Keep it in the family
Edge and Son, based in the Wirral, have been specialist butchers since 1844. Five generations later and owner Callum Edge is just as passionate about quality meat as he is about quality animal welfare. “We are what we eat,” he says. So eat well.
RSPCA Good Business Award winners in 2009 and shortlisted finalists again in 2010, this family concern is a fine example of higher welfare
Find out more about Edge and Son at www.traditionalmeat.com
Traditional ‘Flock Roast’
Callum takes us through the special occasion ‘Flock Roast’. One that you might just be tempted to try for a very special Christmas or New Year celebration?
“Multi-bird roasts that we at Edge & Son fondly call ‘Flock Roasts’ have been reborn from Tudor times, possibly due to the likes of TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's creation of a ten-bird roast on his show a few years ago.
“He stuffed an huge 18lb turkey with a goose, duck, mallard, guinea fowl, chicken, pheasant, partridge, pigeon and woodcock - producing a remarkable Russian doll-like dish. We do various combinations and to your choice of numbers and birds. We add our own secret marinade between the layers. We think it is the ultimate of all seasonal dishes.
“If you can’t get your flock roast from us, please make sure you source the birds from your local butcher who only deals with free range produce. Ask about the provenance of the birds, how local are they and where were they slaughtered - and if the butcher can’t tell you, go to another one!
“Ensure the game birds are from non-commercial shoots who practise ethically and who ensure all game is eaten and not discarded. Order early - your local butcher will appreciate it and be more likely to provide the exact birds and provenance you want. Expect a bill in relation to the number of birds you have ordered plus a good margin for preparation. This is not a cheap dish.
“Consult your butcher to ensure your order allows enough for a follow-up cold version… this dish is amazing hot, but some argue it is even better cold. So make sure you have enough for both!
“Ask for the carcasses in a separate bag and any offal you may wish for. The stock should be gorgeous.
“Cook just as a large stuffed turkey. Cover top streaky bacon from your great butcher and baste during cooking. You may also need to drain some fat out during cooking as goose, if used, renders a lot of fat.
“Cooking times are approximately 15 minutes per pound or to your taste (assuming more than 16 lb total weight) with the intention of cooking at 180oC or 350F. Remove the bird when the middle inside temperature is 72 degrees (a meat thermometer is a good piece of kit if you are nervous in any way). Rest the flock roast for at least an hour (time to feed the dog and cook the veg!)
“This is an easy bird to carve. Remove the legs and wings then slice like you would bread. Ask your butcher if you have any concerns. Remember if the game birds are a bit pink, that is ok!
“Trimmings include all those you enjoy with turkey. Cranberry sauce, gravy from the juices and stock from the carcasses and giblets, Brussels sprouts, crispy roasties etc. etc.
“Finally, ensure your mother or grandmother makes the bread sauce to go with it. There is no bread sauce like it. If you haven’t got a mother/grandmother, use someone else’s - must be over 70!”