Serves: 4-6
Preparation time: 5mins
Cooking time: 1 hour
This dish is quick and easy to prepare, and delivers on maximum flavour. Using the most succulent and flavoursome part of the chicken, the thighs (whole legs, thigh & drum would work too)are gently braised in an umami-rich bath of soy and bold Asian aromats. Finally they are paired with green beans which add a fresh crunch at the end. Best served alongside simply steamed jasmine rice to let the flavours really stand out.

8 free range chicken thighs or 4 legs

2 medium onions, chopped
Cloves from 1 bulb of garlic, peeled (this sounds like a lot, but rest assured the soy braising process will mellow and sweeten the garlic)
1 thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
3 birds eye chillies, seeded and chopped (this can be omitted if you prefer not to have it spicy)
3 bay leaves
100ml dark soy sauce
200ml light soy sauce
200ml water

200g green beans, topped and tailed, sliced into 3 pieces (about 1 inch)

Serves: 6-8
Preparation time: 15mins
Cooking time: 1 hour
There are sausage rolls, and then there are these. Spiked with Stilton – the King of English cheese, and sweet caramelised onion, the smell alone wafting through the house as they bake is impossible to resist.
The recipe suggests using shop bought ready rolled puff pastry for speed and convenience. But you could of course make your own if you fancied a challenge!

450g native breed pork mince
100g lardons

2 large onions, chopped
5g bunch (approx) fresh thyme sprigs, tied with string
3 bay leaves
knob of butter
100g Stilton, crumbled
75g caramelised onion chutney
25g breadcrumbs
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
30g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 x 350g (approx) sheet all butter ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
15g (approx) pumpkin seeds

There was such enthusiastic feedback from January's Pannage Pork, that after a trip to the New Forest we were able to secure a few more pigs, for everyone's munching enjoyment.

This time, Old Spots which have been grown on a little longer, fed in the New Forest on acorns & chestnuts, then as it was a poor year for acorns supplemented with peanuts, as tried and tested by TV chef and pig farmer Phil Vickery on his own drift and apple mush, the byproduct of cider production.

Serves: 6, plus leftovers

Preparation time: 40mins

Cooking time: 3 hours
It's cold out. You want – need – something warming and comforting. It’s time… for pie. This recipe takes an economical cut, the humble shin of beef, and cooks it slowly to break down the connective fibres and release its gelatinous goodness into a deeply rich, unctuous gravy enriched with bone marrow. London porter is used as the base for the gravy – a dark beer with roasted, smoky and subtly sweet chocolate notes. Served with a punchy green sauce for a contrasting hit of freshness and zing, this dish intends to keep you both warm and comfortable. 

The recipe uses suet crust pastry to encase the pie. However, should you wish to save some time and opt for shop bought pastry, an all butter shortcrust will also work well.

Finally this recipe can be used to make one big pie, two medium size pies (as shown in the photos) or individual size pies – depending on what size pie dishes you have. You’ll just need to adjust the number of marrow bones – one per pie is perfect.

Before Christmas we took delivery of a few lovely Pannage Pigs from Richard in the New Forest. They have been hanging for 2 weeks which we like to do with all our pork (intensifies flavour and great crackling results).

In short Pannage Pork is England's answer to Spain's Iberico pork, allowed to forage on acorns in the New Forest. Now very limited supplies of these porcine treats are available.

The Pannage Pork will be available on a first come first serve basis in our counters at Forest Hill from about midday and Bermondsey and Brockley from tomorrow.

For more info on Pannage Pork, read this recent article from The Guardian

Serves: 4, plus leftovers
Preparation time: 5mins
Cooking time: 2 hours
Arguably the national dish of the Philippines, this deeply earthy, tangy dish is steeped in history, and born out of a necessity for food preservation. Consisting of only 6 base ingredients, this simple and delicious staple continues to be a favourite in every Filipino household. Extremely versatile, it can be prepared with almost any protein - this recipe uses pork belly which is slowly braised to produce a soft, melt in the mouth texture. It can be enjoyed on the day, better still the day after, and any leftovers can be transformed into the most amazing pork sandwiches. Joy.

Serves: 6, plus leftovers

Preparation time: 20 mins

Cooking time: Up to 5 hrs for low and slow, or 1 hr 30mins for high and fast

There are few things that beat great British roast beef. Fore rib is the perfect cut for the ultimate roast, and makes a fabulous Christmas centrepiece. This recipe can be done ‘low and slow’ if you’ve got the time to pop it in the oven and forget about it for a few hours. Alternatively you can do a more traditional ‘high and fast’ in a fraction of the time – either way, you can achieve great results with minimal faff!

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 30mins

Cooking time: 2.5 hours

One of the perks of the Christmas meal has to be the leftovers. Whilst slicing cold meat into tasty sandwiches are a ubiquitous favourite, there’s just something wonderful and comforting about pie. Using the reserved cockerel dripping to make a hot water crust pastry, your leftovers can be simply chopped and thrown in; and once encased in the rich, crumbly crust, they can be enjoyed over the next few days – if they happen to last that long of course!

