I was contacted a week or so ago by the Lizzie at Piper's Farm who wanted to know if I would like to take a look at their website and possibly try some of their products. I took a look, loved what I saw and said I would LOVE to try some of their products!
Located in the heart of Devon, Piper's Farm is a farm dedicated to the production of meat, poultry and meat products via traditional, slow growing methods, allowing the animals to reach natural maturity in a completely stress free environment. In other words, it's farming the way it used to be. Started over 20 years ago, their goal was to produce healthy meat that families could enjoy eating with complete confidence.
I am a great believer in humane farming practices, and have long held the theory and supported the ethos that happy meat is a better tasting meat.
I was quite happy to try some of their products out and the next day a package was delivered from them, right to my door. It was very well packed and arrived fresh and well chilled.
Included in the pack sent was a package of Pork Sausages, Red Ruby Rump Steaks, Smoked Back Bacon, Chicken Fillets, Pork Steaks, a Lamb and Mint Pie and a Red Ruby Steak and Mushroom Pie.
First up were the pies. My Todd is a real pie man. He just loves meat pies and I have to confess to having a certain fondness for them myself. It was very easy to tell which pie was which pie . . . the top crust was very clearly marked and a key was included so that we could figure out which mark meant what.
The Steak and Mushroom Pie was meaty and chock full of lovely chunks of tender steak and mushrooms, in a rich thick gravy.
Likewise the Lamb and Mint Pie was filled with lovely bits of lamb and carrot and a rich and flavourful gravy, with the merest hint of mint that too nothing away from the deliciousness of the Lamb.
Both pies had a beautiful crust, crisp and not at all greasy. In short, these were quite simply the best meat pies that my pie loving husband and I have ever eaten! We both fell in love with them and would buy them in an instant!
The next day we tried out the Rump Steaks. From their site: Red Ruby Beef is legendary, a native Exmoor Breed, Devon Ruby with a tight grain, good fat marbling and a real depth of flavour. I simply pan grilled the steaks, using my fool proof method and serving them with a simple pan sauce created by deglazing the skillet with some red wine and a dessertspoon of Onion Marmelade. They were delicious! See for yourself!
They were tender and well flavoured. We both really enjoyed them as well!
Next up was the sausages. All of their sausages are made using natural skins and ingredients. The ones we were sent to try were the plain Pork Sausages. Made with Pork, Oats and seasoning they were beautiful and so meaty. They were also HUGE. Todd usually can eat about 3 bangers, but he had a hard time finishing the two that I gave him. We both loved them. They were not greasy or fatty and had a wonderful flavour.
Just look at the tastiness of that sausage! We loved them! Now I want to try their Cumberland, which as you know is my favourite kind of sausage.
The next day I cooked their Pork . Their pork is saddleback pork produced from traditional breeds, grown slowly to natural maturity, and spending their summers in cider orchards munching on grass and windfalls. I know I should have just cooked it plainly, but I wanted to do something different and so I did a stir fry with it. It was delicious! I kid you not. I don't like pork that is really . . . well, porky, if you know what I mean. I don't like it to smell like a pig when I cook it. This did not.
The meat was tender, not tough. Sometimes when you cook meat quickly as in something like a stir fry the meat can be quite tough. This was perfect and we both really enjoyed it immensely!
*Stir Fried Pork and Peppers*
Serves 4, but can very easily cut in half
Spicy and sweet and scrummy yummy! Better than a take away for sure!
For the meat:
4 lean boneless pork steaks
2 ounces rice wine vinegar (1/4 cup)
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 TBS brown sugar
5 TBS olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 TBS finely chopped fresh gingerroot
1 TBS sweet chili sauce
5 TBS teriyaki sauce
1 green pepper, trimmed, seeds discarded and cut into strips
1 red pepper, trimmed, seeds discarded, and cut into strips
1 yellow pepper, trimmed, seeds discarded and cut into strips
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a small handful of flaked toasted almonds
2 TBS chopped fresh mint (Optional)
Mix together the rice wine vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, oil and salt and pepper in a bowl. Slice the pork into thin slices, across the grain. Add to the bowl and stir to coat. Set aside to marinate for half an hour.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Scoop the pork strips out of the marinade and add to the hot pan, along with the gingerroot. Cook and stir until the pork begins to turn colour. Stir together the sweet chili sauce and teriyaki sauce. Pour over top. Continue to cook and stir for a few minutes longer, until pork is cooked through. Stir in the peppers and cook, stirring frequently until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Sprinkle with almonds and chopped mint (if using) and serve immediately.
We still had some sausages left and so I made a tasty Pork Sausage Egg Fried Rice to go along with the Stir Fry, which we also really, really enjoyed.
*Leftover Pork Sausage Fried Rice*
A really tasty way to use up leftover cooked pork sausages and rice.
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
3 TBS dark soy sauce, divided
1 fat garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 TBS minced fresh gingerroot
1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
4 cooked thick pork sausages, cut in quarters and sliced into chunks
2 small carrots, peeled and grated
a large handful of frozen petit pois
2 cups of cold cooked white rice
2 TBS rice wine vinegar
Heat 1 TBS of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Measure out the soy sauce. Take 1/4 tsp of it and beat it together with the eggs. Add the eggs to the heated pan, swirling them to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook and stir until cooked through, but still moist. Scrape out of the pan and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add the ginger, garlic and spring onion white bits. Cook stirring constantly until fragrant. Add the sausage chunks. cook and stir to heat through and brown a bit. Add the carrots, peas and rice, stirring to combine. Add the cooked egg, remaining soy sauce and vinegar. Cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is completely coated with teh mixture. Let cook, undisturbed fora bout a minute longer, until heated through. Sprinke the green bits of the onions over top and then serve immediately.
We haven't yet tried the bacon or the chicken fillets, but if the rest of what we were given to try is any idication . . . I am sure we will be more than pleased with them as well!
All the meat sold by Pipers Farm is produced by the Grieg family on their own 50 acre farm community of about 25 small farms. They have an on farm butchery and a kitchen where they produce everything they sell including a variety of ready meals and pies. I have to say that Todd and I were very impressed with everything they sent and with the delivery service and all the information we were given. We both highly recommend and hope that you will give them a try! Many thanks to Lizzie for having given us this delicious opportunity!