RECIPES OF THE MONTH

SEPTEMBER 2021

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

SEPTEMBER 2021

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES SEPTEMBER 2021

For anyone with a passion for wild food September has to be one of the best months of the year, what with blackberries and sloes in prime season. But there’s another wild fruit that is often overlooked – though is now being taken up enthusiastically by some chefs – and that is the elderberry.

Often taken in the form of a cordial to ward off winter colds in the past, it also yields a very distinctively-flavoured jelly: delicious on toast but equally a powerful ingredient in meat cookery.

We’re teaming it up with lamb this month but the quantities given for the jelly will make you half a dozen small jars to see you through a winter of cookery: a spoonful will add roundness, depth and character to sauces for lamb, pork and, above all, game.

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

AUGUST 2021

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

AUGUST 2021

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES AUGUST 2021

Partial to a bit of lamb, the Greeks. Very partial. Although they produce some stunningly good pork lamb remains the favourite meat in most families though the animals it comes from are as far from plump, English lambs as it is possible to imagine.

Reared in hot conditions often on stony pastures they are much thinner for one thing, generally smaller for another. But their meat has a wonderful flavour, particularly on the Greek islands where they will often graze on wild herbs whose own flavours have been intensified by the heat.

Herbs also play a large role in Greek food, whether the wonderful combination of dill and mint you find in dishes such as spanakopita or the thyme-flavoured honey they dollop onto yogurt to make one of the world’s great breakfasts.

Then there’s oregano – rigani – ten times more pungent and powerful than our own mild, garden variety but consequently delivering ten times the punch in food.  It really is worth seeking out a supply of Greek oregano for the store cupboard, the best way of doing it being booking a Greek holiday (as soon as it’s safe to go) and experiencing some of the extraordinary and often underrated dishes the country has to offer.

Gyros (pronounced zhi-roh) is normally prepared like a doner kebab with minced lamb but here we’re suggesting transferring the flavours to leg of lamb of which we currently have a plentiful supply.

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

JULY 2021

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

JULY 2021

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES JULY 2021

This month’s recipes are all about the magic of garlic: a seasoning which is a bit like Marmite in that some people adore it and others shrink from it like vampires.

The UK has taken to garlic in a big way since people were introduced to it back in the 1960s when overseas holidays enjoyed their first, huge rise in popularity.

By the 1980s more garlic was being consumed in southern Britain than in northern France and the continuing growth in demand has now given rise to a home-grown garlic industry.

It originally took root on the Isle of Wight where a number of local varieties have since been developed, though for some people nothing will beat the huge, fist-sized bulbs you will find on sale in continental markets.

New season’s, or ‘wet’ garlic is available now, giving the advantage of a slightly milder flavour. But for most garlic lovers it’s a case of the stronger, the better.

You may have caught one of Britain’s celebrity chefs whipping up some controversy (and publicity, naturally) recently with a recipe featuring a chicken cooked with 40 cloves of garlic. In fact there’s absolutely nothing new about it: it’s been appearing in French cookery books for decades. And we’re offering our own version here.

Another visitor from across the Channel is aioli, the classic Provencal garlic mayonnaise which in that part of the world will form the centrepiece of a huge supper or lunch dish consisting of cooked and raw vegetables and often some fish, all to be dipped into it before being eaten. For this version we can supply prawns and vegetables.

Aioli more than repays the modest effort involved in preparing it, the only golden rule being to ensure that all the ingredients – and the bowl you use – are at room temperature. Oh, and there’s one more warning: many people have found aioli to be addictive.

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

JUNE 2021

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

JUNE 2021

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES JUNE 2021

By the law of averages it should be barbecue weather from now until Bonfire Night.

We have, after all, had a summer’s worth of bad weather in the last month so on that basis – and even if you believe some of the more optimistic forecasts – the skies are set to remain sunny and clear for weeks to come.

But in any event we shall all be indulging in a barbecue at some point between now and the autumn and while we’ve often suggested meat-based barbecue treats in the past this month we’re also making some suggestions as to what to serve alongside.

All our ideas are based on potatoes. Once dismissed with the almost automatic label of ‘humble’ in the past. But British potatoes have come a very long way since then. Top of the heap are still, of course, Jersey Royals but other types of British new potato aren’t far behind though remain all too often woefully underrated.

Let us show you how they can become something truly delicious in their own right with this month’s selection. First stop: Greece…

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

MAY 2021

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

MAY 2021

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES MAY 2021

It’s an elusive element, the British barbecue season. This year it appeared to have arrived early, taking us all by surprise. And just as we were getting down to suggesting some barbecue recipes for May, when it normally gets into full swing, the weather has turned and we are back to something like February.

