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When you work with farmers, you often stop relying on the calendar altogether and instead use the farmer's concerns to know what time of year it is.
The end of March, and the beginning of April is the busiest time of the year as we come into Easter, with the lambing and calving demanding all of their energy. Sleep is a luxury, as farmers and vets work around the clock to welcome the new arrivals to the herds and flocks.
For us who aren't in the thick of it, the seasonal changes are reflected in the subtle changes to our selection of produce.
Gone is the game as the gamekeepers in the Dales begin to replenish the flocks of birds, and back is Spring Chicken. No longer is mutton on the menu, for long gelatinous slow cooks, and back is the delicate succulence of roasted Spring Lamb.
In fact, from a culinary perspective this is one of the best times of year, with the flavours changing with the English weather. Soon we'll be welcoming back barbecue platters, and in the meantime it's roasted joints that often form the bulk of our Master Butcher's workload in Spring.
As ever with this time of year our Master Butcher and Development Chef look to increase our selection with new and seasonally available ingredients. Already we have some fantastic produce.
Our Chicken Kievs for instance have proven a big hit, and make for succulent meals, while our new Dales Lamb & Garlic Sausage make for irresistible mid week meals full of Spring flavour.
If you'd like to see more of our new seasonal produce, check out the links below: