Nature’s Larder THE TEAM FROM THE GOG, THE AWARD-WINNING LOCAL FARM SHOP, BUTCHERY, DELI AND CAFE, GIVES THE LOW-DOWN ON THE SEASONAL PRODUCE TO SEEK OUT THIS MONTH FOOD & DR INK
A s the days are slowly getting longer, you may be pleased to read that there are only a handful of Mondays remaining until spring is upon us! If that’s not enough to lift your spirits, then hopefully you can feel the love in the air this month. As Shakespeare said: ‘If music be the food of love, play on’, but as we foodies all know, food itself is the real food of love. So why not dust off your culinary skills and woo your significant other this Valentine’s Day? The first Valentine’s Day was in 496 AD and is thought to have originated from a Roman Festival called Lupercalia, held at the start of springtime, in the middle of February. As part of the celebrations, boys drew the names of girls from a box and they would be boyfriend and girlfriend during the festival, sometimes going on to get married. Years later, the Christian church adopted the event and used it to remember St Valentine, too. Gradually St Valentine’s name became synonymous with expressing feelings to those we love.
There isn’t a carnivore in the land who wouldn’t be happy with a delicious steak, lovingly prepared by their Valentine. Use our simple guide to ensure you’re tucking into a steak that’s sourced from the finest farms and cooked to perfection, just the way they like it. The key is getting a good-quality cut with the right amount of fat, a vibrant reddish pink colour and loose texture – almost like that of a tuna steak. Avoid dark meat that is too tight, as this will be dry and tough. Everybody knows that fillet is the showstopper of all steaks – tender meat that literally melts in the mouth. Of course, it comes at a price and you get less meat for your money. If your loved one has a healthy appetite, sirloin or rib-eye cooked in the right way can be just as tender as a fillet. The rib-eye generally has more fat, so you’ll need to cook it for a little longer, but the flavours will be divine. Sirloin is a leaner option that comes from behind the ribs and will deliver a tender yet juicy steak.
A good rule of thumb (literally) is to use your fingers and do the touch test. For a perfect rare steak, press your index finger and thumb together, then touch the fleshy ball at the base of your thumb with the other hand. This is the texture of (and should give the same resistance as) your steak when cooked. Use your middle finger for medium rare, ring finger for medium and your pinky for well-done. Whichever option you choose, serve it with your loved one's favourite sauce, seasonal veg and some home-made sweet potato fries. There is beauty in simplicity. Our butchers are on hand seven days a week at The Gog Farm Shop to provide you with all the advice you need. l Why not share a photo of your finished dish on our Facebook or Instagram pages? Use the hashtag #GogRecipes to be in with a chance of becoming our recipe of the month and winning a prize! The Gog, Heath Farm, Shelford Bottom, Cambridge CB22 3AD | 01223 248352 thegog.com
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