Saturday, 15 September 2012

Forager's Chutney....

Time to get the pans out tomorrow and knock up some foragers chutney.

basic recipe

1 pint of vinegar (we use mixture of 50% cider, 40% cheap balsamic - not the decent 4 leaf stuff, 10% white wine, vinegars)
1-1.5kg of "fruit" chopped, peeled apples (any type will do..whatever you find), and maybe any plums or gage's chopped and stoned
1-1.5kg of "veg" - we use onions, garlic, carrots, celariac, maybe swede, the odd green tomato this late in the season (whatever the garden has too much of, chopped as chunky as you like your chutney)
500g of sugar

throw it all in as big a pan as you need to, and boil and stir until it's got no free juice/liquid flowing, and thick enough for you to run a spoon through it and see the bottom of the pan for a second before it closes back in. - should take about an hour or so of cooking

sterilise some jars, bottle it super hot, straight from the heat, and seal.

photo's to follow...

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Cooking with Blackberry wine, and Wild Herbs

Now if you've been keeping up with the Blackberry season, you'll know we laid down a few bottles of Blackberry wine a few weeks ago.

We always keep a "taster bottle" to see how the batch is getting on, and having tried it after 3 weeks, I can confirm it's now like a sweet and sprightly french beaujolais - i.e. fresh, fruity and light on tannins.

Today's wander took us along the cliffs of Dover from St Margarets back towards Dover to the National Trust centre above the Port of Dover - along the "Saxon Shore Way"

(The Cafe at the Dover National Trust cliff top centre is a splendid place for a mid-walk cup of tea and a scone)

All along this sun drenched cliff top are patches of wild marjoram/oregano

as well as big specimens of sea beets, ready for next spring (they'll be a bit tough and stringy by now)

And what better to do than mix the two...

so today's recipe is a wonderful lamb-shank, pot braised in blackberry wine, with wild oregano.

(Wine, stock cube, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, tomatoes, mustard, worcestershire sauce, wild herbs, - 3 hrs slow braise at 180 degrees)

sweet, succulent, and delicious, served with home grown new potatoes.

And out out for wonderful butterflies feasting on the thistles, scabies, and the oregano flowers.