The story of a boy named Joe and how he came to live on the road.
Joe’s parents were both very busy people. They had no time to stop and think, talk or love. They had too much going on in their lives, they didn't even have time for their son Joe.
Joe on the other hand felt like he had all the time in the world. He would often entertain himself for hours in the fields behind their home, fashioning animals and people out of old pieces of wood with his small carving knife. When he wasn't busy making his little creations or repairing his den, Joe would spread out a patchwork blanket that had belonged to his grandmother on the ground. He would lie on his back staring at the clouds and listening to the sounds of the world around him. Unlike his parents, the world fascinated Joe and never failed to teach him something. He knew 23 different bird calls, could name 58 different plants and had once managed to stay so still that a fox had eaten right ...
I have been away for some time now, working on new projects and at a new establishment, Caravan in Kings Cross, London. I am back and ready to start offering up some new exciting seasonal recipes with that little Gypsy Chef twist. So without further ado, here is a brand new recipe for this chilly March afternoon.
Braised Pig Cheeks, Polenta, Nettle and Sorrel Gremolata (serves 4)
4 pig cheeks
750 mls red wine
500 mls beef stock
2 carrots finely diced
1 lrg white onion finely diced
2 stick celery finely diced
1 tbls fresh thyme
1 tbls fresh sage
2 star anise
1/4 nutmeg grated
1 tbls paprika
50 g plain flour
1 tbls salt and pepper
1 tbls olive oil
10 g butter
400 mls whole milk
50 g butter
50 g parmesan grated
5 fresh sorrel leaves picked from my local forest
5 fresh nettle leaves picked from my local forest
10 cobnuts roasted and crushed
1/2 garlic clove
1 lemon zested
1/2 lemon juiced
1 pinch sea salt
20 mls rapeseed oil
Dont be put off by the ingredients list, this recipe is nice and simple and a lot of the prep can be done ahead of the game. Ask ...
Something I have not touched on that much is seasonality, so I thought I would devote a blog entry to it today.
Seasonality is such a big trend in restaurants today, to the point that it can be pushed as establishment’s USP. However, in times gone by it would not have been seen as a trend but a necessity.
With a lack of refrigeration and only some limited preserving techniques, food had mostly to be to be eaten fresh and when it came to what was on the plate, it was what was available. This would have been even more the case for people who lived on the road, there was a need to use a season’s fresh pickings and be able to create something both tasty and nutritious.
So without further ado, here is a recipe for a great but somewhat underused and oft disliked vegetable that is in season right now.
Turnips served 3 ways with Braised Oxtail (Serves 4)
2 sticks Celery
1 large White Onion
1 l Beef Stock
500 ml Red Wine
2 tbsp Plain Flour
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp ...
Last week, I came across a very interesting article that discussed a Romany tradition of not eating food left over from a previous meal.
I was quite taken aback by this notion, having previously explored the idea of making use of leftovers. Whether from Sunday’s roast dinner or a big fry up, especially due to the economic constraints in many Romany households, using leftovers was common both in the past and today. In my Grandad’s family, the use of leftovers was often the difference between eating and starvation, with the fat from a joint of meat forming the mainstay of the family diet. When I was a child, his bubble and squeak was always a family favourite on a Monday morning.
The Romany tradition of not using leftovers stems from India and the idea that the moment food has been cooked and left to cool, it starts to decompose and grow bacteria. It has to be said at this point that if we did not have modern refrigeration to assist us in the kitchen, many of the things we cook and then ...