Thursday, 22 November 2012

Longhorn Beef

I was on a level 3 food safety in manufacturing course last week at Food Centre Wales in West Wales, a great course with a diverse bunch of people - the dinner ladies were great fun talking about the 'allergies' kids get these days. And the small holders, goats cheese producers and farmers also had some great stories - mostly about the non-parity of the EHO's rules and decisions but that's for another post...

One of my fellow students was Rob from Carn Edward based in the Gwaun Valley in Pembrokeshire. Check out Rob's website here

Rob not only gave me his secret burger recipe THAT WILL REMAIN SECRET!!! But he also gave me a few packs of his fine minced beef from his herd of Longhorn. I put it straight in the freezer as soon as I got home and will defrost it as needed.

I will be making burgers to his recipe for dinner tonight, I'll post some photos but the recipe I post will be an old recipe of mine, not the one I will actually use that Rob kindly disclosed to me.

If you see Rob around at the many markets he attends grab some of his fine Longhorn beef or his Lleyn lamb and see if you can get his secret recipe out of him! :)
Sunday, 11 November 2012

Corned Veal with Savoy Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes

I made some corned veal the other day, although it's great in a sandwich I think this simple recipe is one of the best autumnal dishes you can cook...quick, easy, excuses people - make it!

Recipe after the jump

Friday, 9 November 2012

Caws Cenarth

I've just got one of my cheese suppliers sorted for the Deli.

They have a great range that is consistently good, they also sell online - check them out at
Sunday, 28 October 2012

Reusable Carrier Bags - keep 'em clean.

Here in Wales most of us use reusable carrier bags, I was reading an article on the FSA website earlier and found an article that is common sense but I bet it's something many of us have not thought about. See the article below.

The Food Standards Agency in Wales are reminding consumers how they can protect their shopping when packing raw and ready-to-eat food products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Information published today by the Welsh Government shows there has been a 96% reduction in the use of carrier bags in some retail sectors since charges for plastic bags were introduced in Wales in October 2011.

With more and more consumers reusing carrier bags, either for sustainability or as a result of charging, there are some important tips to help prevent bacteria spreading to ready-to-eat food.
  • Keep raw meat and fish separate from ready-to eat-foods, in separate bags.
  • If your bags are re-useable, keep one or two just for use with raw meat and fish. Don’t use them for ready-to-eat foods.
  • Re-useable bags (and single use carrier bags) should be disposed of if there’s been any spillage of raw meat juices.
Rob Wilkins, food safety expert at the FSA in Wales, explains: ‘Packing raw meat and fish with ready-to-eat foods can lead to cross-contamination, particularly if there are any spillages or leaks from the raw foods. While a carrier bag may look clean there is always the potential for cross-contamination of ready-to-eat foods. That’s why it’s a good idea to have separate, identifiable bags for raw and ready-to eat-foods.’
Saturday, 27 October 2012

Corned Veal

I have some Welsh Veal - a rolled back rib, a brisket and some knuckle. I plan to make suet puddings from the knuckle and roast the rolled back rib.

Trimmed Veal Brisket

As for the brisket I thought I'd corn it. This requires patience but you will be rewarded by the best corned veal you can get - much better than the tinned beef stuff (though that does have it's place, especially in a pasty!)

Veal Brisket Rolled Nice and Tight

I'll update the blog with the finished product in about a week :)

Here's what you need:-


2kg Veal Brisket (rolled)

For the Pickling Brine

2 litres of cold water
240g sea salt
60g Brown Sugar
120ml Organic cider vinegar (or another pale vinegar of about 5% acidity)
2 Bay Leaves
2 Cloves of Garlic (bashed)
10g Black Peppercorns
5g Yellow Mustard Seeds
5g Cloves, buds pinched

For the Cooking Liquid

Enough water to cover 3/4 of the veal
5g Black Peppercorns
2g Yellow Mustard Seeds
2g Allspice Berries
3 Whole Cloves
2 Bashed cloves of Garlic


Put all the brine ingredients into a pot and bring to the boil to dissolve the salt into a solution. Let this cool and then put in the fridge overnight to allow to come to the same temperature as the veal.
The next day take your rolled brisket and put it in a food safe bag and pour in the chilled brine, now secure the bag and put back into the fridge for about a week turning each day.

Once the veal has been brined drain and dispose of the brine. Rinse the meat well and put into a large saucepan with the cooking liquid as detailed above.

Bring to a simmer and skim off any scum/foam that appears on the top of the pan. 

Simmer on low for about 2-2.5hrs.

Take out and let it rest for 20mins then serve with cabbage and potatoes. You can also eat it cold with pickles or in sandwiches or even fry it up with spuds to make a nice corned veal hash with runny fried ducks eggs. NOM! :)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Veal - why you should eat it

I've recently met a lovely couple from West Wales who have a dairy herd. They've decided to start producing veal, which a lot of people are against simply due to lack of education on the subject.

Here's a fact that some veggies try to avoid when they eat their cheeses in their holier than thou attitude towards us meat eating omnivores - the male calves of the dairy herd are normally killed at birth and converted to dog food. It happens on all dairy farms as basically whats the point of keeping a non-milk producing male when you are in the dairy business?

Luckily this could be a thing of the past if people could get the idea of 'veal is evil' out of their mind. In the past veal has had a bad press...and quite rightly so in some respect. Dutch veal is to be avoided, they're not treated well, they're reared to be pale by being milk fed and kept in the dark...not good (though I think the EU banned this in 2007, one of the best things they've done). British veal has always been looked after well and since more of us care about where our food comes from and how it was looked after things are getting even better.

When choosing good veal look at the colour - the less intensively it has been reared the darker the meat, this is always a good guide to go on, just remember when cooking veal that it is very lean and need to be treated as such or you may be at risk of drying it out during cooking.

Still not convinced or does the thought of eating a younger animal turn you off? If so you had better stop eating lamb, most pork and definitely chicken...I hear carrots are nice this time of year.
Thursday, 18 October 2012

Black Pudding - tastes good, pity the blood is Dutch

My name is Dave and I'm a offal-oholic, the internal oddments are some of the best parts of the beast but massively underused by the majority of the UK now, it's a real shame when kids will eat a McDonalds but not any offal.

One of my favourite byproducts of the piggy world is black pudding, it's a shame that most of the stuff we get is made from spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP) or basically dried blood. To make things worse the EU has so many 'laws' in place it's making it difficult for the abattoirs to do any thing with the fresh blood so it's awfully wasteful.

And the final nail in the black pudding coffin is that most of the dried blood available is Dutch...still tastes good though with some Welsh pig fat in there :)

I wonder if the French Boudin Noir makers adhere so strictly to EU legislation??? I think not!