Tag Archives: food find of the week

Food Find of the Week – Nova Scotia Steak Pie

What better way to celebrate St George’s Day with a classic English pie made by a dedicated Yorkshire farm? Nova Scotia Farm are the ultimate producers – not only do they rear their own meat for their pies and ready meals, but they also produce 90% of the feed for their animals too! Traditional short-crust individual pies, suet crust pies and a range of ready meals are made with the highest quality, well hung Yorkshire beef and are truly delicious.

Nova Scotia Farm can be found in the heart of Yorkshire, where happy families of cattle graze on grass sweetened by naturally filtered water which drains down from the Vale of York. Their natural surroundings and traditional husbandry means the herd is close to organic, just without all the paperwork! Back in 2001 the company were one of the first to start selling their beef nationally online, and from there they started making the pies. As demand increased, Mark and Sally the farmers, focussed more and more on pies and meals as customers looked for more convenient products, that still had the quality they were known for. As the company has grown, they now also use beef from other ‘similarly minded cattle producers’ to keep up with demand. How refreshing it is to find a convenient ‘ready meal’ that is made by a truly passionate artisan, that you can really trust!

If you buy online you can choose either baked or unbaked pies – I went for frozen unbaked pies as I wasn’t sure when I was going to be able to eat them. They arrive in an ice packed box, complete with ‘dishes to dine for’ cooler bag, which I think you get free with your pies if you buy them at a show or festival.

Concise cooking instructions are provided, along with advice to accommodate different types of oven and baking tips if the pie didn’t come out quite right first time.

45 minutes of baking from frozen… what do they say about a watched kettle?! The smells coming from the oven were making my mouth water!

The result was a deliciously golden, steak filled pie with a really tasty, meaty gravy. You can see the hefty chunks of meat in the picture below, which are cooked to a melt in the mouth tenderness, along with the perfect amount of gravy. The pastry is the ideal thickness and crispness, expertly balanced to let the highest quality beef take the limelight. Mark and Sally have collected some rather impressive (and entertaining) testimonials on their website, so you don’t have to take my word for how wonderful they are.

These pies would be perfect for dinner with mash and fresh vegetables or taken on a picnic for a real treat… or just eaten on their own like I did! You can buy them and other beef based dishes from Nova Scotia Farm Produce online and at lots of food shows and festivals across the country. Their ready meals are sold under the brand of ‘Dishes to Dine For’ so keep a look out for both – they certainly are ‘to dine for’!

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Food Find of the Week – Well Seasoned Spring Pesto

This food find was delivered to my desk and there is no doubt that this is the tastiest thing I’ve eaten in ages! Well Seasoned won a bursary to attend the BBC Good Food Show London last year and I’m so glad to have found them, and that they sent me their latest delicious Spring flavours!

From a brilliant blog based on seasonal food and cooking Well Seasoned was born – versatile pestos/dips that change with the seasons. The new Spring flavours are stunning – wild garlic, basil and mint which was gorgeous in colour and packed full of flavour and roasted spring onion and parsley which was rich and again had an incredible flavour. Both pestos tasted so fresh and not only could you identify the different ingredients by looking at it, but you could taste all the ingredients too – cobnuts, rapeseed oil, cheese and the seasonal additions.

In keeping with the ethos of seasonal and British, Well Seasoned use Kentish cobnuts, extra virgin rapeseed oil and Old Winchester cheese in all of their pestos. The ingredients change with the seasons so back in the Winter (yes I know it seems like we are still there with the bitter cold at the moment!) their flavours were roasted parsnip and thyme and caramelised shallot and rosemary. Take a look at their website to see the other flavours, and be sure to check out their summer flavours when they launch. You can buy from Partridges in London or a box of 6 online for £19.50 + £3.50 postage (don’t worry they freeze really well).

I ate mine at my desk for lunch two days running… on Ryvita thins, with bread, stirred into plain pasta and on its own too! So worthy of being my food find of the week!

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Food Find of the Week – Homewood Ewes Milk Cheeses

Another cheesy food find! I went to the brilliant Abergavenny Food Festival last week and amongst all the wonderful producers, I found Homewood Cheeses. I was initially attracted to the feta style pickled ewes cheese, as I’ve been longing for a Greek salad since my holiday to Santorini back in August. So bought that, along with some halloumi, and had a taste of all of their other delicious cheeses.

