Monday, 13 October 2008

Our £2 pheasant feast

Our best buy at the Dartmouth farmers’ market we shopped at on Saturday morning was two trays of pheasant legs at £2 each. (£2 a tray, not £2 a leg!) From a real farmer which, it has to be said, is unusual at farmers’ markets these days.

I don’t know about you but I’m getting more and more disillusioned with them. Most seem to be full of stalls offering overpriced cupcakes and chutneys. Very few offer genuinely local food. And why is it that the only cooked food being produced seems to be burgers and sausages? Surely someone has the wit and imagination to produce something a little different - like the raclette I wrote about on my cheese blog the other day.

Anyway, I digress. My husband being a much better game cook than me was in charge of the pheasant and produced a fantastic stew with a few onions, a lot of red wine, a dash of sweet sherry and an extraordinary concoction of spices which included (I pressed him to remember) cumin, coriander, sweet pimenton, thyme, oregano, bayleaf and cloves. Which I suppose makes this dish not quite as frugal as heralded and why, being more of a realist, I’m the cookery writer and not him. (It’s a very male way to cook ;-)

My contribution to the proceedings was some braised carrots (3 from a kilo bag from Tesco which cost only 45p) and some sprouts from the farmers’ market (about 45p worth) which I stir-fried with a splash of light soy sauce, some water and a few drops of sesame oil (OK, I admit that was a bit of an indulgence too) Total cost, provided you’ve got a well-stocked store cupboard and some leftover booze, £1.50 a head. Not bad for a slap-up Sunday night supper.


Kelly said...

I stumbled upon your blog via The Foodie Blog Roll. I'm impressed by all the books you've written. How did you first get into food writing.

Boak said...

Round my way, the local farmers' market comes across as a way to part a fool from their money, quite frankly. It's the height of apple season, and they're selling apples for 40p. Each.

Whereas the ordinary market is selling them for 30p or less a pound. Same quality.

Fiona Beckett said...

The answer to that Kelly is by being greedy! More seriously the traditional way is to cook for a living then start writing about it or write for a living and be interested in food. I was a journalist so did it that way. Nowadays with blogs it's much easier as you have an immediate showcase for your work. So keep going!

And great to hear from you, Boak. I love your beer blog!

greenlady67 said...

Heh. I was going to say, unless hubby used gallons of prime Chateauneuf de Pape in the dish, it still would be pretty frugal :o)

I totally agree with you about farmers' markets. I used to get so excited about the local ones and even book annual leave to go to them - no more. You will get 3 or 4stalls selling genuine home or artisan produce and the rest are either way overpriced or relabelled generic commercial stuff.

I went to a much trumpeted one in Gloucester last month. About a dozen stalls in total, on a beautiful sunny autumn day. And guess what, only a few miles away from the Vale of Evesham, in the full throes of the British apple and plum season, could I get any local apples ? Could I heck. I did get some lovely yellow tomatoes and bargain of the day, home made waldorf salad which was totally delicious and cost all of £1 but still, was a pretty sad show overall...

Fiona Beckett said...

I know. I keep on getting excited about them and end up walking away disappointed (or else having spent a fortune) There's a good one in Bristol town centre on Wednesday mornings though.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you regards prices at farmers markets, maybe they should change the name to rip off markets, surely under the trade discription act there should be farmers at a farmers market ? lol

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