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.

bbq garden view people

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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Escape to the New Forest this Summer

New Forest Escapes, rent five very special homes on or near the seaside in the New Forest National Park. They specialise in luxury, beautiful and eccentric properties, all have been designed to be a relaxing and interesting family bases from which to explore and enjoy the New Forest.
 
They have summer holiday availability and offers on breaks in July, August and September, starting from £40 per person per night at Eat me Drink me Cottage that sleeps 8 + kids.

Whether you’re wanting ‘Swallows and Amazons’ beach adventures for all the family or you’re coming to birdwatch, cycl the Forest or celebrate a milestone birthday. They can help you organise a story-teller to wow you with tales of Roman soldiers walking out of a parting sea, a chef to do an Alice in Wonderland tea, or just sandcastles, marshmallow cooking and sparklers on the beach – just ask.

Pitts Deep sleeps 9. Metres from the door is the amazing beach in the pics which few others visit or can reach. It is utterly glorious and still a hidden secret.

Pitts Deep Special Offers:

29th – 5 Aug. 7 nights.
12th – 19th Aug 7 nights.
26th – 2nd Sept 7 nights.

Was £3900 per week now £3600 per week. Or £514 per night, or £57pppn.

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Gins is right next to the Beaulieu River, and sleeps 8 + kids, in super-duper luxury. You can travel from here to Bucklers Hard by boat taxi and eat at The Master Builders Hotel with 10% off your food bill with our discount card. Perfect crabbing, reading and picnicing from the jetty which has a park bench on the pontoon on the end too….

Gins Special Offers:

25th -29th Jul. 4 nights.
Was £2000, now £1700. Or £500 per night, now £425 per night, or £53 pppn.

12th to 19th Aug.
19th-26th Aug.
26th-2nd Sept.
Was £3450p/wk now £3000. Or £53pppn

Or we can do short stays in these dates. Approx £500 per night.

5th to 7th Sept.
Was £2000, now £1700. Or £500 per night, now £425 per night, or £53 pppn.

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Don’t forget, you can get your locally sourced/produced food delivered by us and put away, just select what you want from the website and we will do the rest. How about a free range Sunday roast or a grass fed British steak on the BBQ.

Contact: www.newforestescapes.com    +07723319970 for more information.

Eat Local Stay Local

When it comes to things to do, places to visit and food to eat, you can’t beat Hampshire! Offering a wealth of attractions and events for all the family, from messing around on the water, wildlife walks deep in the heart of the New Forest, to a picnic full of Hampshire produce to enjoy on those perfect summer days.

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Hampshire offers miles of idyllic countryside to explore, stretching from the South Downs National Park in the east to the New Forest National Park in the west and the North Wessex Downs in the north of the county.

With its unique mixture of rolling hills, chalk streams, country parks and bustling market towns, Hampshire’s countryside offers the perfect rural escape for short breaks or day visits for all the family.

We’ve teamed up with New Forest Escapes a small team who rent five homes on or near the seaside in the New Forest National Park. They specialise in luxury, beautiful and eclectic properties, all of which have a touch of magic. Each has a properly well set up kitchen and enough kit to cook and serve smart meals.

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Would you like to arrive at your holiday destination, put down your bags and relax without having the hassle of going to the supermarket? How would you like your holiday food waiting for you when you arrive, already packed away? We are pleased to offer a unique local food and drink service supplying the best Hampshire has to offer, delivered and packed away at your holiday destination.

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From five very special cottages on offer, catering from 6 – 10 people, from Beaulieu to Lymington – whether you’re wanting ‘Swallows and Amazons’ beach adventures for the all the family or you’re coming to birdwatch, cycle the Forest or celebrate a milestone birthday, New Forest Escapes help busy families create slow holidays. All holiday places have been designed to be relaxing and interesting family bases from which to explore and enjoy the New Forest.

Gins MF jetty back to house low res

Rachel, who runs the business, says, “Mainly I’m a match-maker. I match houses and people every day. Family get-togethers and 70th birthdays are our mainstay and we go out of our way to help busy people create slow holidays, full of cheap (and luxury) thrills. I signpost people to story-tellers, help organise Alice in Wonderland teas, or just tell people where the best sandcastle and marshmallow cooking beaches are near or at our houses. It’s great fun. We have very creative guests and I especially love helping people cook outside or find fab private picnic spots”.

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Rachel says, “Our top picnic spots are:

1: on the beach at Pitts Deep Cottage. It’s 2 hours from London and has a beach 10 metres from the front door. The beach has private access so there are rarely other people there. It faces the Isle of Wight and gets all the evening sun – amazing for foodie treats and picnics”.

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2: on the Gins Barn jetty (80 metres into the Beaulieu River). Great for low key picnics and it’s just the best place to read a book, nibble on cheese and biscuits, drink some good wine and boat-watch the passing traffic.

3: bonfire in the garden at Eat me Drink me Cottage with the kids. This is a great house for families with lots of kids than like to run wild. It sleeps 10, has a giant trampoline and best of all a bonfire area. Kids can forage for wood. Make their own fire. Cook their own sausages and scoff them down with hunks of fresh bread and tomato sauce. Then roast marshmallows for pudding before racing to the beach 1 km away down the lane and tracking the wild ponies that live there. Heaven.

