In this episode I talk to Master Butcher, Simon Boddy. Simon is my brother-in-law and has developed his on-line and retail butchery, The Best Butchers over the past 20 years with a focus on traditionally butchered meat and poultry and customer service. Specialising in quality meat, sausages, bacon and poultry produced on local farms with which he and his team have developed trusting relationships, the provenance of the meat is of the utmost importance. The Best Butchers dry ages its own beef and smokes and cures its own bacon from woodland pigs at its base in rural Buckinghamshire on the outskirts of Milton Keynes. Simon demonstrates how to prepare a shoulder of pork and discusses what goes into a good sausage and tells me about his journeys though America sampling different styles of meat and preparation.
We also meet Jane Geoghegan, Marketing Director at Delicious, the online food and recipe site and monthly print magazine that was named “Food Magazine of the Year” at the 2022 Guild of Food Writers Awards. Jane is unsurprisingly a self-confessed “foodie” and talks about her favourite family foods and why food is such an important part of her life.
And finally, we return to Cherie Denham’s kitchen to learn her recipe and how she makes lemon curd….full recipe below…but first…
Listen here and enjoy!
Cherie’s lemon curd recipe
As a child, I used to make lemon curd with duck eggs collected from the nest in the old tractor tyre. Now, I use eggs from my own hens (a much-loved birthday present)and they lay eggs with a perfect yellowy yolk. The colour of the yolks is paramount to achieve the sunshine colour that makes this lemon curd so special, so do use the best you can find.
Usually, lemon curd is made in a bowl over hot water, but I have a simplified method. I fling everything into a saucepan, heat gently, which melts the butter, dissolves the sugar and together with the eggs, gradually thickens the mixture. Ensure it’s a gentle heat, otherwise, it will curdle giving you sweet, scrambled eggs – not pleasant. Stir constantly and watch it like a hawk…to nip any misbehaviour in the bud. Don’t allow the curd to boil, you may not think it is thick enough, but as long as it coats the back of a wooden spoon, that will be grand. Remember hot sugar andbutter mixed together will be quite runny, but it will thicken as it cools down.
The curd will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and it freezes well for up to a month thanks to the acidity in the lemons.
Zest and juice of 3 large, unwaxed lemons
85 g (3 oz) unsalted butter
110 g (4 oz) granulated sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
• Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Stir carefully with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer and thickens. Be very careful not to use too high a heat as the eggs will scramble.
• When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and leave a clear mark when you draw your finger through it, the curd is ready.
• Remove the curd from the heat immediately and pass it through a sieve into a bowl to get rid of any bits of zest or egg. Pour into a sterilised jar.
• Leave to cool, then refrigerate.