COOKING GUIDES

At The Meat Merchant, we want you to get the best out of our amazing products.

To help you on your way, we would like to give you some guidelines on how to cook our products to give you the best results.

HANDY TIP FOR CHRISTMAS

Take some of the time and stress of Christmas dinner away by cooking your turkey, ham and stuffing the day before. Once cold, they all slice easier so simply slice the ham, stuffing and turkey and form a portion sized stack. To heat, place the stacks in an oven dish, add a dash of water to the dish (just a little to stop drying out), cover tightly with tinfoil and reheat at 170 °C Fan (180°C Regular) for about 25 minutes.

STUFFING

En-Place Stuffing

The perfect accompaniment to Turkey and Ham, they really are the best stuffing you can get. They’re crumb based (no meat ) and come as a Traditional Herb Stuffing, Cranberry & Walnut Stuffing and Apple, Apricot and Hazelnut Stuffing.

Preheat oven to 170 °C Fan (180°C Regular)

You can simply empty the contents of the packet into an oven proof dish and bake for 25 to 30 mins for a nice crumbly stuffing

We prefer them with added sausage meat!

• Mix 1 pack of En-Place stuffing and 1 tube of Meat Merchant Sausage Meat
• Form into a loaf shape and wrap in a piece of lightly buttered or oiled tinfoil. Place on a tray and put in the pre heated oven 170 (180) for 30 minutes.
• Remove from the oven and carefully open up the foil. Place it back in the oven and cook for another 30 minutes. Rest for 10 to 20 minutes before cutting. They are also lovely cold.
• You can also form them into stuffing balls and bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes

DRY CURE STREAKY BACON

Great for placing over your turkey or turkey breast to add flavour during cooking or for the perfect Christmas breakfast, a bacon butty or BLT.

You can’t beat the sound of bacon sizzling in the pan but a handy alternative is simply place it on a rack in the oven at 170 for 25 minutes.

Just place your warm bacon in good fresh sliced buttered bread or toast. For the ultimate BLT (BLT+), place between 2 slices of toast, one coated in mayo, the other in Ballymaloe Original Tomato relish with lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion and grated cheddar. Both options go well with a Buck’s Fizz, ½ glass of champagne or prosecco, then top up with a good pure orange juice (adjust ratio to your liking).

PRAWN COCKTAIL

You need to start with a good prawn. Our 1 kg bags of Supreme Cooked and Peeled cold water prawns are perfect for prawn cocktails, a nice bite and lovely flavour.

Place prawns in a large bowl or dish to defrost (about 2 or 3 hours should do), about half a bag will be plenty for 4 to 6 good sized prawn cocktails. You can buy a sauce but making your own is simple, about 3 parts mayo to 1 part tomato ketchup and mix well but just go by the colour, start with mayo and add ketchup until it is the colour you would expect to see. That would do but if you can add a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of Worcester sauce and maybe a dash of tabasco sauce.

Then in a bowl place some diced or shredded iceberg lettuce. On top of that add some halved or quartered cherry tomatoes and diced honeydew melon (the melon really adds to the prawn cocktail), and place the prawns on top of that. Then pour or spoon a good helping of your prawn cocktail sauce.

BEEF

Pastrami Short Rib / Brisket

Beef short ribs or brisket dry cured and seasoned with our own in house blend of pastrami seasoning. Just place on a rack or grill pan in a pre heated oven at 140 C for 2 hrs, carefully remove and wrap in tinfoil and cook for a further 2 hrs. They are best chilled to slice thin for the perfect pastrami sandwich. 

Sugar Pit Short Ribs / Brisket

Beef short ribs or brisket dry cured and sweetened with our own in house blend of sugars. Just place on a rack or grill pan in a pre heated oven at 140 C for 2 hrs, carefully remove and wrap in tinfoil and cook for a further 2 hrs and allow to rest for 30 to 40 mins. Goes well with potatoes and cabbage or allow to chill to slice thin for sandwiches. 

