World Gin Day

Gin

Gin. It’s everywhere now, isn’t it?

You can’t move down a high street without falling over at least one specialist gin bar and even the most modest of hostelries seems to be offering about a third of their bar space to the spirit.

Last year, just in the UK, we bought 47 million bottles. Sales have doubled in value over the last six years, reaching £1.2 BILLION for the year up to September 2017. It’s the country’s favourite spirit apparently with nearly 30% of people saying it’s their top pick.

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Oliver Parkinson
Sous Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Coffee

Wake up and smell the coffee

Wake up and smell the coffee.

How many times do you see on social media or hear someone say: “I’ll be fine once I’ve had my coffee….”? Plenty, that’s how many.

Coffee is something of an obsession with us Brits and we don’t seem to mind shelling out for it in any number of variations. Ten years ago, there were around 10,000 places to get a cup of Joe in the UK. Since then there’s been staggering growth in the market.

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John Connell
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

It may only be the start of the 2018 Chinese New Year (the year of the dog) but here in the SK development kitchen, we’re already planning for 2019 – the year of the pig.

You will be very pleased to know that we are skipping ahead this year and providing a pork-based recipe.
Dog may be a delicacy in some parts of the world but can you imagine the uproar if you went to your local supermarket and saw Labrador chops or Daschund fillet!

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Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Game changer

A Game Changer

Us chefs love cooking game so I was delighted when I read about the success of the ‘Game Changer’ project, which is being promoted as part of Great British Game Week.

This is an initiative, by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, to teach 60,000 students to cook game by 2020.

It starts with teachers being shown how to prepare and cook two simple pheasant recipes using skills set out in a new GCSE in food preparation and nutrition. The teachers are then introducing pheasant (and other game as the scheme progresses) into their lessons.

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Development & Innovation Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
National School Meals Week

National School Meals Week

When I discovered that Monday (13th November) was the start of National School Meals Week it made me chuckle.

The thought of having such a week when I was at school, which granted was a while ago, would have had everyone in hysterics.

When I was a kid, school meals were not something to look forward to. You queued up holding your plastic food tray (remember they had two compartments for your lunch and dessert) to be met by a an old battle axe of a ‘dinner lady’ who slopped mashed potato onto your ‘plate’, along with something that resembled a piece of meat and vegetables that had been cooked to within an inch of their life.

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Development & Innovation Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Love Lamb Week

Love Lamb Week

As lovers of lamb, it came as a surprise to discover that one of the reasons for Love Lamb Week is that fewer people have been regularly eating the meat over the past 15 years.

What’s not to like?

Lamb is such a versatile dish and despite what you might think, it’s no harder to cook than chicken or pork. It’s also healthy. Grass fed lamb, for example, can in some instanced be higher in omega-3 than fish.

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John Connell
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
International Beer Day

International Beer Day

When we discovered today was International Beer Day, we fought each other over who should write the blog and provide a recipe.

After all, who doesn’t like beer?

Not only is it great on its own, from a chef’s point of view, it’s fantastic for using in food. Whether it’s giving some robustness to a steak pie or some tang to a cake, it’s very versatile and there is nearly always some leftover after cooking, so it’s win, win!

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Development & Innovation Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
British Tomato Week 2017

British Tomato Week 2017

When we were doing our research for this blog on British Tomato Week 2017, we were surprised to discover that four out of five tomatoes now eaten in the UK are imported.

We understand, obviously, that the Great British Weather, contributes to this, but it’s little wonder that people say tomatoes don’t taste like they used to. They are bound to lose some of their taste if they have travelled thousands of miles to get here.

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Oliver Parkinson
Sous Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Food awareness days

Food awareness days

There are two great national food awareness days this week so we thought we would give you two for the price of one.

British Sandwich Week is running at the same time as National Vegetarian Week, which is perfect as the two go hand in hand.

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Development & Innovation Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Shorthorn rib of beef

Roasted 5-year old Shorthorn Beef Carvery Rib

We are still enjoying Great British Beef Week (GBB) here in the SK kitchen this time with shorthorn beef. We couldn’t let the occasion pass without giving you a little inspiration for a tasty and seasonal bank holiday Sunday (or any day) roast. It’s also a fitting tribute to mark the end of GBB week for 2017.

The key with this is the beef of course, and it’s worth search and paying a little extra for the perfect cut. The recipe below uses a beautiful piece of meat is a 5-year Shorthorn rib of beef.

The origins of the Shorthorn breed of cattle are rooted firmly in the Northeast and begin some two centuries ago. From humble beginnings (and  only four cows) the breed has grown to become world renowned and significant in cattle breeding circles.

Enough about cattle… here’s the recipe!

Roasted 5-year old Shorthorn Beef Carvery Rib

Ingredients

  • 1.1kg rib beef
  • Jersey royal potatoes
  • English new in season asparagus

Method

For the beef; begin by slowly cooking the beef in butter and oil over a medium heat on each side for around 10 minutes. Then rest for around 20 minutes. Reserve butter to baste after resting (reheat butter). Allowing the beef to rest is very important and remember to slice on an angle.

For the Jersey royals;  boil them in salted water. We’ve rolled them in parsley butter but they are good enough on their own.

For the asparagus; boil them in water for two minutes to maintain a good crunch.

Katie Beaumont
Marketing & Communications Executive of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.