Never mind. Barbecue weather will be back with us at some point soon, so it’s well worth getting ready for it. The good news is that we have plentiful supplies of barbecue-ready steak of all kinds and at very tempting prices so even if you aren’t quite ready to fire up yet it might well be sensible to take advantage of this and buy for the freezer.

The usual rules of barbecuing apply of course. If you are using charcoal don’t attempt to cook huge amounts of food – particularly chicken – on a small barbecue and don’t cook over roaring flames or you will ruin the flavour of the food. Always allow the fire to die down and wait for a layer of grey ash to form on the coals before adding the meat – and wipe the grill with an oil-soaked piece of kitchen paper before you place anything on it.

In the interests of livening up your barbecues this year we’re suggesting some unusual flavour combinations. Pork and prunes are often found together in the casseroles that are popular in southwest France but combine equally well when gently cooked this way.

Chimichurri is a favourite in Argentina and frequently slathered over the huge grilled steaks that are so popular there. It’s known as Argentinean pesto because it has the same pungency as that great Italian sauce. Meanwhile our recipe for steak seasoning conjures up some of the flavours of the American southwest and can just as easily be used for fish as well as for meats of all kinds – particularly beef and lamb.

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

APRIL 2021

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

APRIL 2021

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES APRIL 2021

If it’s April it has to be lamb – and English lamb, of course. But new season’s lamb comes with something of a warning this year: prices are unavoidably higher than a year ago.

There is little we can do about that. We are sourcing our lambs from a market which is very short because so many farmers, fearful of becoming embroiled in export chaos in the wake of Brexit, have cut back on production.

And when a market is short the inevitable happens: the price goes up. That said, there is still little to equal the eating quality of prime English lamb – a product which is admired and envied in many countries where they have neither the grass, the climate nor the breeds to produce anything like the same quality.

Our recipes this month also demonstrate lamb’s versatility and we can particularly recommend the lamb boulangère, originally a dish cooked in the receding heat of the baker’s oven. And no list of suggestions for this time of the year would be complete without featuring the flavours of Greece, where lamb will be on the table in nearly every home at Easter.

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

MARCH 2021

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

MARCH 2021

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES MARCH 2021

British pig farmers are going through one of their periodic difficult trading times – caused, as usual, by factors way beyond their control.

The details are too complex to go into here but they concern trading arrangements and export agreements of countries as far apart as Germany and China which have built up significant surpluses of pork in Europe.

And despite the reported difficulties in the post-Brexit export and import trade these haven’t been severe enough to prevent large quantities of cheap Spanish pork arriving in the UK to further distort the market and put downward pressure on prices

However you will know we have always supported British pig farmers, and will always do so because of the vastly superior quality of the product.

The plus side of all this negative news for the industry is that pork currently represents very good value indeed, so it’s worth talking to us about freezer packs. Meanwhile here are some suggestions for cooking this most versatile of meats. If you haven’t tried pork cheeks before then there’s a treat in store for you – though we will need one day’s notice to supply them.

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

FEBRUARY 2021

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

FEBRUARY 2021

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES FEBRUARY 2021

February. Valentine’s Day. And the point in the calendar when many of us decide to put our culinary skills to the test and whip up something special to impress a loved one. Often, in the process, attempting something complex and wildly beyond our abilities, however it may have appeared when the celebrity chef cooked it on TV.

The golden rule to bear in mind if you are not an experienced cook is that it all comes down to the quality – though not necessarily the cost – of the ingredients. Get that right and even the simplest of dishes will deliver a great eating experience.

Luckily we are in a position to help you at boths of the scale. If your preference is for steak you won’t find any better than ours which comes from locallly-raised grass-fed beef cattle – and we’re suggesting a fail-safe way to achieve restaurant quality results with it.

But we’ve also won countless awards for the outstanding quality of our sausages so here are a couple of suggestions for turning them into really memorable supper dishes.

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

JANUARY 2021

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

JANUARY 2021

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES JANUARY 2021

You may have noticed how the cauliflower has become fashionable among the cooking classes in recent years. Professional chefs have discoverd how versatile a vegetable it is and what a variety of flavour hits it can deliver, given the proper treatment.

It’s a bit of a turnaround for something we have always taken for granted – and which, like Brussels sprouts, has presented something of a challenge to many children encountering it for the first time.

