May Recipe – Bangin’ Beetroot Burger

Makes 4 large or 6 smaller burgers

400g. tin of kidney beans drained and rinsed
6 chestnut mushrooms
2 raw beetroot, peeled and grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 red onion, roughly chopped
50g. / 2ozs. smoked cheese, grated
1/2 bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
1 tsp. gd. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
4 tbsps. olive oil
150g. breadcrumbs

To serve:

burger buns
lettuce leaves
fresh tomato and tomato relish
toasted pine nuts

Place the drained kidney beans in a saucepan and cover with water.  Boil for 8 minutes before draining and cooling them and then tip into a food processor.

Add the mushrooms, beetroot, carrot, red onion, smoked cheese, parsley, cumin and paprika.  Blitz until everything is well mixed, a few chunks here and there is fine.

Pour a tablespoon of oil into a large frying pan and when the oil is hot tip the mixture into the pan and fry it for about 10 minutes on a medium heat.  By this time the mixture will be releasing quite a bit of liquid.  Tip this away and put the mixture in a bowl.

When it has cooled tip in the breadcrumbs and mix it all together – your hands are best for this.    It should all clump together.  Divide the mixture into the number of burgers you require  and form patties using your hands.  Shape isn’t important but an even thickness is.  Place on baking parchment and a plate and firm up, uncovered, in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

Heat a griddle pan or frying pan, remove burgers from the fridge and brush lightly on both sides with oil.  Carefully place in the pan and cook for 3 – 4 minutes on each side.

Toast the burger buns in the same pan and construct your burgers using lettuce, tomato, relish, pine nuts and extra smoked cheese if required.

If you possess a food processor you will be able to grate your vegetables in this as well as process the mixture, but if you do not you will have to use a box grater and a potato masher.  Make sure if you are not using a processor that you chop the onion finely.  Obviously it is up to you what you choose to serve with the burger, the recipe is making suggestions.  Enjoy…

Support our local cider makers!

This May holiday weekend should have been the Big Apple’s thirtieth year of running Blossomtime in Putley, but sadly it won’t be happening this year.  This annual opportunity to enjoy the orchards full of apple blossom and to taste many different local ciders, perries and apple juices has become an established part of the calendar in this corner of Herefordshire. 

The new product from last year’s harvest is becoming ready to drink – and there’s no stopping it!  Many craft makers depend on local events and tourism and hospitality businesses to sell their cider, perry and apple juice – and so they are taking a big hit from lockdown. 

This year’s blossom is the start of next year’s cider – but first there is a need to sell last year’s stock.  Normally, Putley Parish Hall would have been heaving with visitors buying cider, perry and apple juice.  The nine producers who had arranged to be there have been working hard to find extra ways to make their drinks available within the licensing laws – whether that is through online orders, local deliveries, click and collect, farm shops and village stores.  

So the Big Apple is supporting them through a special information area on their website at https://www.bigapple.org.uk/blossomtime-2020/.  Many regular Big Apple venues are to be found there including Once Upon a Tree, Gregg’s Pit, Woodredding Farm, Pope’s Perry, Yew Tree Farm and Jus Apple Juice.  And two special guests who each won awards at last year’s Big Apple Cider and Perry Trials: Bartestree Cider, last year’s Champion Perrymaker, and Halfpenny Green Cider, winner of the bottle fermented/conditioned cider.  So please support our local makers.  Take a look to find out how you can get hold of your favourite tipple – or try something new – or better still, try several! 

This piece has been provided by the Big Apple Association

Sorry, the 2020 Ledbury Celebration is cancelled

We have been forced to cancel this year’s Ledbury Celebration – Ledbury’s annual food festival featuring local food and drink, poetry, music and heritage – due to be held on Sunday 12 July 2020.

As a voluntary organisation with no financial reserves and dependent on the generosity of a number of sponsors, we have to do this before we start incurring expenditure and effort on an event which sadly now looks very unlikely to be allowed to happen in July.

We recognise the value this popular event provides to our local food and drink producers in presenting their special products to a wider community, and are very sorry that we cannot provide support via this event.

Our grateful thanks go to our many partners and sponsors who confirmed their support for the 2020 event.  We hope to be back with a Ledbury Celebration in 2021!

