I promised to review the award winning Shepherds Purse cheeses I bought recently, from a Yorkshire dairy of course! They have been sitting in my fridge resisting my temptation to nibble, and what a lovely surprise I had when I opened the truckle of Harrogate Blue – coloured with annatto to give it a bright golden paste!
Harrogate Blue is a golden bodied soft blue cheese made with milk from classy Yorkshire cows. It is so soft and creamy, with a mellow blue flavour, and a hint of pepper.
Shepherds Purse, a dairy based near Thirsk, launched Harrogate Blue in 2012, and it was so successful, it quickly won the first of many awards. It is matured for a minimum of 10 weeks to give the cheeses the time to develop the depth of flavour and creaminess. Every batch is made by hand on the family farm in North Yorkshire. You can buy this cheese via their website, and in specialist delis as well as being a mainstay on many menus served by top hotels, restaurants and pubs. Here are just a few:
The Cheeseboard in Harrogate, Yorkshires finest cheese shop
Mirabelle, an award winning Harrogate restaurant, specialising in French cuisine
George and Joseph, a Leeds based cheesemonger who specialises in sourcing Yorkshire cheeses, chutneys and pickles
Quantro, a highly recommended Harrogate restaurant on Royal Parade
The Angel Inn at Hetton, near Skipton, famous for great food
The Charles Bathurst Inn, Arkendale, an 18th Century Inn in the Yorkshire Dales
The Boars Head in Ripley, an old coaching inn and part of the Ripley Castle Estate
The Royal Oak, a 17th Century pub in Burton Leonard, between Harrogate and Ripon
The Pipe and Glass Inn, South Dalton, near Beverley, and one of my soon to be visited Michelin starred restaurants
I love to serve cheese on this slate cheese board from Platters Slate.
These hand crafted slate cheese boards each have their own individual character reflecting the natural texture of quality slate with discreet little pads on the bottom of each board. They are crafted by a family business at their workshop in Lancashire.
And now to make Parsnip and Harrogate Blue Cheese soup!!
Ingredients – Serves 4
1 large onion
1 large leek
2 cloves garlic
3 large parsnips, cut in chunks
1 pint chicken stock
4-5oz Harrogate Blue cheese
6 fl oz cream
Melt the butter and sweat off the onion, leek and garlic.
When soft, add parsnips and pint of chicken stock.
Cook for about 30 minutes.
Add the Harrogate Blue cheese and the cream.
Blend and serve with vegetable crisps.