seasonal Veggies grown in the UK

Colourful Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables

Fish and Game:

Crab, Haddock, Hake, Mackerel, Scallops, Rabbit, Turkey and Venison

How about some Simply cooked Hake with garlic butter on a bed of steamed curly kale or …Braised Venison with a warming Chilli and Chocolate Sauce…this can be eaten as a stew (just add potatoes or parsnips) or as a luxurious healthy cottage pie, top with mashed sweet potato.

Seasonal Braised Venison

Braised Venison

Lovely Low Fat, Low Calorie, Easy recipe that is full of flavour and good for you!

Take a look through our pages and enjoy eating the seasons.

Ben Brown’s Farm – The Isle of Wight

A E Brown Farms are based on the Isle of Wight producing high quality asparagus, sweetcorn, and wide range of vegetables. They are one of the best known Isle of Wight producers and over the Easter break, we went over to visit Ben and his asparagus fields.

Asparagus is one of the most sought after vegetables. Its subtle flavour offers a real treat during the short time it is in season.

Ben's Farm on the Island

Ben’s Farm on the Island

On the tour Ben took us inside a large Farm Building where the asparagus is taken once picked. This is where the sorting machine is, last year this machine processed 70 tonnes of asparagus (250g bunches = 280,000 bunches), an enormous amount of asparagus considering the asparagus season is only 10 weeks long!

This is the machine that trims and grades the asparagus

This is the machine that trims and grades the asparagus

This machine takes the freshly picked asparagus in one end, cleans and cuts it ready for optical sorting, meaning it passes through many cameras inside the machine which is constantly scanning the asparagus for diameter, length, curvature, head shape, and colour. During this sorting process, the asparagus spears are rotated so that 100% of their surface area is photographed. An incredible piece of kit that can process the asparagus from field to packing and fogging (a system that stops the asparagus dehydrating during transport to allow it to remain as fresh as possible) in 45 minutes.

The asparagus beds

The asparagus beds

Ben then takes us to the asparagus beds. These beds are as far as the eye can see, but when we arrived this is all we saw, bear in mind that this was Easter and they will start picking 2 weeks after this!

When planted, the crown will be about the size of a jam jar lid, this will then stay in the ground sending up fresh tasty and edible shoots for approximately 12 – 15 years. Eventually, the crown will become the size of a dustbin lid. Each crown can produce up to 70 shoots during the season.

Asparagus grown by the Brown family, was served as part of the lavish Jubilee banquet attended by Her Royal Highness the Queen and 700 guests at Westminster Hall and was served as part of the banquet for the celebration of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding.  

Once the short asparagus season it’s over to the Sweetcorn production.  At this time, the fields are covered in plastic to protect the young plants from any remaining frost that might still be lingering. Once they are sure the frost is over, the plastic will be replaced with fleece.

This tasty crop will be ready to harvest on the 22nd – 25th July, 2 artic lorries a day will leave this farm ready for delivery to the mainland.

These crops are hand-picked by only 8 workers, that’s a lot of corn.

After the corn is finished the farm moves onto Squash and small pumpkins and after that they go into a steady harvest of cauliflowers.  This farm is constantly on the go.

Ben showing us his fields of asparagus, or, where the asparagus will be in a couple of weeks time.

Ben showing us his fields of asparagus, or, where the asparagus will be in a couple of weeks time.

Interesting facts:

  • The asparagus season traditionally runs from St George’s Day to the Summer Solstice.
  • Asparagus contains A, B and C vitamins, fibre and folic acid, and is virtually fat-free. These nutrients can boost your immune system, maintain healthy skin, nails and hair, and are good for the heart.