Would you like to try out some of our recipes from our website highlighting our beef – we are the only national retailer which can trace 100% of its beef back to the farm and individual cow; oh and some berries too because we champion British berries and have worked with some of our berry suppliers for over 40 years? We are passionate and committed to the sustainable sourcing of quality British ingredients and summer is the season to celebrate provenance.
Thanks M&S (Marks and Spencer)
I can cook but I have real difficulty coming up with something creative and tasty. It all looks fabulous in my head but what I end up making are usually two different things; so when I find a very simple step by step recipe that turns out to be easy to follow and one I come away thinking ‘I can easily make that again’, I do get excited.
M&S always have a lovely range of berries in store all of which are sustainably sourced. On their website they have some great recipes using cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and plums.
Recipes that caught my eye : click on the wording to follow the link to the recipe
- CHERRY – Southern Cherry Syrup Pancakes
- STRAWBERRY – Strawberry & Custard Lollies
- RASPBERRY – Peach, Apricot and Raspberry Float
- BLUEBERRY – Thyme Scented Blueberry Tart
- BLACKBERRY – Vegan Blackberry Pavlova
- PLUM – Buttermilk Plum Cake
As I had already decided my mains I though that a salad to accompany this would be best and so I chose the Cherry and Mozzarella Salad.
For mains choices, it was all about the beef. This was a tough decision to make as there were three dishes that sounded really scrummy, but in the end the Ultimate Steak Sandwich won my heart and my tastebuds!
I collected all the ingredients I needed from my local M&S. Cheese, butter, foccacia bread, rocket, herbs, oils, ale, steaks, cherries and everything else needed to for me to turn into a culinary domestic goddess.
I popped the recipes up on my tablet and started to prep the rib-eye steaks. You can use any steak, just as long as it’s thick cut.
The recipe calls for you to put the oil in the frying pan but I prefer to oil and season my steaks rather than the pan. It’s totally up to you.
The recipe calls for you to melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, thyme and sugar. Season with salt. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring, until softened. Add the ale and mustard, cook for 5 minutes.
So with the onions chopped…
Knobs of butter at the ready and the sprigs of thyme stripped…
It was all into a pan. Oh my, the aroma!?!
I used a good gulg or (75ml) Yorkshire Gold Ale and a large dollop of Wholegrain English Mustard.
Remember a recipe is just a guideline so feel free to add or reduce as you go, according to YOUR tastes.
Now all sauce was bubbling away. I thought it smelt amazing with just the onions, butter and thyme but with the mustard and the ale added… well you just can’t wait for it to reduce so you can get stuck in.
With the ciabatta bread sprinkled with cheese, I stuck in under the grill to bubble and melt. Once out I smothered it in the onion mix and topped it with fresh peppery rocket.
Steaks were cooked to medium rare – 2-3 minutes on each side and left to rest.
I then cut the steak into strips and piled it on top of the onions, grilled cheese and ciabatta.
It’s a wonderful sloppy mess where every bite is delicious.
The steak was cooked perfectly, tender and pulling apart with ease. The onions were caramelised and coated in the ale and mustard and the cheese was sharp.
A Friday night hit. A dish I will be making at home time and time again.
I went for the Jamie Oliver look – everything piled on a wooden board!
Up next was the Cherry and Mozzarella Salad. My two punnets of massive juicy cherries were from Worcestershire and grown by GR Moule.
This salad is an assembly of ingredients much like other salads. The recipe calls for you to pit and halve the cherries. Drain the Mozzarella di Bufala Campana and tear into pieces. Deseed and finely chop the green chillis. Toast the pumpkin seeds.
The pumpkin seeds tend to ‘pop’ or ‘jump’ once heated. Quite fun to watch.
For the dressing : in a small bowl, whisk the oil with the chilli and balsamic vinegar and season.
Then assemble your plate. Chopped cherries, torn mozzarella, basil leaves, rocket, pumpkin seeds and drizzled with the dressing. It’s got a bit of a zing and a kick to it, depending on how much chilli you use. It’s fresh and the colours together just make you want to eat it all. The pumpkin seeds add the much needed crunch or bite otherwise it would all be too soft so add a generous amount.
The grand finale! Then it was off the the lounge for dinner in front of the TV – well it was a Friday night after all.
“We trace it, so you can trust it” is the M&S Summer campaign highlighting beef traceability and shouting about the fact that M&S are the only national retailer in the UK that can trace every piece of beef it sells – whether it’s in a prepared meal, a sandwich or a prime cut – all the way back to every farm and animal from which it is sourced.
I like the sound of that. I really do. In a time when we can clock up several food miles in one dinner and when animal rearing is questionable, it’s reassuring to know where my food comes from, how it was reared and how it was moved through the supply chain.
And as for the berries, well anyone who supports our locals farmers, who understands the importance of provenance and is committed to the high quality of food sourcing, gets a massive thumbs up from me.
Thanks M&S (Marks and Spencer) for pointing me to a great recipe website filled with inspiration and ideas. It’s also an added bonus that the ingredients can all be bought in one store in the UK and they are all ethical and sustainably sourced.
All recipes and more can be found here : www.cookwithmands.com