Post filled under : Producers

  • November 12, 2013

Friendly-Farmer-18

It’s always a little frightening how fast the summer sun sets and how quick we sink into our sofas for the winter, but it’s still an exciting time in the food world. Autumn has brought us lovely bush fruits like sloes and cranberries, while the ground has offered up some wickedly warming pumpkin and squash to keep us going.

This time of year doesn’t just offer up a high volume veggie crop, but our feathered friends treat us to the best game and poultry available.

Of course when we look forward to Christmas there is one bird we all think about, the one that takes pride of place on the big day, and no it’s not your mother, she’s special too, but I’m talking about the turkey.

The tradition of the Christmas turkey in most homes is the centrepiece of the Christmas day dinner, and is well known for making many an appearance in the days after Christmas.

You simply can’t beat the lean tender meat of a roast turkey, or the joys of turkey sandwiches and turkey curry to keep the post Christmas hunger at bay.

At Kai we have always sourced our turkeys from The Friendly Farmer, he is the number one keeper, grower, lover, and supplier of birds in the west of Ireland.

His kindness, care and passion to his vocation is reflected in the beautiful meat he has for sale, and we’re proud to use it all the time at Kai.

The Friendly Farmer rears the Irish Bronze Turkey in Athenry, which are allowed to roam and graze outside from dawn to dusk.

Last year he sold 800 Irish turkeys, and if you would like to get your mits on one this Christmas make sure to drop down to Ronan on the Galway market to get in early. Alternatively check out his blog – http://thefriendlyfarmer.blogspot.ie

Of course you can also sample his birds at Kai – just keep an eye on the board!

Update – Here is the Friendly Farmer’s cooking advice:

Cooking Your Turkey

Cooking: The Friendly Farmer Bronze Turkeys do not need long cooking times.
1. Remove the bird from the fridge, leave it to stand at room temperature for 2 hours before cooking.
2. Place the turkey, breast down, in a roasting tin and season the back of the bird with salt and pepper. Most of the fat deposits are on the back of the bird, which will percolate through the breast allowing the turkey to cook in its own juices.
3. Place a large peeled onion in the cavity for extra flavour. We do not recommend stuffing the bird but to cook it separately.
4. We do not recommend using tin foil as this will result in a steamed skin rather than a crispy one.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (gas mark 4) before putting the turkey in the oven. If you have a fan-assisted oven and cannot turn the fan off, reduce the temperature to 160ºC.
6. Turn the turkey over (to brown the breast) 30 minutes before then end of cooking time. This is easily done by holding the end of the drumsticks with oven gloves (be careful of hot fat). Season the breast of the bird with salt and pepper and then insert your meat thermometer halfway through the thickest part of the breast and place back in the oven.
7. To manually check, insert a skewer into the thigh and when the juices run clear remove from the oven. If the juices are pink, place back in the oven and keep checking at 10 minute intervals.
8. Allow to stand for 30 to 60 minutes before carving.
9. The stock that is produced from a Bronze turkey is truly the best. Please do not ruin it with gravy granules etc. Simply skim the excess fat from the top of the stock and then scrape all the delicious crispy bits off the bottom of the roasting tin. Re-heat the stock and then carve the meat into the stock before serving.
Cooking Times
Lbs
Minutes
Hours
6
90
1.5
7
105
1.75
8
120
2
9
135
2.25
10
150
2.5
11
165
2.75
12
180
3
13
195
3.25
14
210
3.5
15
225
3.75
16
240
4
18
270
4.5
19
285
4.75
20
300
5

Filled Under : locally sourced , Producers

Farming cranberries on a bog in Offaly

If you were to grow cranberries where would you start? Cranberry production has been largely aligned with American and Canadian growers over the years but as ingenious as us Irish always are we have found a unique way to bring one of our favorite festive fruits home to roost.

The bog is an unlikely place for anything to be grow let alone be farmed. It’s damp, unforgiving land has lent itself mostly to peat cutting, the odd poitin still and little else down through the centuries.

However in 2008 following a pilot project by Bord na Mona on a bog in Offaly, Ciara Morris decided that her dream was to cultivate cranberries in Ireland.

The ground and conditions in the bog proved to be favourable, and Ciara established Slievebloom Farmhouse, the only cranberry farm in Ireland. Over the last 5 years the berries have gone from strength to strength, and can now be found in some of the top kitchens in the country.

Supporting these small businesses is what Ireland is all about. At Kai we always recognise what small growers are doing, and welcome them into the kitchen. New or old products, the range and diversity is constantly increasing.

Ciara built her business from the ground up, literally. In doing so she branched out into developing other products and Slieve Bloom Farmhouse Foods have since received several accolades at the Great Taste Awards for their Cranberry and Mulled Wine Sauce, Lemon De Vine Marmalade, Spiced Marmalade and Lavender Marmalade.

It’s amazing what you can do with a bit of bog. These stories inspire us to do what we do and we hope that they will inspire you too.

Keep an eye out in the shops for these cranberries. They’re local, and they’re delish!

www.slievebloomfarmhousefoods.com

Filled Under : locally sourced , Producers