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27 August 2013

Succulent smoked duck breasts from Morton's Traditional Taste

Photo: ©Morton's Traditional Taste
Rob Morton is carrying on his family tradition of farming and butchery, by creating local quality produce from his free-range poultry farm in Norfolk.

Hall Farm was established as far back as 1945 when Rob’s grandfather came down from Scotland with a dairy herd. Wishing to maintain the family’s farming and butchery heritage, Rob’s father and now Rob, himself are continue to provide their quality service and meats to other local meat producers, the local catering industry including fine restaurants and bistros in Norfolk and to the surrounding  local community.

The traditional Norfolk farm consists of a large family farmhouse and courtyard of barns and outhouses. Some of these buildings had largely become redundant as they were no longer suitable for modern day farm machinery. Rather than letting them sit unused, Rob converted one of them into a smokehouse with a fully hygienic area. This became an extension of their farming business in November 2012 to cure and smoke the game and meats that Morton’s farms produce.

The video shows Rob preparing and smoking duck breast.

The duck breast in placed in brine for 2-3 hours. The meat is then rinsed and washed to get rid of the excess the salt off the surface. The duck breasts are placed briefly on racks to dry out, before putting them straight into the smoker for 3 hours. The meat is smoked slowly to allow the aromas from the selected wood chippings to infuse throughout.

For a particular flavour, Rob has chosen the chippings from old whiskey barrels which are ground up finely and placed in the bottom of the smoker. After lighting, the chippings are left to smoulder allowing the smoke to permeated the duck breasts sitting above, giving the meat its distinctive taste and flavour.

Rob says: “A good smoked meat, is still moist, with a hint of the smoked flavour, that’s not overpowering just from the curing process of salt and smoke; but when you put the meat in your mouth, it melts on your tongue and  you want to taste the smokiness and moisture of the meat infused with the flavours from the smoke”.

Rob personally recommends slicing the Smoked Gressingham Duck or Morton’s own Smoked Chicken thinly on a freshly prepared Caesar Salad as a delicious summer meal.

To find out more about Morton’s Traditional Taste visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here

12 August 2013

Competition: Win tickets for The Edible Market Food Festival

We're pleased to be able to offer tickets for The Edible Market Food Festival being held on Saturday 12th October 2013, Luton in Bedfordshire.

We have five family tickets to give away and one of them could be yours!

The Edible Market Food Festival, being held in central Luton, Bedfordshire at the UK Centre for Carnival Arts, is a showcase for quality food and drink from some of the best producers and makers in the region and further afield.

This one day feast for the eyes and tastebuds brings together a full shopping experience for those wanting to take home some of the finest foods in the country.

Wander around the indoor food market stalls and buy direct from the producer, enjoy a superior bite to eat in the street food court and watch food and cookery demonstrations. There will also be talks and workshops for those who like to get a little closer to what they consume.

This is a great opportunity to discover specialist foods which are often difficult to find on any High Street. Meet the people who take pride in what they make and uncover the best produce.

The Edible Market Food Festival is a celebration of everything that is right with food – a culinary inspiration for food lovers with all the right ingredients for a great day out.

We're also pleased to say that already several Artisan Food Trail producers have booked and confirmed to be taking part:

Capsicana Chilli Co
Raw Nibbles
Lewis of London
Driven by Coffee
Morgan House Foods
Bite Me Spices
Kandula Tea
The Artisan Smokehouse
Breckland Orchard

Plus there are many more too and all the details are on the website here: www.ediblemarket.co.uk
See you there!

Enter the competition here

11 August 2013

The Glorious Twelfth

© The Blackface Meat Company

For those who are lovers of game the day is almost here – the 'Glorious Twelfth' signals the start of the grouse season.

Perhaps some would say the date is not a cause for jubilation, well not for the grouse anyway and also it clearly announces that autumn is not that far away.
Up until this time though, the birds have enjoyed a long and fruitful life wandering and foraging on the British heather moorlands, living an entirely natural and most importantly, wild existence. Grouse are truly wild unlike pheasants and partridge which are raised from chicks indoors.

© The Blackface Meat Company
Being highly regarded for its rich, lean meat our native grouse is a prized seasonal British delicacy at this time of year. The flavour is so unique which can be largely attributed to the grouse’s diet as it feeds only on heather and the small insects that live there.

