Harker’s Farm shop is in Clipstone on the Wolds, you approach it from the Cotgrave road from one of two directions along a windy country single track lane. You really know that you are out in the countryside when you are driving here. After parking up in the farm yard, I headed over to the main shop entrance to be greeted by a couple of braces of pheasants hanging either side of the door. That is a good start, I like to see a bit of game hanging waiting to mature, although seeing as how it was so icy and cold it may have just been an overflow from the cooler (it wasn’t’).
Just before you go into the main bit of the shop, inside the wooden lean to, is a whole host of local vegetables, the first thing I saw was this basket of chanterelle carrots, they looked really good and I was almost tempted. There was plenty to choose from and all of good quality, the only thing that we got though on this occasion was a bag of brussel sprouts.
Inside there is a truly excellent selection of meat, but I was instantly drawn over to the sausage section. I was really looking for something that I could use as a subsitute for a cajun andouille sausage that I could put into a Louisiana style gumbo that I was planning to make. There was not anything quite like that today but there were some really quite interesting sausage fillings, some of which I had not seen before. The first one that stood out was the “Jalfrezi” sausage (a curry sausage? intriguing), there was also a “Sweet Chili and Apricot” sausage (maybe in the summer on the grill). I should have really been local and got some of the “Original Nottingham Sausage” which are filled with Tollerton pork venison, sage, and Bramley apple (they did look good). In the end though I got some of the “Spanish Sausage” with Paprika and Herbs, I am going to use that in a casserole recipe I have with butter beans, tomato, onion and red pepper. Check out the other sausage offerings here on their website.
The Beef looked seriously good, I have a really good brisket recipe where I coat the meat in a Toronto style rub, marinate overnight and then cook in a slow cooker, so we were looking for a nice bit of rolled brisket, but then we saw the rolled blade of beef and the colour of that beef was so good that we got some of that instead. They had so much good stuff, if it was BBQ season I might have got some Chine (which is one of the best cuts for the grill) but I now know where I can get some nice Chine so I can come back once the sun comes out to get some of that. I could tell you all about the rearing of the beef, but they do it so well themselves so I just took a picture of the sign. Looking forward to eating that rolled blade!
There was also some super nice looking slabs of Pork Belly, these would be perfect for making the cover of some Porchetta. On this occasion however, we got a nice piece and had it rolled and tied, I cannot wait to get that in the oven and all crisped up.
There is a pretty extensive list of meats, poultry,and game on offer at Harkers farm shop. I could list them all, but it seemed more sensible to take some pictures of the signs and chalkboards. That way you get to see the full extent and just how well stock and appointed they are.
They really want you to find them and to keep in contact, to help you in the shop there is full information of their facebook page and twitter account and also details of their website.
They have regular updates and special offer announcements on their twitter feed so worth following them if you want the latest deals.
They are also the first farm shop that I found details of through the Nottingham Tourist Information Centre in Old Market Square where I picked up a leaflet with location map on it.
I was really impressed with the range and quality of produce at Harker’s Farm shop at Blackberry Farm in Clipstone on the Wolds. I can see that this could well be a regular destination for the coming year. There may be more updates from any returns that I make here.