The Jewish Chronicle
Bringing Pesach to your door
If you’re already planning your Passover, some online kosher retailers can deliver all the foodstuffs you need to your doorstep
ALMOST INCONCEIVABLY, after one pandemicruined Pesach, it looks like we’ll be sharing smaller seders again. The biblical plagues may have passed over, but our modern day version — Covid-19 — is still with us. And although vaccinations are rolling out at super speedy pace, many of us will be cautious about even venturing out to make our Pesach purchases.
The good news is — you don’t need to. Online ordering means Pesach staples can be brought to your door. Neither mask nor hand sanitiser needed and, in some cases, there is no delivery charge. All at the click of a keyboard.
My first port of call would be Sabeny, an online-only kosher supermarket, with warehousing in North London and a list of close to 1,000 Pesach essentials. It’s not a new company, but has flourished during lockdown.
“We’ve seen a fivefold growth in the last year and 25 per cent increase month on month,” says marketing manager Jessica Millett, who explains the service has been already been a saviour for kashrut compliant customers in locations as far flung as St Ives and Kilmarnock.
“We’ve sent orders all over the country: herring and fishballs to Leicester; potato salad to Peterborough; Chevington cheese and kichels to Devon and Rakusen’s matzah to Aberdeenshire.”
The online access has been huge for those living away from main communities. “Our nearest kosher shop is in Glasgow, which is approximately a four-hour drive, each way. A food shop takes a whole day. We have no other access to kosher bakery products like challah, bagels and babka,” says Sarah Frankel from Aberdeenshire.
For Lisa Green, Sabeny has been a lifesaver over the past year: “Living in Oadby, Leicestershire, it is quite difficult to get kosher food, although the Orthodox rabbi in Leicester does help his community. Sabeny has really helped get the specialised foods like different varieties of herrings, frozen Hermolis meals and fish balls. Shopping online has saved me travelling in the pandemic.”
For Pesach, Sabeny will be opening an entire virtual store. “Planning it has been a huge operation. We wanted to be sure we’d be ready with sufficient storage space and staff to fulfil all of our orders accurately and on time. We’re ready though, with a lengthy list of exciting products which we’ll launch on February 28,” says Millett, who advises booking early to secure a slot.
The virtual aisles contain everything from matzah, cookies and baking essentials to yoghurts, cheese and milk; drinks, spices and spreads; fish, meats and tinned goods. There are also baby foods, purées, cooking sauces and crisps.
Some of the pesachdik products on offer are new to the UK this year, including a range of gorgeous roasted nut butters from Gefen; a vast catalogue of sweet treats — including orange and lemon crispy cookies from Gefen and Liebers’ animal cookies; plus an avocado oil spray for those looking to keep things a bit more healthy. “Even if seders are restricted, we want to make it special this year,” says Millett. She explains that the site has been designed so you can easily shop for your family too, if they are shielding or isolating: “You can check out your trolley, and then add the same list to a second address, or tweak it to fit their needs.”
Sabeny offers free delivery for orders over £80 all year, but for the Pesach shop, customers based in London and Hertfordshire will pay no charge for a Sunday or Wednesday slot. Deliveries booked for other days (or from further afield) will cost £9.99. Outside London and Hertfordshire free delivery is available on orders over £80.
Sabeny isn’t the only retailer offering to bring food to your door. Among the stores offering deliveries is butcher, Louis Mann. Owner Sarah MannYeager says they also offer free delivery to London and Hertfordshire addresses. “You’ll need to call us or send an email, to select from our range of ready-to cook dishes. Our menu includes spatchcocked chickens with a choice of marinades or rubs. We have ‘lazy lamb’ which is a shoulder coated in herbs, spices, lemon, garlic and olive oil that you just need to slow cook for a few hours. We also have rotisserie chickens and meat platters for two to however many people we’ll be allowed to share our seders with.”
Mann-Yeager says they need at least 48 hours’ notice (she advises booking as early as possible for Pesach) and that delivery is free for orders in excess of £30.
