In recent months many of us were forced to rely on independent, local stores. They have proved themselves most worthy of our continued support. Their hard work to provide their local communities with great quality produce should not be forgotten now that restrictions have eased and we can venture further for our shopping.
My local butcher in Arundel is rather special. This family run business takes immense pride in sourcing its produce from dedicated UK suppliers and they do their own butchery and make their own award-winning sausages in house. Find their contact details at www.arundelbutchers.co.uk
Befriend your local butcher and show them your support. They are the best people to ask advice about the best cuts of meat to use and how to cook them.
I love cooking a larger piece of meat or a whole roast chicken at the weekend as it really helps to minimise food preparation during the week ahead. Always cook extra vegetables too, as doing so will help you save time in the week ahead. This weekend I opted for a pork shoulder and instead of vegetables I made a large bowl of salsa.
The 1.6kg shoulder of pork I bought from Arundel Butchers this week was slow roasted in my oven for 6 hrs 30 mins.
That’s a long cooking time, but there’s minimal effort involved. You can pop the pork in the oven and simply turn down the heat after 30 mins and then leave it do cook by itself while you get outside in your garden or go on a long walk.
The recipe I followed was on a leaflet from lovepork.co.uk that I picked up from the butcher’s with my meat.
All you need to do is rub the shoulder of pork with 1 tablespoon of dried herbs (like thyme or oregano) and 1-2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar, 1 tsp of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Line your roasting tin with a double layer of baking paper and place the prepared pork shoulder on top.
Cook for 30 mins in an oven pre-heated to 200º and then reduce the temperature to 150º, pour in 300-500 ml of hot water and then cover the meat with more double baking paper or foil if you use this to cook with (I prefer not to).
Cook slow and low for about 6 hours and then remove cover and turn the oven back up to 200º for 10 mins. Then remove and rest for 30 minutes before serving.
The pork will be meltingly soft and to serve you just need to use two forks to pull it into chunks.
It is delicious sprinkled with some pomegranate seeds and served with a freshly made salsa (see below) and a huge bowl of green leaves (like watercress and cos lettuce) dressed simply with some extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice. I also boiled some Jersey new potatoes and then finished them off in a frying pan with a little olive oil to make them something in between a roast and a new potato.
2 corn on the cob – cooked and kernels sliced off
1 large red onion
1 red chilli
2 medium tomatoes
Large handful of coriander, mint or other fresh herbs
Good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
When you’ve finished your weekend roast leave the leftovers to cool and then plate them up and pop them in the fridge ready to be your best buddies in the week ahead.
For lunch today I was able to use the salsa leftovers to create a rainbow coloured gluten free ‘pizza’ using a wrap and some pre cooked crab meat. Literally took about 5 mins from start to finish.
Thanks to the addition of the lemon juice the avocado should still be green and pretty vibrant the next day.
As I had plenty of leftover new potatoes and pulled pork I decided to rustle up a curry. This can be prepared and kept in fridge for a couple of days.
2 x red onions – sliced
4 cloves of garlic – sliced
Tenderstem broccoli – bite sized pieces
Green beans – cut in half
Leftover new potato
2 x tins of chopped tomatoes
1 x tin of coconut milk
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp turmeric powder