The Game season started 4 weeks ago on the Glorious Twelfth, when the annual Grouse shooting season began on the 12th of August.
We have seen a steady stream of orders ever since, and last week on the 1st September, the next two birds also became available.
Partridge is the most common of the wild game birds in Britain, and because of this it is also the most affordable.
There are 2 types of Partridge – the Red Leg and the Grey Leg.
The Red Leg is the more well-known type, while the Grey Leg is much less common and therefore a lot more expensive.
We stock the Red Leg, and we were sold out on pre-orders even before the first delivery from the moors in Yorkshire.
The partridge is by far our biggest-selling wild game bird, and from now until the season ends at the end of January we’ll have high demand for them.
One of the reasons that partridge are so popular is the flavour. They are mildly flavoured in comparison to other wild game, especially grouse, and this makes them ideal for a first taste of game, of for those who aren’t keen on it.
Another reason for their enormous popularity also has to be the price. At just £5 each, a partridge won’t break the bank.
Each Red leg Partridge serves one person, and is an ideal size to serve roasted whole on a dish, which makes a very grand meal.
If you're struggling to find a recipe for your partridge, countryside magazine The Field has put together their 10 best partridge recipes here. There's more to partridge than just roasting!
Wild Ducks are also now in season, and the largest of the wild ducks in the UK is the Mallard.
Mallard males have green heads, and are a very familiar sight in Britain. The female is brown all over, and less distinctive, although just as widespread.
Mallard are large for a game bird, and are the perfect size for sharing, for an impressive and romantic dinner for two.
On the 1st of October, the final of the main 4 game birds will come into season – the Pheasant.
As with the other birds, Keevils will have them in stock right form the beginning of the season, and we will be able to deliver fresh across the UK.
1st September 2016read full article
Today is the Glorious Twelfth of August – the official start of the British game season, and one of the busiest days of the hunting year.
The many estates across the country which are home to wild grouse will be full of hunts right from daybreak, in search of the first bird of the season. Many connoisseurs are keen to eat grouse on the very first day it becomes available, and there is a rivalry among game-keepers to supply the first birds, and a race to get it back to the restaurants to be cooked and have the honour of serving the first grouse of the year.
Despite the rush to get the first grouse of the season, it is widely accepted that the birds’ flavour improves after being hung and dry-aged for a few days, much the same as the way beef matures.
Grouse is a very distinctive deep red, almost purple in colour, and this is matched by the intensely gamey, rich flavour of the meat.
The Red Grouse that are the most commonly eaten are unique to the British Isles, and this makes them particularly attractive as a celebration of British traditions.
Although not a large bird – we recommend serving 1 grouse each per adult serving – the meat is so flavoursome that it is perfectly sized. Traditionally roasted and served with bread sauce and game chips; there’s a great recipe for roast grouse here, courtesy of Tom Kitchin for the Countryside Alliance.
The grouse season lasts until 10th December, and after then it is illegal to hunt grouse in the UK. This is in line with the start of the grouse breeding season, and it allows the population to grow again.
From now on we’ll see more game coming into season – next we’ll have Partridge and Mallard from 1st September, and the on 1st October Woodcock and Pheasant on 1st October.
By 1st February the Game season comes to an end, and then we have to wait until 12th August next year to do it all again!
Keevil and Keevil are the oldest game dealer in London, and we work closely with several shoots across the country to ensure a reliable supply of game for our customers.
Our Grouse are from Yorkshire, and we will have them available for delivery from Tuesday 16th August onwards.
As the season progresses we will stock all game as it comes into season, and will sell it oven-ready , so you don’t need to do any fiddly preparation work when it arrives – although we do recommend placing a piece of streaky bacon across the top of the breast during cooking to keep the meat moist and prevent it drying out.
12th August 2016read full article
Our Cumberland sausages are ridiculously popular; we sell more of them than just about any other product on our site.
We sell loads in our shop, too, and these go out to hotels and restaurants across the Capital – if you’ve eaten breakfast in a decent establishment in London, chances are you’ve eaten our sausages!
Cumberland sausages originated in the North West of England, and are a tasty mix of pork with black and white pepper. This means they’re plain enough to be cooked with a sauce, but on their own are well-seasoned enough to not be bland. They’re very versatile, and as well as being an ideal breakfast sausage, they also go exceptionally well served as part of a BBQ, or in a traditional Toad in the Hole.
We love our Cumberlands served simply with mash, but you could make good old bangers 'n' mash a bit more exciting with this recipe for sausages with mustard mash and red onion gravy.
Renowned for being meaty and delicious, our Cumberlands are generously thick, too.
