I think that what we do best is fresh ingredients for you to take home and cook yourselves. Meat, veg and dairy should be three of the four cornerstones of any farm shop and I’d like to think we do them considerably better than most.
I think it’s true to say that a turkey is just for Christmas. It’s not the cheapest of meats but as a once yearly celebration, its well worth it. I think it’s the perfect mix of game bird and chicken but, even for me, the days of turkey for a fortnight are long gone. So I tend to go for a stuffed breast and slow cooked leg, big enough so there’s a bit left over for Boxing Day but not much. And you don’t have to spend the whole of Christmas day chained to the oven. If turkey isn’t for you there’s goose, duck, chicken, beef, game etc. Poultry is definitely best ordered. Not only will you get the size you want but it will save time and be ready and waiting. A few years ago I wouldn’t have said that’ll so it’s a tribute to Ali and his team that I now have the confidence to not only say it, but believe it too.
The butchery order form can be downloaded here – but my favourite cut isn’t there. For an easy, very special, meal that will always make a splash, a 5cm thick slice of rump, brutally griddled on all sides, gently cooked to your liking at 140degC and sliced, on the angle into medallions It’s a real treat, and a good way of making rump steak go a lot further. 1.3 kgs will serve eight – easily.
I’m not going to suggest that you order your vegetables. That would be a step too far but veg maestro and supremo, Steve, has been in the business long enough to get it right. He’s learnt to factor in contingencies such as late deliveries so there should be all the parsnips, sprouts, red cabbage, tangerines, spuds etc you could possibly need. However, this year with Christmas falling on a Sunday, I suspect the normal rush on the 23rd will be partly put off until the 24th. We’re grateful for your business whenever but I would strongly recommend trying to stock up with some of the essentials earlier in the week and making that final shop one for the perishables.
Like us, Riverford Dairy has largely sorted out the Christmas supply problems so there shouldn’t be any shortages of clotted and double cream and brandy butter. The brandy butter is a new recipe – more brandy clotted cream which certainly works for me.
For your cheese board I still find a wedge each of Montgomery’s Cheddar, Cropwell Bishop Stilton and Ticklemore Goat and a square of Sharpham hard to beat but the addition of some Cornish Gouda wouldn’t go amiss – particularly with a glass of one of the white wines in this month’s Booze News – the fourth and final cornerstone.