Recipes worth staying in for this Valentine’s Day

Whether you’re cooking for a spouse, partner, friend or defiant singletons, cooking for another is one of the best ways to show you care, so treat this weekend as an excuse to dust off the apron and take your culinary know how for a spin.

To help, we’ve put together a little ‘pic ‘n’ mix’ menu of options to mix and match to create the perfect dinner date; choose one main (lamb or beef), one side (made in house by us) and one sauce. Et voila! A word to the wise – only our Askew Rd, Moxon St, Barnes and Clapham shops have the full array of sides – our other shops are a little smaller so don’t carry all the deli items.

Alternatively, if your cooking is more likely to ward off than woo, scroll down for some homemade and ready to go meals which can be picked up from most of our shops, including our very special mini beef Wellingtons!

MAINS

 rib eye steaks

Sirloin Steak

Buy your steaks nice and thick, and season with sea salt (Maldon is our favourite) just as they go into a very hot pan. Six to eight minutes should be long enough, allow a few minutes rest before serving.

Ribeye Steak

As above, buy thick and season with plenty of sea salt just before they go into a very hot pan. Turn every two minutes for around eight altogether to build up a good char, leaving it medium rare which is just right for this cut. If you can, press the little piece of fat into the hot pan as the steak cooks so that it renders a little more and bastes the steak. Let the steak rest for a good few minutes before serving.

Lamb Cutlets (French trimmed)

Lightly season the individual cutlets and cook in a hot griddle pan, turning frequently. They should be cooked in 8-10 minutes. Allow a short rest before serving.

Lamb Leg Steaks

Lightly season the steaks, and place in a hot griddle pan for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently. Serve slightly pink in the middle.

lamb cutlets 2

SIDES

Potato Dauphinoise

Beetroot Salad

Green Bean & Broccoli Salad

SAUCES

Salsa Verde

This is really best if chopped by hand but, if you are in a rush, place the ingredients in a blender and whizz – but take care not to overblend so it turns into a paste.

Serves 2 generously
Takes 20 minutes

3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 1/2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and finely chopped
1 tbsp gherkins, finely chopped
Leaves from 1/2 a bunch of parsley, finely chopped
Leaves from 1/2 a bunch of basil, finely chopped
Leaves from 1/2 a bunch of tarragon, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1tsp Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Mix together all the chopped and crushed ingredients, then mix in the lemon juice, mustard and pepper.

2. Slowly pour in the olive oil and mix to form an emulsion. You can adjust the amount of oil to your preference to give a thick or thin sauce.

 Shallot & Red Wine Sauce

For this recipe using fresh stock will produce a much richer and tastier sauce than using a dry cube.

250g shallots, sliced
4 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
Sprig of rosemary
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
400ml red wine
400ml beef stock or brown chicken stock
knob of butter

1. Saute the shallots in a saucepan with the oil over a high heat for about 3 minutes until lightly browned, stirring often. Season with ground black pepper and add the garlic and rosemary. Continue cooking for a further 3 minutes, stirring often to prevent the shallots burning.

2. Pour in the vinegar and cook until evaporated away to a syrup, then pour in the wine and cook until reduced by two thirds.

3. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil turn down the heat and simmer until reduced by two-thirds again, to around 250ml. Remove the garlic and rosemary. Add a little salt to taste and finally whisk in a knob of butter. Add any juices from the steaks just before serving.

Flaming Mayonnaise

(Courtesy of the AHDB Beef and Lamb division)

5tbsp half or reduced fat mayonnaise
1tbsp freshly chopped flat-lead parsely (for beef) or mint (for lamb)
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1. In a small bowl mix all the ingredients together, cover and chill in the fridge until required.

CAN’T COOK, WON’T COOK?

Luckily for you lot who fall into this category, we make pies big enough to share, lasagne, shepherd’s pie, bolognese sauce and plenty more in our Moxon St, Askew Rd, Barnes and Clapham shops. This year we are also doing a special mini beef wellington to share, with homemade red wine jus. We’ve taken a centre cut of our specially selected dry-aged, grass fed beef fillet smothered it in homemade smoked pigs cheek paté, wrapped that in Parma ham, then encased it in homemade all-butter puff pastry. Oh, and we’re even decorating them with little pastry hearts.

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