Whilst my culinary skills mean I am no longer allowed in the kitchen at work, at home it is my territory and what we eat is an area I spend a great deal of time planning. Since we opened the shop my plan was to cease my online food deliveries and shopping (almost) exclusively on my doorstep. Before I can be sure that our shop selection is broad enough and our price range is reasonable enough I wanted to prove to myself that my monthly shopping bill didn’t increase and as importantly, we were eating a good variety of tasty and wholesome meals. It’s working. It’s all about planning. Through planning I am able to always have the items I need to make the meals I want to, I save money and waste less food. Of course the meat we sell here is more expensive than the average supermarket, however, as always in life you get what you pay for. Our meat is all from farms where the animals are reared as naturally and as close to how nature intended as possible. All of our farms exclude the use of routine antibiotic treatment and all the animals spend their days outdoors.
Here’s some of what we will be eating this week and yes, it’s all available in our shop.
Tonight we’re having spelt & barley risotto with mature goats cheese and whatever veg I can get my hands on.
Saturday night is all about ease. This weekend it will be a spread of fresh bread, charcuterie, baked Welsh brie and tomato salad. Simple, delicious.
Breakfast will be a loaf of our house granary bread with our new flavour rhubarb and cardamom jam, plus a jar of our hazelnut and chocolate butter which you can come in and grind to order. It’s like Nutella, only better.
Lunch/Dinner will be roast shoulder of lamb with Ottolenghi’s fennel crumble (seriously the best recipe I’ve ever made, google the recipe, it’s a winner). Rainbow carrots cooked with cardamom and steamed broccoli.
A trick one of our old chefs taught me was to blend all my ingredients for the lamb (carrots, onions, mustard, oil, garlic, thyme & salt) and rub them all over the joint. Roast at a high heat for half an hour and then pour a bottle of wine or beer over the joint, cover with parchment paper and leave on a low heat for 3-4 hours depending on the size of the joint. The result is beautifully tender, melt in your mouth meat.
We would rarely eat meat more than twice in a week and almost never on a Monday ( we tend to keep it veggie for the first few days of the week) but as it’s bank holiday I will be making a ragu using the Jacob’s Ladder from Native Beef whose cows spend all year out on pasture. Another simple dish, full of flavour and a real crowd pleaser. I take each rib and brown it on a high heat on each side. In an oven proof dish with a lid (such as a le creuset) I then add butter and gently cook my mirepoix and garlic (this can be any vegetables you like, the more the better, chopped finely). Once the vegetables have softened I pour over wine and chicken stock and then place the ribs on top. On goes the lid and the dish stays on a low heat in the oven for around 3-4 hours. Once cooked the beef falls off the bone and I pull it apart, letting it sit in the beautifully rich sauce. I serve it with pasta and parmesan.