• November 9

    Rosemary and Garlic Lamb

    Preparation time: less than 30 minutes

    Cooking time: 1 to 2 hours

    Serves: 4-6

    Ingredients

    • 2kg leg of lamb
    • 1 bulb garlic
    • large bunch rosemary
    • sea salt and black pepper
    • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
    • 3 white onions, quartered
    • 250ml/9fl oz dry white wine
    • olive oil

    For the mint sauce:

    • 1 tbsp caster sugar
    • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 6 sprigs mint, leaves only, finely chopped

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
    2. Use a small, sharp knife to make 12-14 slits all over the lamb. Peel two garlic cloves and slice them into shards. Roughly squash the remaining garlic and put it into the bottom of a large roasting tin.
    3. Push a few slivers of garlic and small sprigs of rosemary down into each slot in the lamb and season with plenty of salt and pepper.
    4. Put the carrots and onions into the roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay the lamb on top and roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
    5. For the mint sauce, mix together the sugar and vinegar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the mint and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the fridge to steep.
    6. Remove the lamb from the oven, pour in the wine then return to the oven and roast for a further 45 minutes.
    7. When cooked, remove the lamb from the oven and transfer to a board. Cover with foil and leave to rest for 15- 20 minutes.
    8. Carve the lamb into thin slices and serve with the mint sauce and roasted vegetables.

  • November 9

    Rosemary Pork Shoulder

    Preparation time: less than 30 minutes

    Cooking time: over 2 hours

    Serves: 6-8

    Ingredients

    • 2-2.5kg half pork shoulder, boned and rolled
    • olive oil
    • sea salt
    • 3 white onions, halved
    • 2 carrots

    For the apple sauce:

    • 3 apples, peeled, cored and diced
    • 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
    • demerara sugar, to taste

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
    2. Using a very sharp knife (or a clean Stanley knife) score the skin all over, taking care not to cut through to the meat (you can ask your butcher to do this for you if you like).
    3. Drizzle the pork skin with a little olive oil and then massage one tablespoon of salt into the skin forcing it into the score marks. Put the onions and carrots into a large roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and shake around to coat. Sit the pork on top of the vegetables and place them into the preheated oven. Cook for half an hour, or until the crackling is crisp and golden-brown.
    4. Turn the oven down to 180C. Cook for 30 minutes per a half kilo, or until the pork is cooked through (the juices will run clear when pierced with a knife. Alternatively insert a skewer into the middle of the thickest part of the meat, remove and feel the skewer. The meat is cooked if the skewer is hot to touch.) To be honest, it’s hard to overcook pork shoulder, so feel free to give it longer.
    5. While the pork is cooking, make the apple sauce. Put the apples into a pan with the rosemary and 50ml of water. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for five minutes, or until the apples have started to break down a little and soften.
    6. Add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar and cook for a further five minutes stirring occasionally until the apples are collapsed but there is still a little texture to the apple sauce. Taste and adjust the sweetness if necessary. Leave to cool to room temperature.
    7. Once the pork is cooked remove from the oven and leave to rest covered in foil for 15-20 minutes. Serve the pork and crackling sliced with the apple sauce on the side.
  • November 9

    Ultimate Roast Beef

    Preparation time: 1 to 2 hours

    Cooking time: 1 to 2 hours

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    For the Yorkshire puddings:

    • 225g plain flour
    • 8 free-range eggs
    • 600ml milk
    • 50g beef dripping or lard
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the roast beef:

    For the roast potatoes:

    • 10 potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 or 3
    • 50g lard, beef dripping or vegetable oil
    • pinch salt

    For the vegetables:

    • 75g butter
    • 3 carrots, finely sliced
    • 1 head spring greens, finely sliced
    • 250g peas
    • wholegrain mustard, to serve

