Product Review: Men’s Pie Manual

Mens_Pie_Manual
Well I think we all know, you don’t have to be a man to enjoy a bloody good pie. Whether it be a pork pie ready for lunch, a hearty beef and ale pie ready to warm you through or a light fish pie topped with gnocchi the Haynes Men’s Pie Manual have got it covered. The book is written in a light hearted, quirky tone, constantly reminding you of the delights to come and pushing you to carry on; especially in the case of the beef and ale pie which takes two days to make. This recipe book is for the ultimate foodies out there (male or female) who handle their grub with true love and attention and seek out the best ingredients to produce the best results. I would like to consider myself as being within that category, hence I went for the beef and ale, two day pie.
This is why you need this book…

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Look! Beef bones! After 5 hours of cooking the skirt and bones in the dark ale the bone marrow oozed out. Flavour, flavour and more flavour!
image 8And I was left with this sensational filling after adding the braising steak, carrots and onion and cooking for a further 3 hours. I had to stop myself from spooning it in my pie hole (hehe) to save some for the actual pie!

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Nearly finished!
image 6Voila! Ready for the oven. By this point I was pacing the kitchen in a fury of hunger. GIVE ME PIE.

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Here it is, served with buttery, delicious mash and of course some peas!

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So, if your a true pie lover and a perfectionist (when it comes to food anyway) then the Haynes Men’s Pie Manual by Andrew Webb is a winner – Tom Kerridge certainly thinks so (and who doesn’t trust Tom Kerridge when it comes to proper food?!). There’s a huge range of pies from the hearty meaty ones to lighter chicken and fish pies and of course sweet pies for pudding because after all, I could probably live off pies. What a good idea…
The Haynes Men’s Pie Manual is available from www.haynes.co.uk priced £21.99.
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Morrisons Advert: Featuring Dad

For those of you who haven’t seen this advert or perhaps you have seen it but haven’t realised… ‘one of the farmers who supplies the beef’ to Morrisons is my Dad. Not only that BUT that farmer seeing how it tastes in the advert itself is actually my Dad.

What a day. Unfortunately at the time of filming this advert I was at uni revising for my end of year exams but Dad said it was a great day. He had roast chicken in the catering bus… what an odd thought, a double decker catering bus sat outside my house and Dad on the top deck munching on some roast chicken. The yard was full to the brim with cars and vans (according to Dad) it looked like Piccadilly Circus.

Don’t worry, everything is back to normal after Dads 20 seconds of fame. He’ still producing top quality, delicious beef for Morrisons customers, farmers’ market customers and the family. Sorry for the bad quality video but it’s the best I got!

McDonalds Sustainable Beef in Their HAMburgers from 2016

Sorry, I couldn’t help but crack that joke… which wasn’t funny but it’s done now.

After hearing about McDonald’s pledge to begin using verified sustainable beef by 2016 I was greeted with a mix of emotions. To begin with I thought, well what a nice idea but GOOD LUCK it’s not going to happen. When I really started to get my teeth into it and words like WWF and Farm Assurance popped up a small halo appeared above the golden arches in my mind. Well, that’s a slight exaggeration but I was impressed. And there was a larger than life Big Mac floating around to the side of the page which, I won’t lie, made me furious at McDonald’s for making me hungry. Joking aside, I loved this idea of sustainable beef…

But, I started to think, what is this doing for British beef and British farmers? There aren’t any British producers on the Members Board of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) who are working to put together a framework for best practices of sustainable beef, but solely American, Canadian and Australian producers. And, as pointed out by McDonalds themselves, it is a tough job creating such a framework as every country works with different ecosystems, breeds and processes! So I had a little look for this framework, but could I find it? No. Not only that but I wasn’t impressed by the GRSB website. For a company, supposedly leading the defining of sustainable beef I expected something a bit more professional. Or a link to the draft framework that McDonalds are so proud of. I suppose the UK hasn’t got the biggest beef industry, nothing like the size of American ranches but I was surprised to see that China (producing 11.6% of global beef) doesn’t have a representative on the board.

The McDonald’s website informs us that the GRSB began its work in 2011. So, 3 years its taken them to bring together these guidelines (which aren’t even the final product) and it’s going to be another 2 years until they just BEGIN to buy sustainable beef (of which they have defined themselves). I feel there is a severe lack of hard, solid goals for McDonalds to strive for and annoying consumers like me to feel reassured by. Nonetheless, I still admire McDonald’s for these lofty statements because passing a company-wide goal like that must have been a tricky job.

But, is this an example of sustainable fashion? We’ve seen company after company pledge to become greener, more efficient, more sustainable. So is this simply a glorified PR move? A way to make consumers (like me) feel better about ordering that big fat Big Mac.

As much as I hope McDonalds meets its goals, I really do (as a daughter of beef farmers) I can’t help but think it’s all about keeping up with the trend of sustainability and provenance. And that’s not a bad thing. If this is what consumers wants then please McDonalds, deliver!

I would love to hear your comments, no doubt there are some corrections needed so please, don’t hold back. As a consumer, this is what I think having used trusty old Google, and I can guarantee, that’s more than what the usual consumer will use.

Sunday Supper Heaven

Sunday Supper Heaven

Everyone knows nothing beats a good old Sunday Supper. I like vegetables, but with a Sunday Supper vegetables are in their element. Drown them in gravy, pair them up with a slice of meat or (more guiltily) cover them in cream and voila… Sunday Supper time! I popped home last weekend for a few shifts at work and more importantly a meal cooked by Mum. Not any old meal though… a meal consisting of a delicious piece of beef fresh from my parents farm. No one in my family is happier than with a slice of beef on their plate… and a few other bits of course – we’re not that hardcore beef farmers! The ‘debating’ between family members begins once the main has been polished off, seconds have been offered and we’re roughly half way through pudding.

Nothing beats my Mums cooking and nothing beats a good old traditional roast dinner. Check out my pollyscoffs instagram page for a close up of the fillet steak prior to cooking… if I’ve wired it up properly, the link should be on the right hand side of this page!

This delicious fillet steak was a 17 month old heifer and had been hung for 18-21 days. It’s mother was an Angus cross and it’s father a pedigree South Devon.