Summer’s not over yet!

The weather shows no sign of change as the kids prepare to go back to school, although I did see the first dewy morning as I left the house at first light.

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BBQ’s are still very much an option for a quick fix evening meal – making the most of the warm evenings and family meals.  But, if you are after something different, why not try our recipe for turkey kebabs or chicken fajita packets.

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234Our free range chicken nuggets are even easier, the kids sit down with your version of a home cooked takeaway and you could have our chicken kievs, filled with succulent garlic and herb stuffed chicken breast.

We have plenty of cooking sauces from chilli con carne using our grass fed award winning mince or our sausage and onion casserole using our free range pork sausages1054A

If you are looking for gluten free sauces, how about our Little Turban Curry Sauces, mild enough for the little ones or a little spicier for those wanting more heat.

We even have an Easy Cook page from Goulash to Sweet and Sour Chicken to make it that little bit easier.

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Get Outdoors and Eat Al Fresco

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The sun’s out and summer’s well and truly here! Whether it’s a barbecue, picnic or camping trip, chances are you start dining al fresco as soon as you get the chance. Nothing matches enjoying a good meal outdoors, with this summer’s Olympics all the more reason to get friends over and enjoy some dinner.

Everybody loves al fresco dining – the kids can play games with their friends, and grownups can get a bit of colour in their cheeks while they dine. Dining outdoors also provides the opportunity to enjoy food you wouldn’t normally eat! At Farmer’s Choice, we love outdoor dining as much as you do – that’s why we’re offering a range of packs – food perfect for outdoor dining, and much more to enjoy.

So, how else can you enjoy your delicious Farmer’s Choice products in the great outdoors?

Back Garden Barbecue: How else would you enjoy your Farmer’s Choice BBQ pack? A barbecue provides a casual, laid-back ambience that is quintessentially summer. All you need are your tongs and either a permanent or disposable barbecue grill to prepare tasty Farmer’s Choice chicken, beef,  lamb and whatever other meats or vegetables you wish. Make sure you’ve got enough burger buns, wraps and drinks for everybody and you’re in business!

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Summer Picnics: Pack a Farmer’s Choice smorgasbord pack into a picnic basket and head to the park for a lovely summer picnic. There’s nothing quite like a lazy Saturday enjoying cold meats, crackers, bread and cheese – just don’t forget the picnic blanket and your suncream in case you fall asleep in the sun!

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Al fresco Dinner: If you’re looking for a small, more intimate dinner affair on your patio table, prepare a light salad bowl using Farmer’s Choice’s fresh vegetables along with some tasty grilled fish. Al fresco dining is not about preparing fancy dishes, but making a light meal from fresh produce and presenting it with flair.

There are plenty of reasons to arrange an outdoor party for your friends and family this time of the year. Al fresco eating is less about the formality and more about enjoying the outdoors, the sun, fresh air and open space – so put on your summer wardrobe and start preparing to start dining al fresco with Farmer’s Choice online butchers!

All in One Sunday Breakfast

This recipe is perfect for those slow rising Sunday mornings.  All you require is a hot oven and a large roasting pan – oh, and this seasons British Asparagus.

Serves 2 adultsbreakfast asparagus

Ingredients

Method

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Line your largest backing tray with greaseproof paper and drizzle with oil.

Lay the bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and asparagus evenly in the tray and place in the oven.  After 10 mins turn the bacon and return the oven for another 10.

Remove from the oven and push the bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and asparagus to one end. Add the Baby Leaf Spinach and make a couple of holes for the eggs.  Crack the eggs into the holes and return to the oven until the eggs are cooked (about 4 mins).

Remove and serve with crusty bread and a large cup of tea. Enjoy!

Store asparagus in the fridge with a damp paper towel wrapped around the bottom of the stalks and you can get away with keeping it for a couple of days.

Eggcellent News

Farmers Choice Free Range Ltd awarded for contribution to farm animal welfare

We are pleased to announce that Farmers Choice  has been awarded a Good Egg Award by Compassion in World Farming in recognition of our commitment to laying hen welfare.

Compassion’s Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards recognise food companies that are making it their policy to produce and source higher welfare good egg 2012eggs, meat and dairy produce.

