Welcome to our Lucas Christmas Log Blog
It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas…
…In every high street, supermarket and shopping centre, but is your counter beginning to look a lot like Christmas too? You, know, it really is vital that it does and it’s not too late to start now!
Even the most apparently mundane products can be given a festive feel with just a little bit of planning and creativity. Quiches full of winter vegetables; Pork Pies and Game Pieswith juicy cranberries and dried oranges on top; sausages with seasonal herbs. The humble chipolata is no longer hum drum when it’s made with Red Onion & Sage Sausage Mix, turkey and chicken sausages can be delicious too.
Here are some great festive ideas…
Christmas Dinner Accompaniments
What better way to make a Christmas dinner really special, than with the addition of some delicious accompaniments? Sausage meat, forced meat stuffing, cocktail and chipolata sausages, or pigs in a blanket (sausages wrapped in bacon), are all tempting. Lucas Premium Stuffings are ideal for the job with Pinjar Gold Premium Sage & Onion Stuffing and Pinjar Gold Premium Cranberry & Apple (try using some port instead of water) being particularly popular. Another great Christmas favourite is Lucas Butchers Classic Cranberry & Rosemary Sausage Mix, with its lovely combination of juicy cranberry pieces complemented by a delicate hint of rosemary, this mix works well with pork, chicken, or even turkey meat.
Hams & Gammons
Cured products never fail to be popular at this time of year and home-cured meats are more popular than ever. The notion of “artisan” and “home-made” food continues to attract consumers and whilst those words are often accompanied by a higher price tag, there’s no doubt that customers are prepared to spend that bit extra for something special for impending family celebrations.
Lucas Easicure in Traditional, Smoke or Sweet flavours is perfect for dry curing hams and gammons. By using these cures with fresh additions, butchers can create something unusual and even more delicious in a Christmas range, such as black treacle with Guinness, or wholegrain mustard and marmalade.
Flavour is vitally important, of course and as consumers look for high quality traditional bacon (you can make this with Easicure Traditional Dry Cure), they are also keen to try new flavours. The desire for Smoke and Sweet products continues to be extremely popular and Easicure Sweet Dry Cure and Easicure Smoke Dry Cure are delicious at any time and shouldn’t be ignored at Christmas.
Quiches: Smooth and creamy Lucas Quiche mix makes the most delicious base for any variety of quiches: A must-have addition for the festive buffet table. Whether single size, family size or individual portions, they’re always popular for parties and snacks. Try traditional Quiche Lorraine, or something different like Branston Pickle, Onion and Cheddar Cheese, or a more exotic Smoked Bacon and Shitake Mushrooms.
Other great ideas are delicious Mini Turkey & Cranberry pies using Lucas Chicken Sauce Mix, mini Kebabs on a skewer – using the Lucas Ultraglaze range, mini meatballs made using Lucas Meatball Binder, from turkey and chicken, with cranberry & rosemary, or sage & onion. Accompany these with Scotch eggs, mini pasties, or how about party vol au vents using Lucas Chicken Sauce Mix (also to be found in the Lucas Kitchen range).
Pork pies are always a Christmas favourite. Lucas offers the full package to make pork pies with a choice of seasonings to make cured and uncured pies; unflavoured and flavoured pie jel and a superb glaze to give a great finish to your pastry.
By including some fresh additions with the pork pie meat and layering up butchers can create their own “signature” pies. The following combinations work really well: Turkey and Cranberry, Roasted Red Peppers & Mozzarella Cheese, Portabella Mushrooms & Smoked Cheese, Wholegrain Mustard, Caramelised Red Onion with Red Wine, Pear & Stilton, Mature Cheddar & Onion, Date & Apricot (soaked in Port), Apples & Sultanas (soaked in Madeira) – the possibilities are tremendous!
The Lucas website: www.lucas-ingredients.co.uk is full of recipe ideas, video “How to” guides and product information designed to help retail butchers make the best of Lucas’ products. Free samples of many Lucas lines are also available. Alternatively, butchers can call the free Lucas Helpline on 0800 138 5837.