Well, I’ve checked no less than four weather websites, and all are currently predicting a weekend of sunshine and, whilst not exactly a heatwave, temperatures of around 16 degrees for Easter, which will do very nicely thank you! So we can tentatively plan some day trips, a little time in the garden or as so many people do, a gathering of family and friends.
But who wants to come home from a lovely day out to start cooking for the family? Or spend the day in the kitchen whilst family and friends party along without you? But who is expected to produce a feast fit for the Easter celebration? Sounds familiar, doesn’t it.
However, nobody needs to spend Easter slaving over a hot stove, something I discovered many years ago with the genius invention that is the slow cooker. These little beauties not only turn the humblest cuts of meat into gastronomic delights, but do it practically all by themselves… you just do a bit of preparation, walk away and leave them to it.
And Kedington Butchers of Haverhill can offer a delicious selection of fresh, locally sourced meat to guarantee a simple yet hearty feast over Easter.
Lamb is very often the joint of choice for the Easter Celebration, but traditional roast lamb with all the trimmings can be hard work and time consuming to produce. The simplicity of a lamb shank offers all the tender, moist ‘fall off the bone’ meat with minimum effort from you.
Simply brown the shanks over a relatively high heat and add to the slow cooker with your choice of stock and seasonings. You may opt for a traditional lamb/mint stock, adding bay leaves, carrots and onions to the pot. Cooking your lamb with rosemary and garlic adds a Mediterranean flavour, or my personal favourite, red wine, mushrooms, shallots and redcurrant jelly for a succulent, sweet and slightly boozy dish.
The point is, whatever you decide to throw in there, it’s all to your personal taste, almost impossible to get wrong, and once it’s in there you can leave it for hours while you get on with enjoying your day. The shanks are best served with mounds of creamy mashed potatoes, which can easily be prepared the day before and reheated in the oven just before serving.
Kedington Butchers lamb is absolutely delicious so why not order for your Easter lunch today? Call 01440 869239 to place your order.
Yum yum, what’s not to love? Well, I’ll tell you what’s not to love… trying to get the flipping crackling crispy! I adore pork crackling, but it is my culinary nemesis. Thankfully, direct from the good old US of A we have been introduced to the delight that is pulled pork.
Commonly made using a shoulder joint, the pork is cooked for anything up to 8 hours, until the meat is tender enough to be easily shredded with a fork. Dingley Dell pork from Kedington Butchers in Haverhill is perfect for this foolproof pulled pork recipe.
Simply coat the pork shoulder with a spice rub of dark brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon, then cook it on a bed of garlic and onions covered with chicken stock. When you come back anywhere between six and eight hours later, you’ll have juicy pork ready and waiting to be shredded and served. Think crusty rolls, baked potatoes, salad, coleslaw and tangy barbeque sauce and you have everything you need for an informal, yet impressive spread.
You can give pretty much the same treatment to beef. An inexpensive, boneless joint rubbed with mustard and steak seasoning, browned then cooked in a shallow beef stock with a dash of Worcestershire sauce will give you tender shredded beef in a delicious gravy. Add sliced onions to the pot and you have the makings for extremely posh burgers! Or add a touch of Mexican spicy sauce and serve as burritos, fajitas or in taco shells.
If you want something a little more formal but just as simple, slow cook your beef in a rich red wine gravy, or a dark and creamy brown ale. The wine will add extra flavour of its own, and its acidity will help to tenderise the meat as it cooks. Beer, brown ale, or stout makes a deliciously rich sauce with the long slow cooking removing all traces of bitterness. You can serve on a bed of rice or, for the ultimate in simplicity, add your potatoes and vegetables to the crock pot.
With Riverside Beef from Kedington Butchers in Haverhill, whichever cut of meat you choose satisfaction is guaranteed!
What about the kids?
Perhaps you love to cook, and want to impress your guests with something a bit challenging, but are worried about catering for the children without adding to your workload.
Again, the slow cooker comes into its own as once you have quickly browned a batch of delicious home made sausages from Kedington Butchers you can pop them in, with a simple tomato based sauce you could even cheat and buy one!)and forget about them whilst you concentrate on producing a culinary masterpiece for your adult guests!
The important thing is to enjoy your Easter weekend, and if you can serve meals with maximum impact for minimum effort then you are definitely onto a winner! And the winning starts at Kedington Butchers, as Haverhill's premier butchers offer locally sourced produce of the highest quality, at prices that won’t break the bank.
If you don’t have a slow cooker (believe me they’re worth every penny, and don’t have to be expensive) then you can slow cook in a lidded casserole dish in a conventional oven, but the cooking times may well be shorter and there is a risk of the liquids drying out if you don’t keep an eye on them, which defeats the object a bit. As individual cuts of meat - and different cooking appliances - can vary so much, your best bet in the absence of a slow cooker, is to ask the friendly, experienced staff at Kedington Butchers in Haverhill for their advice!
Please click here for further details about Kedington Butchers in Haverhill.
Member since: 6th November 2012
I am a long-term resident of Haverhill and love sharing information and advice on the best places to visit, businesses to contact and people to speak to!