Corney & Co has been delivering fish to its customers throughout the pandemic. “We were lucky as our suppliers stayed open,” explains Dominic Corney. “We need a good 24 hours’ notice, but it’s worth ordering ahead for Pesach, as demand will be high.”
If you’re menu planning, Corney says Pesach is a good time for fish. “All the English fish — cod, haddock, plaice — are in season and plentiful. Orders can also be made via email or phone.”
St John’s Wood-based grocery store, Panzer’s, has also launched itself into the Pesach market. A catalogue of more than 250 products including seven types of matzah, jams, baking products and store cupboard essentials is available on its website. Delivery will be £5 locally and £7.50 nationally.
The first food I ever cooked in my Instant Pot was short ribs/flanken. It convinced me this device would change my life. I was amazed how moist the meat was after 40 minutes, when it usually took 2 ½ hours’ baking to achieve the same melt-in-your-mouth texture.
If making this with a regular oven, sear the meat on the stove top and then bake covered in the oven for 2 ½ hours at 160°C.
2 large dried red chillis 236ml hot water, divided 1 tbsp oil
2–2.7kg flanken, cut in half 1 medium onion, quartered 3 cloves garlic 3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp fresh lime juice, from 1-2 limes
118ml brewed coffee
2 tbsp ground or instant coffee
1 ¼ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
Place the chillis and . cup of the hot water into a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Press Saut. and when the display reads “Hot,” add the oil and ribs to the inner pot, 3 or 4 pieces at a time, and sear for 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
Repeat for the remaining meat. Add the remaining hot water and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot clean. Press Cancel.
When the meat is almost done browning, place the chillis and soaking water, onion, garlic, maple syrup, lime juice, brewed and ground coffee, chilli powder, Aleppo pepper and salt into a food processor or blender and process until smooth, for about 1 minute.
When all of the meat has been browned, add the sauce to the pan, return the meat to the pan, and turn to coat each piece.
Secure the lid, ensuring that the steam release handle is in the Sealing position. Press the Pressure Cook button and set the cooking time for 40 minutes.
When the cooking time is complete, turn the valve to the Venting position to quickly release the pressure. Press Cancel and remove the lid.
Remove the meat to a serving dish. Press Saut. and cook the liquid for 5 minutes to reduce. Pour over the meat.
Cittàgazze was built from scratch as a stage set at the studios in Cardiff, so without a magical portal of your own, that’s sadly one to strike off the wishlist.
Along with Oxford’s historic streets (including New College, the Bridge of Sighs and the entrance to the Botanic Gardens), you’ll also spot plenty of locations in Wales appearing as the backdrop to Lyra’s adventures.
Plasturton Gardens in Cardiff became home to its own portal to an alternative world, while the fishing village of Trollesund was built in a disused quarry near Crickhowell, close to Abergavenny. And the unspoiled scenery of the Brecon Beacons is used for many of the outdoor shots, including a journey on Usk Reservoir.
New Netflix show The Irregulars,a twist on the Sherlock Holmes story that’s due to air later this year, has also made the most of Liverpool and Manchester’s city scenery to step in for Victorian London.
The supernatural spin-off series, following a group of teens solving crimes for Dr Watson and his mysterious business partner (who goes on to take all the credit), also whisked
Chester’s Abbey Square back to the 19th century, while you’ll be able to spot Ruthin Gaol Museum in north Wales too.
The Castlefield railway viaduct makes an appearance as well, with scenes shot on the cobbles beneath the bridge, along with Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter, St George’s Plateau and the palm house in Sefton Park.
The ninth movie in the Fast & Furious franchise, F9, took over some of Edinburgh city centre for almost three weeks in 2019 — after its release date was delayed several times, it’s finally due to hit the big screen this May. And while Hatfield House in Hertfordshire has its own starring moment, the Scottish capital is the main UK filming location fans will notice.
With streets shut down to film a chase scene, fans will be able to see locations including Waterloo Place, George Street, Cockburn Street, Victoria Street, Royal Mile and Melville Street.
For more information on other UK filming locations, go to englandscoast. com, visitengland.com, visitscotland. com visitwales.com