Corrie Cheyne

I’ve always been aware of St. George’s Day, because here in the UK, we celebrate it on my brother’s birthday. I knew he (St. George, that is, not my brother) was the patron saint of England, and had something to do with dragons. But that was about it, as far as my knowledge went.

So this year, I did some digging, and discovered a little more. Although 23rd April was declared St. George’s Day way back in 1222, it wasn’t until 1348 that he was named as the patron saint of England. By 1415, St. George’s Day had been declared a national holiday and feast day – a tradition that has sadly fallen by the wayside (I’m all in favour of feast days, whatever the excuse!)

St George

He was indeed renowned for slaying a dragon – one that had made its lair by a spring, and needed distracting every day so that the people could get water. At first the sacrifice of a sheep did the trick, but when maidens were needed to tempt away the pesky dragon, St. George stepped in and slew it, to the understandable delight of the townspeople. (Personally, I’ve always thought that dragons get a bit of a bad press – I’m sure there must have been some friendly, helpful ones around, but you never hear anything about them.)

This being a Donald Russell blog, it was the foodie traditions from around the world that interested me the most. Catalonia has a good record, celebrating St George’s Day with gifts of books and roses, and cakes and bread cleverly baked in the yellow and red stripes of the Catalan flag. But in Bulgaria, where St. George is the patron saint of shepherds, the custom is to prepare and eat a whole lamb. Now that’s a tradition we could easily get behind!

Meanwhile, if you prefer a more English celebration, check out our Toad in the Hole, Steak & Kidney Pie, and of course, our classic beef roasts. And why not round it all off with a traditional Fruit Crumble?

Happy St. George’s Day!

5 Bone Rib

Yours aye,

Corrie

Posted by Corrie in Miscellaneous, NEW to Donald Russell   |  Leave a comment

Corrie Cheyne

Hi – nice to be back!

Yes, I’m going on about Slow Cooked Roasts again – but only because I really am smitten by them! There’s something about the texture of them – so very soft and tender and satisfying … my mouth is actually watering as I’m typing this … *gives self a shake and attends to the task in hand*

Right, where was I? Ah yes, Slow Cooked Pork Belly. This is a great example of a cut that really benefits from this method of cooking. The long, slow, gentle heat transforms this humble cut into a gloriously sticky, savoury treat. Rich, fat and delicious, cooked on the rib-bones for even more flavour, this serves three or four hungry folk – or you could spin it out a bit by shredding it between a couple of forks for ‘pulled pork’ – seriously tasty served in a floury bap! *oh no, she’s off again …*

It’s best accompanied by something with a bit of bite or sharpness – mustard, rowan jelly or a fairly spicy chutney all set it off beautifully. There’s a great range of this kind of thing available these days – have a rake around your local farmer’s market for local, handmade jars of whatever takes your fancy.

Pork Belly

Once it’s heated through, you can skim the juices (they’re fairly fatty, which is what adds all the flavour) and dilute them down to a rich gravy. At this point, I’d also take off the top layer of fat from the joint and whack it under a really hot grill to crisp it up – the ‘sous vide’ method of cooking means that the crackling doesn’t go as crispy as it usually would, but this trick ‘crunches’ it up nicely. Enjoy!

Yours aye,

Corrie

Posted by Corrie in Beef, Lamb & Pork, NEW to Donald Russell   |  Leave a comment

Petra Pennington

Have you ever perused the ‘Free from’ aisle in your local supermarket? If you’re one of the estimated 25 million people in the UK suffering from some kind of food intolerance or allergy, chances are you are familiar with it.

Of these intolerances, digestive problems relating to gluten are among the most common, with over 15% of British consumers opting to choose gluten free alternatives to their favourite store-cupboard staples. In fact many people opt to avoid gluten simply because they feel better for it.

However, despite the recent prevalence of gluten free products on the shelves, you may be less used to finding anything gluten free in your own freezer.

Well, if you’ve been one of the wise Donald Russell customers who have ordered our NEW! Chocolate & Pecan Brownie, you may be in for a pleasant surprise…

Chocolate Brownie

That’s because our new, scrumptiously chocolatey, bake-at-home-till-it’s-extra-fudgy-or-just-tear-into-it-from-defrosted Brownie, is in actual fact made to a gluten free recipe.

Our very own Hans Baumann – Managing Director of Donald Russell, and passionate food connoisseur – is himself a gluten free zone. Feeling subtle changes to his digestive system over time, he decided to see if living without gluten would yield any benefits.

He found it did. And because he knew he would not be alone in this experience, he implored Stefan to, where possible, find ways of making our new products without gluten – but only if it would have a positive effect on the eating quality of the finished dish. Now quite a few of our new products, including our Brownie, have had the ‘gluten free recipe’ treatment.

We don’t shout about this for two reasons. The first is we’re incredibly modest (honest!), and the second is that these delicious Brownies have been hand made by our chefs in a normal patisserie environment. So we can’t absolutely say that there is no miniscule trace of gluten present in the air or kitchen when these are being made. This means that whilst they are unsuitable for those who have Coeliac disease, they’re the perfect sweet treat for the vast majority of people avoiding gluten for dietary or other reasons.

Chocolate & Pecan Brownie

So, you want a delightfully squidgy, crackle-topped, freshly baked brownie at home, but you don’t want the hassle or mess of making them yourself? Well there’s no need to don your apron – just pop our Chocolate & Pecan Brownie in the oven from frozen. And you can keep that bag of flour locked in your cupboard – just like we did!

Petra

Posted by Petra in Desserts, NEW to Donald Russell   |  Leave a comment