Must-try recipes by top chefs in Theydon Bois, Essex

Quality & Excellence Ltd provides fresh meat, pies and more. Try some of our delicious recipes today. 

Three-hour pork belly

  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 small bunch thyme, leaves only
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ -2 kg/3 lb 5 oz-4 lb 8 oz piece boneless pork belly, skin scored
  • 2 lemons
Toast the fennel seeds and peppercorns in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes. Pound them together in a pestle and mortar with some flaked sea salt, thyme and garlic to make a paste. Mix it with 2 tbsp of olive oil and rub it all over the flesh of the pork. Cover and chill, marinate it for a few hours or leave it overnight.
When it is ready to cook, rub the skin of the joint with plenty of salt and 1 tbsp more of olive oil. Place it on a wire rack in a roasting tin and roast at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 30 minutes. After this, squeeze the lemons over the skin and turn the heat down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roast it further for 2 hrs. Finally, turn the heat back up to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7 and give it a final blast for another 30 minutes or so, to finish the crackling. Allow to rest somewhere warm for 20 minutes. Carve up into chunks or slices and serve it with the braised cabbage and bay-infused potatoes.

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Lemon and thyme butter-basted roast chicken and gravy

  • 50g butter, softened
  • Bunch of fresh thyme or lemon thyme, leaves picked, stalks reserved, plus extra to serve
  • 4 garlic cloves, 1 mashed, the other 3 left whole but squashed
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1 chicken, about 1½ kg
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • Splash soy sauce (optional)
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. In a small bowl, mash butter with one-third of thyme leaves, mashed garlic and juice of half a lemon. Mix everything together with some seasoning and set aside.
Use your hand to loosen the chicken skin away from the breast, then push most of the butter mix into the gap. Rub the rest of the butter all over the outside of the chicken, then stuff the cavity with the lemon halves, remaining thyme leaves, stalks and garlic.
Scatter the chopped carrot, onion and bay leaves over the base of a small roasting tin. Sit the chicken on top, breast-side up, and roast on the middle shelf for 1 hour 30 minutes, basting with the buttery juices after about 40 minutes. When the chicken is dark golden, crispy-skinned and the juices run clear, remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to pull the lemons, garlic and thyme out of the cavity, into the tin. Lift the chicken up, letting any juices dribble into the tin, and transfer the chicken to a serving platter to rest for at least another 15 minutes.
To make the gravy, squeeze the juice out of the cooked lemon halves and discard the skins. Place the tin on low heat, stir in flour and sizzle until light brown. Gradually pour in the stock and cook for a few minutes. If you like darker gravy, add a splash of soy sauce to the tin. Strain the gravy into a jug and serve with the chicken.

Barnsley chops with big chips and crushed peas

Serves: 2, prep time: 5 minutes, cook time: 40 minutes
  • 2 lean lamb Barnsley (double loin) chops or single loin chops
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into very thick chips
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil
  • 45ml/3tbsp mint jelly, softened
  • 225g/8oz frozen peas
  • 12g/½ oz butter
  • 15ml/1tbsp freshly chopped mint
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 200C, 400F.
Place the potatoes in a large non-stick roasting tray. Drizzle over the olive oil and toss together. Bake it in the oven for 35-40 minutes, turning it occasionally until golden brown and crisp.
Preheat the grill. Place the chops on the grill pan and glaze with half the mint jelly. Grill for 6-8 minutes on each side, using up the glaze.
Meanwhile, place the peas in a pan and bring to the boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes then drain. Lightly crush using a potato masher, stir in the butter and mint. Mix thoroughly.
Serve the Barnsley chops, big chips and crushed peas all together.

Alfresco roast beef wraps with horseradish dressing

Serves: 4, prep time: 15 minutes, cook time: 1 minutes
Try these beef wraps as a tasty modern twist on the classic roast beef sandwich. Perfect when using up leftover beef for lunch with only 269kcal per portion.
  • 375g/12oz cooked, sliced roast beef
  • 4 large wholemeal tortilla or Mediterranean wraps
  • 50g/2oz watercress or pea shoot leaves
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 small cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 10ml/2tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • For the horseradish dressing:
  • 75ml/5tbsp 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • 10ml/2tsp prepared horseradish sauce
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
To prepare the horseradish dressing; in a small bowl mix all the ingredients together, season and refrigerate until required.
Heat the tortillas or wraps in a moderate oven or wrap in foil and place on a prepared warm barbecue for 2-3minutes.
Spread the dressing evenly over the surface of each tortilla or wrap; add the watercress or pea shoot leaves, onion slices, tomatoes, roast beef (hot or cold) and thyme leaves
Roll up and serve immediately with a salad garnish.

Pot-roast pheasant with cider and bacon

  • 50g butter
  • 2 pheasants, cleaned
  • 100g bacon lardons
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 4 sage sprigs, leaves chopped
  • 2 eating apples, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 500ml cider
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 100ml double cream
  • Mashed potato, to serve (optional)
Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Melt the butter in a large non-stick flameproof dish. Season the pheasants, add to the dish and brown on all sides. Remove from the dish and set aside.
Add the bacon, onion, celery and sage to the dish and cook for 10 minutes until the onion is soft and the bacon is crisp. Carefully pour off any excess fat.
Return the pheasants to the dish and scatter over the apples. Pour over the cider and the chicken stock, bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 25 minutes until the birds are cooked through.
Remove the birds from the dish and keep warm. Return dish to the hob over a high heat. Let the liquid bubble until reduced by half, then add the cabbage, cover with a lid and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cream, check the seasoning, and continue cooking for 1 min more. Serve the pheasant on top of the cabbage mixture with some mashed potato, if you like.

A quick and tasty mix of aromatic honey, spiced with ginger, garlic and chilli to tantalise your taste buds

  • 8 lean lamb cutlets or chops
  • 90 ml/ 6 tbs runny honey
  • 1 cm/½inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.25ml/¼tsp dried chili flakes
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp oil
In a large bowl mix together the honey, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chili flakes and oil, season it. Place 8 lean lamb cutlets or chops onto a baking tray and brush with the sauce on both sides. Grill under a moderate heat for 6-8 minutes on each side, basting occasionally with any remaining sauce. Serve the cutlets with any remaining sauce and stir fried noodles and vegetables.
No BBQ would be complete without a sausage.
We stock a wide range of marinades for BBQ. All you have to do is tell us the type of cut meat you prefer and we’ll coat it in the flavour of your choice. Our range of sausages include Theydon flyer pork sausage, pork and marmite sausage, chicken sausage, beef and horseradish sausage, lamb and mint sausage, pigs in blankets, pork and leek sausage and much more. We also have gluten free marinades, sausages and burgers.
We have a wide range of chutneys and pickles that you can choose from. Contact us today or visit our shop.
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Try some of the delicious recipes suggested by the experts at Quality & Excellence Ltd in Theydon Bois, Essex. Contact us on
01992 813 283

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