In Season – December 2016
Make it a local Christmas by shopping from our local suppliers – here’s where to buy your Christmas lunch…
Brussels sprouts: sales of these traditional Christmas vegetables rocket at this time of year. If you’re not a fan of the taste, consider the health benefits – they are packed full of folic acid and contain anti-cancerous properties, although they do contain high levels of suplharane, making them smell like rotten eggs if overcooked! Some of the best ways to enjoy them are finely sliced and stir fried with other strong flavours such as chestnuts, bacon and mushrooms.
Red cabbage: a festive favourite, braised red cabbage brings a cheery sight to the Christmas table. Slow cooked with other festive ingredients such as clementines, cinnamon and star anise, or apple and cider, it’s one dish that benefits from being made the day before.
Carrots and Parsnips: give these humble root vegetables an upgrade for Christmas by offering a bowl of honey-glazed beauties. Chop the parsnips into finger lengths, choose small carrots with the tails on, and roast together with a drizzle of honey, a scattering of thyme, a flash of salt and pepper and a glug of oil.
Potatoes: roasties are an integral part of any roast dinner so it’s important to get them right. Parboil chopped, peeled potatoes until almost soft, drain then toss with polenta. Turn into a tray of scorching hot goose fat and cook, shaking half way through the cooking time. An hour and a half later, they’ll be crispy on the outside, fluffy in the middle – the perfect roast potato!
Turkey: the classic festive meat might not be to everyone’s liking but it really makes a huge difference where you buy your birds from and how you cook them. Choose locally reared turkeys for freshness and cook breast side down in the first instance. Mid way through, turn the bird over. When cooked, wrap in foil and tea towels and leave to rest for at least one hour.
Where to buy:
- Fresh, seasonal vegetables: Coleshill Organic Farm, Croft Farm, Duncan Paget & Co, Over Farm Market, Newark Farm, Hotch Potch Organic and Days Cottage.
- Turkey, goose, duck, ham or beef: come and put your order in now at Madgetts Farm, Monmouthshire Turkeys (organic), Frocester Fayre, Adeys Organic or Hinton Marsh Farm.
- Christmas trees: as well as your Christmas meal, you can also pick up fresh Christmas trees from the market, locally grown in Pitchcombe. They are available potted or cut on – hurry, it’s first come first served.