Sausage sizes are named in the meat trade according to how many of each you get to the pound (or for each 454g if you’re under 35).
So regular-sized sausages are called 8s, chipolatas are 16s, and cocktail sausages are 32s. Match this to weights (bearing in mind there are 16 ounces to a pound) and you’re looking at 2oz for a regular sausage, 1oz for a chipolata, and ½ ounce for the little cocktail sausages.
On the other hand, our Cumberlands are 6s, more generous than the norm, and making them a whopping 2.6oz each. Which doesn’t sound earth-shattering but try eating a few with mash and gravy! It’s a very satisfying meal.
We sell our Cumberlands in large packs weighing 3lb (1.36kg), which contain 18 sausages, and will set you back £10.50.
However, this week, if you spend £40, we’ll give you a pack for free. Just add some to your basket and we’ll deduct the cost of a pack at Checkout.
Don't forget to add them to your order, if they're not in your basket we won't send them!
The offer expires at Midnight on Friday 19th August, so make sure you don’t miss out, add a pack to your order and see for yourself what London eats for breakfast.
For more information please see:
7th August 2016read full article
Finally after months of planning and design work our new website is now online!
We’ve got a brand new look, and a new logo to go with it.
Before we began planning the site we carried out a lot of research into what our customers were looking for, and tried as much as we could to build that into the new website.
For example, we were told that more product information would be good, as well as cooking instructions, especially on some of our more unusual cuts of meat.
Every product now has a more detailed description, saying where it’s from and with added tips to make the most of that particular cut. We also have storage and cooking instructions so you can be sure you’re buying exactly the right piece of meat you’re looking for, and that you’re treating it properly.
Our old website worked on mobile devices but was very slow, so we have improved the look and feel as well as the speed of our mobile site, which is so important as many visitors are coming to us on their phones and tablets now.
We also now have a function where you can log into My Account and re-order everything on your previous order, meaning it’s easy to find your favourites again. Buying meat online has never been so quick and easy!
Overall the new site is better looking and faster than ever before.
We're still first and foremost an online butcher, but we’ve introduced new products as well, including our new range of sauces and wines, and we have more to come. Stay tuned, Keevils is going to get even better!
We’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and we send out regular special offers on our newsletter. If you haven’t subscribed it’s a great way to keep up to date with seasonal meats and special offers. Also as a treat for joining the mailing list, when you sign up we'll email you a 10% discount code for your next order!
As ever, we love to hear your feedback, good or bad, and we use it to improve. If you have any comments or requests, please email them to Customer Services or ring us on 020 7236 1888 and share your thoughts with us.
11th July 2016read full article
Our new range of sauces is now online and we are very happy to introduce them to you.
Made by our friends at Potts, their sauces are handmade in small batches by a family company in Wiltshire.
We really like how they’ve put a twist on all of our favourite classic sauces, and made them into something much more interesting.
Apple sauce is an essential with roast pork, and Potts have added pear and cider mustard, to make a sweet apple sauce with extra zing.
The Potts version of horseradish sauce is a savoury, spicy mix with added mustard and chili, which makes a standard horseradish seem tasteless in comparison.
Proper gravy is the true test of a good cook, and whether you can rustle up a flavoursome jus from the remnants in your roasting pan is a skill. For those of us that tend to rely on granules or bought sauces, the Potts gravy range is here for you.
Again, not just boring gravy, choose from Beef and Red Wine, Chicken with Thyme and White Wine, and Pork with Cider and Shallots.
Our gravies are fresh and served in secure plastic pouches, which you just heat and serve when your roast is ready. They also make a great sauce to use in pies.
If you order sauce with your steak when you eat out and you’re looking for the same experience at home – we can help.
We have three types of steak sauce available; Béarnaise, Diane, and Peppercorn – classic sauces which will give your steak the finishing touch. Just gently heat before serving.
But the things we’re most impressed with from Potts are the Roasting Kits. Each kit is made for either chicken, beef, pork or lamb, and contains everything you need to make your roast dinner the absolute best it can be.
All roasting kits contain gravy and a side sauce, with stuffing in the chicken cooking kit, Yorkshire Pudding mix in the beef kit, and the pork kit has savoury salt to make your crackling cracking!
We think the new range of sauces will really help to make the most of the meat you buy from us, and we’re really happy to be working together with Potts to bring you an ever wider selection.
7th June 2016read full article
We are very proud to announce that now you can buy buffalo steaks from our website.
Our buffalo is from Laverstoke Park Farm, a fully certified organic farm in Hampshire. The farm was set up in 1996 by Formula One driver Jody Scheckter, who was originally just planning on producing food for his family so he could be assured they were eating the best quality, biodynamic produce available.
