January seasonal update

The Staff Canteen

From seasonal vegetables to game and seasonal fruits, read our monthly market report to find out what to feature on your menus this month

How to cook Brussel sprouts

These miniature cabbages are a staple of British agriculture, yet they are also highly divisive. 

Most think of Brussel sprouts as an accessory to a roast (Christmas) dinner, usually boiled to death and served with bacon bits to redeem them. But what else can you do to make the best of this tiny but nutrient-packed vegetable?

Oliver Brown flash fries his sprouts in a wok with dried chilli and sesame, while Nick Grieves coats his in a parmesan sauce and serves them with onion jam. 


How to prepare the perfect squash dish 

A quintessentially British ingredient, squash is central to many a hearty, comforting meal in the winter months. 

The most common variety is butternut squash, but dozens of types exist: ironbark, spaghetti, acorn are but a few. 

Why not try Gary Jones' recipe of squash served with roasted quail, braised red cabbage and cinnamon, or Jocelyn Herland's venison with butternut squash, chestnut, and grand veneur sauce?


How to make the best of venison season

As game has found its place on restaurant menus around the country, venison has secured its place as an alternative to farmed meat such as pork and beef. 

Scottish venison is known for its high quality and abundance; hence why it features heavily on menus there. 

Paul Wedgewood prepares hisits own haggis and serves it with chanterelles, leeks, beetroot, basil pesto and truffled jus, while Tom Kerridge protege Aaron Mulliss cooks it sous vide and turns it into a ragu. Check out his recipe here!

More controversial - but no less popular is Michelin-starred Alan Murchison's take on venison, which he serves with chocolate and purple potatoes. Here's a video of him talking us through the dish we pulled from our archives: 

What do you look for when buying turbot?

Some lower quality species of flatfish are often named as European Turbot, including West Coast flounders and Greenland Turbot. They have less flavour and softer flesh in comparison to real Turbot. To ensure the best quality of Turbot before buying, when touched, it should feel firm and free of any unpleasant odours. The fins should be in good condition, the fish’s eyes should be clear, and its gills should still be bright red.



Turbot recipes

One of the more unusual Turbot recipes on our website is Tommy Banks' winning Great British Menu 2017 dish, Turbot with Strawberries and Cream.

Turbot with Strawberries and Cream   my fish course recipe for Great British Menu 2017

For more turbot inspiration watch this video with Graeme Cheevers:

What is Kohlrabi?

Pronounced cole-rah-bee this vegetable is is part of the cabbage family. The name translates as 'turnip cabbage' and the mild, sweet flavour is somewhere between a turnip and a waterchestnut, with a crisp, crunchy texture.

Motti Cress copy
Motti Cress


Kohlrabi recipes 

We have hundreds of kohlrabi recipes but this is the most popular: Ox in Coal Oil, Pumpkin Seed, Kohlrabi and Sun Flower Shoots by Adam Reid

Ox in Coal Oil, Pumpkin Seed, Kohlrabi and Sun Flower Shoots by Adam Reid
Ox in Coal Oil, Pumpkin Seed, Kohlrabi and Sun Flower Shoots by Adam Reid


For more inspiration watch Michelin star chef Nicolai Nørregaard from Kadeau create an ember baked Kohlrabi recipe!

What is the best way to cook hare?

Hare season begins in August and lasts through most of the autumn and winter, finishing around February each year. Hare meat works well when braised, roasted or simmered into stews. For the best possible flavour buy hares that have been shot in the head, rather than the body – these won't have as strong an iron taste as bloodier hares might have – and eat the meat as fresh as possible.

Hare recipes

Try this recipe for roast Yorkshire hare loin, chervil tubers, split blackberry vinegar sauce by Paul Foster, chef owner of Michelin-starred Salt in Stratford upon Avon. 

5d1cidux1 hare loin 3 low res
roast Yorkshire hare loin, chervil tubers, split blackberry vinegar sauce by Paul Foster


When is cod season?

Cod’s spawning period is from January to April and this it when it is at its finest. Cod is often deemed a second-rate and uninspiring fish, probably caused by being badly or blandly prepared. It is a fantastically flaky fish, and its versatility means that it can be paired with a range of delicious flavours.

In this video, Restaurant Ours' head chef Jarad McCarroll  has a cod recipe that's anything but boring! 

When is cauliflower ready to pick?

Another food stuff that people have been dissuaded from eating, often because of traumatic school meals. However, this should not be the case as the humble cauliflower, which comes into its element in January, has plenty to offer. It is a vegetable commonly used in soups or as a side. Despite having a mild taste, it can be seasoned with any herb. 

Whole roasted cauliflower by chef Justin Cogley
Whole roasted cauliflower  by Justin Cogley


When are Bramley apples in season?

January is also the prime period for apples and there is none more versatile when it comes to desserts than the Bramley apple. From stews to fairy cakes, scones to pies, tarts to trifles, there are few combinations that don’t work with this British favourite. You’ll even find recipes for baked peppers, fajitas, spare ribs, soups, bruschetta and much more containing Bramley apples.

Bramley apple and Mrs Kirkhams Lancashire cheese tartlet%2C anglaise sauce%2C apple crisps
Bramley apple and Mrs Kirkhams Lancashire cheese tartlet, anglaise sauce, apple crisps

Is Mackerel a good fish to eat?

Mackerel is considered one of the most nutritious fishes. They're an excellent source of protein, vitamins B2, B3, B6, and B12, and vitamin D. Their flesh is also full of minerals like copper, selenium, and iodine. Some of these fishes also contain good amounts of iron and vitamin B1.

Why not take a look at Michelin Star chef André Garrett Mackerel, Partridge and Baked Apple recipe and get this most out of this amazing species of fish.

Are you using any of these seasonal ingredients in your menus? Upload your pics and recipes to our Chef+ mobile app!



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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st January 2022

January seasonal update