Our second holiday season is fast approaching so it’s time to see what delightful savoury treats will be available this year from your local butchery. There are rumors of a turkey shortage which are mostly true, we will have whole birds to offer but probably not get as many as we’d like, as generally the bigger more established companies get first pick, and little ol’ us come second.
This year we’re going to be again offering turkeys and turkey crown roasts from Diestel Farms CA. They raise their birds slowly and naturally, and outdoors, truly free-range, not just in a barn with the windows open. Their welfare and ethical practices align with our own and to be honest it was either them or Mary’s and we prefer the finish on the Diestel brand. If we are shorted on the Diestel range we’ll do our best to stock the higher welfare Mary’s brand.
We’re able to offer whole birds, as well as bone-in and boneless turkey breast roasts. As you’ll see below, this is where we pride ourselves on doing something a little different and creative as the craft butchery that we are. The Featherblade team loves to create, invent, and surprise with new ideas every week, and if you want to have a little bit of that magic on your table this holiday season then let us know, and we’ll make it happen.
If you do opt for a whole bird this year, please choose a higher welfare bird, either from us or somewhere else. If you want to try something else or new and different, we invite you to try a stuffed boneless crown roast or a multi-bird roast which can be tailored to your exact requirements. If you’re not fussed on the old turkey-bird ask us about something else, we’ll be offering geese, duck, game, chicken, pork, lamb and beef, we’ll do our best to source anything you need!
In any event, we truly thank you for your support throughout the year, and from our Featherblade Family to yours, we look forward to helping you finish off this year better than it started.
TURKEY MAY RULE THE HOLIDAY SEASON FOR NOW BUT WHY BONELESS TURKEY CROWNS MIGHT BE THE WAY FORWARD.
The whole turkey bird has long ruled the roost as the king or queen of holiday season, but maybe it’s time to move over and allow the successor to succeed. At my previous stores in England, although the whole bird was popular for sure, we had far more orders for boneless turkey breast crown roasts, as it was much easier to tailor them to our customer’s needs. They can be easily cut to size as they’re boneless, and we were able to offer 4 types of stuffings (see stuffings etc) or no stuffing at all. Lastly we offered to roll and tie with, or without smoked or unsmoked bacon. It’s these abundance of options plus the fact that they’re so easy to cook that made them the firm favorite across the pond. We invite you to try one this year.
You might know them here as a TurDucken but we call them multi-bird roasts, especially as we aren’t limited to just turkey, duck and chicken. We can take the humble boneless turkey crown roast, and upgrade it to create whatever takes your fancy, whether that’s a little 2 bird roast or a magnificent 5-6 bird roast. We can also stuff that thing with duck, pheasant, goose, quail or more, plus we could include different stuffings at every level, the possibilities are endless! You can even use a different bird as the outer layer, creating a goose or duck roast with different layers inside, so many choices!
Please ask in-store for more details on this and we’ll be happy to discuss your options.
RIB OF BEEF - PRIME, CARROT OR GRASS FINISHED? QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Rib of Beef? Prime, Carrot or Grass finished? Questions answered
The rib of beef. Probably the most revered cut on the steer, provider of steaks and roasts alike. But no two ribs are the same and which type should you choose for that special occasion?
We offer three main finishes at Featherblade, Prime, Santa Carota and Marinsun, with alternative options like Dry-aged Angus, Certified Angus and Wagyu also normally available.
Prime doesn’t need much introduction and if you’re asking for it you probably know what to expect. It is the highest grade in this country for beef, based on the fat content (or marbling). With this you can expect a tender, buttery texture and flavour. We age the Prime a touch but not as much as the other finishes as the Prime doesn’t really benefit from aging as much as the fat content has already done the work. We get some folks asking for aged Prime beef and some asking for the opposite so do let us know if you have a special request and we’ll be happy to accommodate.
Next up is Santa Carota, pasture raised beef from Southern California and if you haven’t heard, the ranchers drop trucks of carrots into the fields, and the cattle lap it up. The natural sugar and beta carotene from the carrot finish elevates it slightly above the regular grass finished beef in our opinion, especially once we’ve had it in the aging fridge for a few weeks. We get a little funky with this one but nothing too crazy. You should notice the slightly beefier umami flavours and succulent texture on this beef.
Last but not least we offer a grass fed and finished option, from MarinSun farms CA. Grass finished beef gets no help from the sugar in grain so it won’t have as much marbling as Prime. They do pasture their animals for much longer up there which produces a dark red rich colour and a flavour we can only describe as how beef should taste. We’ll age these for a good month so you can expect a bit of tenderness and a rich earthy flavour from them.
SHOULD YOU TAKE AN AGED RIB OF BEEF?
This decision is intertwined with the type of beef you like. It is such a personal choice, with some people loving that funky, stanky, nutty flavour and some absolutely hating it. Either way, we can do both, so that choice is inevitably yours. We find that the aging process peaks at between three and four weeks, especially in terms of tenderness. After that, it will just be about developing that stronger flavour. We will have a limited space available to custom age cuts to your preference so do get in touch if that is something you would like to discuss.
