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What's in Season - July

What's in Season - July

What’s in Season - July

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 transporting 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 will usually 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 July to help you eat seasonally: 



  
Leaves and Stems : Asparagus, Spring Green Cabbage, Cavolo Nero, Chervil, Chicory, Kohlrabi, Lettuce and Salad Leaves, Mint, Pak Choi, Radicchio, Rocket, Sorrel, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Watercress, Wild Nettles
 
Flowers, Fruits and Seeds : Aubergine, Broad Beans, French Beans, Runner Beans, Broccoli, Courgette, Cucumber, Globe Artichoke, Mangetout, Peas, Peppers, English Tomatoes  
 
Roots and Bulbs :  Beetroot, Carrots, New Season Garlic, Radishes, Spring Onions

 
Tubers :
 New Potatoes, Jersey Royal New Potatoes

And here is just a summary of the main Cuts that are popular in July:

Thrifty Cuts : Bavette Steak, Beef Fillet Tails, Beef Meatballs, Hand Diced Beef, Shin of Beef, Steak Burgers, Middle Neck of Lamb, Lamb Shoulder, Hand Diced Lamb, Chicken Breasts, Chicken Thighs, Chicken Wings, Hand Diced Chicken, Chicken Plum Parcels, Chicken Lemon and Coriander Parcels, Pork and Leek Sausages, Gluten Free Toulouse Sausages, Loin of Pork Boneless, Belly of Pork Slices, Hand diced Pork, Unsmoked Boneless Gammon, Wood Pigeon, Rabbits Legs
 

Roasts, Casseroles and Stews : Carvery Rib of Beef, Silverside of Beef, Carvery Leg of Lamb, Lamb Noisette, Rack of Lamb, Mini Rack of Lamb, Shoulder of Lamb, Otter  Valley Organic Chicken, Special Reserve Chicken, Chorizo Rosario Sausages, Pork Tenderloin, Loin of Pork Boneless, Baby Back Pork Ribs, Shoulder of Pork bone in, Porchetta with Chorizo, Wood Pigeon, Rabbit, Venison Roast 
 

Seriously Low and Slow : Beef Short Ribs (Jacobs Ladder), Leg of Lamb Boneless, Lamb Shanks, Smoked Gammon, Unsmoked Gammon, Venison Saddle Eye, Pork Caul

 
Quicker Cooking : Flat Iron Steaks, Rump Steaks, Rib Eye Steaks, Florentine T-Bone Steaks, Marinated Rump Steaks, Had Diced Beef, Master Beef Steak Burgers, French Trimmed Lamb Cutlets, Lamb Steaks, Lamb Henry Steaks, Lamb Garlic Rosettes, Hand Diced Lamb, Lean Lamb Mince, Marinated Lamb Kebabs, Poussin, Chicken Supremes, Handmade Chicken Kievs, Chicken Wings, Marinated Chicken Skewers, Chicken Skewers, Traditional Lincolnshire Sausages, Pork Chops, Pork Steaks, Marinated Pork Ribs, Veal Escalopes, Veal Chops, Osso Bucco, Hand Diced Veal, Barbary Duck Breasts, Wood Pigeon

Barbecue Cuts : Beef Picanha, Sirloin Steak, Marinated Rump Steaks, Leg of Lamb Butterflied, Marinated Chicken Skewers, Marinated Chicken Kebabs, Lamb Kebabs, Lamb Koftas, Marinated Lamb Kebabs, Diced Leg of Lamb, Chicken Peri Peri Wings, Chicken and Chorizo Skewers, Chilli Chicken Sausages, Boerewors Sausages, Directors and Toulouse Sausages, Gluten free Cumberland Sausages, Baby Back Pork Ribs, Marinated Pork Ribs

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

Deep, gamey and tender 
Wood Pigeon is a wonderful meat – deep, gamey and tender (when treated properly) and it has been eaten for centuries across many cultures. 

Easy-to-find source of protein 
Aside from the flavour, Wood Pigeon have always been an attractive prospect due to being a quick, easy-to-find source of protein – the eating of Wood Pigeon was especially ubiquitous in the wartime years when meat was strictly rationed.

Greedily gorging on wild fruits 
Wild birds are at their very best between September and November, plump and flavourful after greedily gorging on wild fruits - but the autumnal season need not be strictly adhered to - as wild Wood Pigeon are generally of very high quality in the UK, ensuring their availability year-round. 

What we look for when buying Wood Pigeon
The type of Wood Pigeon we buy will depend on what’s available at that time of year and what you want to do with the Wood Pigeon. 

Wood Pigeon meat tends to darken with age so, if buying wild birds, we choose a Pigeon with paler flesh for quick-cooking methods in Summer.


A more intense flavour 
Young farmed Squab have tender flesh with a delicate flavour. These birds may be more versatile than their wild counterparts due to the consistency in quality but if you prefer a more intense flavour, it’s best to opt for Wood Pigeon. 

Deep, complex, mineral taste 
They possess a deep, complex, mineral taste and with careful cooking, can be just as tender as Squab.
 
These wild birds should have nice plump breasts and a good distribution of fat under the skin. 
 
Look out for shot damage and remove any undetected shot 
 
One Breast per person makes a generous starter while a whole bird is suitable for a main course.


How to cook Wood Pigeon
The best Wood Pigeons for fast-cooking are younger, plump wild birds. Quickly pan-frying Breasts can yield beautiful results but remember that Wood Pigeon does not suit being served well done so aim for a pink finish. 

