Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pot Roast Partridge

A client gave me a beautiful partridge he'd shot in Ireland. It was the first chance I'd had in ages to pluck, gut and prep a bird for the table, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process - precious memories of self-sufficiency came flooding back. It seemed strange to be plucking a fowl in London!

I cooked the partridge whole with stock vegetables (leek, celeriac, onion, lots of garlic), thyme, chanterelles, horns of plenty, a little red wine and water. I also added the bird's heart, liver, feet and gizzard to the stock, and draped bacon over it, before covering and cooking gently for about 90 minutes. I then uncovered it and cooked until the bacon was crispy, before taking the bacon off and crisping up the partridge's skin. I served it with kale and grilled it's feet as a tasty, crunchy accompaniment.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Danish Delicacies

Just got back from a wonderful weekend with the gals, visiting a friend who lives in Copenhagen.

We managed to pack quite an impressive number of local delicacies into our two days, including numerous tasters at a food market. We bought an amazing pesto gouda and an extremely strong, soft, nutty artisan gouda, tasted licorice and chili salami (surprisingly and stunningly good), and we cooked ourselves traditional meatballs. I love the Scandinavian breakfasts of slivers of cheese on bread or rye bread.

I was in my element when we sat outside a restaurant by the quay and shared platters of mixed seafood specialities, including smoked salmon, rollmops and other cured fish, all washed down with akvavit. We chose one akvavit that had been matured in barrels while being sailed to the equator and back, which was mellow and caramelly, whilst still very clean-tasting. The other one we sampled was flavoured with dill. It was exceptionally good, went beautifully with the food, of course, and sipping it made transported me to wooden cabins in forests and on heathery heaths.