Meat, Monty Python and Islington Farmer’s Market

July 16, 2006


The veg box blues now seem a distant memory. Joy has returned to a tiny north London kitchen. And what is the cause of this new delight in life? Meat. Real MEAT. Fatty, boney, skin-wrapped meat. The torsos and limbs of animals that were running around a day or two ago are now safely ensconced in the shadowy recesses of my fridge.

I snuck out the house this morning with a pony or two in the household purse to check out Islington Farmer’s Market for the first time. And the good folk of Islington were out in force. Yummy mummies, designer-hippies, old-timers and wannabe-chefs all eagerly snapping up produce brought in from Essex and Bucks by ruddy-faced farmer’s wives. Even Terry Jones of Monty Python fame was there.

Here’s what I brought home in my ragged old rucksack:

  • A whole chicken (18 weeks old at death, spent all day in a field during it’s short life, scared of hot-air balloons according to the farmer) – £12.50 with giblets!
  • A shoulder of lamb – not vacuum-packed and therefore nice, dry meat – £7
  • A whole wild rabbit – a bit dubious about this because it was marinating in it’s own blood in plastic wrapping. But I couldn’t resist the thought of a creamy rabbit fricasee – £3.50
  • A small square of belly pork. Fat, unctious and great for roasting – about £4
  • A bacon hock. This little beauty is going to be boiled with lentils and served with whole boiled carrots and parsley sauce. If I get my way. £4
  • A bag of bacon misshapes. The possibilities are endless. About £3.

Not cheap at all. But why count the pennies when you’re on a quest for meat heaven?

Altogether now…. He’s not the messiah, he’s a VERY NAUGHTY BOY!


5 Responses to “Meat, Monty Python and Islington Farmer’s Market”

  1. Cara Says:

    So, Gastropunk gets all the fun and leaves me to the chore of visiting (dare I say it – Sainsbury’s) to pick up all the mundane store cupboard items that we have so diligently used up to make our veg box fare more interesting. And I return to find him having made a puree out of braod bean pods. An interesting concoction, tasting better after a finer sieveing. Not bacon and eggs for breakfast, oh no. Good job I bought a couple of white chocolate cookies from M&S to keep us going. Was spending the afternoon dreaming of rhubarb crumble with heavenly farmer’s market double cream, when Gastropunk announces that he is planning to make rhubarb soup, I kid you not. It’s interesting living with a gastro-junkie but at times I wish he could be at one with the good old tried and tested comfort-eating recipes reminiscent of our childhood. Oh how my grandad would turn in his grave at the thought of using good rhubarb for soup rather than unctious, crumbly crumble….

  2. FactoBrunt Says:

    I heard that the (proper) vacuum packed meat (rather than just boxed) that marinates in its own blood is actually better because apparantly, marinating in blood is similar to hanging the meat (can’t remember why now, but I believed the person who told me 🙂 so the meat that’s kept that way is usually really tender.

    The glut of broad beans recently had us head scratching. We made some really yummy cajun bean burgers; in home made rolls, of course.

  3. Cloggie Says:

    Aha, this should make the veg box diary entries a bit more interesting! I’ve been impressed with your creativity of late to find differnt ways of cooking with the same ingredients. Even though its difficult not to get a current box without broad beans, I’ve taken to ordering a different Riverfox box every week – so as not to HAVE to try and think of more ways to use all this fruit and veg, yummie that it is – or not been able to eat it all before the next one arrives.

    BTW – in our house, the favourite way to use the broad beans is to make the Moroccan broad bean dip recipe on the Riverford website. Lovely with a bit of toasted pitta!

  4. gastropunk Says:

    FactoBrunt, cheers for the interesting view on marinading in blood being a substitute for long hanging. Not heard that before. I’ll let you know if the rabbit is more tender than usual as a result. Those wild rabbits can be pretty tough critters sometimes.

    Cloggie, we’ve also been thinking about alternating the type of veg box we receive on a regular basis. Bizarrely, I’m starting to crave carrots, spuds and all things rooty. Math’s chick also cooked the Moroccan bean dip suggested by Riverford site – and its was a fine, minty mush indeed.

  5. […] I reckon we could get more meat for our cash down at Islington farmer’s market (with fewer food miles) but that would involve getting out of bed before midday on a Sunday and sitting on a bus for an hour. Hence we’re happy to foot the extra quids to have our joints delivered. At least I am – Maths chick thinks 50 quids a bit steep for four smallish packs of meat and a decent-sized leg of lamb. I reckon you’ve got to be prepared to pay at least twice as much as usual for properly butchered organic meat to be delivered to your door. […]

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