Homewood Cheeses specialise in unpasteurised, artisan ewes milk cheeses, which they make in Somerset. Along with the feta style cheese they also make a fresh curd/ cream cheese, ricotta, halloumi and their signature semi-hard cheese, Old Demdike. I’m not a goats cheese fan (read why here), so found the Old Demdike a little too ‘farmy’ for me, but I loved the ‘feta style’ and halloumi cheeses. They were also selling cheesecake slices, made from their own curd cheese – they looked delicious.

I made my Greek salad with the slab of pickled ewes cheese placed on top of chopped Isle of Wight tomatoes, cucumber and red onion then drizzled on extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled on wild Calabrian oregano.

Take a look at their website or follow them on twitter @HomewoodCheeses to find out more and where you can buy from them.

 

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Food Find of the Week – Jumi’s Belper Knolle

Jumi make some of the most intriguing, innovative and delicious cheeses I’ve ever come across… so, my food find of the week is their incredible Belper Knolle. At first sight you may mistake it for a large truffle, but no, this is a very special little artisan  cheese coated in pepper and dried as it ages.

 

 

 

 

It is packed full of flavour and can be grated/shaved to add a powerful hit of cheesy, garlicky, salty, peppery goodness to pasta, risotto, salads or even steak (or as you so desire!).

It’s not a cheap find at around £8.50 per ball, but it’s so unusual and delicious it’s definitely worth seeking out. It also lasts well in the fridge for some time (if you can resist that long!).

Jumi don’t just make the Belper Knolle, in fact they have a great range of artisan, swiss cheeses from cow and goat milk, fruit bread to go with cheese and delicious truffle (Swiss) honey. Their cheeses are like works of art, and the flavour and quality are incredible – the sign of truly artisan products.

It is a family business based in the valley of the emmental. They use milk from local farmers and are so traditional that they still have to wake up at 3.30 every morning to start up their production!

This sunny cheese, called Apres Soleil, is aged in a cave where the sun shines through into the cave at certain times of the day… so pretty and has a slightly sweet, pineapple flavour to it.

The addition of hemp gives this naughty looking cheese a nutty crunch…

Need I say more? Get yourself down to Borough Market or Partridges Market and go buy some!

PS. They will hopefully also be appearing at the BBC Good Food Shows in London and Birmingham 2012!

 

 

 

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Food Finds of Weeks Gone By…

So, I started the Food Find of the Week thing to force me to post on a weekly basis – but due to various distractions I’ve let it slip, and owe about 6 food finds to catch up! Ooops! So, following the BBC Good Food Show Summer just a couple of weeks ago, and a full on food filled diary to follow, I have collected a number of food finds for your pleasure…

Tan Rosie

I was really excited to meet Lee Sylvester of Tan Rosie Foods fame at the BBC Good Food Show Summer, who produce a range of Caribbean specialities and run a really popular, Birmingham based supper club. The sauces were great, but I particularly liked her fiery chilli fudge, which not only had a nice heat to it, but you could really taste the chilli flavour too. The ginger, vanilla and chocolate  and chilli fudges were also really good and worth a try.

 

Pelagonia Range

A delicious and unusual range of Macedonian meze items including roasted peppers, pumpkin jam and Aivar, a gorgeous aubergine and pepper dip. They come in really attractive jars and are very well priced around the £3.50 mark. They have limited stockists around the country but will also be on show to sample and buy from at the London BBC Good Food Show in November.

Peter’s Yard

Many people will have heard of this brand by now, but I have to feature them here as I was totally inspired by a talk by one of the co-founders, Wendy, at the recent Foodie Bugle Lectures. The artisan crisp breads are made to a traditional Swedish recipe here in the UK and are not only really good for you, but delicious too! The original bakery is up in Edinburgh, and is on top of my must visit list!

Lahloo Tea

Another speaker at the Foodie Bugle Lectures, Kate Gover, who I have met before but never realised her faultless passion and drive for tea and her own growing business Lahloo Tea. I particularly liked the tasting notes on the tea tins, of the few I saw two mentioned baked apples with brown sugar and butter, and one talked of madeira cakes – great to be able to pull out flavour notes from the tea that you can relate to. She has recently opened a tea pantry in Bristol, which is also on my must visit list, and is planning on opening more outlets across the country in the future, definitely one to watch!

