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Whats in Season - January

Whats in Season - January

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What’s in Season - January

Seasonal eating means two things, really: building meals around foods that have just been harvested at their peak - and adjusting your diet to meet the particular health challenges of Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. 

While it may seem like a luxury to have any food we want, anytime we want it, eating foods in season offers many benefits.
Simple joys 
For starters, it connects us to the calendar reminding us of simple joys - the first taste of Asparagus in Spring, the smell of ripe Strawberries newly picked in Summer, Apple picking on a clear Autumn day, celebrating Winter holidays with hearty, warming meals.

Tastes Better
In-season produce is fresher and tastes better, sweeter when perfectly ripe. 
When fruits and vegetables are picked for consumption that have been naturally ripened on the vine or the tree and harvested at the right time, they will have much more flavour and nutrition. 

More vitamins, minerals and antioxidants 
Produce eaten at its peak generally has more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than foods harvested before they’re ripe and then shipped long distances. 

Eat a more well-rounded and balanced diet 
A pleasant added benefit of eating what's in season is that you get a broader variety of foods in your diet. Those foods can broaden your palate, for one, but they may also expose you to dishes and ingredients you may not have otherwise explored. 
Supports small and midsize Farmers
Eating seasonally often means eating locally grown foods, so it’s good for the environment too. It supports small and midsize local farmers, cuts down on pollution from shipping and trucking food and reduces your carbon footprint. 
Saves you money 
And if all that’s not enough to get you to make some simple switches in your diet, - In-season foods save you money.

Time to eat Seasonal
Each meat, fruit or vegetable has a prime time when it is at its seasonal best - and they tend to complement each other. That means extra flavour, extra crunch, extra juiciness - all super-fresh and great value. 
And so here is what is in season - and most popular - in January to help you eat seasonally:

Leaves and Stems : Brussel Sprouts, Spring Green Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage, White Cabbage, Celery, Chicory, Cress, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Spinach.
Flowers, Fruits and Seeds : Cauliflower, Marrow, Pumpkins, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Spaghetti Squash. 

Roots and Bulbs :  Beetroot, Carrots, Celeriac, Garlic, Onions, Horseradish, Leeks, Parsnip, Salsify, Shallots, Swedes, Turnips.

Tubers :
Jerusalem Artichokes, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, 

Meats : Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Duck, Goose, Guinea Fowl, Partridge, Pheasant, Pork, Rabbit, Turkey, Venison, Wild Mallard, Wood Pigeon

Every month we will pick out one Seasonal product and explore a little more about how best to prepare it

This January we feature Venison

Starting to attract attention.
Venison can split opinions. Some love it for its distinctive flavour but others dislike it for the same reason. For some it has a reputation for being tough but, if carefully sourced and correctly prepared, this is an excellent meat that is starting to attract more and more attention. 

Variations in flavour 
The appearance and taste of Venison will vary dramatically depending on the age of the deer and how long it has been hung.
Depending on the diet of the deer, the meat may have a subtle taste of Juniper or Sage, and there are variations in flavour depending on the species. For example, the meat of the Red Deer has a richer, bolder flavour than the more delicately flavoured Roe or Fallow Deer.
Hanging Venison expertly is important as it develops the flavour of the meat, and produces more tender moist meat.
The meat should have a deep colour, with a dense texture. There shouldn't be too much fat, but what there is should look white and firm - avoid any that is yellow and greasy.

How to cook Venison
Before cooking, it is important to recognise the ways in which Venison differs from other meats. Perhaps most important is the issue of fat content: while its leanness makes Venison increasingly popular among health-conscious diners, its lack of fat makes it susceptible to dryness.
Also Venison fat, unlike Pork or Beef fat, does not have an attractive taste. For most meats, the fat is what gives it a distinctive flavour and deliciousness. With Venison, other animal fats need to be used in some cases to keep the meat moist and create a rounder flavour.

Slow methods for cooking Venison
Venison cuts suited for slow cooking include Shoulder and Leg - also known as Haunch - as well as meat from older animals. These cuts should be cooked whole or diced and browned prior to cooking.
Venison is also often marinated for up to 24 hours before slow cooking to cut through the rich flavour and help to tenderise the meat. Take care with the choice of marinade as you don’t want to completely mask the flavour of the meat.
Venison Stew is a wonderfully wintry dish – simply braise some browned, cubed Venison Shoulder or Leg with vegetables in a combination of stock and wine for at least 5 hours in a low-medium oven; the meat should be wonderfully tender.
Choose your cut according to what you want to do with it.

