This is traditionally the first month of autumn and whilst there is a nip in the air, here in Fife the sun still shines making it easy to get out and about and enjoy foraging: chanterelles are coming into their own; or you can pick wild sorrel; elderberries that are starting to ripen; and the rowan berries that are all around. This month sees foraging fortnight with ideas and guidance on foraging in Fife and beyond. Here Christopher Trotter explores September’s bounty.
This is plum and apple season and you’ll find local fruit for sale in shops like Balgove Larder and Ardross Farm Shop and even from local doorsteps across the region. You’ll also find the last of the summer currants, berries and brambles at the likes of Cairnie Fruit Farm.
On the meat front Scottish lamb is fantastic just now, having spent all summer on lush pasture, the meat is still tender enough to be sweet and succulent but large enough to be worth cooking. You can try Pasture Assured lamb from the likes of Ardross Farm Shop and Butchery at Bowhouse. Find out more about British lamb here.
The autumn game season has just begun and whilst grouse has been available since August 12th the pheasant season begins on the 12th September . For venison lovers, Roe and Sika are all available just now available from Woodmill Game as well as farm shops like Balgove Larder or Ardross Farm Shop. Fish and shellfish is also good with crab available locally and look out for coley and mackerel all from our local waters.
Vegetables are in abundance just now and available at Fife’s wonderful farm shops: everything from beetroot to beans! And if you’re enjoying a glut of autumn vegetables, you might want to get your hands on one of the little vegetable books in this series. Or if you are looking for inspiration as to how to prepare some of these foods why not take a class with Jenny Thomson at Courses for Cooks.
Here is Christopher Trotter’s seasonal lamb recipe
Grilled rump steaks tomato salsa
This is also good with a gigot or leg chop and perfect for Barbeques.
8 rump steaks
Tblsp rapeseed oil
For the salsa
4 large ripe tomatoes, blanched, skinned, quartered and seeded,
2 cloves crushed garlic
Tblsp chopped coriander
Tblsp chopped parsley
Zest and juice of a lemon
1cm chunk of fresh ginger peeled and diced
Tblsp wine vinegar
4 tblsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Cut the tomato flesh into small dice and combine with all the other salsa ingredients, season to taste.
This is best made in advance to allow flavours to develop.
To grill the steaks, make sure the meat is out of the fridge for an hour before you cook.
Heat a heavy based pan or griddle pan lightly brush with oil.
Dry the lamb with kitchen paper, season with salt and pepper and place on the hot grill. It will start to sizzle immediately. Brown on one side and turn over to brown on the other side and then all over, leaving it longer on the fat side to really cook. Reduce the heat and allow to cook for another 5 minutes and then remove from the heat. Rest for at least 5 minutes before serving with the salsa. It’s great served with chips and salads.