Pea and Pancetta Risotto

Pea and Pancetta Risotto

A great summer recipe – fresh spring pea risotto with the rich smokiness of pancetta and a little basil to finish.

Pea and Pancetta Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients:

300g Carnaroli Rice, 25ml Olive Oil, 300g Pancetta (Thinly Sliced and Diced), 3 Celery Stalks (Finely Diced), 2 Long Shallots (Finely Diced), 2 Garlic Cloves (Very Finely Sliced), 175ml Rosé Wine, 2 Litres Vegetable Stock, 200g Freshly Shelled Peas, 50g Parmesan (Finely Grated), 25g Unsalted Butter, 12 Basil Leaves (Finely Chopped), 8 Thin Pancetta Slices, Cracked Black Pepper

Method:

1) Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a large saucepan. Place a heavy based casserole pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the pancetta to the pan and fry for around 8 minutes or until crisp. Add the celery, onion and garlic to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes until soft – stirring continuously. Meanwhile, crisp the pancetta slices under a hot grill and set aside.

2) Add the rice to the pan and coat well with the olive oil. Turn the heat up high and add the wine, simmering until almost entirely absorbed by the rice. Reduce the heat to low and add the stock, little by little (allowing the stock to be almost entirely absorbed by the rice before adding more) whist stirring until the rice is tender but has a little bite – this should take around 20-25 minutes. The risotto may not require all of the stock.

3) Remove the pan from the heat and add the peas, parmesan, butter and basil. Fold to combine, cover the pan with a heavy lid and allow to rest for 6 minutes. Once rested, beat the risotto a few times and season to taste with cracked black pepper.

4) Serve the risotto with a good crack of black pepper, a sprinkling of parmesan and the crisp pancetta slices.

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Smoked Pheasant, Citrus, Port

Smoked Pheasant, Celeriac, Citrus

A delicious combination of smoked pheasant breast, braised pheasant leg with walnuts and citrus, celeriac purée, port sultanas and air dried ham.

I smoked these pheasant breasts over a 50/50 mix of oak and birch for 3 hours – imparting a delicate smoke which is definitely evident without overpowering.

This dish is finished with a good drizzle of some exceptional olive oil from Guerrieri Rizzardi.

My recipe for celeriac purée can be found here.

Smoked Pheasant, Celeriac, Citrus

Smoked Pheasant, Citrus, Port
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Braised Pheasant Legs: 4 Pheasant Legs, 2 Garlic Cloves, 1l Game Stock, 1tbsp Walnuts, Zest 1 Lemon, Zest 1 Large Orange, Juice 1/2 Large Blood Orange, 1/2tsp Nutmeg (Grated)

To Finish: 2 Smoked Pheasant Breasts, Celeriac Purée, 2 Slices Air-Dried Ham, 2tbsp Sultanas, 125ml Port, Thyme Leaves, Sea Salt, Cracked White Pepper, Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method:

1) Season the pheasant legs and braise in the game stock with the garlic cloves on the stove top for around 1 hour over a low heat – or until the meat is falling from the bone. Remove from the stock and remove the meat from the bone, allow to cool slightly. Transfer the meat to a food processor and add all of the other ingredients. Pulse to form a coarse but well mixed force-meat. Set aside or keep warm until ready to serve.

2) Preheat the oven to 160c. Place the ham on a lined baking sheet and place into the oven. Cook for around 20 minutes or until the ham has dried out. Remove and set aside.

3) Place the sultanas and port in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Allow the port to reduce by 2/3. Set aside. Meanwhile, place a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a little olive oil. Season the pheasant breasts with salt and white pepper and fry for around 4-6 minutes each side or until cooked through. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

4) Slice the pheasant breast and serve with some celeriac purée, the warmed leg meat mixture, a chunk of dried ham, some port soaked sultanas, a sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves and a good drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy!

Ham, Egg, Peas

Ham, Egg, Peas

Pea pancakes served with braised peas, dry cured bacon steak, poached duck egg and sherry caramel.

A superb starter or main which is super light and bursting with fresh flavour.

