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.

 

Alternative Christmas Centerpieces

 

Want something other than Turkey? Here are a few alternatives; our delicious Free Range Beef, Lamb or Pork joints.

Getting the timing right

Getting the timing right!

BEEF | Roast Silverside | Temp 180ºC, 350ºF, gas mark 4 – 5 | Timing – rare 15 – 20 mins per 450g plus 20 mins, medium 21 – 25 mins per 450g plus 20 mins, well done 26 – 30 mins per 450g plus 30 – 40 mins.

LAMB | Rolled Shoulder of Lamb | Temp 180ºC, 350ºF, gas mark 4-5 | Timing – pink/medium 30 mins per 450g plus 30 mins, well done 35 mins per 450g plus 30 mins.

PORK | Loin | Temp 180ºC, 350ºF, gas mark 4-5 | Timing – 35 mins per 450g plus 35 mins.

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Roast Silverside of Beef

Roast Silverside of Beef

Prep – 20 mins, Cook 2.5 hrs approx, Serves 6

Ingredients – 2kg boned and rolled Farmer’s Choice Beef silverside, 1 tbsp beef dripping or butter, 8-12 small red onions, peeled and slit in a cross at the pointed end (so that they do not burst in the oven), 4 heads garlic (halved), a few sprigs of thyme.

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Rub the rolled silverside joint with the beef dripping and sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper. Put the joint into a roasting tin and into the hot oven for 15 minutes to brown. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C. Add the onions, garlic and thyme around the beef with about 100 ml of water. Cover with foil and cook for about 1.5 hours, basting from time to time and adding a little more water if necessary. This will keep the meat moist. Re-cover with the foil each time. Uncover the meat for the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Remove the meat to a warm serving dish to rest with the onions and garlic, cover well and keep it warm. Slice the beef and serve.

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Roast Loin of Pork

Roast Loin of Pork

Prep – 10 mins, Cook 2 hrs 15 mins approx, Serves 6-8

Ingredients – 2.4 kg loin of Farmer’s Choice Pork, and the skin deeply scored, 2 or 3 tsp salt, 6 small apples left whole with the core removed, finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, 2 tsp soft brown sugar, 6 sprigs of rosemary, 500 g new potatoes

Method

Preheat the oven to 210ºC/ 190ºC fan/ gas 7. Rub the salt all over the skin and deep in between the score lines, so that it will work with the fat to make crackling. Place the joint in a roasting tin leaving space to add the apples and potatoes later. Put the meat in the hot oven and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes to form the crackling.

With a sharp knife score a fine line around the waist of the apples so that they won’t burst in the oven. Mix the lemon rind and sugar together and divide this between the apple cavities, Pop a rosemary sprig into each apple. Set aside with the lemon juice until ready to use.

Reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC/ fan 160ºC/ gas 4 and continue cooking for a further 45 minutes.

Resisting the temptation to baste the meat, spoon off and discard any excess fat from the pan before arranging the apples and new potatoes around the meat. Spoon a little lemon juice into each apple. Return the roasting tin to the oven and cook for a further 45 minutes until the pork is thoroughly cooked, the potatoes tender and the apples are soft and sticky. If at this stage the crackling is not done to your liking, cut the whole of the rind away from the meat, cut it into strips with kitchen scissors and place them on a baking sheet and return to the oven at 200ºC/ 180ºC fan/ gas 4 for about 15 minutes, keeping the meat, potatoes and apples warm meanwhile.)

Serve with your favourite green vegetable or some leafy green salad.

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Rolled Shoulder of Lamb

Rolled Shoulder of Lamb

Prep – 20 mins, Cook 1 hr 40 mins approx, Serves 6-8

Ingredients – 60ml/4tbsp pine nuts, 50g/2oz fresh basil , 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped, 75g/3oz pitted green olives, salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 boned shoulder of Farmer’s Choice Lamb weighing 1.3kg/3lb, 500g/1lb potatoes, 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks, 2 red onions cut into wedges.

Method

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/Fan 200ºC/425ºF/Gas Mark 7. Place the pine nuts, basil, garlic and olives on a large board, then use a large sharp knife to chop them all together until you have a rough paste. Season with salt and plenty of ground black pepper. Unroll the boned shoulder and place skin side down on a board. Scatter the basil paste over the meat, rubbing it into all the crevices and cut surfaces. Roll up the shoulder of lamb and tie it together with string at regular intervals to make a neat parcel.

Place the lamb in the centre of a large roasting tin. Roast for 10 mins. Reduce the temperature to 180ºC/Fan 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4 and roast for 40 mins.

Remove the roasting tin from the oven, add all the vegetables and toss together until coated in the pan juices. Roast for a further 40 mins. Transfer the meat to a board and leave to rest for 10 mins, covered with foil. Keep the vegetables warm in a serving dish.

To serve, thickly slice the lamb and serve with the roasted vegetables.

Visit to Adlington Turkey Farm

With just a little over 10 weeks till Christmas it seemed the right time of year to go visit Rod at Pheasant Oak Farm to see how our Turkeys are getting on.

Rod’s grandparents originally started farming turkeys back in 1956 and the long-established traditional turkey farming methods learned and passed down shines through at their farm in Warwickshire. The office is a nice mix of the old and the new – the girls are in the old milking shed, a nice touch.

office at adlington

After a quick catch-up and coffee, we donned our welly boots and Rod took us on a guided tour of the farm.  En route Rod explained that the turkeys are free to roam now, and that only reason they were kept in the barn previously, and it’s not rocket science, before they reach nine weeks old they can fit through the wire fences!  They can also fly, a couple of turkeys were hanging around outside their paddocks so Rob gave them a helping hand back in.

