The Sunday Roast

Everyone loves a good roast dinner – particularly on those bitter cold, winter Sunday’s. However, studies find that Easter Sunday is the final roast of the year – a chance for families to gather and enjoy one last roast before the summer salads and BBQ’d goodies become our Sunday staple.

I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but I personally prefer to have my roast dinner taste like a roast dinner. None of this overly fancy business that takes away the nostalgic flavours – just a good ol’ Sunday Roast!

There’s a few little tricks that I’ve learned to perfect over time – some through trial and error, others I’ve pinched from Mum, Dad and Godmother; all of whom make mouthwatering roast dinners! I usually always use beef aside from Turkey at Christmas and Lamb at Easter. My number one trick for all root veggies – carrots, potatoes, parsnips etc – is too par-boil them first, meaning potatoes are crispy and fluffy, carrots aren’t too hard and parsnips go crunchy! By adding bacon to the dreaded brussells sprouts, you’ll find that even the most anti-sprout foodies amongst us, will be asking for seconds.

As we all know, the Roast Dinner is all about timing – get it wrong, and you’re going to have some mighty cold veg or some super rare beef! To make things a little easier, I’ve listed out the exact timings that I use – based on dinner served at 3pm.

I’ve left off timings for meat – cook according to weight and type

13:45 Prepare the Yorkshire Pudding mix, cover then leave in the fridge.
13:50 Peel and chop potatoes, parsnips and carrots then leave in slightly salted water so they don’t brown
14:00 Par-boil potatoes (10 mins) then leave to cool
14:20 Potatoes in oven brushed with vegetable oil
14:25 Par-boil carrots (5 mins) then leave to cool
14:30 Par-boil parsnips (5 mins)then leave to cool
14:30 Finely slice brussels sprouts & bacon (optional)
14:35 Carrots and parsnips in oven (seperated) brushed with veg oil
14:35 Fry bacon in butter, then reduce to a medium heat before adding sprouts – stir occasionally
14:45 Sprinkle parmesan over parsnips then return to oven
14:45 Pour honey over carrots then return to oven
14:50 Pour a little oil into muffin tins, before adding Yorkshire Pudding Mixture, then pop in the oven making sure you don’t open again until completely cooked
14:50 Prepare gravy – I cheat and use bisto (chicken or beef flavour depending on meat)
15:00 Take all veg out of the oven, and pour meat juices into gravy

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What are you favourite tips and tricks for a roast dinner?

Jess at TGH

The Hunger Gap

Despite the arrival of Spring – with flowers blooming, longer evenings and some much awaited ‘warm’ weather – Britain is currently undergoing its annual ‘Hunger Gap’.

This is the time in which Organic vegetable production is least productive throughout the United Kingdom, as it is too cold for certain vegetables to grow outdoors – and aside from huge indoor lights and heating, there isn’t much organic farmers can do to avoid this! Whilst Perry Court and farms across the UK will be busy propagating plants for the coming weeks and month, our keen desire to keep out carbon foot print down, means  we’re going to have to wait a little long for those tasty tomatoes.

So whilst we’re just as keen as you to get our hands on spring onions, peppers, lettuces and the like, we want to maintain our promise that our produce gets to you with the lowest environmental impact as possible. Of course there are times when – to maintain variety in our boxes each week – we will need to import produce from abroad, we want to honour our commitment to you.

Our message to you today is lets’s get through the Hunger Gap together, and use the next month of the rooty, hardy veg in as many warming dishes as possible! 

Happy St Patrick’s Day

So we might be a little early but what’s the harm in starting the celebrations a day before? Here’s a little Irish luck for you:

“May your troubles be less and your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness come through your door”

We’ve got a great Irish recipe for you this week, incorporating some of the veg in your boxes. You might feel bad about midweek drinking, but if the alcohol is in the recipe, it doesn’t really count does it?

Check out this wonderful Irish stew Guinness included, of course:

Stout Stew

Ingredients
1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
1kg stewing beef
1 onion
2 tbsp plain flour
500ml can Guinness
1 beef stock cube
pinch of salt
3 bay leaves
big thyme sprig
10 carrots, cut in to chunks

Method
1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat the oil in large lidded casserole dish, brown the meat really well in batches, then set aside. Add the onion and carrots to the dish, give them a good browning, then scatter over the flour and stir. Tip the meat and any juices back into the dish and give it all a good stir. Pour over the Guinness and crumble in the stock cube. Season the stew with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Tuck in the herbs and bring everything to a simmer.

2. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for about 2½ hrs until the meat is really tender. The stew can now be chilled and frozen for up to 3 months – defrost completely before reheating until piping hot. Leave the stew to settle a little, then serve with Creamy parsnip mash for a true celebration of winter vegetables.

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!


This Week’s Bounty

All Boxes
Potatoes, Lancs
Carrots, Lancs
Leeks, Kent
Green Kale, Perry Court
Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Kent

Medium & Large Boxes
Red Cabbe, Lancs
Broad Beans, ESP
Pulsane, Perry Court

Small Boxes
Mushrooms, Suffolk



Fruit Supplement
Apples, Kent (All Boxes)
Blood Oranges, ESP (Medium & Large Boxes)
Grapefruit, ESP (Large Boxes)

Who run the world? Girls!

Happy International Women’s Day!

As Beyonce so rightly said, girls really do run the world and in honour of all females we thought we’d make this week’s food focus all about women.

