One of the useful items that came with my Well Hung Meat box was a newsletter, personally written by CEO Simon Wood including his own recommendations for seasonal eating. Recounting childhood memories of stealing sweetcorn from farmers in the Isle of Wight, alongside tales of his three and a half year old daughter’s fearless hunger for picking strawberries and raspberries even in the face of brambles, nettles and wasps, it’s a lovely personal touch that instantly connects company to consumer. You just don’t get that when you shop at the supermarket…
Here are a few of my favourite tips from Simon’s newsletter:
- Now is the best time for organic beef, as animals have been out grazing on the grass, which grows best in summer. Summer feeding ensures a perfect fat covering with creamy white marbling. Choose meat from coastal locations where the salty sea air contributes to a rich flavour.
- Check your local hedgerows for blackberries, elderberries, sloes, rosehips and crab apples. Use them in homemade preserves, and Christmassy gins (my friend Laura, a SUPER talented professional food writer/stylist/chef, has a fabulous damson gin recipe on her blog).
- Look for a glut of end of harvest vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, carrots, courgettes, marrow, spinach, fresh peas and tomatoes. Simon says, “I personally think the difference between home grown (or organically produced) tomatoes and those mass produced… is greater than that of any other fruit or vegetable product”. I absolutely agree – I’ve tried Laura’s homegrown tommies and they’re fabulous!
If you didn’t catch my interview with Simon last week, have a read – it’s a good eye opener for anyone who’s never considered the provenance of meat.
And to make up for no meaty posts, here are two great Nigel Slater recipes for using up end of season fruit and veggies – Mozzarella with Tomato Crumbs / Raspberry Pie (via guardian.co.uk).