PIGS IN BLANKETS - IF YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW. IF YOU DONT, READ ON!
Pigs in blankets – if you know you know, if you don’t… read on!
Over in not so sunny England, pigs in blankets aren’t cozy little piggies wrapped in a comforter, nor are they hotdogs in pastry; they are actually small cocktail sausages wrapped in smoked bacon, and are a staple during the holiday season, either as a snack or as an accompaniment to the main meal. They are typicaly roasted for 20 minutes and the result is a burst of herby sausage with a smoked bacon finish. The English among you should know, and we encourage the rest to get onboard! Quite delightful!
This year however we will be offering the American version as well so we’ll have little wagyu hot dogs wrapped in puff pastry for you to try. They’re actually pretty fabulous, and will make a perfect snack at any time of the holidays!
EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD STUFFING
We have a healthy range of classic stuffing flavours, from the timely sage and onion, to the fruity cranberry and orange, and in between. Our stuffings are recipes handed down to us from our butcher mentors and friends in England, so they might be a little different to what you’re used to here. To start, they are all sausage-meat based. This keeps the stuffing nice and juicy and adds a little meaty goodness to the flavour and texture. It also helps the shape if you decide to make stuffing balls or any other shape you fancy. We pride ourselves on keeping it simple, so a typical stuffing will have sausage-meat, cubed bread, onion, and the fruit, herbs and/or spices in the chosen recipe. No weird stuff like preservatives or chemicals added. This year we've upped the quantity on the bread as we and some customers thought they were a little too meaty. We're hoping they'll now resemble something more like Grandma used to make. The flavours available are:
Sage and Red Onion
Cranberry and Orange
WE ONLY HAVE PIES FOR YOU!
As you may know already, we do pies. We like making and eating them. We offer classic, English style meat pies to bake at home and we’re pleased to say the feedback has been pretty positive. We’ll be offering those same pies (plus a couple of specials) throughout the holiday season as per usual, but we’ll also have the same recipes as larger family pies available. These typically serve 4-5 people but we are also able to offer larger pies if you’d like to bring your own dish for us to use. We’ll simply gauge the dimensions and fill it by weight to decide on the portion size. We’ll confirm that this is what you are aiming for before moving forward with the final extravaganza.
As well as these we will also be preparing our very own boeuf en croute or beef wellingtons – trimmed beef filet mignon wrapped in a prosciutto and duxelles, then wrapped in pastry. Fancy, delicious and decadent. Also, we’ll be offering gourmet sausage rolls. These bad boys are fantastic as a starter or a family snack. We take our Queen Elizabeth sausage mix, wrap it in smoked bacon and then pastry. You can order any size or weight too and we’ll tailor to your needs.
Feel free to ask us about these pastry-based treats.
GAMMONS AND HAMS, WHAT'S THE STORY?
This has long been a confusing topic for Americans, English, and anyone else inbetween for some time, as chefs, magazines and supermarkets label things as they wish to market them, altering the perception of these things for everyone else. As far as we know, a ham is a gammon, that has been cooked. Ham is always cooked and ready to eat, and gammon is not. Gammon, technically is cured leg of pork (which when cooked is ham) but you can also get cured shoulder roasts too if you desire and in England these are called collar joints.
All this aside, we will be offering a limited supply of our own gammons for you to cook, and cooked and ready to serve hams from our friends at Compart Farms, as well as a limited supply of savoury and honey roast hams prepared by ourselves, the English way. If you haven’t tried one of these we’ll be selling smaller versions on the run up to the holidays if you want to try them, or feel free to ask us about them. Like the Proper bacon, the main difference is less of the sweeter smoked flavour of American bacon and ham, and more of the savoury, salty flavour of unsmoked bacon. The honey-roast is a great inbetween because you get the best of both worlds. Worth a try maybe? you decide!
As we think about the usual choices over the holiday period, let’s not forget about some amazing offerings from our selection of lamb and pork. Specialties from the lamb department include noisettes, rolled saddles, shoulder and leg and crown roasts. Similarly with pork, we offer leg and shoulder roasts, noisettes too, and racks, crown or boneless loin roasts, with all the crackling your heart desires! Ask us about any alternative chicken, game or beef ideas too if you're not into the mainstream holiday cuts and roasts, we may have some suggestions you can work with.
PLACING YOUR ORDER
With an order for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday event being such a matter of importance and personal preference, we don’t want to take orders via social media or email. Instead, we are happy to take orders over the phone or in person at the store. This way we can be certain that we are on the same page as you, and you can be confident that you will receive exactly what you have in mind for that important meal.
You will receive an order number or paper slip when you place your order so please hang on to that, we’ll find you anyway so don’t worry, it will just speed up the process. Once in store, we’ll check what we have ready for you to make sure everyone’s happy and then you can be on your merry way to enjoying the rest of your time with your family and friends. If there is an issue there or when you get home let us know and we’ll rectify it as best we can.
We will be closed Thursday 25th and Friday 26th November for Thanksgiving, and Sunday 25th and Monday 26th December for Christmas.