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It’s lovely to get away, but sometimes you want the freedom of your own place, in beautiful surroundings, and with all the comforts of home. What could be better than having fabulous British free range food from Hampshire/South Downs/Isle of Wight to enjoy on your Hampshire holiday!

When booking a holiday with New Forest Escapes enter NFE30 at the checkout to receive a discount.

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Laverstoke Park Farm

Laverstoke Park Farm

In April, we spent a glorious afternoon being shown around the vast Laverstoke Park Farm owned by 70’s race icon Jody Scheckter. It couldn’t be farther from the F1 race tracks if it tried (although, during the month of August the farm turns over a few fields to CarFest, the brainchild of Chris Evans, in the name of Children in Need!).

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Jody started his organic/biodynamic farm in North Hampshire, in 1996, wanting to produce the best-tasting, healthiest food without compromise for himself and his family. However, he soon realised that as a smallholder this meant he and his family would be eating beef continuously for eight weeks whenever a cow was slaughtered. It was at this point he decided to make the same food available to the public.

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Out of pure curiosity, Jody went on a trip to see water buffalo. The more he learnt about them, from their higher-protein milk, and lower cholesterol meat, to their naturally curious and tactile nature, the more he knew that he wanted to have Asian water buffalo at the farm. They are called Water Buffalo as in the wild they inhabit swampy, wet areas.

Reared in large straw bedded yards, or grassy paddocks, the young buffalo are fed on a completely natural diet of hay, straw, a blend of GM free cereals or grass from clover rich pastures. Buffalo is full flavoured and tender. It can be prepared much the same way as beef without special handling. Buffalo meat is a tasty alternative to beef.

laverstoke water buffalo (1)

All the parks wild boar, live their entire lives outside, producing leaner meat which has a richer taste than pork. Wild boar are subject to the Dangerous Animals Act and are kept in a purpose-built outdoor facility incorporating some woodland, keeping them in as natural an environment as possible. From 2008 Laverstoke Wild Boar has not only gained numerous Great Taste Awards but also a Good Pig Award from Compassion for World Farming.

Laverstoke wild boar

Today his farm holds 1,500 buffalo, 400 cattle (Traditional Hereford and Aberdeen Angus), Wild Boar (The original pig), Middle White rare pigs, 800 ancient breed of Hebridean sheep, chickens, turkeys, a vineyard, walled garden producing organic vegetables and herbs, soil laboratory, pet food and an Education Centre (which has already seen 10,000 children from nursery, primary, secondary, colleges and organisations such as Scouts. No longer a small holding, this farm utilises everything from the soil up.

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The farm also has a licensed seven acre site to make their own compost and compost teas (liquid compost), producing around 40,000 tons of compost annually. They even take in green council waste. This is then monitored in their state-of-the-art laboratory and once finished turned back onto the farm for nutrients. This further enriches the soil for them to produce a ‘mixed salad’ containing 31 different herbs, clovers and grasses, feed for their animals. The team believe “you are not what you eat but what your animals eat”. So this near perfect soil goes a long way to helping produce their own feeds as much as possible.

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Jody and his team are currently in the process of making sparkling wine (it cannot be called champagne for the obvious reasons).  At present this is not for public consumption although we were told it was very very nice!

The 2500 acres of Laverstoke Park Farm and the parkland at Laverstoke are certified as biodynamic by Demeter and is classed as organic by the Soil Association. The team have established the only licensed Soil Foodweb Laboratory in Europe to study the activity of different groups of beneficial micro-organisms in the soil.

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).

Get Ready for a Spring Fling!

PINK’S produce their pestos, chilli jellies and chutneys using traditional methods, on the Isle of Wight – pure ingredients are sourced locally, whenever possible and recipes are all made by hand in small batches, using open pans to ensure quality and freshness.

Next-Generation

Inspired by the legacy of her late great, great grandfather’s company, Fiona Pink has taken his working principles (to supply food that was pure and untainted using only the finest ingredients) and has produced an award-winning range of delicious jellies, pestos and chutneys that are not mass produced and are rapidly establishing themselves as store-cupboard essentials – perfect for weekday and special event cooking.

Great Taste gold award winners since 2011, these Pestos are something else.

As we move into Spring, it’s maybe time to move away from the heavy carb loaded meals and move into the lighter dishes.  Below are a few examples of how to use your locally produced jelly and pestos.

Green-Chilli-Jelly

 

Green Chilli Jelly, which goes great with strong blue cheese or as a marinade for chicken or fish.

 

 

Rocket-Lemon-Pesto

Rocket & Lemon Pesto, best with pasta or as a base in home made quiche or pizza bases.

(Reviewed – 14th February 2016 – Fabulous, will definitely make this a regular order – Mrs Burgess, Fareham)

 

Smoked-Tomato-Pesto

 

 

Smoked Tomato Pesto, mix with creme fraiche and coriander and spread on crusty brown bread.

 

Watercress-Wasabi-Pesto

 

Watercress & Wasabi Pesto, bake it with salmon and serve with pasta or salad.

 

 

Basil-Garlic-Pesto

 

 

Basil & Garlic Pesto, use as a base for bruschetta to accompany drinks with friends.

 

 

Smoked-Tomato-Chilli-Pesto

 

 

Smoked Tomato & Chilli Pesto, pour this over your pork loin and bake in the oven.

 

 

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.