The farm grew and now houses the largest herd of Water Buffalo in the UK.
The original Laverstoke buffalos were brought in from Italy and Romania, and there are now over 1,500 of their descendants, who are reared naturally and allowed to roam the farm’s 2,500 acres. Living in large straw bedded yards, or grassy paddocks, the young buffalo are fed on a diet of hay, straw, GM-free cereals, and grass from clover-rich pastures. No growth-promoting hormones or antibiotics are given to any animal bearing the quality-assured seal of Laverstoke Park Farm.
The Laverstoke ethos is:
Good Soil = Good Grass = Good Quality Animals = Better Tasting Food = Happy and Healthy People!
Buffalo steak is very similar in appearance to beef steak, and can be cooked in the same way. It has a full flavour which is slightly more intense and game-y than beef.
However, buffalo is lower in fat and cholesterol than beef, which makes it a healthier option. The lower fat content means that buffalo may dry out if cooked for too long, so we would advise serving it a little pink in the middle to keep it juicy and full of flavour.
We have a selection of buffalo steaks available to order online, which we deliver to your door. Choose from sirloin, ribeye or rump steaks, and if you can’t choose we have a selection box which contains one of each steak and also comes with a £5 discount.
26th May 2016read full article
With the different varieties of free-range, barn-reared, corn-fed, happy chickens available to buy, it can be confusing knowing exactly what you’re getting, and what you should be looking for when you buy a chicken.
There have never been so many options when it comes to buying meat, and every taste and preference is now catered for.
Free-range chickens are those that are free to roam outside during the day, and there has to be at least 1m2 of outside space available per chicken.
They are also protected by laws regarding how many are allowed to live together; currently a maximum of 13 chickens for every square metre of inside space.
The typical non-free-range chicken is slaughtered at around 35 days old, whereas a free-range chicken must be at least 56 days old. Not only does this improve the birds’ quality of life, it also allows them to develop fully which leads to more highly-flavoured meat.
It is more expensive to produce free-range chicken because of the lower numbers of them that each farmer can house at any one time, and because they are rearing each chicken for longer. This is turn means free-range is more expensive than standard chicken, but with good reason.
Barn-reared chickens are reared indoors, and don’t have access to an outside environment. They have less indoor space than free-range chicken, and it is permitted to have 15 in each square metre. As with free-range chicken, barn-reared are slaughtered only when they are over 56 days old.
Under EU law to be labelled as Corn-fed, chickens have to be fed at least 50% corn in their diet. The corn gives the meat a yellow tinge, and so it is very obvious if a chicken has been fed a corn-based diet. Corn-fed chickens are renowned for producing meat which is more flavoursome and also more moist than standard varieties.
Our corn-fed chickens are also free-range. The chickens are reared for us in Northern France, and have constant daytime access to grassy outside spaces, as well as having their feed topped up with corn.
In addition we sell English Free-Range Chickens, reared by Creedy Carver in Crediton, Devon. They are completely organic and free-range, and are reared in small flocks in small wooden houses. Possibly the highest-welfare chickens available, the time and care that’s put into rearing each bird is reflected in the quality of the finished product.
15th April 2016read full article
Easter Sunday is on 27th March this year, and as well as being the start of two week’s school holidays, it also means that we all get to enjoy the 4-day weekend, with bank holidays on the Friday and Monday.
The long Easter weekend is a great excuse for a family get-together, and what better excuse is there to have a feast than all the family coming to visit.
Traditional foods to eat at Easter include hot cross buns, simnel cake, and of course, Easter Eggs!
These sugary treats are to celebrate the end of Lent, 40 days when traditionally very basic food would be eaten, so Easter Sunday was a time to indulge.
The cross on the top of hot cross buns symbolises the cross of the crucifixion, which is the symbol of Christianity and the reason we celebrate Easter. However, a type of hot cross bun was also eaten by the Saxons in the Middle Ages, and their cross was to represent the movements of the moon.
Simnel cake is a rich fruit cake, with a layer of marzipan across the top, covered in 11 balls of marzipan which represent the 11 disciples loyal to Jesus.
Easter eggs are given as a symbol of new life, and many years ago painted eggs were given as gifts, but now the most common form are chocolate eggs.
The traditional meat to eat for an Easter dinner is lamb, which is because the lambing season begins in Spring, so the lamb is at its best at this time of year.
Roast lamb is absolutely delicious, and comes in various forms which require different cooking methods.
A shoulder of lamb should be slow-cooked for a long time at a low temperature, until the meat is cooked right through and the shoulder bone will just lift out of the meat.
