Easter Sunday is on 27th March this year, and as well as being the start of two week’s school holidays, it also means that we all get to enjoy the 4-day weekend, with bank holidays on the Friday and Monday.
The long Easter weekend is a great excuse for a family get-together, and what better excuse is there to have a feast than all the family coming to visit.
Traditional foods to eat at Easter include hot cross buns, simnel cake, and of course, Easter Eggs!
These sugary treats are to celebrate the end of Lent, 40 days when traditionally very basic food would be eaten, so Easter Sunday was a time to indulge.
The cross on the top of hot cross buns symbolises the cross of the crucifixion, which is the symbol of Christianity and the reason we celebrate Easter. However, a type of hot cross bun was also eaten by the Saxons in the Middle Ages, and their cross was to represent the movements of the moon.
Simnel cake is a rich fruit cake, with a layer of marzipan across the top, covered in 11 balls of marzipan which represent the 11 disciples loyal to Jesus.
Easter eggs are given as a symbol of new life, and many years ago painted eggs were given as gifts, but now the most common form are chocolate eggs.
The traditional meat to eat for an Easter dinner is lamb, which is because the lambing season begins in Spring, so the lamb is at its best at this time of year.
Roast lamb is absolutely delicious, and comes in various forms which require different cooking methods.
A shoulder of lamb should be slow-cooked for a long time at a low temperature, until the meat is cooked right through and the shoulder bone will just lift out of the meat.
A leg of lamb, however, is best served a little pink, as it can dry out if cooked for too long. We recommend roasting at 200°C (Gas Mark 6) for around 75 minutes, then cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes. The meat should be pink inside (but not bloody) when you cut into it, which will keep it full of flavour and very moist.
Whatever you decide to cook this Easter, we are delivering up until Thursday 24th March, and you need to place your order by Tuesday 22nd.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your Easter cooking, the BBC Food website have some great suggestions and can help you put a whole menu together. Just click here to visit their website
7th March 2016read full article
Burns Night is celebrated on the 25th January each year, on the birthday of Robert Burns, the 18th century Scottish poet who wrote so passionately about his homeland.
Rabbie Burns (as he’s affectionately known) wrote hundreds of poems, mostly written down as he would have spoken in his Ayrshire dialect – meaning they can be difficult to read.
His best known work is probably Auld Lang Syne, which is traditionally sung on New Year’s Eve to say farewell to the passing year and pledge to remember times gone by.
However, Burns also wrote extensively about his love of Scotland, and it is for this that he is remembered. Robert Burns was voted the Greatest ever Scot by the Scottish public, and this really shows how well regarded he is even now.
Burns Night is more widely celebrated than the official Scottish national day of St Andrew’s Day, and there are many Burns Clubs and Associations across the UK who take the opportunity on 25th January to celebrate Burns and Scotland.
A traditional Burns Night haggis supper starts with the presentation of the haggis – the cooked haggis is led into the room by a piper, the Burns poem ‘Address to a Haggis’ is read, and then the haggis is cut open. Haggis is usually served with mashed turnips and potatoes (“neeps and tatties”) and accompanied by Scotch whisky.
If you’re looking for a good quality Burns Night haggis – or for any time of year – Macsween are very hard to beat. A family company from Edinburgh, Macsween were established in 1953 and are now widely regarded as one of the best brands of haggis in the world.
Macsween make their haggis traditionally, and it comes in various sizes from 1lb (454g) to serve 2-3 people, up to the mighty Ceremonial haggis which weighs in at 16lb (3.6kg) and will serve 16 people.
They also do a completely vegan haggis filled with oats, lentils, pulses and vegetables which not only stops the vegetarians feeling left out on Burns Night, it can also be used as a delicious base for stuffing chicken or peppers.
In fact there’s loads you can do with haggis – take a look at some of Macsween’s recipe suggestions here.
You can rely on Keevils to get your Burns Night Haggis delivered to you in time for the big day. Whether you need the haggis for a large Burns supper or it’s just for yourself as part of your larger order, we deliver Tuesday to Friday, all over the UK.
As Burns Night is on a Monday this year we recommend booking your delivery for Friday 22nd January so you have it in time.
18th January 2016read full article
The festive season is nearly upon us, and whatever your plans are, we're sure they'll revolve around food of some sort. Our Christmas meat deliveries are a brilliant option to ensure you receive the best quality meat available, brought to your door.
If you're cooking a traditional Christmas turkey we have the best you can buy English free range Bronze Turkey from farms in Surrey and Norfolk. The difference between white and bronze turkeys is that bronze turkeys are known for keeping moist when cooked, which can help to avoid the dreaded dry turkey on Christmas Day! When choosing what size turkey to buy, allow 500g of turkey per person, which will leave plenty for dinner and cold cuts on Boxing Day.
If you'd rather have a roast goose, we have free range English geese, from farms in East Anglia. Geese have more bones than turkeys, and we recommend allowing 1kg of the whole bird weight per person to allow for the weight of the bones. Goose is also quite fatty, so cook it on a rack over a roasting tin, and save the fat which drips out to cook your roast potatoes. It's used by professional chefs as it gives the potatoes a delicious, savoury golden crust.
