Tuesday 16 March 2010

Mustard and rabbit - compulsory tasting

I tried this on the weekend and it was incredible, I did not think mustard and rabbit would go together so well!

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

2 x whole rabbits cut into portions

6 x rashers of unsmoked streaky bacon

1 x cup of dry white wine

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

300ml double cream

Knob of butter

500 ml chicken stock

2/3 onions or 6/7 shallots

A couple of cloves of garlic


Cut the onions up rougly and boil them in the chicken sock for about 5 mins

Crisp up the bacon in some butter and then transfer the bacon to your casserole dish

Brown the rabbit in the pan you used for the bacon (you might not be able to do this all in one go) - when brown place in the casserole dish.

Take the onions out of the stock and fry in pan with garlic, then after a few minutes add stock cream, wine and mustard. Pour this lovely mixture over the rabbit and bacon

Put in oven (180c) for 45 mins. - if it comes out with too much liquid for your tastes, take off the lid and place the casserole dish on the hob for a few minutes to reduce it a bit.

Serve with greens and mash - try using olive oil instead of milk/cream/butter and throwing some fresh parsley in the mash - delicious

For another take on the beautiful partnership that is mustard and rabbit try this, I think it looks great and intend to try it with my next rabbit -


Wednesday 3 March 2010

All about cabbages

I think cabbages are thought of as boring and tasteless. This isnt true! They are cheap (£1 each) and very versatile and so should not be ignored. So here is a little rundown of what's available and what you might want to do with them.

White Cabbage

The white cabbage has a crisp texture and a slight pepper flavour. They are a good choice for coleslaw, or on the side of hearty winter meals and roast dinners (add a bit of vinegar to enhance the taste) and are great in a stir-fry.

Red cabbage

Apparently the taste is actually the same as white or green cabbage, now I don’t believe this but maybe my taste buds are tricked by the lovely colours. It has the traditional honour of being slow-cooked with apples (bramley) to make a tasty addition to both roasts and game. If, when cooked, it loses its vibrant colour - drain it, throw in a tbsp or 2 of lemon juice or vinegar and as if by magic the acidity will restore the deep colour (and make it taste a bit better too!).

Savoy Cabbage

These dark green cabbages have a heavily textured leaf and a strong flavour. They are ideal for making hearty winter soups, stews and broths because they hold their texture together well. It will keep for a week in a fridge – its best to place it in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Tundra cabbage

Tundra is a kind of cross between a white cabbage and a Savoy. It has a solid and crisp head and its sweetness makes it ideal for winter salads. Although we don’t have these on the website yet, because Ted’s farm doesn’t have quite enough ready, Kath reckons she will have a few this week and will bring them down to the depot. They should appear on the website very soon.

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Venison Steaks - simple supper.

Had a delicious "special night" supper on Monday - fried venison steak (seasoned, and put in the pan for about 12 minutes - 4 mins on each side, 4 mins covered), and served with some steamed cavalonero (salt, pepper, olive oil) and some carrot and parsnip chips - just very thinly sliced or peeled, covered with olive oil and salt, and put in a hot oven for about 40 mins - keep an eye on them, I think I overdid them by about 5 mins!

No more shanks

Upon the request of our lamb producer we have removed lamb shanks from the website for the time being. We thought it would be interesting to share the reasons. The shank is a cut of meat that comes from the leg, just below the knee. The problem is that this means that to provide a shank the butcher must breaks up the whole leg. However, it is important that the butcher can provide a whole leg because there is always a demand for it - for roasts etc. So it proves very difficult for a small producer like Beatbush to provide shanks and not lose out.

As an alternative to shanks, Nicola at Beatbush recommends the knuckle end of shoulder as a classic, slow cooking alternative that will serve the purpose perfectly.

Support your Prince and eat mutton!

We have mutton available this week. The virtues of this meat are fast becoming noticed once more. Believe it or not, much of mutton’s recent resurgence is down to Prince Charles and his Mutton Renaissance Campaign - which makes an interesting read. Mutton is really good in pies and puddings, slow-cooked dishes and is used heavily in India, the Middle East and North African cooking, so if you want an authentic flavour for these types of dishes then mutton is the one you want. The meat itself is very different to lamb, it has rich taste and a unique texture. During slow and gentle cooking the flavour of the mutton mellows and sweetens during and the results are truly delicious.

Definitions of when lamb becomes mutton have long varied. However, it is now generally agreed that the animal should be aged two years or more, and hung for at least two weeks: the result is a juicy, well-flavoured meat, firm but not tough. Mutton cuts are the same as with lamb, although they are usually. Have a look at the mutton section on www.farm-direct.com for the whole range.