Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Big Green Egg | More than just a barbecue…

Think juicy steaks, smoked seafood, pumpkin fondue, stuffed mushrooms, homemade pizza, freshly baked loaves of bread, slow-cooked shoulder of lamb, parties, picnics, pulled pork and more. Combine all of these delicious foods together and what do they have in common?

They can all be cooked to succulent perfection in the Big Green Egg all year round!

We at Longacres are ‘eggstatic’ to announce the arrival of the Big Green Egg ceramic barbecue and eggcessories at our store in Bagshot. And better yet, the eggcessories are available to order through our website! You can click here to view and buy the online range.

Big Green Egg Christmas Promo


What makes the Big Green Egg different to other barbecues?

  • Once lit, the EGG is ready to start cooking in as little as 15 minutes (as opposed to conventional barbecues which can take up to 45 minutes!)
  • You control the EGG. The inbuilt vents give you the power to reduce or increase the air-flow, thus changing the temperature inside the EGG.  The vents allow air to flow through; when they are wide open the oxygen levels for the hot coals are at their highest. Partially closing the vents decreases air-flow and reduces the available oxygen, therefore the temperature lowers. You can keep an eye on the thermometer to decide how much you should open and close the vents.
  • The ceramic technology of the EGG is the same as that developed by NASA for their heat shields. This means that the EGG is resistant to virtually all damage as a result of extreme high or extreme cold temperatures. It also means that it has improved insulation, thermal shock tolerance, durability and strength and will keep the outside surface much cooler than any gas grill.
  • Big Green Egg Natural CharcoalYou don’t need to buy lighter fluid or charcoal briquettes which contain chemical additives and can affect the taste of your food. Big Green Egg Natural lump charcoal ensures that the food is cooked to tasty perfection, allows for easier cleaning and won’t damage your egg. You can even cook your food straight onto the charcoal! Do NOT use lighter fluid or charcoal briquettes in your EGG.
  • It’s a much safer choice. The flames are contained within the EGG, meaning you can leave the egg to cook your food for hours on end. It also won’t instantly burn you like a metal grill could – but the EGG will still be very hot to touch so do take care!

These are just a handful of advantages to purchasing an EGG. To find out more about the Big Green Egg and its eggcessories, please come for a friendly chat in store or contact our experts by emailing thebiggreenegg@longacres.co.uk


Here’s another festive recipe that uses The Big Green Egg to really get those taste-buds going:

Bacon Lattice Butter Infused Turkey

This savoury turkey recipe uses the Flavour Injector to give additional moisture to the turkey in the form of a buttery/herbed stock. Any extra buttery juices that escape during cooking will collect in the Drip Pan with the roasted vegetables to create a delicious base for gravy.

Ingredients
16-20lb free-range turkey (bought to room temperature)
10-15 strips of streaky bacon. (Smoked or un-smoked according to preference)
Optional selection of vegetables to roast inside and underneath the turkey; peeled potatoes, parsnips, red onions, carrots, garlic
Injection Ingredients
300ml chicken stock or broth
250g unsalted butter (melted)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring the turkey to room temperature.Bacon Lattice Turkey
  2. Add the butter, chicken stock, lemon juice & garlic powder to a small pan and warm until melted and combined./li>
  3. Suck the mixture into the Flavour Injector and inject the turkey about a depth of approx. 1 inch into the turkey meat. Inject as you remove. (Some liquid will escape as you withdraw the syringe but the majority will stay in during the cook). Inject the meat approx. 18 -20 times across the whole turkey, including the legs. You’ll see the turkey meat swell instantly.
  4. Add a few of the vegetables inside the turkey cavity. We used red onions, garlic, & carrots. These will roast and give additional flavour to the turkey during cooking. Tie legs together with string if necessary.
  5. Place the turkey into the V Rack. Place the V Rack into the drip pan.
  6. To create a bacon lattice, lay the bacon in vertical strips on the breast of the turkey, followed by horizontal strips using the “under over under” plaiting method. Alternatively just lay strips of bacon on top! Finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  7. Add the Drip Pan and V Rack straight onto the Plate Setter. No need for the stainless steel grid. Close the lid. Note: the temperature will appear to drop for about 15-20 minutes because you have added a large amount of meat, as well as the Plate Setter which will be blocking and absorbing the direct heat. No need to constantly fiddle with the vents. Let everything settle.
  8. Cook for approximately 3.5 -4 hours or until the internal temperature between the thigh and cavity registers 165F or 74C on a digital thermometer.
  9. Approx. 1 hour 15 mins before the end of cooking time, place the remaining potatoes and parsnips in to the rectangular drip pan with a drizzle of rapeseed oil, salt & pepper.
  10. Pour any butter or turkey juices inside the cavity into the drip pan with other juices to create gravy with.
  11. Tent turkey in tin foil and cover with a towel for insulation. Rest for half an hour before serving.