Himalayan Salt Aged Beef Joint

Place your beef joint in an oven proof dish or tray, season well with salt and pepper and place in a pre-heated oven at 200 °C Fan (210°C Regular). Cook for 20mins and then lower the heat to 170 and cook for 15 mins to the lbs (if you have your weight in kg, multiply by 2.2 to give lbs weight) for rare, add an additional 15 mins for medium and a further 15 minutes for well done. Rest for at least 30 minutes before carving

For gravy…

We would suggest cooking any joint on a bed of vegetables (onion, carrots, celery, garlic, or anything else from the fridge). While joint is resting, put roasting pan on hob to simmer. Add red wine/beef stock (about 300ml of either) and allow to bubble for 5 mins. Strain liquid into clean pan, being sure to squeeze everything to get all the flavours. Thicken to desired consistency with either bistro or cornflour.

3 Bone SA Cote de Boeuf

Season the joint well with sea salt and place in a pre-heated oven at 200 ° C for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 170 ° C and cook for an additional 90 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 54 ° C.

Rest for 30 mins before carving.

Cote de Boeuf Steaks & Sharing T-Bone

Heat a frying pan to a medium high heat; add a dash of light olive oil, just before cooking season the steaks well with sea salt. 

Place or hold using tongs its fat side on a hot (but not smoking) pan for 4 mins. Lay on its side and fry on a high heat for 8 mins on each side followed by 4 mins each side making sure to moderate the heat if the pan starts smoking profusely.

28 minutes (4 mins, 8 mins, 8 mins, 4 mins, 4 mins) Remove from heat when an internal temperature of 54˚C is achieved.

10 to 15 minutes resting!

After resting, season again with sea salt and ground black pepper.

SA Sirloin Steak 10 oz | SA Ribeye Steaks 10 oz | Picanha Steak 10 oz

Heat frying pan to medium-high heat. Season steak with sea salt, liberally. Fry steaks without turning for approx. 4 minutes each side to achieve an internal temperature of 55˚C basting regularly with pan juices. Rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

SA Fillet Steak (8oz) | Rump Heart Steak (8oz)

Heat frying pan to medium-high heat. Season steak with sea salt, liberally. Fry steaks without turning for approx. 4 minutes each side to achieve an internal temperature of 55˚C basting regularly with pan juices or melted butter.

Rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

Steak Burgers 6oz

Heat a frying pan to medium-high heat.

Add a dash of light flavourless oil. 

Fry burger for approx. 3 minutes each side, then approx. 2 minutes each side to achieve an internal temp 58˚C

Rest 2 minutes then serve.

Meatballs

Fry in a teaspoon of oil for 6 to 8 mins until browned all round.

Add your own sauce or our Meat Merchant tomato pasta sauce and simmer on a low heat for 20 mins. Serve with pasta or in a sub.

NB. These are quite large meat balls. Each meatball can be simply divided in two before frying.

LAMB

SA Lamb Rack

Season with sea salt both sides. Sear on fat side down for 3 minutes and then turn and sear under side down for 3 minutes.
Place in a pre-heated oven at 170˚C for approx 15 minutes to achieve an internal temperature of 57˚C. 

Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

PORK

Sausage Rolls

A good sausage roll is hard to beat any time of the year but they are a really handy snack / party food for the Christmas / New Year period.

They are also simple to make. You can make your own pastry but a Jus-Rol puff pastry sheet works really well.

All you really need to make 8 good sausage rolls is: 

• 1 sheet puff pastry
• 1 tube sausage meat
• some bread crumbs (even better, 1/3 pack of En-Place Traditional Herb or Apple, Apricot and Hazelnut Stuffing.
• an egg to glaze the pastry

Just mix the crumb and the sausage meat together. Divide it in two and form them into sausage shapes. Lay them on the puff pastry and roll. Cut the rolls to the size you like, brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg, set them on an oven dish and place in the oven for about 30 mins at 170 °C Fan (180°C Regular).

They can easily be tailored to your own tastes and likes.