Cauliflowers actually originated in the Mediterranean region (the name comes from the Italian cavolfiore, meaning “cabbage flower”) and were used in many traditional Asian dishes for years before arriving here in the 16th century.

The best ones, it is generally agreed, are grown in Cornwall  and across the Channel in Brittany – both regions where they benefit from the mild, maritime climate – and since the 1970s growers in these areas have been exchanging knowledge and expertise to improve the quality and flavour of thier crops.

One of our most popular ways of serving it is, of course, as cauliflower cheese. But the supermarkets have done this potentially great dish a real disservice, using cheap, industrial cheese to deliver a bland and pretty much tasteless product. So we thought it was time to elevate this classic to the status it deserves. And all these recipes use the whole cauliflower – as those chefs have taught us there’s a huge amount of flavour in the core, the part many people still throw away.

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

DECEMBER 2020

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

DECEMBER 2020

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES DECEMBER 2020

This, so we have been told repeatedly, is not going to be a normal Christmas, and but will probably be the most low-key one in living memory. After all, even in the war there was no limit on family gatherings – only on the amount of food that might be available to feed everyone.

Here we are in the exact reverse circumstances: all the food in the world available yet hardly anyone to feed it to.

But bearing in mind that centuries ago Christmas was one of the very, very few occasions in the year when people did eat well we should all continue to make a little extra effort on the catering front for the sake of tradition, even though everything might have to be scaled down.

So, speaking of tradition we thought we should offer some truly traditional recipes this year. None demands fancy ingredients or any huge levels of skill or massive amounts of time to prepare. Leaving you, of course, plenty of time to phone those relatives and friends with whom you would have been sharing Christmas had things been different.

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

NOVEMBER 2020

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

NOVEMBER 2020

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES NOVEMBER 2020

GETTING AHEAD FOR CHRISTMAS

There’s nothing worse than putting off all the pre-Christmas food preparation and suddenly finding that it’s Christmas next week and you have simply run out of time.

So we should all be aiming to get as much as possible done by the end of November in order to leave a clear run for the first three weeks or so of December.

November is traditionally the month when Christmas puddings are concocted on Stir Up Sunday (it’s the 22nd this year), the last Sunday before Advent and so called because the collect for the day begins “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people” – which was always a useful reminder for people to get stirring their puddings when they got home from church.

The chicken and duck liver pâté and the Normandy pâté can both be made towards the end of November and frozen until needed – both are ideal for Boxing Day lunch. The salt beef needs to be started 10 days before Christmas but making the parfait is best left until two days before: you can then turn it out on Boxing Day and present it with a flourish, allowing its amazing aroma to fill the room.

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

OCTOBER 2020

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

OCTOBER 2020

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES OCTOBER 2020

Most keen cooks welcome the arrival of October because it signals the start of a new season in the kitchen with autumn and winter ingredients abundantly available.

It’s not quite the moment yet for eating rib-sticking stews in front of a roaring fire but heartier meals with a little warming flavour of spice are definitely on the menu at this time of the year.

This month we are once again exploring the versatility of lamb and particularly lamb shoulder, which always represents good value for money. As to the spicing there’s garam masala, traditionally a blend of cinnamon, mace, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and cardamom pods (and occasionally cloves) which is used to add depth and flavour, rather than heat to Indian food, and ras-el-hanout (literally ‘top of the shop’) a great addition to any North African dish.

Visit the region and you will find spice sellers all offering their own version of this blend which may often contain 20 or more ingredients (sometimes including rose petals) and while there are plenty of commercial varieties available if you go online there are simple instructions about making your own which you can tailor, of course, to personal taste.

Finally we’re looking to North Africa again for this month’s soup. Again it’s a mild-flavoured dish but if you prefer to hot things up authentically whisk a small teaspoon of harissa paste into a cupful of the soup and return to the pan for the last few minutes of cooking.

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

SEPTEMBER 2020

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

SEPTEMBER 2020

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES SEPTEMBER 2020

Although it hardly seems possible summer is officially over and we are into autumn, the consolation being that that means the game season has also opened.

Many more of us are buying and rearing game these days, particularly in the West Country where it is so plentiful – though with several of the larger shoots operating on a much reduced scale this winter because of coronavirus pheasants may not be so readily available or so cheap later in the year.