Given the current difficult circumstances, we will continue to publicise the availability of locally produced and retailed produce in Ledbury and district in the Blog section of our website.   Please let us know if you have information on this that others might appreciate. You can contact us at ask@ledburyfoodgroup.org.

Please also support our local Ledbury Food Bank who continue to do a sterling job with valued help from some local producers – details at www.ledburyfoodbank.org.

…and if you or someone you know is interested in helping as a worker with this year’s fruit harvest, some local opportunities are listed at www.britishsummerfruits.co.uk/jobs.

Keep safe!

The Ledbury Celebration in 2019

April Recipe – Ginger Simnel Cake with Spring Flowers

I made this rather different Simnel Cake one Easter when our friends were coming to stay and it was voted a big hit with all concerned.  I just hope that with the present odd shopping situation, you will be able to buy all the necessary ingredients.  I won’t be making one this year as we have so much Christmas cake left.  My husband has been on a very strange diet – low fibre – and unable to eat dried fruit.  I make my Christmas cake for him, so there is a lot left!

Slightly different this month as the recipe is on the BBC’s “Good Food” website – use the link below to get to it:

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/ginger-simnel-cake-spring-flowers

Ginger Simnel Cake with Spring Flowers

Wishing you all a happy Easter, although I realise it will be far from normal.

March Recipe – Baked Rigatoni with Sausage, Broccoli and Ricotta

This will give you a chance to use whatever your choice of sausages may be, but a spicy one would be best.  We have a good choice from our local butchers, who all make their own.  I would serve this with a side salad, and if you have some folk with hearty appetites, then garlic bread is also good.  As I say at the start of the recipe, it is easy to halve the ingredients.

I hope you enjoy it.

Serves 8 (can be halved)

1 tbsp. oil, 800g. sausage ( casings removed and meat broken into small chunks), 200g. bacon (cut into small pieces),  1 large onion, finely chopped, 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 2 tsps. fennel seeds (bashed in a pestle and mortar), 1 tsp. chilli flakes, 300ml. red wine, 1 x 400g. tin chopped tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, 2 bay leaves, pinch of sugar (optional), butter for greasing, 900g. ricotta, drained, 125g. cheddar grated, 400g. rigatoni, 400g. purple sprouting broccoli, 250g. mozzarella, drained and torn.

 

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan and brown the sausage meat and bacon in batches. Remove the meat and add the onion to the pan and fry until soft, then add the garlic, fennel seeds and chilli and cook for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add the wine, tip in the tomatoes and add the oregano and bay leaves. Put the meat back into the pan, season with salt and pepper and bring to just under the boil.  Turn the heat down and cook over a very low heat for 45 minutes.
  3. Halfway through the cooking time remove the lid and leave it off so the cooking juices reduce. Preheat the oven to 180C / fan 170C / gas mark 4 and grease a 30 x 20cm. dish with butter.  Mix the ricotta with 100g. of the cheddar and season.
  4. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the rigatoni until it has softened but not gone all the way to al dente. Drain , reserving some of the cooking water and stir the pasta into the sausage ragu.  Add some of the cooking water if the mixture looks dry.
  5. Steam or microwave the broccoli until tender. Layer the components in the dish, starting with a layer of pasta, then ricotta, then half the mozzarella, then the broccoli.  Add another layer of pasta, the rest of the ricotta and mozzarella.  Sprinkle remaining cheddar on top and bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Big Breakfast wakes up Ledbury again – Thanks!

Waller’s Big Breakfast Loaf

Thanks to everyone who took part in or visited this popular event which reminds us of our local food heritage and every year surprises us with the ingenuity of our local food providers.

Even the sun shone for this year’s Ledbury Big Breakfast held on Friday 31st January, Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd February 2020 at cafes, pubs, hotels, butchers and delis in and around Ledbury.

Most businesses reported good trade through the weekend with breakfasts from the lightest to the most traditional in demand, from bacon, eggs and trimmings through devilled kidneys to avocado on local sourdough, with many different options in between. Saturday was particularly busy – thanks to everyone who booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

Continue reading “Big Breakfast wakes up Ledbury again – Thanks!”