Food For Feasts: Meats for Special Occasions
As the nights draw in and the temperatures start to drop, staying in and with friends and family suddenly becomes more appealing than leaving the nest. Andrew’s wife Claire gives her best tips on what cuts of meat to buy for special occasions in the colder months.
Saturday Night Show Off
When it comes to cooking a delicious meal with minimal effort, you can’t go wrong with 21-day matured English beef. Ridiculously tender with superb flavour, the fillet needs little dressing up or cooking. One of my favourites for dinner parties is a whole fillet of beef. Simply wrap in Prosciutto ham, pan fry for 5 minutes until brown all over and then finish in a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes. After 5 minutes resting time slice and serve with a simple green salad and new potatoes. As the fillet is one of the pricier cuts, this recipe is best for 6-8 people. Just let your butcher know how many you’re cooking for so that he can cut you the right size piece.
Sunday Slow Cook
There’s nothing lovelier than a gorgeous Sunday lunch with friends.In reality a traditional roast can be a little stressful and expensive so for such occasions my attention turns to more economical meats such as belly of pork or beef short ribs. These two cuts ooze with flavour and can be thrown in the oven on a low heat with lots of lovely vegetables. After 4-6 hours of gorgeous smells coming from the kitchen: the meat will be so tender it falls apart. This kind of cooking works best with larger amounts so either invite lots of friends, or keep the leftovers for fantastic curries and risottos during the following week.
Food is one of the most important parts of the festive season, with the meat often the focus of everyone’s attention. For large families I would recommend buying a smaller turkey and serving alongside our homemade pork chipolatas and a gammon joint. These latter meats are still loved by all but offer more value for money, and can always be kept for another day if guests drop out last minute. Make full use of your butchers expertise too! We invite customers to come in and discuss their order so that we can advise which meats will work best for their budget and party size.