Rest the Breasts 
Rest the Breasts for 4-5 minutes after cooking to keep them as juicy as possible and deglaze the pan to add even more Wood Pigeon flavour into sauces.

Wood Pigeon sous vide 
Chefs have also noted the benefits of cooking Wood Pigeon sous vide, as Colin McGurran does in his Pigeon with textures of Beetroot recipe - see below. 

All of the juices locked in 
Cooking the Breasts for 15 minutes or so at a moderate heat results in tender meat that has been cooked gradually and evenly, with all of the juices locked in. 
 
Aromatics can also be added to the sous vide bag to add flavour, though do not add too many as the flavour will be quite concentrated.


Roasting Wood Pigeon 
Roasting Wood Pigeon is also a relatively quick process compared to other meats - simply brown the birds in a pan before roasting for around 10 minutes, or cover in butter before roasting for excellent results.
 

Wood Pigeon Legs take longer 
Wood Pigeon Legs take longer to cook than the Breasts, so slow-cook the Legs separately then use a quicker method to finish off the Crown as Matthew Tomkinson recommends in his Wood Pigeon Salad recipe below. The Legs are also wonderful when confited.
 
Last thing - Wood Pigeons should not be hung more than two days - and if hot - not at all
 
Best just to put them in the fridge and cook within two days


It’s a pity to waste such a plentiful and wild source of succulent meat - that prepared with a bit of knowledge allows you to experience something you may not have tried before - and adds a new meat to experiment with - and certainly enjoy
 
 
Seasonal recipes to try in July include: 



•   
Wood Pigeon Salad -  by Dominic Chapman
A lavish way to celebrate the meaty tasting Wood Pigeon. There are several processes involved in this restaurant quality dish but the end result produces a stunning Salad fit for a king. 
Cooking/Preparation time 2 hrs.
 Click here for Wood Pigeon
(Click title for recipe)




• Turkish Kofta Kebabs, Minted Yoghurt & Kohlrabi & Carrot Salad
 - by Rick Stein
Delicious, healthy and quick to make - you really must have these easy posh Kebabs at any barbecue!
Preparation time 30 mins to 1 hr: Cooking timeless than 10 mins. 
Click here for Lean Lamb Mince

(Click title for recipe)



Slow-roasted Shoulder of Lamb, braised Summer Vegetables & Roasting Juices - by Raymond Blanc
For Raymond Blanc, this dish is a perfect example of good home cooking. “A minimum investment of time and effort for a maximum lamb experience”, he says. Slow cooking brings out the best in cheaper cuts, such as Lamb Shoulder, leaving the meat wonderfully tender and tasty.
Preparation time over 2 hrs : Cooking time over 2 hrs.
 Click here for Shoulder of Lamb 
(Click title for recipe)



Lamb Steak with Minty Broad Beans - by The Hairy Bikers
Fancy changing up your barbecue or grill offering? It doesn't get much better than seasonal Lamb on a bed of herby Broad Beans.
Preparation time less than 30 mins : Cooking time 10 to 30 mins 
 Click here for Lamb Steaks, Fresh Chicken Stock
(Click title for recipe)



Stickiest ever BBQ Ribs with Chive Dip - by Sarah Cook
Slow cook these American-style Pork Ribs so they're really tender - then coat in an irresistibly sweet, sticky sauce
Freeze before barbecuing
Preparation time 10 mins : Cooking time 3-4 hrs.
 Click here for Baby Back Pork Ribs
(Click title for recipe)



• Rabbit with Mustard & Bacon 
- by Barney Desmazery
Barney's restaurant classic involves a bit of chef's technique and gives you a stunning result
Preparation time 40 mins : Cooking time 1 hr -plus pressing.
 Click here for Rabbits Legs
(Click title for recipe)



•  Moroccan Chard & Lamb Pan-fry
A quick, exotic one-pan dish
Freezable
       Preparation time 10 mins : Cooking time  20 mins. 
Click here for Hand Diced Lamb, Fresh Chicken Stock
(Click title for recipe)



Beef & Beetroot Curry - by Sarah Cook
This vibrant purple root adds a welcome dash of colour and some healthy nutrients to an Indian spice pot
Freezable
Preparation time 30 mins : Cooking time 2 hrs 50 mins. 
Click here for Hand Diced Beef
(Click title for recipe)




Rosemary Roast Chicken Thighs, New Potatoes, Asparagus & Garlic - by Barney Desmazery
An all-in-one lighter roast with Jersey Royals and a whole bulb of garlic - the Potatoes catch the lemony cooking juices
Preparation time 10 mins : Cooking time 45 mins. Click here for
 Chicken Thighs

And finally for the more ambitious and/or adventurous of you - this Seasonal Recipe


Sous vide Pigeon with textures of Beetroot  - by Colin McGurran
Preparing this dish exactly as Colin McGurran does will require some skill as well as some specialist equipment -but you could always take the recipe as inspiration and prepare one or two of the components rather than the complete dish. Colin recommends making a Pigeon jus or gravy to use as a sauce.
Preparation/Cooking time 3 hrs, plus overnight dehydrating time. Click here for
 Wood Pigeon

 
     So there you have it - Wood Pigeon, Wild Rabbit, Spring Lamb, Beef and Chicken and other seasonal meat Recipe ideas for July using 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 July 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 - or office - 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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