Compassion has run its flagship scheme, the Good Egg Award, since 2007 to celebrate organisations that source only cage-free eggs. The programme has now expanded to include the Good Chicken Award, launched in 2010, the Good Dairy Award in 2011 and the Good Pig Award in 2012.

Over 287 million hens, chickens, pigs and dairy cows and calves are now set to benefit each year as a result of award winners’ policies.

“We seek to source all our requirements (food, ingredients and other consumables) in a ‘responsible’ way, and in line with our values. To source local and seasonal produce to support British businesses, reduce haulage costs and the environment impact of transport” Director – Farmers Choice.

We source our eggs from Blackacre Farm and they are passionate about producing award-winning free range eggs that are delicious and nutritious. They have been farming for over 35 years and understand that truly free range hens, ducks and quails lay the very best eggs, and we totally agree.

Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming said: “It is so great to see Farmers Choice taking animal welfare into consideration as part of their sourcing policy. Higher welfare produce isn’t just the responsibility of the large corporations, but something that can be achieved at all levels. Well done to Farmers Choice Free Range Ltd – keep up the good work!”

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Orange and Honey Pulled Gammon Recipe

orange and honey pulled gammon

Why should pulled pork get all the attention!

Serves 6

Ingredients

Method

Put your slow cooker on to high. Unwrap the gammon joint and place it in the bottom of the pot of your slow cooker. Fill with water until the gammon is just covered and drop in the bay leaves, the garlic bulb and the orange slices. Replace the lid and leave to cook for three hours.

Once the three hours are up, carefully lift out the gammon joint using two forks, onto a roasting tray lined with a sheet of foil. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200ºC.

Carefully remove the string the joint is tied up with, and most of the fat, making sure to leave a thin layer of the fat still on the joint. Drizzle the honey over the top of the gammon joint, over the remaining fat, and slide it into the oven for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it during this time, you don’t want the honey to caramelise too much and burn.

Once you can see that the honeyed gammon joint is golden on top and sizzling, take it out, transfer to a plate or board and then shred it with a couple of forks. Serve straight away.

Perfect served hot, as it is, straight out of the oven – but it’s also perfect cold in a salad or breakfast hash with vegetables.

Get your ingredients online with our Easy Recipe Shopper

This is a fantastic Recipe from @joromerofood (twitter).

How to cook a whole leg of lamb

Nothing beats the tenderness and flavour of lamb at Easter. But, are you worried that you are going to overcook it, I mean, it’s not the cheapest cut of meat.

Worry not, this is by far, the easiest cut of meat to cook. Look no further for a fuss free approach to a perfectly cooked leg of lamb.

How to Cook your Leg of Lamb

Whole Leg of Lamb

This is a really tender cut so no need to over season or marinate it.  Just season with herbs and garlic.

Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow to get to room temperature. This promotes faster, more even cooking.

Ingredients:
Whole Leg of Lamb
Olive Oil/Rapeseed Oil 3 tbsp
Salt and Ground Black Pepper
Garlic 6 Cloves
2 Steams Fresh Rosemary

Method:
Take the leg of lamb out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking so it comes to room temperature.
Rub the lamb with olive oil/cold pressed rapeseed oil. Set the lamb in a rack inside a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and rub into the fat and meat.
Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
Turn on the grill and position a rack below so that the top of the meat is a few inches from the grill element. Grill the lamb for 5 minutes or until the top of the lamb leg looks seared and browned.
Flip the lamb over and put back under the grill for 5 minutes or until the other side is seared.
Take the lamb out of the grill. Position the oven rack to the middle of the oven. Crush the garlic and rosemary leaves and rub into the top of the lamb.
Cover the roasting tin loosely with foil to keep the garlic and rosemary from burning. Put the lamb in the oven and cook at 160ºC, 325°F, Gas Mark 3 for one hour.
Take the lamb’s temperature and remove the foil. (Refer to the cooking suggestions for general roasting times)
Continue cooking the lamb (uncovered) until it reaches your preferred internal temperature. Check the temperature every 20 minutes until done.
Let the lamb rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Roasted Leg of Lamb

How about serving your lamb with PINK’S Basil & Garlic Pesto

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Internal Temperatures for Bone-In Leg of Lamb

All of these cooking times take into account the fact that we grill the lamb first to sear it. They also assume a resting period of at least 15 minutes, during which the lamb actually continues cooking internally. 

