Thursday, November 18, 2010

The game is afoot - dinner party chef in Chipping Campden, venison saddle and venison faggots

"My family are flying in from Iceland and we wanted to try something traditionally english, especially interested in game - what can you do?"

After a lot of suggestions this is finally what we arrived at to celebrate the head of the family's 70th birthday.
Roasted saddle of venison with venison faggot and blackberries, creamed cabbage and leek, fondant potato and french beans wrapped in pancetta.

Don't caul us we'll caul you.
Finding the caul to make the faggots was actually more diffuclt than expected. As it was a rather late booking, by the time the menu was confirmed the race was on to secure ingredients. I had spoken to the Meadows at Home Farm about it, but by the time the menu had been confirmed Micky had been to the abbatoir where he could have picked up the caul. All the local butchers (even Halfords where they make their own faggots) I tried too couldn't help either, saying if I ordered it now they could get it for next Monday - that was fine, but the event was that Saturday. There was nothing for it but to try making them in pudding tins. It's not like London where you can find whatever you need somewhere in the city whenever you need it.

Then as I picked up the week's meat order from Home Farm next day, Micky said he had to go to the trade butcher in Toddington the next day and would ask there. Next morning first thing - phone call - "I got the caul fat, but I could only get a whole case..."
Wow - that is going to be a lot of faggots......

All part of the behind the scenes drama. There's more to it that just turning up for 4 hours on a Saturday night.......

We had actually been talking about making faggots for the farm shop for a couple of years, but never getting round to it. They end up with so much pigs liver that doesn't sell (much more tasty than lambs tbh, but nobody seems to want to buy it) so now it looks like now they'll be coming to a farm shop near you. If you live near Tewkesbury that is.

Faggot recipe? Something similar to this one. If you make more than you need the leftover makes a nice meatloaf. Apparently.

Starter
Beer poached prawns with warm potato salad & watercress, radish & fennel

The beer was... er... Piddle In The Hole from the nearby Wyre Piddle brewery.
Along with that was soy, thai fish sauce, ginger, garlic, parsley (normally coriander but the host was not a coriander fan) and chilli. This marinades in the afternoon and is then cooked in the marinade. We also take lime to squeeze over the top. Instantly popular since the first time I did it a couple of months ago.
They are threaded on lemon grass sticks which impart their flavour as the prawns cook.
We cook the potatoes when we get to the venue so the potato salad is still warm as it goes on to the plate.

Dessert
Shotglass of mango sorbet
Glazed lemon tart
Chocolate tart
Spoon of sticky toffee pudding
Strawberry meringue roulade

Oh yes strawberry meringue. Oops. Just as I was leaving I realised it was still in the kenwood mixer - I had been busy setting up the other two parties, so just clingfilmed up the whole thing and took it with me and made the meringue at the house after rolling the venison in parma ham and getting that in the aga. Fresh is best they say.



All cooked on the aga at Meadowbank (with a little help from the fan oven too).

5 comments:

Jan said...

All looks yummy - and those prawns look really GOOD!

James said...

Prawns so popular. Doing them for 2 parties tomorrow too.

Stasher said...

Subliminal programming....I read this blog a few days ago, and only just realised when I came back again, where the idea came to have faggots for dinner. Making them for 2 seemed to much, but I did get a pack from Waitrose, 6 very small ones covered in streaky bacon...they were the best. Good portion control too. Bet yours taste so very much nicer.

Stasher said...

I agree with pigs' liver being the best compared to lamb, even just for frying. Most people overcook, pink in the middle is best. If I could only get venison faggots, at a market or a butcher's locally!

James said...

Subliminal programming - happens to me all the time :-)

Cooking liver pink in the middle was a great revelation in one of my first cooking jobs - lots more people would enjoy it if it's cooked like this (although not so good for more at risk people - pregnant ladies, elderly & children)

Have you tried Aubrey Allen in Leamington?