A leg of lamb, however, is best served a little pink, as it can dry out if cooked for too long. We recommend roasting at 200°C (Gas Mark 6) for around 75 minutes, then cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes. The meat should be pink inside (but not bloody) when you cut into it, which will keep it full of flavour and very moist.
Whatever you decide to cook this Easter, we are delivering up until Thursday 24th March, and you need to place your order by Tuesday 22nd.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your Easter cooking, the BBC Food website have some great suggestions and can help you put a whole menu together. Just click here to visit their website
7th March 2016read full article
We've recently launched our new wine range, and we're so pleased to be able to offer a range of top quality wines to buy online to complement your choice of meats.
From red to white, still and sparkling, we have selected a range to cover all tastes and occassions.
Being on Smithfield Market we always like to support local business, and we really wanted to have a quality English wine on our wine list. We believe we've got one of the best, as we are now stocking wines from Kent winemaker Chapel Down.
Chapel Down source the majority of their grapes from their 100 acres of vineyards in Kent, but also from other estates in Essex, Surrey and Hampshire.
Far from the very low-grade English wines of days past, Chapel Down's offerings are very highly regarded across the hospitality industry. In fact, as well as supplying the restaurants of celebrity chefs including Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, Chapel Down are the official wine of the National Opera House. Not bad for an English wine!
We're stocking a core range of Chapel Down wines, and after we'd tasted a few of them - it's a hard job! - we decided we absolutely had to have their Vintage Reserve Brut amongst them. As close to a Champagne as English wine gets, the Brut is made with a mix of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Meunier grapes, and has a very subtle citrus aroma. It's won numerous international wine awards and received top reviews from wine journalists. We can whole-heartedly recommend this as a quality sparkling wine. If you have doubts about English wine - try this and prepare to have your mind changed!
From Chapel Down we also have the Rosé Brut - a very pale, sparkling rosé, made from Pinot Noir; and Flint Dry - a very dry white wine which is best described as an English version of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Both are delicious and very drinkable!
When we mentioned to a few of our customers we were going to be selling wine, we asked them what they would be interested in buying. The resounding answer was - Malbec. A very popular red wine, Malbec hails from Argentina and is a very hearty, well-rounded red which is finished in oak, and is incredibly well-paired with beef.
We'd heard of the winemaker Beefsteak Club from having tried it in restaurants ourselves, and we really wanted to stock it for our customers. We are really happy to now be selling their Meaty Malbec, and also the higher grade Reserve Malbec. Both are top quality red wines made in the Mendoza region of Argentina. The Reserve is aged for longer which gives it a richer flavour and makes it slightly smoother. If you're looking for a wine to drink with any of our steaks - you won't be disappointed with either of our Malbecs.
And finally: we are famous for our range of Australian beef - particularly the Black Angus - so we just had to have an Australian wine on offer. Again, we tried some of Australia's finest, but we settled on Little Rascal, from Southern Australia. Named after the winemaker's dog, Little Rascal produce quality, affordable wines, and we particularly liked their Chardonnay and Shiraz. Both are nicely balanced, very versatile wines and are a great choice.
Now it's just the difficult choice of which wine to choose! There's a really helpful article here on wine and food pairings which we found interesting.
3rd February 2016read full article
Burns Night is celebrated on the 25th January each year, on the birthday of Robert Burns, the 18th century Scottish poet who wrote so passionately about his homeland.
Rabbie Burns (as he’s affectionately known) wrote hundreds of poems, mostly written down as he would have spoken in his Ayrshire dialect – meaning they can be difficult to read.
His best known work is probably Auld Lang Syne, which is traditionally sung on New Year’s Eve to say farewell to the passing year and pledge to remember times gone by.
However, Burns also wrote extensively about his love of Scotland, and it is for this that he is remembered. Robert Burns was voted the Greatest ever Scot by the Scottish public, and this really shows how well regarded he is even now.
Burns Night is more widely celebrated than the official Scottish national day of St Andrew’s Day, and there are many Burns Clubs and Associations across the UK who take the opportunity on 25th January to celebrate Burns and Scotland.
A traditional Burns Night haggis supper starts with the presentation of the haggis – the cooked haggis is led into the room by a piper, the Burns poem ‘Address to a Haggis’ is read, and then the haggis is cut open. Haggis is usually served with mashed turnips and potatoes (“neeps and tatties”) and accompanied by Scotch whisky.
If you’re looking for a good quality Burns Night haggis – or for any time of year – Macsween are very hard to beat. A family company from Edinburgh, Macsween were established in 1953 and are now widely regarded as one of the best brands of haggis in the world.
