When the Christmas turkey leftovers run out and thoughts turn from mince pies to canapés, how can the traditional New Year fare be reinvigorated to impress your friends and loved ones?
Whether opting for a sit down dinner party or buffet on the go, here I give my advice on some of the simplest yet tastiest recipes to try.
Obviously, as an online butchers, we believe that if meat is going to be the centrepiece of a meal it is worth investing in the best quality you can afford - the taste will far outweigh the price!
Over the years, pork has become a popular choice for New Year's celebrations and with so much celebrating to do, I'd opt for a slow cooked pork dish. For a more informal gathering pulled pork makes a great hot fork buffet choice and although it takes a long time to cook it is relatively hassle free to prepare. Choose a good piece of pork shoulder and rub in some wholegrain mustard and cover with onions, cider and tin foil. Leave on a low heat for four hours and remove for the final hour to crisp up the meat. Pull the pork apart and serve with crusty rolls, coleslaw, salad and sweet potato wedges. Don't forget the sauces - apple and barbecue are great accompaniments! If you plan on marking the occasion with fireworks and eating outside, this dish certainly provides some winter warmth.
Opting for a sit-down dinner party? Then slow roasted pork belly is sure to whet the appetite of your guests. Try serving with black pudding, colcannon and seasonal greens and a red wine gravy.
If you have lots of guests coming then choosing dishes which can be made in advance and then heated up on arrival are also a good idea. A traditional chilli is always well received but instead of using mince try steak strips - this will enhance the flavour, making for a much meatier dish. Another option, this time with lamb, is a tagine. Again, this one pot cooking takes little effort but is a tasty dish packed full of flavours and great on the go with flat breads and couscous.
Cooking a special meal for a loved one and looking to enjoy a romantic and intimate occasion then why not try chateaubriand? Cut from the succulent tenderloin, it is traditionally a shared steak. When cooking firstly heat your frying pan or griddle over a high heat until the pan starts to smoke. Brush the steak with good quality olive oil and add to the pan. It is imperative the heat stays high as a drop in temperature will result in the steak stewing rather than frying and this will impair the texture and flavour. Season while cooking and most importantly allow the steak to rest once cooked, so that the meat retains is juices.
However you celebrate the dawn of 2014, remember when it comes to meat it's important to know that it comes from a trusted source, so try not to scrimp and invest in quality this party season.