Sherry Caramel is taken from my previous incarnation of this dish, inspired by Restaurant Sat Bains: Ham, Egg and Peas

Ham, Egg, Peas

Ham, Egg, Peas
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Pancakes: 350g Frozen Peas, 2 Eggs (Separated), 60g Cornflour, Sea Salt, Cracked White Pepper, Unsalted Butter (For Frying)

To Finish: 4 Dry Cured Bacon Steaks, 4 Duck Eggs, 50g Frozen Peas, 25g Unsalted Butter, Black Sea Salt, Sherry Caramel

Method:

1) Blanch the peas in a pan of boiling water and drain. Place in a blender with the egg yolk, cornflour and a good pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper – blend until smooth. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the pea purée mixture.

2) To cook the pancakes – heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and melt a tablespoon of butter. Fry tablespoonfuls of the mixture for around 2 minutes each side or until cooked. Keep warm and continue to fry in batches until the mixture is exhausted. Keep the pancakes warm until ready to serve.

3) Meanwhile, melt the 25g of unsalted butter in a small pan and add the peas – braise until tender and season with a little salt – keep warm. Fry the bacon steaks in a little melted butter in a frying pan for 4 minutes each side or until cooked through – keep warm. At the last minute poach the duck eggs for around 2 minutes or until cooked (and still runny!).

4) Serve the pancakes with the bacon steaks, braised peas, duck egg and sherry caramel – topping with a little sea salt.

Enjoy!

Asparagus and Duck Egg

Asparagus and Duck Egg

This is the perfect weekend brunch dish and a great way to welcome the new asparagus season!

Butter poached asparagus is paired with fried duck egg and air-dried ham and seasoned with a little truffle salt. Go easy on the truffle salt as it can easily overpower and ensure your duck egg is super crisp on the bottom for a great contrast of texture.

Asparagus and Duck Egg

Asparagus, Duck Egg, Truffle and Ham
Serves 4

Ingredients:
32 Asparagus Spears
4 Duck Eggs
4 Slices Air-Dried Ham
Truffle Salt
Black Pepper
Olive Oil

Method:

1) Cook the asparagus in the following manner: Cooking Vegetables.

2) Meanwhile, fry the duck eggs in a little olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Ensure the bottoms crisp up well.

3) When ready, place around eight asparagus spears on each plate with the duck egg and a small amount of ham. Sprinkle with a little truffle salt and cracked black pepper.

Enjoy!

Ham, Egg and Peas

Ham, Egg and Peas

Ham, Egg and Peas

After receiving some very special Iberico ham from a recent trip to Spain and with Sat Bains’ new cookbook perched on the coffee table – cooking this dish was inevitable.

The winning starter of Great British Menu five years ago and featuring on his restaurant’s menu ever since, Ham, Egg and Peas is a masterclass in simplicity and elegance. Sat’s cookbook ‘Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian’ features two versions of the recipe – the original and a newly revised version. My attempt at combining elements of the two made for a truly memorable dish.

A perfectly textured sous vide duck egg, light pea panna cotta, sherry caramel and poached peas all paired with the wonderful Iberico ham was a marvel in subtlety. Seasoning is key here – especially since the majority of elements are served cold or at room temperature.

The pea panna cotta alone would make a fantastic summer starter – simply served with a slice of toasted sourdough.

Ham, Egg and Peas
From: Sat Bains, Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian
Serves 6

Ingredients:
6 Duck Eggs
200g Fresh Peas (Shelled)
250ml Sweet Sherry
50g Caster Sugar
6 Small Slices Iberico Ham
6 Small Slices Toasted Bread
3 Gelatine Leaves
300g Frozen Peas
150ml Double Cream (Whisked to Soft Peaks)
Sea Salt

Method:

1) First prepare the poached peas: cook the fresh peas in a large pan of salted boiling water for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Drain (reserving the cooking liquor) and immerse in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain, season and store in the fridge.

2) Next make the panna cotta: Bloom the gelatine leaves in a little cold water for 10 minutes. Bring 200ml of the reserved poached pea liquor to the boil and whisk in the gelatine leaves to dissolve. Remove from the heat. Add the frozen peas and cooking liquor to a blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl set over a bowl of iced water. Allow the mixture to cool until almost set, then gently whisk in the double cream. Check the seasoning – adding a little salt if required. Pour into a plastic container, cover and transfer to the fridge to set – allowing at least 3 hours.