 

Combining Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’ with bulbs

Choisya x dewitteana 'Aztec Pearl'This useful shrub with its shiny green leaves, rounded growth habit and starry white flowers from pink buds in April and May can be usefully combined with bulbs that are planted in front of it, and which can provide interest at different seasons of the year. Bulbs generally die back and become dormant once flowering is over so that their foliage doesn’t spoil any subsequent planting. Please remember that, as the foliage dies it has a week or two of untidiness as the plant concludes its lifecycle for the year.

For best results plant bulbs in Autumn, and organise their planting positions to suit their growth habit. You can also move bulbs planted in tubs into position in front of the Choisya.

Crocus go in front, they are small and their spent foliage soon lies flat on the ground. Behind them put the tulips. The foliage of tulips dies back very quickly once flowering has finished. The varieties suggested flower later than the daffodils and help to hide their foliage as it declines. At the rear put the daffodils as their foliage hangs around, very untidily, until June. They generally flower before the tulips, so don’t use dwarf forms or they can be hidden by the robust foliage of the tulips.

The bulbs for blooms from February to August

  • Crocus 'Prins Claus'February and March – a colony of plump purple and white Crocus. Crocus ‘Prins Claus’ sitting in sunshine in front of the green leaved Choisya can be pleasing.
  • April – Narcissus ‘Mallee’ is 30cm high in flower with blooms in shades of yellow and tangy pink and white. The buds of the Choisya are pink and this picks up that colour. Narcissus ‘High Society’ has white, pink-rimmed flowers and is tall, at over half a metre when in flower.
  •  April-May – Tulipa ‘China Town’ is 30cm high in flower with pink and green flowers and variegated foliage. Tulipa ‘Apeldoorn’s Elite’ is over half a metre high when in flower. It is yellow with a pink blotch.
  •  July and August – a tub or two containing a white Agapanthus such as Agapanthus ‘Snow Pixie’ can be placed on the earth, the green foliage of the Choisya again providing a rich green backdrop to the clear white of the Agapanthus.

These are just a few ideas if you are brave enough to experiment and heighten your enjoyment of your garden. Enjoy.

This Longacres Blog post was contributed by Susan A. Tindall

Smoked Turkey in the Big Green Egg

All I WantOnce you try this brined turkey, you’ll agree that nothing does a better job of roasting meats than the EGG. The turkey has a subtle smoky flavour and is moist and succulent, but if you prefer a bolder smoky flavour, add more chips in increments during cooking. This turkey would be great for holidays, and you can use the leftovers to make wonderful sandwiches.

Ingredients
16 cups (1 gallon) water
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
Rind of 1 navel orange
3 sprigs rosemary
1 cup kosher salt
3 yellow onions, quartered
2 heads garlic, halved
1 (12-pound) turkey
2 lemons, quartered
10 sprigs thyme
10 sprigs sage
1 cup chopped potatoes
¼ cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Garlic powder

Instructions
Set the EGG for direct cooking at 350ºF/177ºC.

Pour the water into a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, orange rind, rosemary, salt, two-thirds of the quartered onions and 1 halved garlic head. Mix until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove the giblets from inside the turkey and reserve for another use. Rinse the turkey well. Place the turkey in a 2½ gallon resealable plastic bag or any container that is large enough to hold the turkey and the liquid. Pour the brine over the turkey, making sure it’s completely covered. Refrigerate for 12 hours, turning occasionally.

Soak 4 cups of hickory chips in water in a medium bowl for 1 hour.

Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse well to remove the brining liquid, and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brining liquid and solids. Stuff the turkey with the lemon quarters, the remaining halved garlic head and onion, thyme, sage, and potatoes. Brush the turkey with olive oil and season with pepper and garlic powder.

Scatter 1 cup of the hickory chips over the hot coals and, using barbecue mitts, add the ConvEGGtor™ Plate Setter, legs up, in the EGG. Place the turkey on the V-Rack and put the V-Rack in the Drip Pan. Place the Drip Pan on the ConvEGGtor Plate Setter and close the lid of the EGG. Cook for 2½ hours, adding more chips every 30 minutes. If the turkey starts to brown too quickly, carefully tent the turkey with aluminium foil. Continue cooking until the instant read thermometer registers 165ºF / 74ºC.

Remove the turkey from the EGG and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Carve and serve immediately.

