A slow cooker's for life, not just for Christmas

Here at The Buckingham Butcher, you know that we’re a big fan of thriftiness – that’s why our prices are low, despite the quality of the produce we offer.

We’re also a big fan of good cooking, and will continue to share with you our favourite recipes for different cuts of meat to help you get the most out of what you buy from us.

And now we’d like to share with you the best tip we have for easy mid-week meals from the hard-working Mrs Buckingham Butcher – the slow cooker.

Many of us use a slow cooker for making hearty winter soups and stews. But you really don’t need to consign it to the cupboard when the sun comes out. If you’re a time-short working mum or dad and still want to feed your family well each evening – and save money – the slow cooker can work for you all year round.

Mrs Buckingham Butcher works full time as a nurse, has two children to ferry to activities each evening, helps out in the shop at weekends, and has a hungry Buckingham Butcher to feed. She’d not do without her slow cooker. And here are some of her top tips that go beyond the casserole…

Gammon Joints
Stick a gammon joint (three for £10) in the slow cooker before you go to work. Add an onion, quartered, a bay leaf and maybe some garlic. Splash in a centimetre or two of stock or water and leave on all day on Low.

When you’re back from work, you’ve got a cooked gammon – and enough ham for sandwiches, pasta dishes, etc for the week.

If you fancy ‘doing a Nigella’, swap the water for full fat coke or even cherry coke for a sweeter taste.

Chicken Thighs
Defrost our oyster cut chicken thighs (3kg for £5) overnight and then place in the slow cooker. Add sliced chorizo and onions, plus bite-sized chunks of potato. Add the zest of one orange and a glass of sherry. Cook all day on Low and serve sprinkled with coriander with hunks of crusty bread.

Beef Mince
There are conflicting discussions about whether to brown the mince before adding to the slow cooker. We’ve done both and the results are always good. But we always fry the onions before adding to the slow cooker anyway (otherwise they just ‘boil’ in the cooker) so we tend to brown the mince anyway.

Then turn into chilli or spag bol by adding a tin of tomatoes and spices. Cook all day on low and you’ll have the tastiest spag bol/chilli you’ve ever had.

Whole Chicken
You won’t get the crispy skin that you would if you put the chicken in a traditional oven. But you will get the juiciest roast chicken you’ve ever had – and the meat literally falls off the bones.
Simply place the chicken in your slow cooker, add a quartered onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, bay leaf and season. No water or stock is required. Then cook on LOW for ten hours or more.

And don’t forget to make stock once you’ve picked the meat from the bones. Put the carcass back in the slow cooker with an onion, garlic, carrot cut into four, bay leaf and peppercorns. Cover with water and cook on Low overnight.

Hope you enjoy these ideas!

Trevor, The Buckingham Butcher

Make the most of British Beef Week with The Buckingham Butcher

To celebrate British Beef Week, we have some incredible 21 Day Matured Topside and Fillet in-store at the moment, at some amazing prices - as ever. If you fancy ringing the changes with your Sunday Roast, try this Italian inspired recipe. Even if the weather is grey, this will bring a bit of Mediterranean sunshine into your home! Serve with polenta, rice, pasta or good old British spuds…

TOPSIDE OF BEEF WITH PORCINI MUSHROOMS & RED WINE
(Serves 6)

You’ll Need:-
2 tbsp vegetable oil
800g topside of beef
2 red onions, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tbsp tomato purée
Thyme, bay leaves & sage (or one bouquet garni)
2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
500ml red wine 
150g porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp cornflour

What To Do:-
Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3. 
Heat half the oil in a roasting tray on a hob burner and brown the topside. 
Remove the beef from the tray. 
Heat the remaining oil in the tray and lightly sauté the onions and garlic for 4-5 minutes until softened.
Add the tomato purée and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. 
Add 500ml cold water and all the remaining ingredients except the cornflour and bring to the boil. 
Return the beef to the tray, cover with foil and place in the oven for 3-3½ hours. 
When ready to serve, remove the beef from the tray and place onto a serving dish. Cover with kitchen foil and keep warm. 
Leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
Mix the cornflour to a paste with a little cold water and stir into the red wine sauce.
Bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute on the hob until thickened. 
Season, and serve the sauce spooned over slices of the beef.

Enjoy!

Trevor, The Buckingham Butcher

Ring the changes with The Buckingham Butcher's top sausages recipes

Our sausages have been flying off the shelves since we opened last week, so we thought we’d give you some ideas for serving them that don’t involve mash or the BBQ (although both of those options are always well received!).

Don’t forget we have 11 different varieties to choose from here – and all cost just £5 for approximately 18 sausages.

SAUSAGE & TOMATO BAKE
(Serves 4)

You’ll Need:-
2kg of Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Rosemary
Couple of Bay Leaves
1tbsp Dried Oregano
3 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
12 Sausages (Cumberland or Lincolnshire are recommended, but choose your favourites)

What To Do:-
Preheat the oven to 190, Gas Mark 5.
Place the tomatoes in a big, wide roasting tray.
Add the herbs, garlic and sausages.
Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper
Bake for 30 minutes.
Give the tray a shake, turn the sausages over, then put back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Serve with crusty bread, and if you have any of the tomato mixture left over, it makes an amazing pasta sauce.


WARM SAUSAGE & NEW POTATO SALAD
(Serves 4)

You’ll Need:-
600g New Potatoes, Cut into Bite-Sized Chunks
1tbsp Olive/Rapeseed Oil
2 Onions, Thickly Sliced
8 Sausages

Dressing: 1 tbsp Olive Oil, 2tsp wholegrain/Dijon Mustard, 2 tsp Honey, Salt & Pepper

What To Do:-
In a pan of boiling water cook the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Drain.
While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the sausages.
Cook for approx. 5 minutes, then add the onions.
Cook for another 10-15 minutes until the sausages are cooked.
When cool enough, slice them.
Whisk up the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Add the sausages, onion and potatoes and toss. 

Enjoy!

Trevor, The Buckingham Butcher

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Lemon, Garlic and Herb Marinated Steaks

If you love steak, you’ll adore this recipe. It’s a really simple way to make your prime rump steak even more tasty and tender.

You’ll need:-
One steak per person
1 lemon
1 or 2 garlic cloves
Teaspoon of dried rosemary or thyme
Glug of olive oil

What to do:-

  1. Place the steaks in a non-metal shallow tray
  2. Grate the lemon zest over the steaks
  3. Chop the garlic and scatter over
  4. Scatter the rosemary or thyme
  5. Squeeze over the juice from the lemon
  6. Add the olive olive oil.

Leave for up to minutes and then cook on a griddle to your liking.

Serve with salad and crusty bread and/or chips/jacket potato/sautéed potatoes.

Enjoy!

Trevor, The Buckingham Butcher

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Italian Mozzarella & Parma Ham Chicken Breasts

This is simple and quick enough to rustle together for a mid-week family meal, but looks (and tastes) good enough to serve up when you have friends over too.

You’ll need:-
Chicken Breasts (one per person)
Mozzarella Balls (half per person)
Parma Ham (two slices per person)
Basil Leaves

What you do:-

  1. Pre-heat the over to 180 degrees/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Make an incision in the chicken breast in the widest part of the breast, so that you can open it out (butterfly the breast), making sure you don’t cut all the way through it.
  3. Place slices of mozzarella inside the cavity, along with a basil leaf or two.
  4. Close up the chicken and then wrap it in the Parma ham.
  5. Place in a baking tray and then cook for around 25 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breasts.
  6. Delicious served with salad and rice/bread/new potatoes.

Enjoy!

Trevor, The Buckingham Butcher