3) Two hours before serving, place the duck eggs in a water bath at 62C.

4) Meanwhile, make the sherry caramel – add the sherry and caster sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by half. Set aside to cool.

5) To serve: Remove the duck eggs from the water bath after two hours, carefully peeling off the shell and turning each egg out onto a plate/bowl before sprinkling each with a little sae salt. Serve with the poached peas, a spoonful of panna cotta, a wedge of toast, a few small slices of ham and a drizzle of sherry caramel.

Enjoy!

Ham, Leek & Garlic Tart

Ham, Leek and Garlic Tart

 

A well made tart or Quiche is a glorious thing. Thin, crisp pastry encasing a filling packed full of flavour. Perfect with a salad and ideal for lunch.

Despite taking two attempts to make (I stupidly dropped the pastry midway through cooking), this is perhaps my favourite savoury tart! The garlic does not over power and using smoked pancetta as well as air-dried ham ensures ham remains star of the show.

I detail the recipe for the filling below as I am sure we all have a go-to recipe for shortcrust pastry. If in a rush a shop bought pastry case will work just as well.

Ham, Leek & Garlic Tart

Ingredients:

1 Savoury Pastry Flan Case
4 Duck Egg Yolks
400ml Milk
4 Slices White Bread (Into Breadcrumbs, Crusts Removed)
2 Heads of Garlic
100g Smoked Pancetta, Sliced
6 Slices Air Dried Ham
Large Handful Chopped Parsley
2 Leeks, Finely Sliced
75g Gruyère, Grated.
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Fresh Nutmeg

Method:

1) Pre heat the oven to 180C. Wrap the garlic heads in tin foil and cook in the oven for 40 minutes until tender. Remove and squeeze the cloves from the skin – it should resemble a purée.

2) Cook the leeks in a little butter in a saucepan over a medium heat for 25 minutes or until tender. Season with a little salt. Set aside.

3) Fry the pancetta in a medium pan over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until crisp. Add the slices of air dried ham to the pan and allow to crisp up (2 minutes). Set aside.

4) Make the custard by whisking the egg yolks, milk and breadcrumbs together in a mixing bowl. The consistency should be like lightly whisked double cream or a thin bread sauce. Season with black pepper and a little nutmeg and stir through the chopped parsley.

5) Pre heat the oven to 200C. Take the pastry case and lightly spread the garlic purée over the bottom. Cover with the leeks. Add the pancetta and air dried ham. Cover with the custard mixture. Top with the grated gruyère and a little freshly ground black pepper.

6) Transfer the tart to the oven and cook for approx. 45 minutes or until just cooked – a skewer inserted into the middle of the tart should come out clean.

Enjoy!

Home Baked Ham

 

The simplest, most satisfying recipe ever! With only 4 ingredients, you can have a gloriously delicious ham which will take care of lunches for the whole week.

I always try to cook a ham at least one a week. If you are used to buying your ham pre-cooked, please try this recipe and you will be converted. It is much more economical and tasty.

Dry curing is the key to a good ham, buying a ham which has been dry cured will give you delicious flavour which is not overly salty and you won’t get any of the nasty white stuff coming out when you cook it.

I love this simple glaze, but would love to hear your recommendations.

Home Baked Ham

Ingredients:

1 Boneless Ham Joint (Any size you wish)

For the Glaze:

1 Part  Whole grain Mustard

2 Parts Runny Honey

2 Parts Clementine or Orange Juice (Freshly Squeezed)

Method:

1) Cook your ham in the usual way. 20 minutes before it is ready, remove from the oven.

2) To make the glaze, combine the ingredients and mix well.

3) Remove any skin and/or string from the ham. Make a criss-cross pattern into the ham fat about 0.5cm deep.

4) Smother the ham with the glaze (I use a pastry brush).

5) Cook the ham at 180C for 20 minutes until nicely browned.

Enjoy!