This week it’s ‘Butchers’ Week’ and Keelham Farm Shop’s butchery manager, Tony Williams, is here to offer some help and advice when it comes to making the most of your time and the best of his produce.
Having been in the trade for more than three decades, Tony has seen many food fads come and go and witnessed the impact changing lifestyles can have on the way people eat. A large number of people today struggle with meal preparation because they don’t have the breadth of knowledge our parents and grandparents have and this, when coupled with the time constraints that come as part of a busy lifestyle has resulted in a reliance on pre-prepared ready meals and an inability to improvise in the kitchen.
A piece of kit that Tony swears by in the kitchen is the slow cooker and he believes that, used to its full potential, meal times can be tastier, more varied and easier to plan. Twenty minutes of prep on an evening leaves you with a dish to set cooking before you head out on a morning and a tasty meal to come home to.
Most slow cooker dishes start with the same process; create a sauce (it could be a gravy or a curry sauce, seasoned to taste with your favourite flavours), chop up an onion to add to the gravy and then think about any other veg you might want to add; carrots, peas, stew mix, potatoes.
After that it’s down to the choice you make at the butcher’s counter; diced pork, beef, lamb, chicken, mince of any type or a joint. Add the meat to the slow cooker and then set it to cook for several hours on a low heat. At the end of a hard day at work you could be walking in to the joyous smells of a delicious, home-cooked dinner that you can enjoy with crusty bread, rice, mashed or baked potatoes or simply in a bowl on its own.
Having experimented with his slow cooker, Tony has the following tips for a range of dishes:
Mince – add a tin of tomatoes and a tin of baked beans
Curries – pack the sauce full of spices and flavours you love because during cooking the meat will absorb them beautifully
Joints – make sure the whole joint is covered with the gravy to get the best results
Finally, as it’s butcher’s week, here’s a little bit about getting the most out of the basics. Many people who visit the farm shop only know one or two ways to use a cut of meat so this week, or any week, why not take the opportunity to come to the counter and ask the butchers for their advice? The team is always willing and happy to help in any way they can when it comes to making the most of a joint, steak, whole bird or any other product. In Skipton, the team has 250 years of butchery and meat experience and love sharing their knowledge. Pop down and see us soon.