Our capons are always incredibly popular, and as a good value traditional Christmas meat they really can't be beaten. A capon is a castrated cockerel, and their meat is renowned for being sweeter, more tender and moister than a standard cockerel or chicken. The act of caponisation is illegal in the UK, and our free range capons are bred especially for us in France. As they are just for Christmas we have quite limited numbers of them and usually sell out by mid-December. To ensure that their expiry dates will last until Boxing Day, we receive delivery of them at the very last opportunity, so capons are only available for deliveries on 22nd or 23rd December.
We have a wide choice of other meats as well if you fancy Christmas Beef, Pork or Lamb, we supply it all, delivered fresh from Smithfield Market to your door.
The last Christmas meat deliveries will be made on 23rd December however we are already full for orders that day. We're still taking bookings for delivery on 22nd, and we need your order by Sunday 20th. However we have a limited number of delivery slots which may fill up sooner so if you want that Christmas meat delivery, don't delay, get your order placed as soon as you can so you don't miss out.
10th December 2015read full article
You'd be forgiven if it passed you by, but next Thursday is a big day in the American culinary calendar Thanksgiving.
The fourth Thursday in November is always used in the US to celebrate and give thanks for a good harvest and to look forward to the year ahead. It stems back from the 17th Century, when the first pilgrim settlers held a great feast to celebrate the success of their crops which had previously failed. It was originally a religious celebration but now the focus tends to be more about giving thanks for friends and family.
Although only really celebrated in the UK by far-roaming Americans, we reckon it could be the next big thing, as let's face it, we all love an excuse for a big dinner and a party, don't we?!
Turkey is the most traditional part of a Thanksgiving meal, and is usually served alongside sweet potatoes, stuffing, and a pumpkin pie.
You can find an enormous selection of Thanksgiving turkey and side dish recipes online, and we really like the menu suggestions here courtesy of CountryLiving.com
We can't help you with the veggies, but we do now have our amazing free range Bronze turkeys in stock, so you can have one heck of a feast, with the very best turkey as your centrepiece!
Reared in Surrey, our turkeys are left to live a completely natural, free range life, and are fed on GM-free locally-grown cereals. Bronze turkeys have black feathers, as opposed to the regular white-feathered variety, and they yield a naturally moister meat.
Our chicks are hatched in June and left to grow naturally to maturity, which allows them a full 5 months to grow to a good, full size turkey for Thanksgiving and then Christmas.
We are still taking orders so you can buy a Thanksgiving turkey online, and as long as you place your order before Midnight on Monday 23rd we can deliver to your door on Wednesday so you have it in time for the big day.
Of course, we are also taking Christmas orders too, and our last deliveries will be 23rd December, but you can also order to collect your turkey from us on December 24th.
29th October 2015read full article
We are now just 3 months away from the main event of the culinary year Christmas Dinner!
If you're going to be the one with the enormous responsibility of cooking dinner, not only are you brave, but you're probably starting to think about what you'll be feeding your guests.
Here at Keevils we stock a range of Christmas meats online, but the stars of our show are Turkey, Geese and Capon.
Because we are on Smithfield Market, it means we have unrivalled access to the best meat suppliers in the land, and that always gives us an advantage, but especially at Christmas.
We have our pick of farmers and meat suppliers, and we can alternate between them if the quality or quantity isn't consistent enough for us. This is important all year, but particularly it means our customers can rely on us to supply the best Christmas meats in the country.
All of the turkeys we sell are British Freerange Bronze Turkeys. They are the Rolls Royce of the turkey world. Raised on independent farms and fed a natural diet, our turkeys are left to roam during the day until they return to their barn to rest their weary heads at night. Bronze turkeys are the black-feathered variety, and they are renowned for having a fuller flavour and their meat is more tender and moist than their white-feathered counterparts.
Our Geese are taken from small farms, mainly in East Anglia, and they are freerange. Once slaughtered they are left to hang for 5 days, in which time the meat develops into rich and tender deliciousness. Although Geese release a lot of fat when cooked, if you collect it you can keep it for up to a year in the fridge, and it makes the best roast potatoes ever (we promise).
Our Capon are reared especially for us in Northern France, and are completely freerange and fed on a corn-based diet. The farming of capon caponisation is illegal in the UK, which is why we buy in these authentic French birds. English Capon that you may find for sale aren't true Capons and will be in fact a large, old, chicken, and will be a massive disappointment. True capon are flavoursome and tender, and this is why Capon have been our most popular Christmas meat for several years now.
We will also again be stocking Three Bird Roasts in the next few weeks, so do keep an eye out for them. Also known as a Royal Roast or Bird-in-a-Bird, they are made by combining 3 birds to make a large, boneless roasting joint. Hand made for us in Warwickshire from free range birds – choose from Guinea Fowl, Turkey breast and Duck; Pheasant, Chicken and Goose; or Pheasant, Duck, and Turkey. They make a great alternative to a traditional Christmas bird, and they are really good quality, convenient and an impressive dish to serve. When you cut through them the slices will show the different-coloured meats, it’s a real talking point.
And when you’ve chosen the meat you’ll be enjoying on the 25th, it’s time to think about what you’ll be serving alongside it. The sides can really make or break a Christmas dinner. There has to be roast potatoes (cooked in goose fat, of course), but then it’s up to you. We love Jamie Oliver’s cheesy leeks, and he has loads of ideas for Christmas dinner side dishes here.
Our Christmas delivery slots are now open, so once you've decided what you'll be eating, you can book your space. We are delivering up until Wednesday 23rd December, and orders must be placed by 9pm on Sunday 20th December to guarantee you receive your Christmas meats before the big day.
25th September 2015read full article