These turkeys get 5* accommodation with a level of care that is unrivalled. The turkeys are all raised by hand using techniques that Adlington has perfected over two generations.  They seem very content in their open air abodes with access to water and food at all times.

adlington award winning turkeys

free range adlington award-winning turkeys

Inquisitive little guys to, they didn’t think twice about surrounding us and trying to get a taste of the welly boots, not nearly as tasty as the ingredients in their diet; cereals plus whole and natural crushed oats from neighbouring farmers (keeping it local). Rod explained that the combination offers high health benefits to the flock with their slow burn fats ensuring the highest quality and flavoursome meat.  Combine this with traditional game hanging and low stress production methods and you will definitely look forward to a succulent and juicy bird this Christmas.

Christmas is coming…the Farmer’s Choice goose is getting fat!

George, Jane and Lucy Munns run Westmoor Farm which is part of the Cambridgeshire County Farm Estate situated in the heart of The Fens.  The Munns family have farmed here since October 1959 when George’s dad Lionel took on the tenancy of a 21 acre smallholding and an old farmhouse, funded from £100 pools win!

Jane Munns

Jane and George Munns

George now has 700 acres and the farm cropping (Potatoes, Sugar Beet, Wheat and Oilseed Rape) is still very much that of a traditional Fenland farm and has changed little since then except for a flock of free range geese.

George took over the farm in 1989 when his father retired but it wasn’t until 1999 that they started rearing Free Range Geese, with just 20 locally hatched birds.

Goslings

2 days old – so cute!

George and Jane Munns Geese

Farmer’s Choice Geese

Today they have 1,300 geese. They come in as day old goslings (after being hatched in Germany) and are reared under Gas Brooders until about 2 weeks of age when they are allowed out to roam free, initially with the use of a night time shelter. If they let them out any earlier they risk being predated by hawks or foxes.

Geese and Gosling Shelters

The shelters used for the goslings

The birds are free range although they are confined to about 8 acres and surrounded by an electric fence to keep the bushy tailed predators out! They come in and go out as THEY please. Their wings are not clipped, they stay purely for the feed and relaxed environment. The geese are fed on an additive free diet (from a local supplier) and home grown wheat.

The flock get a vet check twice during the time they spend here (usually from the 18th June through to the 8th December) – George and Jane want to see their poultry cared for from start to finish.

Gaggle of Geese

Non stop noise -it’s like being surrounded by football fans, there are couple of leaders getting the rest of them all riled up!

When the time comes to cull, the birds are dry plucked then waxed to remove the fluffy down.  At this time a local group of workers are drafted in to help with the processing. After the birds have been hung, up to 10 days to enhance the flavour, they are then dressed and cleaned before being boxed and prepared for delivery to Farmer’s Choice. Everything is handled on site in purpose built buildings supervised by DEFRA vets and local Environmental Health Officers.

Hardly anything goes to waste on this farm, the unused bits of bird are boiled to produce the irresistible goose fat. The fat keeps for months in the refrigerator and up to a year in a good freezer. The feathers are sold for duvet and pillow stuffing.

Our birds will be between 5.5kg and 6kg – enough to feed around 6 people.

Roasting a goose makes a very festive meal. The goose is different to turkey because the goose meat is intensely meaty and flavourful and cloaked in that layer of unbelievably rich, crispy skin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKI-pgzBFWc  – Countess of Wessex investigates Munns Rapeseed Oil

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-RXcibnCl0 – Draining the Fens

Westmoor Farm

Westmoor Farm

George Munns Farm

Situated 1.5miles west of the historic market town of Chatteris in the Fenland area of East Anglia. The landscape here is Agricultural, one of open fields decorated with a mosaic of ditches and drainage channels. With an unrivalled open horizon and magnificent sunsets, this area is unique in the UK, an area we are immensely proud and privileged to live and work in. My own passion after farming, has always been nature and wildlife conservation. As a small boy I had a huge number of wildlife books and spent all the spare time I had exploring across the farm, looking for and identifying all the many species of flora and fauna that lived here. I had a chance in 2001 to join the prestigious Countryside Stewardship Scheme  I signed up with the enthusiasm of a small boy…!!  I immediately got to work with the help of the local drainage board building a brand new 5 acre reed bed. I specifically wanted to provide habitat for many of “the species of my childhood”, that sadly were getting endangered due to modern farming practices. Our reed bed was later to become a “Blue print” for other farmers to follow in the years to come. I wasn’t aware at the time but I was embarking on a journey that was as fruitful and rewarding as any I could imagine. – George Munns

Farmer’s Choice Christmas Colouring Competition

Colouring Competition

With just under four weeks left till the big day why not take this opportunity to enter our competition to Win a Free Range Turkey worth £68.

Turkey competition

Turkey competition

All you have to do is colour in the Farmer’s Choice Tractor (colouring in between lines is optional!!) take a photo and upload it to the Farmer’s Choice Facebook page.  Our only stipulation is, you have to be under 12 – it’s that simple!

Turkey Competition

Turkey Competition

There is only one week left in this competition, the winner will be picked at random and announced on Friday 12th December and your turkey will be with you in time for Christmas Day.

Entries must be posted before Friday 5th December.

Get colouring and good luck.

Use the following instructions on cooking the turkey at your own discretion

Wine Lovers guide to Cooking the Turkey

Wine Lovers guide to Cooking the Turkey

Colouring Competition

Celebrate Christmas with Farmer’s Choice

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.

C188L hamper

 

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!