In this weeks box you’ll find the familiar vegetable, carrot. Our orange, yellow and purple friends are packed full of antioxidants that do all sorts of wonderful things to the female body. Firstly, they have a high level of beta-carotene which has been proven to slow down ageing, carrots have also been recognised to reduce the risk of multiple cancers, including breast cancer. See, they aren’t just good for seeing in the dark!

Carrots are also great for your skin, packed full of vitamin A to preserve from the inside out, protecting your skin from sun damage. Vitamin A is also great at flushing the body of all those nasty toxins reducing your risk of acne. But, have you ever considered using carrots as a skin product? Containing natural antiseptics as well as antioxidants, this wonder veg is just as great as a fancy spa treatment but at a fraction of the price!

Check out our simple/completely natural face mask recipe below, and enjoy!

Carrot-y Face Mask

Ingredients
1 teaspoon of olive oil
2 carrots, grated
1 teaspoon honey
1 lemon

Method
1. Grate carrots and steam until soft.
2. Mash carrots in to a creamy consistency.
3. Mix in the honey and olive oil
4. Add 8 -10 drops of lemon juice
5. Bring Using your hands, gently massage the liquid on to your face
6. Leave for five minutes to dry
7. Wash off in the shower, or over the sink with warm water

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!


This Week’s Bounty

All Boxes
Potatoes, Perry Court
Carrots, Lancs
Onions, Cambs
Red Kale, Yorks
Esmee Rocket, Perry Court

Medium & Large Boxes
Flower Sprouts, Kent
Parsnips, Yorks
Kohl Rabi, Lancs 



Fruit Supplement
Apples, Kent (All Boxes)
Blood Oranges, ESP (Medium & Large Boxes)
Grapefruit, ESP (Large Boxes)

Oh my, sweet potato pie

Next week is national Pie Week. Only in the UK would you have a week dedicated to celebrating the wonder that are pies!

We’ve really done our research on pies this week and have discovered that pies date all the way back to the Roman period. Originally the pastry was used to store the meat, or whatever other filling was inside, similar to how we’d use a pot nowadays. The pastry, which was fairly inedible back then, would be used to hold the meal together whilst it was cooked. It was only over time that the pastry could be included in the meal too.

Below is a great pie recipe that incorporates many of the ingredients from this weeks boxes:

Chicken, leek and mushroom pie with cauliflower mash topping

Ingredients

For the pie filling:
1 tsp ghee
2 leeks, trimmed, sliced
2 large celery stalks, trimmed, diced
1 bay leaf
500ml hot chicken stock
4 carrots, sliced
1 small fennel bulb, outer leaves removed
250g mushrooms, sliced
600g cooked chicken
large handful chopped parsley
salt and pepper
For the pie topping:
1.2kg cauliflower, outer leaves removed
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
50g butter
salt and pepper

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.
2. Heat the ghee in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until softened but not browned. Add the celery and bay leaf and increase the heat to high. Fry for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil, then add the carrots, fennel and mushrooms and reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Continue to simmer the mixture until the volume of liquid has reduced and thickened, and the vegetables are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, for the topping, put the cauliflower, garlic cloves and half of the butter in a large, lidded saucepan. Add 4 tablespoons of water and cover.
5. Bring the pan contents to a simmer over a medium heat and steam for 6-8 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a knife (add a splash more water during cooking if necessary). Remove from the heat and transfer the contents to a food processor. Blend to your consistency of choice – either smooth and creamy or roughly textured. Season with salt and pepper.
6. To finish the pie filling, remove the bay leaf and add the remaining filling ingredients to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well, then transfer the mixture to an ovenproof pie dish.
7. Spoon the pie topping over the filling and spread into an even layer using a palette knife. Use a fork to create a criss-cross pattern on top of the filling. Dot the top of the pie with the remaining butter.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the topping is golden-brown.

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!


This Week’s Bounty

All Boxes
Potatoes, Lancs
Cauliflower, Lancs
Flower Sprouts, Lincs
Kale, Perry Court
Winter Pulsane, Perry Court
Leeks, Cambs

Medium & Large Boxes
Mushrooms, Suffolk
Wild Garlic, Kent
Kohl Rabi, Lancs

Large Boxes
Beetroot, Lancs



Fruit Supplement
Apples, Kent (All Boxes)
Pears, Kent (Medium & Large Boxes)
Blood Oranges, ESP (Large Boxes)

Anyone for some turnip cabbage?

In this week’s box you will find the slightly unusual Kohlrabi. A member of the cabbage family, the name actually translates to mean, ‘turnip cabbage’. This strange looking veg is mild and slightly sweet in flavour with an added crunch and crispy texture. It’s a great addition to any winter dinner plate.

Sauteed Kohlrabi with Onions & Cheese

Ingredients
Cubes of peeled kohlrabi
Thinly slices white onion
Unsalted butter
Finely shredded kohlrabi leaves
Thick double cream
Grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to season
Method
1. Cook kohlrabi and onion in butter over medium-high heat until almost tender.
2. Stir in kohlrabi leaves, and cook until wilted.
3. Add a generous splash of heavy cream, and cook for a few seconds to reduce.
4. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
5. Serve with chicken, pork chops, or steak

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!


This Week’s Bounty

All Boxes
Red Cara Potatoes, Perry Court
Carrots, Lancs
Leeks, Kent
Kohlrabi, ESP
Mushrooms, Suffolk

Medium & Large Boxes
Kale, Kent
Celeriac, Lancs
Sprout Tops, Lancs



Fruit Supplement
Apples, Kent (All Boxes)
Grapefruit, ESP (Medium & Large Boxes)
Blood Oranges, ESP (Large Boxes)