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January News - It's 2024! 🎊

Sometimes, after so much planning, and so much effort, it’s difficult to believe that Christmas passes so quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, everything that it brings and everything that it means. I’m not fanatical about it, but I enjoy the lights, the carol singing, the good cheer and, of course, the delicious food and drink. And yes, I do believe in Santa Clause. However, as I sit here, back at the shop, checking on stock levels, talking to the farmers who produced so many wonderful goodies for us all, and trying to plan a new year, it does seem that it is all over so fast, but I enjoyed every moment of the last three weeks, and I thank all of our customers for their continued support and good humour in those moments that don’t always go as we plan. It has been a fantastic Christmas and we look forward to doing it all again this time next year !!

I decided this month, that our regular Newsletter could take a rest. We have all eaten so much, and I’m sure there has been the odd glass of wine consumed, so we don’t need too much prompting at the moment. However, continuing in the theme of joy, happiness and good customers, I was reminded of a regular customer who announced, back in the summer, that she had written a poem for me. It was, and is, very touching, and typical of the spirit that we enjoy from so many of the customers. I thought, as we all regroup, I might share it at the start of a New Year.


Thank you, Angela Perry, The Dancing Hare. A charming ditty and a little sunshine on a wet, January afternoon. ‘Thank you’ to all of our customers. We wish you all a bright and prosperous 2024, and we look forward to entertaining you at our shops again this year.


Lamb Saddle with Caramelised Baby Onions and White Wine Jus

Lamb Saddle

I make no secret of the fact that this is one of my favourite cuts. The saddle is from the middle of the animal and is all soft, tender meat. Rolled properly, it looks so elegant and is a real winner for any dinner party. Adding the soft, sweet baby onions on the side is a bit like putting a silk hanky in your pocket before you leave the house. An unassuming touch of decadence.
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Beef Wellington

With Christmas upon us, I am proposing the always decadent Beef Wellington. ‘Celebrity’ Chefs, and all those weekend glossy mags, will tell you that only a ‘Centre Cut’ Beef Fillet will do the job. That’s all very well if you are running a smart restaurant, and you want every piece to look the same, but the Rump Fillet, Chateaubriand, has all the flavour, is just as tender and will save a few pennies. It’s my cut of choice. As with all good things, your Beef Wellington will need a little investment of money and time, but, as it sets off your festive table, you will decide it is worth the effort. (BTW; this is the Christmas treat destined for my table this year).
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Stokey Pokey Sausage Cassoulet

Although Cassoulet is technically a delicious French stew, I don’t mind playing fast and loose with the idea, and making our own Cassoulet in order to really enjoy our newly crowned ‘Stokey Pokey Champion, 2023’. How often do you come across a recipe, where the main ingredient doesn’t even exist yet!!
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