But first up is partridge, a much-overlooked delicacy which is quick and easy to cook and a real supper-time treat. We are also getting good supplies of rabbit – a meat which is returning to popularity after far too many years of being neglected. Rabbit is lean, healthy, versatile and very tasty – and there’s a lot more you can do with it then the standby rabbit pie…

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

AUGUST 2020

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

AUGUST 2020

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES AUGUST 2020

Most farmers are agreed that this year’s crop of lamb is one of outstanding quality and with prices now easing back larger joints offer better value for money than ever.

We’re suggesting lamb shoulder this month: a lot of people prefer it to leg because it tends to dry less during longer cooking and it’s also extremely versatile. Deboned shoulder of lamb is a great choice for a family barbecue if you marinade it overnight in olive oil, herbs, garlic and some redcurrant jelly beforehand.

And one of this month’s recipes also involves an overnight marinade to ensure the delicious flavours of summer herbs and garlic infuse the meat properly.

The first suggestion uses fiery harissa paste which is an optional addition to tagines if you prefer something hotter and spicier – just be careful not to overdo it.

And finally a home-cured pork tenderloin will always be a talking point when you serve a few slices to your supper guests as a starter along with the some baby gherkins and warm crusty bread. And perhaps a glass of well-chilled rosé!

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

JULY 2020

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

JULY 2020

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES JULY 2020

Everyone loves a barbecue – as our sales of barbecue ingredients testify every summer. But what we regard as one of the summer’s treats is a mainstream cooking method in many hotter countries, so this month we thought we’d spread the net a little wider in our search for tempting recipes.

Two of our suggestions feature pork shoulder which currently is extremely good value, lends itself perfectly to barbecuing and which you will find in use pretty much across the world.

The places where you won’t find it, of course, are Muslim countries but they have their own repertoire of barbecued food, often featuring lamb. But by way of a surprise we thought we’d bring you one of the best-loved of Morocco’s traditional skewered treats, pungent with spices and served with a cooling salad.

But we can’t recommend strongly enough making your own flatbreads to go with all these dishes, either to roll them up in or just to eat separately. Once you have mastered the technique we guarantee you’ll never stop making them. Keep a ball of the dough in the fridge in a lightly oiled, airtight freezer bag and you have got pretty much instant bread on tap whenever you need it: just tear off a lump, roll it out and slap it into a dry frying pan over a moderate heat for two minutes. Flatbreads are quick and easy to cook on a barbecue, too – and your friends will be hugely impressed!

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

JUNE 2020

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

JUNE 2020

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES JUNE 2020

Maybe because of the mild start to the year the new season’s lamb is of exceptional quality – as good as any we can remember. So we thought we would just give you an idea of how versatile it can be with a couple of spicy recipes this month.

No apologies if either is a little on the fiery side – you can always rein back on the chilli powder if you are nervous – but remember that spicy food is eaten in hot countries because it helps the body to cool down.

Chilli also releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers which cause the feel-good effect you often experience after an Indian meal – and which is why even a large bill can appear painless.

However this authentic recipe for spicy lamb shoulder can be achieved for a fraction of what it would cost even if any Indian restaurants were open to go to.

And since – as fantastic sales of our barbecue specialities demonstrate – we are now well into the season of outside eating by way of offering some small consolation for those cancelled holidays, our chicken kebabs are guaranteed to bring all the flavours of the Mediterranean into your garden.

As with all barbecued meat it’s better to use flat metal skewers rather than wooden ones because the meat sticks to them better and it’s easier to cook it on all sides.

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

MAY 2020

RECIPES OF THE MONTH

MAY 2020

PYNE’S OF SOMERSET RECIPES MAY 2020

A skilled cook, they say, is capable of using every part of a pig except the grunt. And indeed it’s hard to imagine a more versatile meat source.

Not just in this country but across most of Europe the pig has traditionally provided nose-to-tail eating, often becoming a literal lifeline to sustain poorer families through the lean winter months when, for example, pig’s tail and split pea soup was just one of the basic, nourishing and very satisfying dishes that would be regularly prepared.

Not that that anything that can be prepared from a pig should ever be dismissed as poor food: many of the lesser-known examples, such as Bath chaps and brawn can be described, with every justification, as delicacies, and the great tragedy is that we are increasingly turning our backs on them these days.

Pork generally suffered an image problem in the 1970s when the healthy eating trend really took off and it was widely but unfairly criticised as a fatty meat. It isn’t. On the other hand it’s the fat that gives pork such fine flavour: crisp-roast belly pork wouldn’t be half the dish is without the fat below the skin melting into the lean meat during cooking.

Anyway while we wait for the weather to warm up again and the barbecue season to arrive here are three recipes which show off pork at its very best.

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