Lane Farm Country Foods: Bring home the bacon

Lane Farm chorizo with scallops and broad beans

Lane Farm chorizo with scallops and broad beans - Credit: Archant

Last month, as already reported in the EADT, Suffolk’s Lane Farm Country Foods picked up a gold award for its Oak Smoked Dry Cured Back Bacon and a silver for its Suffolk Pancetta in the Great Bacon Revolution Awards.

Ian and Sue Whitehead, Lane Farm Country Foods, based at Brundish, near Framlingham

Ian and Sue Whitehead, Lane Farm Country Foods, based at Brundish, near Framlingham - Credit: Archant

The company’s range, produced at Brundish, near Framlingham, also includes semi-dried chorizo, which won product of the year in the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2012.

I am using it in my delicious recipe this week, but Lane Farm Bacon could be used instead of the chorizo if you prefer.

Lane Farm chorizo with scallops and broad beans

This recipe is usually served as a starter: light, fresh and tasty. Colourful, indulgent and sophisticated, use hand-dived scallops if available.

As methods of food-gathering go, plunging beneath the icy waves of our coastal waters in search of shellfish must rank as among the most extreme. But I’m glad there are people doing it, because they’re bringing us one of our most prized seafood delicacies: scallops. And they are doing it in a sustainable way, picking these palm-sized shells individually off the seabed, without disturbing the sea life or marine habitat around them.

Dredging involves dragging heavy, steel-toothed frames over the seabed to dislodge the scallops. This disturbs and damages other species, including corals and sponges that would otherwise make a rich habitat of this environment. If you’ve seen pictures of the “desert” that results from the constant combing and tumbling of the sand and rocks after dredging, you’ll know that it makes it impossible for marine fauna to get a hold.

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Areas of the seabed regularly dredged for scallops are almost devoid of other forms of life. One of the few species that seems able to tolerate this disturbance is the scallop itself, so dredging suits the dredgers by creating a monoculture at the expense of other species.

Although there is no strict season for scallops, they’re at their best in the colder months, so they should be plentiful just now.

Not in season but straight from my freezer from sunny times are beautiful broad beans. Blanch in boiling water for a minute or two and then refresh and remove the shells - a job best done sitting, watching the birds in the garden or a bit of telly. They are a perfect match for the rich and fragrant chorizo and the golden-crusted and still-glassy centred scallops.