It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

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Still a little early for the C word, however we are now taking orders for our wonderful Christmas Beef hampers again, the perfect present for those hard-to-buy people in your live.  Please see the page above for full details.

The herd is home!

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After a busy few days, the herd are all home, Florence was on site to welcome home our gentle bull who stomped off the trailer with a disdainful air, harrumphing at the indignity of it all.  Florence spent a few happy minutes imitating him before heading inside to raid Grandpa’s biscuit tin,  leaving big brother and Daddy to deal with the mud.

Special orders are coming in thick and fast for Christmas beef, just in time to inform our butcher of how we would like our most recent order cut.

The “Perky Turkeys” are fattening up nicely.  Eating an amazing amount of food and happily prancing about in their large pen.  A demonstration in persuasion that ignorance is indeed bliss.

A fabulous meeting on Saturday with Darren of Gorleston Veg Box company – more on this later as deserving of a mention in its own right – but pleased to meet someone with similar values, flying the flag for buying local food.

  By far the nicest part of the week was being treated to oxtail stew last night, in front of a blazing fire, with roast potatoes straight from our allotment. Mr Perks responsible for all the cooking, so much tastier than I dared hope and he washed up! Bliss! Oxtail is a wonderfully economical and flavoursome cut of beef but is often overlooked as people are unsure what to do with it. This is Mr Perks’ favourite tried and tested recipe. Would love to hear some of yours!

Recipe: Fabulously Tasty Oxtail Stew

Ingredients:
• 2.5 kg oxtail, chopped into 4cm chunks
• sea salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• olive oil
• 2 medium leeks
• 2 stalks of celery
• 4 medium carrots
• a few sprigs of fresh thyme
• a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
• 4 fresh bay leaves
• 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
• 2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes
• 275 ml red wine
• 1 litre beef stock
• Worcestershire sauce

Method
• Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7. Place a large roasting tray in the oven to preheat.

Carefully remove the hot tray from the oven, then add the oxtail. Season and drizzle over a lug of olive oil, then toss to coat and place in the hot oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden and caramelized.

Meanwhile, trim and halve the leeks and celery lengthways, then chop into rough 2cm chunks. Peel and chop the carrots into 2cm pieces, then place into a large ovenproof casserole pan over a medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pick, roughly chop and add the thyme and rosemary leaves, then add the bay and cook for around 20 minutes, or until soft and sweet, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, remove the oxtail from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 170ºC/325ºF/gas 3.

Add the flour to the veg, stirring well to combine, then pour in the tomatoes and wine. Add the oxtail and any roasting juices, cover with the beef stock and stir well. Turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil, then pop the lid on and place in the hot oven for around 5 hours, or until the meat falls away from the bone, stirring every hour or so and adding a splash of water to loosen, if needed.

Remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Using rubber gloves, strip the meat from the bones and return to the pan, discarding the bones. Add a good splash of Worcestershire sauce, season to taste and enjoy either with creamy mash and seasonal steamed greens, or freshly cooked tagliatelle and a sprinkling of parmesan.

Beefy Bangers

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After the success of last week’s bonfire hampers – featuring a packet of Sam Perks Beef Sausages – we’ve had a number of requests for recipe ideas for how to make the best of our lovely beefy bangers.  A favourite in our house is beef sausage pie topped with a creamy horseradish mash or the following goulash recipe; really easy to make and perfect comfort food on a cold winters evening.   Beef sausages are just £3.40 a pack including local delivery and chances are you’ll have most of the other ingredients already to hand.  We’d love to hear your feedback if you try this out or any of your other favourite beef sausage recipes.

 

Beef Sausage Goulash

 

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large ovenproof frying pan/stew pot and fry the sausages for 5-7 minutes, or until browned all over.
  3. Remove the sausages from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside. Fry the onions and garlic in the same pan for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the flour and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the paprika, chillies and pepper and stir until well combined. Pour in the beef stock, return the beef sausage and add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and skim off any fat that’s risen to the surface with a slotted spoon. Stir in the soured cream and parsley until well combined.
  6. Serve the goulash with long-grain rice or crusty bread and enjoy!