Eating grouse also helps with the conservation of our moorlands as many of the moors are managed to increase the density of the grouse. This ensures that the habitat is maintained to allow many other indigenous birds, plants and animals to flourish, thereby protecting our native flora and fauna.

The wonderful native grouse has been added to the 'Ark of Taste' by Slow Food.  This is a rare and well deserved achievement.
It is referred to on their site as "the finest game bird in the world both from an organoleptic and a shooting perspective."

The best way to enjoy grouse is to roast it simply, rare or medium so that the natural flavour can be appreciated. Traditionally it is served with the thinnest crispiest game chips and bread sauce.
With the season being relatively short at just 16 weeks you’ve really got to seize the moment and luckily you can find grouse on The Artisan Food Trail…

Grouse on The Artisan Food Trail
Our newest addition to the trail, The Blackface Meat Company sell fully plucked and dressed birds that are delivered direct to your door.
Their grouse roams free in the Scottish Uplands and is collected from local estates.
To find out more about The Blackface Meat Company and to find links to their website/online shop visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here.

If fancy your grouse with a difference we can recommend Great Glen Game’s Smoked Grouse Breast. It is rich with a subtle sweetness from the cure and infused with the real oak smoke. Slice very thinly and enjoy with a light salad with blackberries.
To find out more about Great Glen Game visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here.

© Great Glen Game

7 August 2013

Our AFT members have star quality: Winners in the Great Taste Awards 2013

We would like to congratulate all our Artisan Food Trail producers who entered the Great Taste Awards 2013* and won gold stars for their excellent produce. 

13 producers… 35 awards… 44 stars!

Here they are:

Agnes Rose
Ginger Syrup – 1 star
Lime Syrup – 1 star

Alder Tree
Damson Fruit Cream Ice – 3 stars
Summer Fruits Fruit Cream Ice – 2 stars
Blackcurrant Fruit Cream Ice – 2 stars
Stem Ginger & Rhubarb Fruit Cream Ice – 2 stars
Summer Berry Parfait – 1 star
Raspberry Fruit Cream Ice – 1 star
Strawberry – 1 star
Gooseberry & Elderflower Fruit Cream Ice – 1 star
Tayberry Fruit Cream Ice – 1 star

Breckland Orchard
Rhubarb & Ginger Posh Squash – 2 stars
Dandelion & Burdock Posh Pop – 1 star

Fancy That From Wharfedale
Right Royal Pickle – 1 star

Filbert’s Fine Foods
Moroccan Spiced Almonds – 1 star

Fudge Kitchen
Sea Salted Caramel Gourmet Fudge – 1 star
Hazelnut Heaven Gourmet Fudge – 1 star
Sticky Toffee Pudding Gourmet Fudge – 1 star

Great Glen Game
Green Pepper Venison Salami – 3 stars
Chilli Venison Chorizo – 1 star

Morgan House Foods
Organic Lemon Cordial – 1 star
Organic Lemon Curd – 1 star

Morton’s Traditional Taste
Oak Smoked Duck Breast – 2 stars
Smoked Norfolk Chicken – 1 star
Oak Smoked Chicken Breast – 1 star
Oak Smoked Turkey – 1 star

Orchard View Farm
Lamb & Rosemary Burger – 1 star

Peachey’s Preserves
Date & Chestnut Ale Chutney – 1 star

Primrose’s Kitchen
Raw Carrot, Apple & Cinnamon Muesli – 1 star
Raw Beetroot & Ginger Muesli – 1 star

Simply Ice Cream
Mango Sorbet – 2 stars
Salted Caramel Ice Cream – 1 star

Womersley Foods
British Apple Balsamic with Raspberries – 2 stars
Tarragon Vinegar – 1 star

NB: Whilst every effort has been made to include all winners, we apologise if there are any omissions. The entire list of winners was long and took a while to sift through, so sorry if we missed any. If you're an AFT producer and you're not mentioned, please get in touch and we'll add you :)

Did you know that we have our very own awards system? Take a look at our Artisan Food Trail Approved products and producers here

* The Great Taste Awards are run by the Guild of Fine Food which is no related to The Artisan Food Trail. We like to list the AFT members that have won as we're very proud of their achievements.