Can you make a Sunday roast using only locally sourced ingredients from the Wirral?
As convenient as supermarkets are, sometimes it’s good to get back to basics: to know where your food is coming from, how it’s produced, and who’s handling it.
Our challenge at Better Food Wirral this month was to create a Sunday Roast using only Wirral produce.
Here’s how we got on:
Our first stop was Bebington High School Farm. This school-managed farm rears sheep and pigs. Personally, we think it is one of Wirral’s best-kept secrets, (one we didn’t want to share)!
The farm specialises in rearing lambs that are leaner and tastier than their mass-produced cousins – this meat has a flavour that is second to none and this is due to a diet of fresh Wirral grass combined with lots of love and attention given by the school’s students, who really care about their animals welfare.
Don’t believe how great it is? Some of Wirral’s top hoteliers, including Contessa Group, buy their meat from this supplier!
Claremont Farm was our one-stop shop for all things veg. We selected cauliflower, sprouts, cabbage & potatoes.
Knowing that all the produce we bought was grown on the farm made us feel great. We were supporting the local economy and buying vegetables that literally had been pulled out of the soil the previous day. Fresh seasonal veg not only retains all natural flavours, but also reduces the need for preservatives.
The farm shop stocks produce from over fifty local suppliers and with a range spanning everything from game to artisan bread, it appeals to people who want to find all their ingredients under one roof.
We were starving by this point and our team couldn’t resist a delicious bowl of Scouse from the café (it was National Scouse Day, after all!) You can also enjoy a roast lamb with meat courtesy of Bebington High School every Sunday.
For dessert, we wanted to poach local apples in Wirral Honey (see our fab recipe for this) and we needed something to go with our apples!
We toyed with the idea of buying local cream but in the end decided pick up some ice cream from the famous Nicholls of Parkgate.
Established in 1937, Nicholls has risen in popularity due to its dedication to producing fresh ice cream daily. Nicholls use only the finest ingredients and the end result tastes out of this world! We went with Vanilla, but Nicholls offers a range of flavours, from Caramel Fudge to Tutti Frutti, and on special occasions, will even bring out ice cream in flavours such as Christmas Pudding!
What makes this ice cream unique is that it’s made with a recipe that’s been successful for 75 years, what’s not to love?
For the kids, we wanted apple juice, so off we went to talk to Wirral’s resident apple expert (yes – we have one!) Dave Ellwand of Wirral Pomona (a community cider and juice making group). It was a fascinating conversation and Dave offered to lend us his apple pressing equipment for a spontaneous spot of DIY juicing!
Sadly, we were running low on time, so on Dave’s recommendation we stocked up on some apple juice from Ollie’s Orchard. Confession – Ollie’s is in Cheshire, but that was as close as we could get!
Something a little Stronger?
We know the purists among you will want a big glass of red wide with your roast – but hey – when was the last time you spotted a vineyard on the Wirral?
We had to come up with an alternative, so on our way home we nipped in to Brimstage Brewery to pick up a few bottles of their award-winning brew Trapper’s Hat. We thought the sweet undertones of orange and grapefruit would go down a treat with our grass-fed lamb.
And the Result?
Three generations of the same family (and a number of willing friends) declared it the tastiest Sunday roast they’d ever had!
We’d like to take this as a acknowledgement of the teams fantastic cooking skills – but more likely it was down to using the finest local produce created by some of Wirral’s most dedicated producers!
Everyone at the table wanted our recipes and a list of our suppliers – and we thought you might too.
Want to do your own local shopping, or to try the recipes we’ve used? Sign up to our mailing list to receive an exclusive list of local producers and nourishing recipes!