Seasonal eating just got deliciously comforting

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Dorset is known as a natural larder, from meat to dairy and cakes to veg. Caz Richards of Dorset Food & Drink suggests some seasonal favourites

Beef short ribs slow braised with ale and herbs and a three-root mash.
Slow cooked on the bone, beef short ribs are a thrifty cut, producing succulent meat and a magnificent gravy. Serve with an earthy mash of carrot, swede and parsnip for serious flavour combinations.
Image and text: Dorset Meat Company.

Autumn is something that famous poets, authors and I all agree on:
“The first fire since the summer is lit, and is smoking into the room: The sun-rays thread it through, like woof-lines in a loom.”
(tip hat to Thomas Hardy).
Autumn is about switching up the salads, adding a warm dressing and swapping the crisp dry white wines and blonde beers for ruby reds and nutty ales, as we hunker down with all the comforting food and drink.
It’s always a delight to see the season’s bounty studding market stalls and shops or turned into preserves, cider, and juices.
And never mind the shops – who doesn’t love the thrill of passing a gate or front door where jewel-coloured preserves vie for space among a box of apples, pears, pumpkins, squash, onions, and earthy beetroot, waiting for coins to drop into the honesty box?

That time of year
Eating what’s currently in season is a no-brainer – it makes sense for both our purses and our palates with the abundance of big flavours and rich colours bursting with vitamins and all the good stuff.
If you like the hustle and bustle of a market, you can of course always support local producers by purchasing your seasonal fruit, veg, meat and fish there.
But you can also pick up lots of local produce from smaller independent shops and some supermarkets.
Dorset Food & Drink has got you covered for your autumnal bonfire-night bangers, drinks and sweet treats.
Our seasonal meat picks: The Dorset Meat Company, Jurassic Coast Farm Shop and B.Curtis Family Butchers. Venison steaks, burgers and sausages make a great healthy and hearty option, so our wild card choice is from Taste of the Wild.
Add a dash of relish or chutney to seasonal faves from this lovely lot: Deelicious Chilli Jam, From Dorset with Love and Weymouth 51.
For your cheese course, how about some Buckshaw Milk Sheep or a tasty selection from The Book & Bucket Cheese Company?
Dorset Artisan Macarons will bring a splash of colour and Chococo will satisfy anyone’s chocolate craving!
Our Autumn must-try drinks: Curious Kombucha, Dorset Ginger, Dorset Star Cider and these cheeky little numbers from Cerne Abbas Brewery –Watercress Warrior, Mrs Vale’s Ale and Ginger Fox.
Before you know it, it’ll be time to think about Christmas and planning your festive menus …

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