A little leftover gammon or ham diced would be a perfect additon
Time Cheats: buy the stock and the pastry!


For the filling
Leftover cockerel meat from Christmas Day, picked from the carcass and chopped
Leftover stuffing log, chopped
Leftover carrots, chopped

For the pastry
500g plain flour
200ml water
100g lard
100g reserved cockerel dripping
1tsp salt

For the cockerel stock

Cockerel carcass
Cockerel neck
1 large white onion, peeled and halved
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 carrots, roughly chopped
Handful parsley stalks
1 bay leaf
1.      Make the cockerel stock. Place all ingredients into a large pot, along with cold water to ¾ full. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to simmer for 1.5 hours. Pass the stock through a sieve and return the liquid to the pot. Discard the remaining contents. Continue to boil the liquid until reduced to about 150ml. Transfer to a measuring jug and allow to cool.

2.      To make the hot water crust pastry, place the flour in large bowl and make a well. Place the lard, dripping, salt and water into a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the fat has melted, pour the liquid into the flour and combine with a wooden spoon. Once cool enough to handle, transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 2 mins. Flatten into a rectangle, about 2cm thick. Fold into thirds, then flatten out again and repeat the folding process once more. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for 30mins to firm up.

3.      For the pie filling, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Take the pastry from the fridge, separate a third and reserve to be used later for the lid. Roll the remaining two thirds out to around 1cm thick and line a loaf or cake tin with the pastry, pressing firmly into the base and sides of the tin. Allow at least 1cm of the pastry to drape over the sides of the tin. Fill the pie with the cockerel, stuffing and carrot mixture. Roll out the remaining pastry to 1cm thick. Place over the pie and press the edges to seal. Trim off excess with a knife, and crimp edges. Decorate the top with some of the remaining pastry if desired, and egg wash. Using a small knife, make three equally spaced holes through the top of pie to allow steam to escape when baking. Chill the pie in the fridge for 20mins to firm up.

4.      Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for around 50mins or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10mins. Remove the pie from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to continue to cool to room temperature. While cooling, pour the reduced cockerel stock through the holes in the pie. This should fill any gaps in the pie and will set when chilled. Transfer the pie to the fridge to chill completely.

5.      Cut into slices and serve with a dollop of caramelised red onion chutney.

Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer, pork devotee, home chef and instagrammer extraordinaire. To see more stay tuned to this blog or follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER
Meat by The Butchery Ltd and Nick and Jacob at Fosse Meadows Farm
1 Properly Free Range Slow Grown Fosse Meadows Cockerel (allow between 300 to 350gm of raw bone in poultry per person for a regular serve, this does not allow for seasonal gluttony, leftovers or just how delish the bird will be)

Generous tablespoon of sea salt 

Optional extras 
a lemon or other citrus
fresh thyme 
any of the added extras above and your own choice of side dishes


1. pre - heat oven to 160celsius

2. Ensure you know the weight of your bird - then calculate cooking time 
A meat thermometer does help take out the guess work/worry. Allow approx 15mins per 500gm of meat and at least 20mins in total resting time. 
So if I am feeding 6 people generously (allowing 400gm p/p) and want enough leftovers (200gm p/p) to make pie for everyone I am going to choose a bird of approx 3.6kg and this will need approx 110 mins/1 hr 50min  cooking time and 20mins resting time.

3. Slather the bird in seasalt, if using citrus cut it in half and place up the bottom of the cockerel with the fresh thyme if using.

4. place bird breast side down in baking tray, leave well alone and prepare your sides and gravy, about 25mins before cooking time is finished, turn your oven upto 220 celsius, pull out bird and turn it carefully, so the breast side is up, place back in the oven to crisp up the skin. if you are using stuffing make small balls and p ut them in the oven now. If the juices of the thigh run clear or your thermometer reads between 65 and 70 celsius or over pull out the bird, rest, gently covered and get cracking with the rest of your meals preparations as it will be ready after 20mins resting, though if behind schedule don't worry resting a little longer won't hurt.

Recipe : Ruth & Nathan The Butchery Ltd
Photo : Mike Heywood
Cockerel : Nick & Jacob Fo

Serves: 6, plus leftovers for pie
Preparation time: 1 hour, plus overnight dry brine
Cooking time: 2.5 hours

With its rich, meaty and slightly gamey flavour, cockerel makes a delicious alternative to turkey at the Christmas table. Paired with a superb stuffing made in-house by The Butchery Ltd, and an earthy morel cream sauce for a little hit of luxury, this flavoursome bird is sure to impress.

This is by no means a quick, everyday recipe. But if there was one time of the year where you wanted to go all out and fancied pulling together something a little special, this could be one for you.


1 x 4kg Fosse Meadows free-range Cotswold Gold or White cockerel

Herb butter (from below)

6 fresh sage leaves

2tbsp sea salt

For the herb butter 

200g butter, softened

1 tbsp fennel seeds

Zest of 1 orange

10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

2 tsp smoked garlic powder

2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Salt, to taste
For the stuffing log

500g pork, black pudding and prune stuffing (freshly made by The Butchery Ltd) if you don't fancy black pudding we there are others options or make your own.