Serves 8

To find out more about the Big Green Egg, you can contact us by email – thebiggreenegg@longacres.co.uk

Christmas with Bevan’s Butchers – Longacres

The team here at Bevan’s ButchersLongacres, are preparing for Christmas and are taking your orders now for the exceptional Copas Turkeys (whole birds) and turkey breast joints. They are also selling locally reared Bramble farm turkeys from west Horsley in Surrey.

For those customers who require something smaller, why not try their turkey thigh roast, stuffed with cranberry and chestnut stuffing, with their special fruit pepper seasoning, in it’s own cooking tray, making it nice and easy with no fuss.

If turkey is not for you why not try their beef Wellington, or a salmon en-croute? They have plenty of other options to choose from so pick up a brochure in store or follow the links below and download a copy today.

Also on their deli they have a wonderful selection of cooked meats and a large selection of cheese and olives for you to choose from. Speak to one of the Bevan’s staff about having a bespoke cheeseboard made as a great gift or for your special Christmas meal.

Come and pay us a visit and speak to the team at Bevan’s, see their range of products and talk to one of the friendly staff about making this Christmas a little bit more special for you and your family!

Free-Range-Turkeys

A link to the Christmas brochure can be found here and their Christmas deli range can be found here!

Christmas Lights

Humble Beginnings of the Artificial Christmas Tree | Longacres

For some people nothing quite beats the smell, touch and feel of a real Christmas tree in their home. However, busy lifestyles mean we often want to re-create that traditional look more easily and conveniently.

We take a look back at the humble origins of the artificial Christmas tree and look at how it has developed over the years; now a popular choice for homes the length and breadth of the country.

The first artificial trees were made in Germany in the 19th Century and made from wood and goose feathers which were dyed green. The idea originally came due to concerns about deforestation. Over time the materials used to manufacture them have transformed moving from bristles, to aluminium, to plastic, to recycled and fire retardant PVC.

In the 20th Century trees became more outlandish and fashionable and the start of coloured trees and ornate decorations became popular. Today there is a vast choice of style, size and even colour available so that everyone can find the perfect artificial Christmas tree for their home.

At Longacres we are proud to stock some of the best available and our ranges include Royal Christmas, Tree Classics and Kaemingk. Amongst these are traditional, frosted and even black trees. What we guarantee is that we have some of the finest lifelike trees available giving our customers the best of both worlds: a realistic looking beautiful tree that has all the style, ease and convenience associated with an artificial one.

If you are looking for a beautiful artificial tree for your home look no further than Longacres, our team can give you help and advice on the different ranges we have. They are also available to order online and can be delivered nationwide.

Lemax Christmas Village

Building the Perfect Lemax Christmas Village | Longacres

There are some people who treasure their Lemax Christmas villages more than anything else in the world, and their collections can grow to massive and unbelievable proportions. Some of them can become a part of the record books, while others become local attractions and annual traditions in their towns and homes.

These collections take years of planning; from what goes in the village to plotting where each building goes. Some people may think about creating their own Christmas village but when it comes to it are not sure how and where to start, here at Longacres we will help get you started.

Start Small

Don’t worry about having to invest in a pricey centrepiece to kick start your collection. It can be a common misconception that to build a town you need to get the centrepiece and work outwards.

The best way to build a Christmas village is to focus on the more affordable items first;  for example small houses and cottages. Larger buildings sometimes need more components to achieve that Christmas look, with the addition of villagers, carol singers and lamp posts. However with a few smaller buildings and the addition of some cotton wool you can make a festive village quickly and inexpensively.

Creating A Village

Lemax give you the opportunity to expand the village in years to come which is something most collectors want to do. Buying small pieces first gives you great flexibility and creativity when adding larger items to your collection. A single larger piece can act as a visual anchor as your collection grows.

To get more buildings for your own Christmas village, contact us today. Here at Longacres, we can help brighten up your Christmas décor with the Lemax Christmas Village items. Our teams are always ready to give customers advice on anything, especially on building Christmas villages.

Bouquet of the Month | December

The final bouquet of the month for 2014 is now available; and what a stunning December arrangement it is!

The December seasonal arrangement includes red roses, red mini gerbera, green chrysanthemum, burgundy carnations, and red ilex berries on a base of attractive foliage.

And as always, it comes with a FREE glass vase! Click here to buy now.

Bouquet of the Month - December

Bouquet of the Month Subscriptions (psst – a great Christmas present idea!)
Each bouquet of the month costs £30 each individually, but if you want a frequent supply of bouquets each month you can save money and time by purchasing one of our fantastic value flower subscriptions.

Available in subscriptions of 3-month (£105), 6-month (£200) or 12-month (£400), we will deliver a specially prepared hand-tied bouquet of beautiful seasonal flowers on the date of your choice each month.