Friday, 26 August 2011

The September Supper Club 'The Rib'

Something like this. Note the dark colour and marbling.
    The September event was inspired by a conversation I (Frank) had with Duncan of Le Gourmet Butchers in Monmouth. I was buying fillet when I thought to ask him about hanging a bit of meat for a few days extra. Duncan was quite happy to do so but said that fillet was unsuitable as it had no bone and fat to protect it. Staring at me as he said this was a very sexy rib of beef. Could he hang that a bit longer? Certainly. But it would lose moisture (and therefore value) and attain a nutty, stiltonesque flavour. Perfect thought I, and we agreed that I'd buy the meat after its statutory fortnight and Duncan would hook it up a further two weeks. So that is the plan.

  I may experiment a little. Cowshill Farm, just up the road from Coleford where we live, raise the rare breed of Old Gloucester. There is also Slad Farm who do a tasty bovine, or Frith Dexters who do the miniature Irish variety. I simply adore beef and when such a beautiful (okay, maybe that's a little perverse but many share my aesthetic values) cut as fore rib is on the menu I want to do it some serious justice. Brining, a blast in the gas oven then a slow, slow cook in the Rayburn should ensure our heifer died not in vain.

  I'm also excited about the starter. The porky bits are coming from the champion artisan charcutier Graham Waddington of whom we cannot speak highly enough. Be sure to google 'Native Breeds, Lydney' or visit Taurus Arts and Crafts.

  For the vegetarians, should you not be put off by such orgiastic delight in flesh, I'm working on something modern and oriental that should be delicious. Watch this space. Everyone else just book yourselves in!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Why we like Simon Hopkinson

Okay okay we're not enamoured. We're not camping outside his old London restaurant looking to lick his spoons clean. But we like to read his books and follow his recipes. And he was on the telly and that was enough excuse.

  This month's menu looks very dull and pedestrian but is anything but. We have appetisers of classic prawn cocktail with real marie rose sauce. Plus the old hopper's signature dish of steak au poivre. We're working with Severn and Wye Smokery to bring you the finest and freshest anchovies to garland the Salad Niçoise. And the roast chicken is...blimey.

   I'm going to start talking in clichés hear so I'm apologising now...sorry. When was the last time you ate roast chicken that really tasted of chicken? And that was moist and tender even in breast. We've sourced what is, by the professional opinion of Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay, the best chicken in the country. This is a slow-rearing bird raised in a big field where it can eat a variety of grasses, worms and herbs. The bird has a good old exercise in its long (in broiler terms) life and this is reflected in its amazing flavour. I, Frank, will be brining these beautiful birds to ensure they are exceptionally and exquisitely juicy. I can't wait. We are, of course going to be offering a vegetarian option; courtesy of SH's book of the same name.

  The dessert has been a bit of a debate. Heidi is of the opinion that very little accompaniment is required to a nice sticky toffee pud. I would personally like mine with a homemade apricot ice cream. We shall see.

  Speaking of seeing, we hope to be seeing lots of peeps at this month's adoration of the abluted and anointed poultry. Enjoy.