Seasonal food is important for extra freshness, value and flavour, find out ‘what’s in season’ this month and how to make the most of seasonal flavours from our Farm shop.
A member of the cabbage family, kale comes in two forms: kale, which has smooth leaves, and curly kale, which has crinkly leaves, curly kale is the most common of the two. Instead of forming a head, the leaves grow in a loose rosette at the top of a stem. The leaves are green, sometimes tinged with blue or purple, and their flavour is strong and distinct mainly used as a side dish cooked and added with butter or gently fried in some olive oil and sea salt.
The unsung hero of the vegetable world, knobbly, odd-shaped celeriac has a subtle, celery-like flavour, with nutty overtones. Try it as mash or mixed with potaotes with slow-cook dishes. Using a sharp knife, top and tail the celeriac, then use a peeler to remove the tough skin. Expect to discard about a quarter of the celeriac by the time you’ve done this, a flavourable vegetable goes great with meat or fish.
The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise, it looks just like one, aside from its creamy white colour. It has an earthy but sweet flavour and is great used in hearty winter roasts, soups and stews.
The term venison was originally used to describe the meat of any furred game, the meat is dark, lean and generally tender, though wild venison might be a little tougher. Availabilty from about 21st October to middle February, use the meat in stews, casseroles, pies and roasting, this meat love to be marinated for over 24 hours to Ooze flavour.
The cabbage, or brassica, family is huge, and includes everything from the familiar red, white or green varieties with tightly packed leaves, the round, crinkle-leafed Savoy cabbage and the pale, lozenge-shaped Chinese leaf are considered to be two of the best to cook with. The flavour of cabbage varies from type to type, ranging from savoury to gently sweet, but one thing they all have in common is a pungent smell if overcooked, so brief cooking is key, try gentle frying with a little butter or brasing in some stock cubes to get the flavour just perfect!
There are two main types of partridge available in Britain: the native grey partridge and the red-legged partridge. The former has delicate and tender flesh which, when young, is pale and full of flavour. It’s a small bird, so a whole one feeds one person. Red-legged partridge, originally from southern Europe, is a larger bird with a milder flavour. Partridge is best hung for a few days (the more it’s hung the more gamey the meat becomes), with young birds benefiting from a shorter hanging time. Our partridges are all sourced locally and our butcher will prepare partridges ready to cook.
Love them or hate them…Brussels sprouts are small green edible buds, which look like mini cabbages, measuring around 2.5cm-4cm in diameter, and they are native to Belgium, around the city of Brussels – hence, the name. They belong to the brassica family, along with broccoli, kale and cabbage, and are typically in season over winter, but you may start to see them as early as October and they last all the way through until March. Oven baked with a drizzle of Olive Oil, sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper and some pancetta cubes.. Delicious.
Fresh from our own herd, autumn Lamb has the sweetest of flavours. Many different cuts of lamb are available, which you buy depends on how you want to cook it. For roasts, the best cuts include leg, breast, best end of neck (also known as rack of lamb), shoulder, saddle, rump and loin this time of year. Lamb is also available minced (good for shepherd’s pie) and you can also buy lamb offal (mainly the kidneys and liver but also, less commonly, the heart and the sweetbreads), which is quick to cook, cheap and nutritious. Our butchers cut any size to suit…
Red cabbage is healthy, thrifty and robust, so why it remains such an underrated ingredient is beyond us. Part of the problem may be that the tightly-packed sphere yields so many layers it’s sometimes hard to know how to use up a whole one. Red Cabbage makes a great winter accompiant to and stews and casseroles and even a sunday roast, or prepare as a fresh salad with oranges and and spice to match with a festive ham.
Seville oranges are too sharp to eat raw, but sugar, lemon and heat transform them into one of the worlds finest preserves. The Oranges are grown in the heart of Seville’s traditional bitter orange growing region in Spain. In season for just a few weeks, Sevilles are essential for making your own orange marmalade.