Sunday, 27 March 2011

Recipe III - Devils on Horseback, leek and mashed potato

Ingredients for the DoH:
Italian or South Tiroler bacon (Pancetta, for example)
Dried prunes

Recipe for the DoH:
Take the stones out of the prunes. Put one at the end of a rasher of bacon and roll the bacon round the prune.
Put a cocktail stick through the middle to secure it and place on a grillpan or some baking foil.
Grill them in the upper-middle of the oven until they are crispy. Don't forget to turn them once, and save the juice.
About three to five per person will be adequate as they are quite rich.

Ingredients for the leek and mashed potato:
1 leek
1 onion
Garlic (proportion according to taste)
300g potatoes
150g cheese (Grimbergen, Cheddar, Maasdamer, Gruyère or similar depending on taste), cut into small cubes
20g butter
Herbes de Provence, oregano, salt, pepper

Recipe for the leek and mashed potato:
Peel and cut up your potatoes and boil them for 20 minutes or until very soft. When it comes to choice of potato, remember red = roast, brown = boil. Drain the water into a separate pot (it will be useful shortly!) and put some butter in the bottom of the same saucepan.
Cut up the leek into small pieces and very gently fry them in the butter with an onion and some garlic.
Put some milk in the bottom and put the potatoes on top. Pour some more milk and add extra butter if you require, depending on how dry/fluffy you want it.
Mash the potatoes into the milk, butter and leek, turning all the time.
Add your cheese.

Sauce and vegetables:
Take the juice from the bacon, put it in a frying pan or small-ish saucepan. Add some garlic and sweat it until soft. Put the Herbes de Provence and oregano, salt and pepper into the pan and stir for a few seconds. Add some of the potato water.
Accompanying vegetables could be steamed green beans, mange tout or broccoli.

Serve with a dry white wine. Elbling is a good accompaniment, as it is a kind of neutraliser of the salty bacon and the sweetness of the prunes.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Recipe I - Carbonnade à la Flamande

700g-1kg of stewing pork or beef, two onions, two slices of white bread, a couple of bottles of dark beer (Orval, Chimay, Rochefort 8, etc...), a slice of gingerbread or some five-spice, a bay leaf, thyme, mustard, cornflour (optional), salt and pepper.

Put the onion in a stewpot, fry until sweating, salt and add the meat, fry until sealed. Add the beer (pour slowly and try to avoid too much froth), put the other ingredients in except the cornflour. Cook the whole thing on a low heat for up to three hours. If the sauce is not thick enough, add some cornflour. Roux is often suggested, but I think it is too fatty.

Serve with a generous portion of chips and mayonnaise.

Unpretentious and utterly delicious!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Recipe II - Log of Beef in Bacon

1 log of beef, about 25-30cm long, salted and peppered.
8 streaks of pancetta bacon (or similar)
4 large cloves of garlic
5 porcini mushrooms
1 onion
A good sprinkling of ground pepper and salt
Golden syrup, or honey (or similar - I used dandelion syrup at Christmas)

Cut up everything except the meat and put into a blender until pulped.

It should look like this by the end:

Spread the pancetta out in strips on a cutting board and cover the middle part with the pulp.
With the rest, cover the underside of the log of meat with the pulp.

Wrap the beef in pancetta bacon, and pour the sticky solution on top.
Cook in the oven at 170°C for an hour.
Serve with roast potatoes (parboil then in the oven with goosefat) and carrots in breadcrumbs (cut in quarters lengthways and then in half, parboil, dip in egg yolk then breadcrumbs, cook with the potatoes).

Serve with a nice red Primitivo from southern Italy. Done!