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Take it slowly this Valentine’s Day

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Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day always seems better in the planning than in the reality, all that pressure! Are flowers too easy, or are roses a bare minimum? Is a present necessary or will a thoughtful card cut it? And most importantly the food!

As Shakespeare wrote “If music be the food of love, play on”, and it certainly is, the central valentines questions seem to always focus on food. Do we enjoy a romantic meal out or will we end up crammed in elbow to elbow trying to capture the romance with a hundred other loved up couples? Should we cook a meal in, or will one of us end up sweaty and weeping over a hand-picked, herb encrusted something or other, dribbled in an extortionately expensive and lightly burnt Jus because we haven’t suddenly developed the culinary skills of a Michelin starred chef by sheer will alone.

Maybe it’s time to slow things down, what’s really important at valentines is being with the one you love, time is precious and you deserve to spend it together. So as food is an inevitable and truly enjoyable part of that experience it makes sense to slow that down too.

Enter the humble beef or lamb casserole,  ok so not what you immediately conjure up when the word “romance” is present but think about it, what better than to create something so simple yet so perfect for the season. Warming, hearty bowl food to cosy up and share. Easy to prep and giving plenty of hands-free cooking time on the hob or in the oven, or even the slow cooker for you to take a walk, or see a film or just spend time talking with your other half.

Beef or lamb casseroles needn’t be boring either, slow cooking is BIG news on the restaurant scene right now and there are influences from around the world with which to add some flavour to your evening.

Why not try Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Pearl Barley, taking only 10 minutes to prepare before letting the oven or slow cooker do the work. They look seriously impressive, restaurant food worthy with minimal effort, the perfect romantic meal for two 

Or go with this beautifully warming traditional favourite with a twist, the beef casserole with butternut squash takes just 20 minutes to prepare and gives real rewards. Paired with some lovely creamy mashed potato ideas from our friends at Love Potatoes 

So go on, cosy up with a casserole this valentines. Oh and they tend to be more economical too, so more pennies to spend on that card, or maybe the roses…

When picking your cuts for your loved up meal, make sure that you look for a quality mark like the Red Tractor or Quality Standard Mark to ensure your meat is traceable right back to the farm. For more ideas on taking things slowly with Simply Beef and Lamb this valentine’s take a look at our beef and lamb recipes  as well as guidance on selecting the right cut of beef or lamb 

If you just can’t tear yourself away from that traditional beef or lamb steak on Valenties day we have lots of delicious steak recipes for you to broswe

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