    Method

    1. For the Yorkshire puddings, put the flour in a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs and whisk to a batter. Add the milk and whisk until smooth then place in the fridge for at least one hour, but preferably overnight.
    2. For the beef, preheat the oven to 200C.
    3. Heat a frying pan until very hot. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Fry the beef on all sides in the hot pan until nicely browned. Transfer to a roasting dish and place in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile for the roast potatoes, put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Drain the potatoes into a colander and shake around a little to rough up the edges.
    5. Put a deep roasting tray onto the heat and add the fat. Add the potatoes and fry on each side until they start to brown. Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven alongside the beef for 30 minutes until starting to turn golden and crisp. After 30 minutes, turn the potatoes over in the fat and return to the oven for a further 20-30 minutes.
    6. Remove the beef from the oven, cover with aluminum foil and rest for 15-30 minutes. Put the beef on board to carve then return the roasting pan to the heat, and heat over medium heat until bubbling, then add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the beef stock and cook until reduced by half again, season to taste.
    7. To cook the Yorkshire puddings, preheat the oven to 220C.
    8. Divide the dripping or lard between 2 x 12 hole muffin tins or Yorkshire tins. Heat the tins in the oven for 10 minutes, until smoking hot. Carefully pour the batter into the tins, filling them two-thirds of the way. Bake the Yorkshire puddings for 20 minutes. Do not open the oven door during this time.
    9. After 20 minutes, open the door to allow any steam to escape, then turn the temperature down to 190C. Cook the Yorkshire puddings for a further 15 minutes until crisp and golden-brown.
    10. For the vegetables, heat a frying pan until hot, add one-third of the butter and all the carrots. Stir to coat the carrots in the melted butter, add 110ml/4floz water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for five minutes, until the liquid has reduced to coat the carrots and they are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
    11. Repeat the process for the spring greens, cooking them for 2-3 minutes until tender.
    12. Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the peas and cook for two minutes until hot through. Drain the peas and toss them with the last of the butter.
    13. To serve, carve the beef and place onto serving plates, with the roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and a spoonful of each of the vegetables. Finish with a drizzle of the gravy and a spoon of mustard alongside.

  • November 9

    Slow-cooked Ham with Gravy

    Preparation time: overnight

    Cooking time: over 2 hours

    Serves: 10-12

    Ingredients

    For the glaze:

    • 1 tbsp whole cloves
    • 4 tbsp black treacle
    • 4 tbsp demerara sugar
    • 1 x tbsp mustard

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 250C. Let your Christmas Ham come to room temperature.
    2. Line a large roasting tin with a layer of foil, and then sit a wire rack on top of this foil. Tear off a large piece of foil (big enough to wrap around the ham) and place this over the rack on the roasting tin. Tear off a second, large piece of foil and place on top, but in the opposite way to the first, so you have 4 corners of foil ready to wrap your ham in.
    3. Sit the Christmas Ham on the foil and then pour the black treacle over it, straight onto the rind, letting it run down both sides. Don’t worry too much about spreading it over the ham, as once it’s in the heat of the oven, it will coat the ham well enough.
    4. Now lift up the sides and ends of the first layer of foil and make a seal at the top, leaving some room around the Christmas Ham, then seal the ends. Then take up the other piece of foil and do the same: you are trying to create a good seal around the ham, so pinch together any open gaps that remain. Finally, tear off another piece of foil and put over the top of the whole parcel, making sure it’s well sealed.
    5. Put carefully into the oven and let it cook for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 100C and leave for a further 12–24 hours.
    6. The following day, take the ham out of the oven and open up the foil seal. It will have made some liquid, which you can reserve to moisten the carved meat later. Carefully lift the ham out onto a board, remove the string and peel off the rind to leave a good layer of fat.
    7. Increase the oven temperature to 200C. Using a sharp knife, cut a diamond pattern in the fat layer, drawing lines one way and then the opposite way, about 2cm apart.
    8. Stud the centre of each diamond with a clove, then mix together the black treacle, demerara sugar and Dijon mustard in a bowl and spread over the fat on the ham. It will dribble off a bit, so just spoon it back over the ham before putting back in the oven for 20 minutes, by which time the glaze will be burnished and blistered in the heat. Remove from the oven, and transfer to the board. Let it rest for 10–20 minutes before carving into thin slices.

  • November 9

    Boiled and Baked Special Ham

    Preparation time: 30 minutes to 1 hour

    Cooking time: over 2 hours

    Serves: 8-10

    Ingredients

    • 5½ -7¼kg ham with the bone in
    • 2 onions, quartered
    • few cloves
    • few black peppercorns
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 4 tbsp mustard
    • 75g demerara sugar, depending on the size of ham
    • 300ml chicken stock (to make a gravy)

    Method

    1. Place the soaked ham in a large pan, with the onions, cloves, peppercorns and bay leaf.
    2. Cover with water, bring to the boil and skim away any impurities. Leave the ham to simmer, allowing 20 minutes per 450g(1lb).
    3. Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
    4. Once cooked, remove the ham from the pan and stand for 10-15 minutes before peeling away the skin.
    5. The fat can be left as it is or scored, creating a diamond pattern. Brush the ham with mustard and sprinkle well with the demerara sugar.
    6. Bake the ham for 30-40 minutes taking care to baste the ham with juices and the caramelised sugar. Once golden, remove from the oven and rest for 15-30 minutes before carving, or leave until cold.
    7. To make gravy, pour the chicken stock into the roasting pan to lift any residue in the pan and simmer until reduced by one-third to one-half and strain.