Demijohn

Angus Ferguson is a BBC Good Food Show regular, but he never stops impressing me with his passion, enthusiasm and simply outstanding liqueurs. This year his new flavour was Morello Cherry Brandy, which was really delicious but I always fall back to his Rhubarb Vodka, which was particularly tart this year. At the end of the show Angus was busy finding picnic fayre to satisfy the participants of his upcoming annual elderflower picking pilgrimage – lucky pickers!

Hardiesmill

I took home a couple of souvenirs from the Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh, last week – some Hardiesmill Aberdeen Angus popeseye steaks and a beef haggis. The steaks were really, really tender and you could really taste the difference of grass-fed animals in the fat too. The highlight was the haggis, which didn’t seem as fatty as the lamb based version, and had a lovely delicate flavour and firm texture. You can buy fresh beef products and charcuterie from their website.

So I think that brings me up to date with my fabulous food finds, but I must find the time to write up more highlights from the BBC Good Food Show Summer, my judging of the Great Taste Awards, my visit to the Royal Highland Show and the wonderful Foodie Bugle Lectures too! Its been a busy few weeks!

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Food Find of the Week – Egg Boss Scotch Eggs

This week’s first food find of the week is the fabulous Egg Boss who makes his own scotch eggs along with a brilliant brown sauce. I’ve been following the egg boss AKA Sean Lawson on twitter for a while and finally met him at Brockley Market last week. I went for a Holy F**k egg, checking for children in the locality before ordering, which is pork combined with The Ribman’s delicious Holy F**k hot sauce.

The photos below have been provided by Egg Boss – I was so taken by the eggs that my camera skills went to pot!

The scotch eggs can either be taken away or served sliced in half with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, celery salt and black salt (I think that’s what it was anyway!) along with a dollop of the Egg Boss’ own brown sauce, which had the perfect tang to lift the richness of the egg.

The egg flavours change on a weekly basis, and you can find him at Brockley Market every Saturday – check his twitter account @egg_boss for updates on where else you can find him. He is definitely worth hunting down!!

I took an extra ‘Holy F**k’ egg and a black pudding egg home for my boyfriend – he ate them in the bath (after a long day playing American football) and loved them!!




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Food Find of the Week – Cannon and Cannon

I’m really excited about my Food Find of the Week – it gives me a chance to share my passion for new producers, products, people and places and also makes me even more motivated to search harder and wider.

This week’s food find is Cannon and Cannon, a pair of young brothers from North Norfolk (Sean and Joe Cannon) with a serious passion for meat. They specialise in artisan British charcuterie, so are a one stop shop to buy the very best produce from passionate artisans leading the way in hand crafted cured meats. From Cornwall to Scotland, Wales to Kent, the brothers have scoured the country to find the very finest they can. By selling produce from superb producers such as Forest Pig, Moons Green, Trealy Farm and Great Glen Game (among others) and always being on the look out for the next new thing in charcuterie you really can be assured of buying the highest quality and most pioneering produce possible.

I’ve only met one of the brothers, Sean, who really knows his stuff about charcuterie. They have a stall in the Green Market area at Borough Market, Thursday – Saturday where you can learn more about, taste and buy from their range. I ended up taking home a veal, thyme and lemon salami from Trealy Farm and a rather special hazelnut and champagne salami from Forest Pig. I can’t wait to go back for my next meaty fix!

Have you already heard of Cannon and Cannon? If not, find out more by visiting them at the market, following them on twitter @cannonandcannon or take a look at their website – www.cannonandcannon.com. I’ve been told that there is exciting news being announced on Friday, so stay tuned.

Check back here next Wednesday for my next Food Find of the Week, or why not pop your email address in the box over there on the right, and you will get emailed as soon as I write a post!

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Introducing my Food Find of the Week

I have decided to introduce a new element to this blog, a weekly post dedicated to my ‘Food Find of the Week’. I regularly meet wonderful producers, retailers and food lovers, and find new products, books, cool shops and places to eat and drink –  it seems a shame not to share my favourites here on my blog, and by going weekly I have no excuses but to post!

I speak to a mix of well established, popular producers that you may already know and people who may just be in the development stages of their business – I love asking questions about why they came to do what they do, why their products are so great and whether there is anything new in the pipeline.

Look out for my ‘Food Find of the Week’ on Wednesday!

Oh, and just in case you thought any differently, please be assured that I will only write about things I genuinely love/ like/ am excited about on this blog.

 

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