Try adding a heaped tablespoon of caramelised onion or dice and sauté off a small onion yourself.
Dice up a couple of rashers of streaky bacon and add to sausage meat.
Apple or black pudding go really well added to the sausage meat either together or separately.
You can also try a spicy one using our chilli and fennel Italian style sausage meat.

Stuffed Pork Loins & Stuffed Pork Fillets

Made with En-Place Apple, Apricot and Hazelnut Stuffing (panko bread crumbs apple, apricot & hazelnut, sautéed onions, salt, rosemary, thyme, pepper, parsley, bay).

Preheat oven to 170 °C Fan (180°C Regular) 

Stuffed Pork Fillet usually weigh a little over 1 kg and Stuffed Pork Loins usually weigh about 2 kg.

Simply rub with oil and season well with salt and pepper and place in preheated oven for 1 hr 30 mins for the stuffed pork loin and 35 mins for the stuffed pork fillet. Rest for 20 to 30 mins before slicing.

8 Bone Sugar Pit Bacon Rack

Place on a rack above a baking tray and place in a preheated oven at 140˚C for approx. 2 hours to achieve an internal temperature of 60 to 62°C.

Rest for 20 mins before carving. 

6 Bone Sugar Pit Bacon Rack

Place on a rack above a baking tray and place in a preheated oven at 140˚C for approx. 1 hr 40 mins to achieve an internal temperature of 60 to 62 °C.

Rest for 20 mins before carving. 

Sugar Pit Bacon Loin

Place in oven at 140°C and bake for 1 hour 30 mins.

Rest for 20 mins before carving.

Sugar Pit Bacon Chops

Heat 15 ml / 1 tbsp. of light oil in a medium hot oven proof frying pan and sear chop for 3 mins on each slide into preheated oven at 170°C for 8 mins to achieve and internal temperature of 60 to 62°C.

Rest for 4 to 5 minutes before serving.

Dry Cure Back Bacon & Dry Cure Streaky Bacon

Cook as you would cook any bacon rasher. Place in hot frying pan and fry until crisp and golden. (3-5 minutes approx.) turning frequently or…

Try placing it on a rack in the oven at 180°C for 25 to 30 mins (until crispy).

Guanciale Piece

Use anywhere you would find pancetta. Thinly slice or dice into small pieces. Place in hot frying pan and fry until golden. (3-5 minutes approx) turning frequently. Makes a mean bacon soda. 

Breakfast Sausage 450 - 500g

Heat 15ml/1tbsp of light oil in a medium hot frying pan. Fry sausages for 2 minutes each side for a total of approx. 8 mins to achieve an internal temperature of 75˚C. 

Italian Sausage Hot Dog Style & Hot Dog Sausage

Heat 15ml/1tbsp of light oil in a medium hot frying pan and fry sausages for 4 to 5 minutes each side or 8 to 10 mins rolling sausage to achieve an internal temperature of 74˚C. 

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

Italian Sausage Meat

Perfect for using instead of ground beef in Italian dishes like Bolognese or lasagne, form into meat balls to add to tomato sauce to have with past or as a sloppy joe sandwich or as a slider to serve in a round bap. 

TURKEY

Turkey Breasts

Preheat oven to 170 °C Fan (180°C Regular)

• Remove from all packaging. Place turkey breast in an oven proof dish, rub in a little cooking (or olive oil) and plenty of butter, season well with salt and pepper and place in your pre heated oven.
• Cook for between 1 hr 30 and 1 hr 45 mins (remove from the oven and baste in its juices around the midway point). We cooked two, 1 weighing 1.9 kg and 1 weighing 2.5 kg.
• The 1.9 kg breast was ready at 1 hr 30 mins and the 2.5 kg 1 hr 45 mins. If you have a temperature probe you are aiming for an internal temperature of 74 °C.
• Rest for 30 minutes before carving (don’t worry, it won’t get cold).

Turkey Crown

For a full Crown just Double the cooking times above.