Macsween make their haggis traditionally, and it comes in various sizes from 1lb (454g) to serve 2-3 people, up to the mighty Ceremonial haggis which weighs in at 16lb (3.6kg) and will serve 16 people.
They also do a completely vegan haggis filled with oats, lentils, pulses and vegetables which not only stops the vegetarians feeling left out on Burns Night, it can also be used as a delicious base for stuffing chicken or peppers.
In fact there’s loads you can do with haggis – take a look at some of Macsween’s recipe suggestions here.
You can rely on Keevils to get your Burns Night Haggis delivered to you in time for the big day. Whether you need the haggis for a large Burns supper or it’s just for yourself as part of your larger order, we deliver Tuesday to Friday, all over the UK.
As Burns Night is on a Monday this year we recommend booking your delivery for Friday 22nd January so you have it in time.
18th January 2016read full article
The festive season is nearly upon us, and whatever your plans are, we're sure they'll revolve around food of some sort. Our Christmas meat deliveries are a brilliant option to ensure you receive the best quality meat available, brought to your door.
If you're cooking a traditional Christmas turkey we have the best you can buy English free range Bronze Turkey from farms in Surrey and Norfolk. The difference between white and bronze turkeys is that bronze turkeys are known for keeping moist when cooked, which can help to avoid the dreaded dry turkey on Christmas Day! When choosing what size turkey to buy, allow 500g of turkey per person, which will leave plenty for dinner and cold cuts on Boxing Day.
If you'd rather have a roast goose, we have free range English geese, from farms in East Anglia. Geese have more bones than turkeys, and we recommend allowing 1kg of the whole bird weight per person to allow for the weight of the bones. Goose is also quite fatty, so cook it on a rack over a roasting tin, and save the fat which drips out to cook your roast potatoes. It's used by professional chefs as it gives the potatoes a delicious, savoury golden crust.
Our capons are always incredibly popular, and as a good value traditional Christmas meat they really can't be beaten. A capon is a castrated cockerel, and their meat is renowned for being sweeter, more tender and moister than a standard cockerel or chicken. The act of caponisation is illegal in the UK, and our free range capons are bred especially for us in France. As they are just for Christmas we have quite limited numbers of them and usually sell out by mid-December. To ensure that their expiry dates will last until Boxing Day, we receive delivery of them at the very last opportunity, so capons are only available for deliveries on 22nd or 23rd December.
We have a wide choice of other meats as well if you fancy Christmas Beef, Pork or Lamb, we supply it all, delivered fresh from Smithfield Market to your door.
The last Christmas meat deliveries will be made on 23rd December however we are already full for orders that day. We're still taking bookings for delivery on 22nd, and we need your order by Sunday 20th. However we have a limited number of delivery slots which may fill up sooner so if you want that Christmas meat delivery, don't delay, get your order placed as soon as you can so you don't miss out.
10th December 2015read full article
You'd be forgiven if it passed you by, but next Thursday is a big day in the American culinary calendar Thanksgiving.
The fourth Thursday in November is always used in the US to celebrate and give thanks for a good harvest and to look forward to the year ahead. It stems back from the 17th Century, when the first pilgrim settlers held a great feast to celebrate the success of their crops which had previously failed. It was originally a religious celebration but now the focus tends to be more about giving thanks for friends and family.
Although only really celebrated in the UK by far-roaming Americans, we reckon it could be the next big thing, as let's face it, we all love an excuse for a big dinner and a party, don't we?!
Turkey is the most traditional part of a Thanksgiving meal, and is usually served alongside sweet potatoes, stuffing, and a pumpkin pie.
You can find an enormous selection of Thanksgiving turkey and side dish recipes online, and we really like the menu suggestions here courtesy of CountryLiving.com
We can't help you with the veggies, but we do now have our amazing free range Bronze turkeys in stock, so you can have one heck of a feast, with the very best turkey as your centrepiece!
Reared in Surrey, our turkeys are left to live a completely natural, free range life, and are fed on GM-free locally-grown cereals. Bronze turkeys have black feathers, as opposed to the regular white-feathered variety, and they yield a naturally moister meat.
Our chicks are hatched in June and left to grow naturally to maturity, which allows them a full 5 months to grow to a good, full size turkey for Thanksgiving and then Christmas.
We are still taking orders so you can buy a Thanksgiving turkey online, and as long as you place your order before Midnight on Monday 23rd we can deliver to your door on Wednesday so you have it in time for the big day.
Of course, we are also taking Christmas orders too, and our last deliveries will be 23rd December, but you can also order to collect your turkey from us on December 24th.
29th October 2015read full article