The perfect cheeseboard!

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Nick, our big cheese on the delicatessen counter here at Lobbs Farm Shop has put together her list of recommendations for the perfect cheese board this Christmas. Don’t be put off with Cheddar right at the very top, which everyone thinks they know, read on, she’s selected a cheddar that is really rather lovely and spot on for a special occasion. All of these cheeses and more are available to order at the Deli counter in the farm shop if you want to guarantee your particular choice.

Cheddar – For a taste of Christmas, choose Montgomery Cheddar with its roasted nut richness pushing through a mature cheddar tang. Made in Yeovil, Somerset, it has twice been awarded ‘Best Cheddar’ in the British Cheese Awards and has been a longstanding recognised official cheddar. *unpasteurised

Dorset Blue Vinny – In my opinion this is a winner with it’s complex strength and wonderful versatility. A crumbly semi soft texture gives in to a meltingly good flavour. Excellent on crackers or even in cooking. Made in Sturminster Newton, this is an unpasteurised cheese that’s suitable for vegetarians.

Brie – Chatel – Chatel is a great little brie with a rich and creamy flavour. It doesn’t have a pungent aroma like some but when ripe, it is a smooth and delightfully flavoured soft cheese. Made in Newquay, Cornwall and suitable for vegetarians. Pasteurised.

Goats – Vulscombe – It definitely has to be Vulscombe with cracked black pepper. This exquisite fresh and crumbly goats cheese simply dissolves on the tongue and is packed with flavour. A very presentable vegetarian pasteurised cheese. Also available plain or with herbs. Made in Tiverton.

Farmhouse – Garlic Yarg – A twist on traditional Nettle Yarg, the garlic version is slightly stronger with a creamy delicate garlic flavour. The cheese holds a little more moisture than nettle yarg and has a smoother texture. Made near Truro. Pasteurised and suitable for vegetarians.

Smoked – Snowdonia Smoked – An excellent cheddar on its own, Snowdonia have created this superb mature smoked variety that has a balanced blend of delicate smoke that hangs above the rich and creamy cheddar, making it a distinguished asset to a cheeseboard. Made in Rhyl, Wales. Pasteurised and vegetarian.

Great alternatives and special cheeses…

Somerset Rambler –  A sweet bouquet of delicate flavours in this Ewe’s milk cheddar. Mellow & complex.

Bowland – Christmas favourite, an enticing combination of apple, raisin and cinnamon for that festive feeling.

Sharpham Brie – A powerful and pungent brie with real character and excellent flavour.

Six Spires – A farmhouse unpasteurised hard cheese with an earthy, nutty flavour that’s great with crackers.

 

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A guide to choosing your Turkey!

Phil, our head Butcher here at Lobbs Farm Shop has compiled a concise guide as to where the turkeys we sell for Christmas come from. It may be helpful in which turkey you may choose for that all important dinner! As a starting point for what weight to go for and how many it will feed, a 10lb bird will feed 4-5 people with some meat left over for Boxing Day. The great thing about buying a turkey from Lobbs or any other local butchery counter for that matter, is you can ask advice and have your turkey prepared how you wish.

  • Fernley Banbury and his son Richard rear turkeys on their traditional family farm outside Padstow. They produce around 2,000 turkeys and poultry each Christmas. They are predominantly white barn reared turkeys. White refers to the colour of the feathers.
  • South Torfrey Farm near Fowey : Their Organic poultry are housed in small wooden arks and are bedded daily on home grown straw. They are free to graze on the clover rich pastures in fields overlooking the Fowey River. They are dry-plucked on the farm and are hung for up to 2 weeks in a cold room for premium eating quality. Then hand-trussed with string and packed with giblets ready for the oven.
  • John Stacey and son Andrew farm at Widegates near Looe. A truly mixed family farm with vegetables, beef, pork, lamb as well as poultry. The day old chicks are purchased from Kelly Poultry, widely thought to be the best quality birds. All of John Stacey’s turkeys are free range bronze turkeys. Bronze refers to the colour of the feathers (as per the photo as the header of this post!)
  • This year we are introducing a new range of of budget turkeys (not budgies, as Phil helpfully points out!) They are Norfolk white birds, barn reared and start retailing at £6.98/kg or £3.16lb which is great deal!

You can order your turkey from us via our website www.lobbsfarmshop.com  The last day for Christmas internet orders is 4.30pm Sunday 16th December any later than this and we cannot guarantee availability or delivery. The last day for delivery will be on Wednesday, 19th December. You can contact our butchery department on 01726 844411 if you would like any advice when ordering.

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all our customers and readers a very peaceful and lovely Christmas.

Featured Recipe: Turkey & Sweet Leek Pie

If you’re already contemplating Turkey leftovers, here’s a change from Turkey stir-fry, Turkey Curry etc ’tis rather lovely!

Serves 6-8 people
Ingredients:

  • 2 rashers Cornish Farmhouse Bacon smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped
  • ½ bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • Simply Cornish Rapeseed oil
  • A large knob of  butter
  • 2kg leeks, washed, trimmed; white end chopped into chunks, green end finely sliced
  • Cornish Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 800g cooked white turkey meat, torn into big chunks (brown too if you want)
  • 2 heaped tbsp Glebe Farm plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 pints turkey, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp of crème fraîche
  • 1 x 500g packet Field Fare puff pastry – thawed
  • 12  Highgrove vac-packed chestnuts, roasted and peeled
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage, leaves picked
  • 1 egg  free range, beaten

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Put your bacon in a large pan on a medium heat and add your thyme leaves. Add a lug of oil and the butter and let it all fry off a few minutes. Add all of your prepared leeks and fry them off for about 3 minutes so they are well-coated in the butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper then pop the lid on top, turn the heat down to medium and let them cook away gently for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes to make sure they don’t catch. There’s going to be enough moisture in the leeks to keep them happy in the pan so they should be soft and melt in your mouth once they’re done.

2. When your leeks are ready, add the turkey meat to them and stir. If you’ve got a bit of stuffing mixed in there you can put that in too. Add the flour, mix it in well then pour in your stock and stir again. Add the crème fraîche then turn the heat up and bring everything back up to the boil. Have a taste and add a bit more salt and pepper if it needs it then turn the heat off. Pour the mixture through a sieve over another large empty pan and let the wonderful gravy from the mixture drip into the pan while you roll out your pastry.

3. Get a deep baking dish roughly 22 x 30cm. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with a bit of flour and roll your pastry out so it’s about double the size of your dish. Crumble the chestnuts over one half of the pastry then tear a few of the sage leaves over the chestnuts. Fold the other half of pastry on top then roll it out carefully and evenly so you have a rectangle big enough to cover your baking tray. Don’t worry if a few bits stick out here and there.

4. Spoon that thick leek mixture from your sieve into the pie dish and spread it out evenly. Lay your pastry on top, tuck the ends under then gently score the pastry diagonally with your knife. Add a pinch of salt to your beaten egg then paint this egg wash over the top of your pastry. Pop your pie in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown. When the pie is ready, re-heat the lovely gravy and serve with your pie, along with some steamed Lobbs purple sprouting brocolli & mashed swede.

Featured Recipe: Sausage & Bacon wraps with sage & honey

A twist on the traditional pigs in blankets, simple to make & very tasty!

Sausage & Bacon Wraps with Sage & Honey

  • 12 rashers of streaky bacon – rind removed
  • 24 Lobbs chipolatas
  • 24 small sage leaves
  • 5 tbspn Glebe Farm clear honey

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°F/Gas 5.  Cut each bacon rasher in half length ways.  Roll up the sausages in the bacon with a small sage leaf tucked in each.  **Secure with cocktail sticks if you like & arrange in a large shallow tin. Drizzle with the honey.

Cook for 35-40 mins. Turn once or twice to brown evenly all over.  Remove the cocktail sticks before serving, if using.

Christmas Opening Times 2012

Here’s the opening times for Lobbs Farm Shop over the Christmas & New Year period. Hit the print button at the bottom of the post if you want a proper copy you can doodle on!

Featured Recipe: Chestnut Stuffing Balls

So, here’s today’s featured recipe, essential to your Christmas Dinner I’d say!

This stuffing can be made 2 days ahead , keep in the fridge.  It can also be frozen; defrost thoroughly before using

  • medium onion – finely chopped
  • 3 juniper berries – bruised
  • 750g Lobbs sausage meat
  • 1 x 200g Highgrove vacpac chestnuts – roughly chopped
  • 1 free range large egg
  • 3 tbspn sage – chopped
  • 2 tbspn parsley – chopped
  • 100g Martin’s bread – crumbed
  • ½ tsp ground allspice

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/Gas 5.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over a gentle heat, then add the onion & juniper berries. Cook for 5 minutes, without letting the onion colour.  Leave to cool.  Remove & discard the juniper berries.

In a large bowl, mix the cooled onion with the rest of the ingredients & season.  To perfect the seasoning, fry a small piece before shaping, then taste & adjust.

Shape into about 24 balls – this is easier with wet hands – and bake in a roasting tin for 30-35 minutes, turning halfway.

(Running out of time to make your own? – have you tried our frozen stuffing balls – in our freezer next to the Yorkshire puddings!)

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