Turkey Roulades - stuff turkey breast wrapped in streaky bacon

Preheat oven to 170 °C Fan (180°C Regular)

½ Roulade (Stuffed Turkey Breast)
Remove from all packaging and simply place in an oven dish and put in your pre-heated for 1 hour 25 mins. Rest for 30 mins before carving.

Full Roulade (Stuffed Turkey Breast)
As for ½ roulade but cook for 2 hrs 25 minutes. Rest for 30 mins before carving

Whole Turkey

Remove from all packaging and remove the giblets from the cavity of the bird.

Option 1 (Not Covered)

Place your turkey in a large oven proof dish or tray, rub in a little cooking (or olive oil) and plenty of butter, season well with salt and pepper and place in a pre-heated oven at 170 °C Fan (180°C Regular). Cook for 15 mins to the lbs (if you have your weight in kg, multiply by 2.2 to give lbs weight) basting several times during cooking.

Option 2 (Wrapped in Foil)

Lay 1 large sheet of baking foil length ways and another width ways across your oven dish. Oil the foil lightly where the bird is sitting and place the bird on the foil. Rub in a little cooking (or olive oil) and plenty of butter, season well with salt and pepper. Use the overlap of the foil and form a parcel by crimping together. Leave a gap between the foil and the breast. Place the covered bird in a preheated oven at 210 °C Fan (220°C Regular). After 30 minutes and without opening the door, lower the temperature to 170 °C Fan (180°C Regular) and cook for 15 mins to the lbs (if you have your weight in kg, multiply by 2.2 to give lbs weight). When the time is up, carefully tear open and fold back the foil and cook for a further 40 minutes basting regularly (every 8 to 10 minutes).

NOTE: For both methods, once buttered and seasoned, you can lay rashers of streaky bacon across the breasts. For the uncovered method remove the bacon 30 minutes before the end of cooking and if wrapped, remove it when you open the foil. In both instances baste regularly for the last 30 or 40 minutes.

Always check your bird is fully cooked by piercing into the thigh, leg and thickest part of the breast with a skewer or thin sharp knife. The juices should run clear.

Carefully lift the bird out of the dish and rest for at least 30 minutes before carving (don’t worry, it will stay warm for well over and hour so won’t get cold).

Tilt the cooking dish and spoon off most of the clear top layer of juices (the fat) and keep the rest of the juices to use as the base for your gravy

GAMMON

1/4 Gammon & Slipper Gammon

Remove from packaging. Steep in water overnight and drain or place in a pot and cover in water, bring to the boil and drain (I recommend doing both so steep overnight, drain then bring to the boil and drain).

Simple Method – You can just replace the drained water bring it to the boil and simmer for about 2 hours. Rest for 30 mins before carving

or try this

• Replace the drained water with cold water, add 3/4 pint of cider (or a tin of Coke), an onion cut in half, about 6 or so whole black peppercorns and about 10 cloves. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 1 hour 30 mins.
• Carefully remove the gammon from the liquid and leave to stand for around 20 mins.
• Cut off the netting or string, remove any rind (it comes away easily) and trim back any excess fat.
• Make up a honey mustard mix, about 6 to 8 tablespoons of honey to 4 heaped teaspoons of Colmans English Mustard.
• Score a few lines (crisscross) into the remaining fat and cover with half the honey mustard mix.
• Place in a pre heated oven at 170°C Fan oven (180°C regular) for around 15 mins. Remove from the oven and cover in the remaining honey mustard mix, then bake for another 15 mins. Rest for 30 mins before carving

1/2 Gammon

Simple method simmer for 3 hours 30 mins instead of 2 hours – or as above simmer for 2 hours 45 mins instead of 1 hour 30 mins and follow the rest of the guide instructions and times for baking in oven . Rest for 30 mins before carving

MISCELLANEOUS

Grace Hill Black & White Pudding

Slice into rings and gently try or 3 to 4 mins each side. 

Soda Bread 2 per pack

Slice each soda farl in 2.  

Lightly butter inner surface and fry each side on a low heat or toast and then butter it.

Potato Bread 4 per pack

Lightly fry each side on a low heat.