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

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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

Petra Pennington

Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder: A revelation for ill-prepared cooks (like me!)

Busy eating my leftover spaghetti for lunch (made with a fairly random selection of odds and ends out the cupboards and fridge, naturally), a colleague came over offered me a very welcome addition to my meal.

This pleasing experience has a tendency to happen when you work at Donald Russell – and it’s a part of our workplace culture which I am ever grateful of! The welcome addition in question was a slice of one of our new Slow Cooked Roasts – the Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder.

I have had the good fortune of trying this delightful, ready-cooked roast before. It is customary in the fortnight prior to the launch of a new product, for all us Donald Russell folk to sample the exciting new offerings. Steaming, aromatic delights that Stefan, Eddie and Matthias, our in-house chefs, pull out of the oven, like magicians pulling rabbits out of hats!

Lamb Shoulder

Like the other Slow Cooked Roasts, the Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder starts with our quality, grass-fed meat. After our butchers have precision trimmed the shoulder by hand, the joint is sealed in a vacuum bag with a sprig of rosemary and a simple wee marinade. The whole lot is cooked for ten hours (so longer than even your most triumphant weekend lie-in) and becomes pretty much spoon tender.

Lamb Shoulder

Once this roast – with all its tantalising juices and fat thoughtfully trapped in the bag – has been taken out the freezer and teased out of its wrapping, it won’t be long before your nose is twitching with olfactory glee! That’s because you can pop this Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder in the oven from frozen, and in just an hour and a half it’ll be ready. These roasts will always turn out perfectly soft and tender, with a rich, caramelised-brown meaty ‘crust’ – yum!

Lamb Shoulder

After its grand unveiling at your dining table, this slow cooked meat is great cold too. As a matter of fact I was caught off-guard by just how sublimely soft the meat was, with its moreish edge of marinated fat. It gave over all its rich, savoury flavour even though it was stone cold. I was really impressed.

With the advent of these Slow Cooked Roasts, I now have no excuses: ‘I forgot to take the roast out of the freezer’ just won’t wash, and my thrown together, leftover meals need never be boring again!

Petra

P.S. I’m not the only one to appreciate how revolutionarily time-saving this roast is – take it from a hero of the British food media:

“It’s amazing that you can get a slow cooked shoulder of lamb in just an hour.”

Tony Turnbull, Food & Drink Editor, The Times

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