REMEMBER! These times are only guidelines. Depending on many factors, your lamb leg may roast slower or faster. Check after one hour and then continue roasting, checking frequently, until the lamb reaches your desired internal temperature.

Roasting Temperature: 160ºC, 325°F, Gas Mark 3

Rare: 51ºC (about 15 minutes per pound)
Medium-Rare: 57ºC (about 20 minutes per pound)
Medium:  60ºC (about 25 minutes per pound)
Well-Done: 73ºC (about 30 minutes per pound)

What is a Leg of Lamb? It is one of the back haunches of the animal, and the most common cut includes the upper part of the leg only. (Think of the thigh, without the lower part of the leg). For this recipe we suggest bone in, for the flavour. The bones hold so much flavour (think of rich stocks – all made from cooking with the bones). If you are concerned about carving a joint with the bone in, we have boneless and rolled.

A Cut Above!

Do you know your meat cuts? Which steak to choose for a particular dish?

Beef is divided into large sections called primal cuts. These beef primal cuts, or “primals,” are then broken down further into sub-primals and then into individual steaks and other cuts.meat cuts illustration

The most tender cuts of beef, like the rib and tenderloin, are the ones furthest from the horn and the hoof. By contrast, the shoulder and leg muscles are worked the most, which makes them tougher.

Lets go through a few…

Sirloin Steak (1) also known as Entrecôte.

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A delicious flavoursome steak. Normally cut at 250gm. Easy and quick to fry or grill and great with a pepper, blue cheese or bernaise sauce. It has a strip of fat that runs along the top – this can be browned first, then the steak can be fried in the fat.

Sirloin is considered to be a prime steak, like fillet, but it has more flavour.

T-Bone Steak (2) thinner version of a Porterhouse Steak

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Sirloin on one side and fillet on the other, what a combination! Cut from the rear end of the joint. Make sure its cooked evenly, finish off cooking in the oven.

Perfect steak for sharing, with a slice of sirloin and fillet each.

Hanger Steak (3) also known as Onglet

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Once relatively underknown in the UK this has now become the cut of choice.

Cut this steak along the sinew to separate it into two and trim off the sinew.  You want to make sure that you cook it to medium-rare or medium. Unlike a ribeye steak, a hanger steak has a very coarse texture with a distinct grain running through it. Anywhere beyond medium, and it gets too rubbery to chew. Undercook it, on the other hand, and you get meat that is mushy and slippery. Rare hanger steak is simply not the same as rare tenderloin, ribeye, or strip. Use a thermometer, and cook it to the sweet spot between 51°C and 54ºC .

Bavette Steak (4) also known as Flank or Goose Skirt

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Part of the flank and like skirt, this steak has a full, rich flavour and should be cooked very quickly, served rare and sliced across the grain. This traditional old fashioned cut has made a comeback in British menu’s in recent years for it’s strong flavour.

A great cut for barbecuing.

Rib-Eye Steak (5) a boneless steak

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Cut from the rib this is a beautiful succulent steak ideal to cook on the bbq or in a griddle pan. Great with chips and salad.

You usually get two classic cuts from the rib, rib-eye (no bone) or cote de boeuf but there is a relative new steak – Tomahawk. This has a long rib bone, making it perfect for BBQ (it gives you something to hold while you eat it – caveman stylie).

Fillet (6) a totally tender boneless steak

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Fillet is prized as the most tender cut of all.  Ours have been described as “better than restaurant quality”.

With little or no fat, it is best served rare as you like. This is the cut used for carpaccio (the dish of raw meat, served thinly sliced).

Rump Steak (7) full of flavour

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Rump has lots of flavour and texture.  Totally opposite to fillet, rump can be cooked to whatever degree you like.

A great steak for griddling or frying with more flavour than sirloin.

doneness of steak

TIP

How to cook your steak the way you want it.