For roasting, choose Venison Saddle Eye, Venison Roast, Venison Mini Roast, Hand Diced Venison
braising and pot-roasting, choose Venison Roast, Venison Saddle Eye, Venison Roast, Hand Diced Venison
stews and casseroles, choose Venison Mini Roast, Hand Diced Venison

Quick methods for cooking Venison
Prime cuts, such as Venison Loin Fillets or Saddles, can get away with very little cooking. These tender cuts benefit from a medium-rare finish to make the most of their finer texture.
grillingbarbecuing, or frying, choose Saddle Eye Venison cut into Tournedos or Medallions, Venison Haunch Steaks, Hand Diced Venison 

What Venison goes with
The flavour of Venison lends itself well to earthy, flavours like Mushroom, Turnip, Beetroot and Parsnip.
Juniper is frequently paired with Venison to provide a fresh evergreen aroma to match up to the gamey flavour
Chocolate and red meat have been paired together since Aztec times and the flavour of the bitter chocolate gives a rich, earthy note to the Venison.
So having looked a bit more closely at Venison here a few January recipe ideas that feature many of the above January Seasonal ingredients listed above - to get you thinking

Pan-fried Venison with Blackberry Sauce - by Sara Buenfeld
Blackberries are delicious in savoury Sauces, and this version is the perfect match for the richly flavoured Venison
Preparation time 10 mins : Cooking time 15 mins.
 Click here for Venison Haunch 

• Beef and Chorizo with Horseradish Mash and Rosemary Dumplings
- by Dick Strawbridge
Braise Shin of beef with Chorizo and Red wine for this long and you won’t be disappointed.
Preparation time less than 30 mins : Cooking time over 2 hours.
 Click here for Shin of Beef,
Fresh Beef Stock

Pan-fried Pheasant Breast with Gamekeeper’s Pie - by The Hairy Bikers
This hearty game dish is worthy of any top-rated gastropub. Serve in place of Sunday lunch after a wintry walk.
Preparation time over 2 hours : Cooking time over 2 hours .
 Click here for Pheasant

Duck à la Rhubarb - by Michel Roux Jr.
Rhubarb works wonderfully with the richness of Duck and Chinese spices in this gourmet dish.
Preparation time less than 30 mins : Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour
 Click here for Whole Duck

• Confit Duck Leg with Flageolet Ragoût & Celeriac Mash - by James Martin
This hearty French Cassoulet is anything but healthy - and all the more tasty for it. Make to brighten up a winter day.
Preparation time over 2 hours Cooking time over 2 hours.
 Click here for Ducks Legs, Fresh Chicken Stock

• Perfect Roast Duck with Bread Sauce
- by John Torode
A roast Duck requires a little attention, but tastes sensational. Cold leftovers can be used in the finest of sandwiches or a warm salad.
Preparation time over 2 hours : Cooking time over 2 hours.
 Click here for Whole Duck

•  Guinea Fowl Tagine - by John Torode
This is wonderful, honest, One-Pot food - stick it in the middle of the table and let everyone help themselves
Preparation time 30 mins : Cooking time 1 hr 30 mins - plus marinating.
 Click here for Guinea Fowl

Greek Lamb with Orzo  - by Mary Cadogan
Entertaining doesn't have to equal stress, this spruced up One-Pot is perfect for people with little time for preparation. Freezable
Preparation time 20 mins : Cooking time 2 hrs 35 mins.
 Click here for Shoulder of Lamb

Wild Duck with Apple, Rosemary Stuffing & Sherry Sauce
From Hairy Bikers' Best of British Cooking - wild Duck does not require advanced cooking skills, just a few simple steps to ensure a delicious, gamey dinner.
Preparation time 30 mins : Cooking time less than 30 mins. Click here for
 Wild Mallard Duck

So there you have it - Recipe ideas for January using only seasonal ingredients - with sometimes a delightful symbiosis of seasonal meats, fruits and vegetables - all on the same plate - just as nature intended! 

Enjoying all the benefits
Now armed with all that information - what is stopping you to start eating seasonally and enjoying all the benefits that come with the healthier approach that each month has to offer?

So whether you choose one of the recipes above - or are just inspired to explore further recipes we hope we have given you much food for thought for your new January Seasonal meals

Give it a Click 
So why not give it a Click - and experience a whole new way to enjoy Godfreys Seasonal Free Range Premium Meats and Poultry by ordering from the comfort of you own home - at a time that is convenient to you

We do the rest - be it if you would prefer delivery direct to your door Nationwide - or at our Click and Collect Points in Highbury or Finsbury Park.

Bon Appétit!
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