    Recipe Tips: The ham may need to be soaked in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water occasionally

  • November 9

    Rosemary Pork Loin Crackling

    Preparation time: 10 minutes

    Cooking time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

    Serves: 10

    Ingredients

    • 2 tbsp rosemary finely chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp fennel seed
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 2½ kg boneless pork loin, butterflied

    Method

    1. Tip the rosemary and garlic into a mortar along with the fennel seeds, olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Pound everything together with a pestle until you get a rough paste. Unfold the pork loin, spread the herb mixture all over the cut side, then fold the loin back over. You need to keep the loin together during cooking, so tie pieces of string around it at 2cm intervals. Tuck any leftover rosemary sprigs under the string.
    2. Heat oven to 220C. Lightly oil a baking tray and place the pork on top, sprinkling a little salt over the skin. Cook in the oven for 20 mins until crisp and browned all over. Reduce oven to 190C and cook for 45 mins per kg more, which will be just under 2 hrs for this amount of meat. When ready, take the pork out of the oven and cover tightly with tin foil. Leave for at least 15 mins before eating, or leave to cool and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. To serve, loosen the crackling, then carve the pork into thick slices, handing out pieces of crackling if people wish.
  • November 9

    Traditional Christmas Turkey with Gravy

     

    Preparation time: 30 mins to 1 hour

    Cooking time: 1 to 2 hours

    Serves: 8-10

    Intro: A fun and easy way to bring a traditional flavour to your table!

    Ingredients

    • 20ml rapeseed oil
    • 1 x 5kg good-quality free-range turkey, preferably organically reared, wishbone removed (ask your butcher to remove the wings and neck and chop them into 2.5cm pieces to use in the dish)
    • 40 unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 2 pinches sea salt flakes
    • 2 pinches freshly ground white pepper
    • 200ml water
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1-2 tbsp ground arrowroot (depending on how thick you like your gravy), dissolved in 1 tbsp cold water
    • roast potatoes and steamed seasonal vegetables, to serve

    Method

    1. Remove the turkey from the fridge and bring to room temperature – this will take at least an hour.
    2. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 230C.
    3. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large, heavy-based roasting tray on the stovetop. Add the chopped turkey wings and neck and fry for 8-10 minutes, turning the pieces over every 2-3 minutes, or until evenly browned all over.
    4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soften the butter with the back of a dessert spoon, then season with the salt and freshly ground white pepper. Using a pastry brush or your hands, smear the seasoned butter all over the turkey. Add any remaining butter to the roasting tray once the chopped wings and neck have browned.
    5. Place the turkey on top of the wing and neckpieces, then roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
    6. Remove the turkey from the oven and baste all over with the cooking juices.
    7. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C.
    8. Pour the water into the roasting tray, then return the turkey to the oven and continue to cook for a further 1 hour, basting the bird with the cooking juices every 20 minutes (do this quickly to prevent the heat escaping from the oven).
    9. At the end of the cooking time, test if the turkey is cooked through by inserting a skewer or roasting fork into the thickest part of its thigh; if the juices run clear, the meat is cooked. Alternatively, use a meat thermometer; if cooked, the temperature should be 74°C or above. If the turkey is not fully cooked, return it to the oven for a further 20 minutes or until the juices run clear.
    10. Remove the turkey from the oven and transfer the bird to a large, deep-sided tray, reserving the roasting tray the turkey was cooked in along with the cooking juices. Set the turkey aside to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 1½ hours.
    11. While the turkey is resting, cook your roast potatoes and vegetable dishes.
    12. When you’re almost ready to serve the meal, return the roasting tray used to cook the turkey to the stovetop. Bring the cooking juices to the boil over medium heat, scraping up any burned bits from the bottom of the tray using a wooden spoon.
    13. Collect the juices released by the turkey as it was resting and add them to the gravy. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed.
    14. Reduce the heat until the gravy is simmering, then stir in the dissolved arrowroot and cook until the gravy has thickened.
    15. Strain the gravy through a fine sieve into a warmed jug. Keep warm.
    16. To serve, bring the turkey to the table and carve into slices. Serve with roast potatoes and vegetables. Pour over the gravy.
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