Cockerel giblets, finely chopped (Note: do not use the neck)
12 rashers smoked streaky bacon
For the morel cream sauce

30g dried morel mushrooms, rehydrated in 200ml boiling water, rubbed to remove any grit, 

Note: if you can’t find dried morels, dried porcini or shiitake also works well. Also, do not discard the water used to rehydrate the mushrooms as this contains precious flavour!

1 tbsp butter 

2 shallots, finely chopped

150ml marsala

300ml good quality chicken stock (fresh often in stock at The Butchery Ltd or order)

150ml double cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

The first 3 steps of this recipe are jobs that can and should be done in advance – because, let’s face it, the last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen slaving away for hours on Christmas Day!

1.      Dry the skin of the bird with kitchen paper. Season well with sea salt inside and out making sure to work the salt into every nook and cranny. Place the seasoned bird on a tray and leave uncovered in the fridge for 12-24 hours. This process is called dry brining. As well as allowing time for the salt to penetrate and season the meat, this aids to intensify the natural flavour of the bird as well as keeping it juicy and succulent whilst cooking.

2. To make the stuffing log, combine the stuffing mix with the chopped giblets. (Note: if you prefer not to use the giblets, it will still taste great if you leave them out). Lay out about 30cm of cling film onto a work surface. Place the streaky rashers on the cling film, overlapping each one with the next. Leave about 5cm clear on each side. Place the stuffing mixture across the centre of the bacon sheet in a log shape. Wrap the bacon around the stuffing, and tightly wrap the cling film around. Pinch and twist the ends to seal, trying to remove as much air as possible. Tightly wrap the stuffing log lengthways with another layer of cling film to make it watertight. In a pot large enough to fit the stuffing log, half fill with water and bring to a simmer. Place the stuffing log in the water and simmer for 20mins. Remove from water, allow to cool, then place in the fridge until required.

3.     Next, make the herb butter. Place all ingredients into a small bowl and mix until well combined. Take the cockerel from the fridge. Starting from the top, separate the skin from the breast meat carefully, trying as best you can not to tear the skin. Evenly spread the herb butter between the breast and skin of the bird. (Here’s a short how-to video). Tip: for a professional looking presentation, place the extra whole sage leaves between the butter and skin, 3 on each breast equally spaced. The bird can now go in the fridge until required.

4.      When you’re ready to roast, take the cockerel from the fridge, place on a roasting tin and allow to come up to room temperature. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 220C. Lightly oil the skin of the bird with some mild olive oil. Place an ovenproof meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh meat, taking care to ensure it is not touching any bone. Put the bird in the preheated oven and after 10mins turn the temperature of the oven down to 170C. Roast until the internal temperature reads 65C, basting the bird with its own juices every 20-25mins. Take the bird from the oven, place on a plate and allow to rest in a warm place, uncovered, for at least 25mins. As it rests the temperature of the bird will continue to rise to a perfectly moist and succulent 75C. This is known as carry-over cooking. Note: If you don’t have a meat thermometer, roast for approximately 30mins per kilo or until the juices run clear from the thigh when pierced with a skewer or knife. 

5.      About 20 mins before the cockerel comes out of the oven, take the stuffing log from the fridge and remove the cling film. Place on a baking tray lined with some greaseproof paper and oil lightly with a mild olive oil. Put the stuffing log in the oven alongside the cockerel and roast until the bacon is golden, about 20 mins. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 mins, or until required.

6.      To make the morel cream sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent. If there are any large morels, cut them in half lengthways. Turn up the heat, and add all of the mushrooms to the pan, and sauté for 2 mins. Next, add the reserved morel water taking care not to add any of the grit which will have settled at the bottom of the bowl. Meanwhile, take the cockerel roasting tin and skim off the excess fat. (Tip: Reserve fat for Leftovers Pie). Place the roasting pan over a high heat and once hot, deglaze the pan with the marsala. Once the alcohol has boiled away, add the chicken stock and any resting juices from the cockerel. After boiling for 2 mins, transfer the contents of the roasting tin to the pan with the morels and shallots. Reduce by half. Finally, add the cream and allow to boil for 2-3 mins or until the sauce has reduced to a consistency that coats the back of a spoon. If the sauce becomes too thick, simply add a splash of hot water to rehydrate. Check seasoning – add salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat to lowest setting and keep warm until required.  

7.      When ready to serve, carve the cockerel. Unless anyone feels particularly adverse to the idea, it’s nice to allow for a piece of white meat and a piece of dark meat per portion, along with a 2cm slice of the stuffing log. Serve alongside traditional goose fat roast potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, a dollop of cranberry sauce and a few spoons of the morel sauce and some cracking wine.

Simpler version and Leftovers Pie recipe next......

Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer, pork devotee, home chef and instagrammer extraordinaire. To see more stay tuned to this blog or follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER
Meat by The Butchery Ltd and Nick and Jacob at Fosse Meadows Farm