Bramble Farm, West Horsley - Surrey's local producers
In December, Surrey Life set out to discover whether it was possible to put together a Christmas lunch using only Surrey produce. The answer was a resounding 'yes' and fortunately all of the producers run year long operations. Read the third ...
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine December 2008
In December, Surrey Life set out to discover whether it was possible to put together a Christmas lunch using only Surrey produce. The answer was a resounding 'yes' and fortunately all of the producers run year long operations.
Words: Debbie Ward Pics: Pete Gardner
Free-range turkey from Bramble Farm, Shere Road, West Horsley Poultry has been reared at Bramble Farm since Dickens' time. Now a free-range turkey specialist, the welfare of their birds is paramount. The farm sells direct and to many local stockists. "People will really notice when they cook a free-range turkey, as it's not full of water, which the mass-produced birds tend to be," says Bramble Farm owner Derek Joy (above). "Because the muscles on the bird have developed properly, they'll also have more flavour." Derek's poultry rearing know-how has been passed down over 100 years. "We've been going since the early 1900s, I'm the third generation and my son's the fourth generation," he says. He also favours tradition when cooking his Christmas bird, which he likes simply salted and basted it in its own juices. He lets it stand for an hour (kept warm under foil and a couple of towels) to aid carving and transfers potatoes placed around the turkey for final crisping in their own tray. Bramble Farm's Christmas rush is preceded by demand from Canadian and American ex-pats celebrating Thanksgiving in October and November. After a series of up to 20-hour shifts, Christmas day is all about relaxing for Derek and his family, but they always fit in a walk around the unusually quiet farm. "It's a strange feeling but a sense of achievement as well," he says.
TOP TIP: Freeze turkey soup or stock for later. To save freezer space, concentrate stock by further reducing (you can add more water when defrosted). Bramble Farm, Shere Road, West Horsley, Surrey KT24 6ER: 01483 283087