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January 16, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Exchanging blogs with a smoking hero

Brussels sprouts with saucisson & Apley bacon – for the next adaptation, try with sliced Smoked Pheasant instead + a bit of colour from red peppers or baby carrots

Fancy making your own marmalade ? We hope Seville oranges will be in soon – exact date tbc – watch this blog !

Today I’m exchanging blogs with our local smoking heros !

Tony & Bee MacNeill of MacNeill’s Smokehouse smoke our pheasant breasts, creating our favourite latest Apley product – Lord Hamilton’s Apley Estate Smoked Pheasant. I told Bee I’d been singing their praises on BBC Radio Shropshire on 7 Jan, so she very kindly wrote a blog about how it all looks from their point of view. Click HERE to read more.  Click HERE to find out more about Smoked Pheasant or HERE to see MacNeill’s super new website.

This is the most detailled part: “The contract smoking [when they smoke someone else’s product] process is a lot more complicated than it sounds. Smoking is a detailed science that varies with external and internal temperatures, humidity, quantity of products in the smoker, timing, the size of each product, resting time, the space around it, the temperature of the smoke, the wood, the time of day and ultimately it takes a lot of culinary know how to understand what will create the perfect flavour at the end of it. 

Tony spends huge quantities of time working with producers to develop the perfect smoke for each individual product. Before we can begin to start contract smoking Tony completes a variety of collaborative tests, tastes and trials before settling on the agreed perfect smoke. This attention to detail has seen Macneil’s help to create some of the area’s most delicious food. “

In this photo above, we adapted a Jamie Oliver recipe using Brussels Sprouts (in French, they’re petits choux, which already sounds so much more appealing) & Apley hand cured smoked bacon. Try it with Smoked Pheasant (cut across, not lengthways, to get short pieces) instead. As the Smoked Pheasant comes in varying shades of beige & pale pink, adding any stronger colour always helps – quartered cherry tomatoes, yellow peppers, garden peas, sliced baby carrots.

PS. I’ve just bought my first daffodils this spring. If you’re feeling chilly, get out the jam pan as we hope Seville oranges will be in the farm shop soon (date tbc). It’s a wonderfully warming winter culinary activity.

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