Winter menu four

Winter menu four

Late winter

By
From
Annie's Farmhouse Kitchen
Serves
8
Photographer
Patricia Niven; Illustrations: Robin Cowcher

Cold smoked trout

Glazed Berkshire ham

Roasted pork loin with crackling & vegetables

Plum pudding with Armagnac custard

Cold smoked trout

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
400g raw sugar
500g salt flakes
1kg side of ocean trout, trimmed, bones removed
ice cubes, 2 handfuls of smoking chips or sawdust and 2 tablespoons russian caravan tea, for smoking
splash of bourbon

Method

  1. Two days before ...
  2. Mix together the sugar and salt. Place a sheet of foil on the bench, cover with plastic wrap, then spread with half the salt cure. Place the fish on top and cover with the remaining cure, then wrap tightly in the foil and plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator under a weight. (I use a house brick wrapped in foil for my weight.) Turn after 12 hours, then weight for another 12 hours. Remove the fish and wash off the cure, then pat dry and refrigerate, uncovered, for another 12 hours or so to dry.
  3. The day before ...
  4. To assemble your smoker, fill one of the smaller foil containers with ice and rest a cake rack on top. Place at one end of the large foil tray. Sit the fish on the rack. Position the other small foil container at the other end of the baking tray. Take a handful of smoking chips and 1 tablespoon of tea and heat in your designated smoking wok or pan over a high heat until it starts to catch. Encourage a little burn and then place the chips and tea carefully in the empty foil container as far away from the fish as possible. Working quickly, cover the tray with foil to contain the smoke and smoke for 45–60 minutes. Discard the smoking chips and start again in the wok or pan with a new batch of ice chips and tea and smoke for another 45–60 minutes. There is no need to turn the fish.
  5. The smoked fillet always loves to be rubbed with a little alcohol afterwards, in this case bourbon. It’s worth doing as it removes a little of the acrid flavour from the smoke. For best results, wrap the fish and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours before you use it to give the flavours time to develop. Stored this way, the fish will last for a week at least. Slice and serve with your favourite accompaniment.

Glazed Berkshire ham

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
340g orange marmalade
250ml orange juice
220g brown sugar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
5to ham leg
cloves, for decorating

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a large baking dish with baking paper, then place a lightly greased wire rack in the dish.
  2. Place the marmalade, orange juice, brown sugar and mustard in a saucepan over a high heat and whisk to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 3–5 minutes or until the glaze has thickened slightly. Gently remove the skin from the ham with your fingers, before using a knife to trim away any excess fat.
  3. Use a small, sharp knife to score the ham in a diamond pattern, then cover the hock with foil (to stop it from burning). Place the ham on the rack in the baking dish. Gently press a clove into each diamond, then brush the glaze all over the ham. Roast for 35–40 minutes or until golden and caramelised, basting the ham with the glaze every 10 minutes or so.
  4. Once the ham is glazed, it can happily sit for a couple of hours at room temperature while you start preparing the main course. I like to serve it at the table, making a great show of its beauty, and slicing it abundantly.

Roasted pork loin with crackling & vegetables

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2kg piece of pork loin with belly and skin, scored by the butcher
salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
white vinegar, for wiping
olive oil, for cooking
4 rosemary sprigs
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 roasting potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled and quartered
2 large turnips, peeled and quartered
16 french shallots, peeled
or 8 baby onions, peeled
200ml white wine
60ml Veal Stock, reduced
1 savoy cabbage, shredded
50g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 240°C.
  2. I’m not very big on tying up pork loins neatly, but …
  3. Season all the flesh you can get to with salt and pepper. Wipe the scored skin with a cloth doused heavily in white vinegar. Then, if you must, tie it in a neat roll.
  4. Put the pork in a flameproof roasting tin. If you haven’t tied it up, just lay it out flat, fat side up. Rub it with a little olive oil, then sprinkle the fat generously with salt and pepper and massage it in with your hands. Stuff the rosemary and garlic under and around the meat. Add 250 ml of water to the roasting tin (this will help keep the fat from burning and smoking). Roast for 40–50 minutes. This burst of high heat will start the process of turning the fat into crispy crackling – try not to open the oven door so you don’t let any heat out.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C. Place the vegetables around the pork loin, then return to the oven and roast for a further 50–60 minutes. The meat is pretty much self-basting but the vegetables will benefit from being turned and basted with the pan juices a couple of times. Remove from the oven and set the meat and vegetables to one side
  6. Place the roasting tin over a medium heat, tip in the wine and stir to remove any bits stuck to the bottom. Add the veal stock and bring to the boil, then strain into a jug.
  7. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Just before you are ready to serve, add the cabbage and cook for 3–5 minutes. I like it crunchy, but if you don’t, cook it for a bit longer. Drain, then return to the pan with the butter and parsley and season to taste.
  8. To serve, spread the cabbage on a large platter. Slice the meat and crackling and arrange on top of the cabbage (which will absorb all of its delicious juices). Arrange the vegetables around the outside and spoon over the sauce.

Plum pudding with Armagnac custard

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150g sultanas
150g currants
150g roughly chopped prunes
175ml armagnac or cognac
150g cold suet or unsalted butter
100g plain flour
125g fresh breadcrumbs
150g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking powder
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 large eggs
1 medium cooking apple, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons golden syrup or maple syrup
125ml armagnac, extra (optional)

Armagnac custard

Quantity Ingredient
500ml milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
6 egg yolks
125g caster sugar
50ml armagnac

Method

  1. The night before ...
  2. Put all the fruit in a bowl with the Armagnac and mix so the fruit is well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to steep overnight or for up to a week.
  3. When you’re ready to finish the pudding mixture, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil – the pan needs to be big enough to hold your pudding bowl. Grease your bowl (or bowls) with unsalted butter.
  4. Coarsely grate the cold suet or butter into a large mixing bowl, then add all the remaining ingredients (except the extra Armagnac) and mix together well. Add the steeped fruit and their liquid and combine thoroughly.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pudding bowl or bowls. Cover with two layers of baking paper and two layers of foil and secure with string, making sure the ’skirts’ are tucked up so they don’t draw in any water. Place in the pan of boiling water, making sure the water only comes halfway up the side. I like to place an egg ring at the bottom so the bowl is not directly on the heat. Boil for 5 hours, checking regularly that it hasn’t boiled dry. Top up with more water if necessary.
  6. Once cooked, the pudding will last in the fridge for months. During this time, I periodically splash a little Armagnac over it. However, the pudding is still delicious if you want to make it on the day. To reheat it, put a new paper and foil lid on it and boil for 3 hours.
  7. To make the Armagnac custard, pour the milk into a saucepan, add the vanilla and bring to scalding point over a medium heat. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar for 5 minutes or until thick and pale. Pour the hot milk onto the yolk mixture and whisk to combine, then return to the saucepan and cook, stirring, over a medium heat for 7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and strain if required. Stir in the Armagnac, then pour into a heatproof jug.
  8. When the pudding is ready, carefully take the bowl out of the pan, remove the foil and paper and invert onto a serving platter. Drizzle with the extra Armagnac if you want to set this beauty on fire, then serve with the Armagnac custard.

Timeline

  • 2 days before

    Salt the fish. Soak the fruit for the pudding.

    The day before

    Smoke the fish and refrigerate. Score the pork loin and tie (if required). Make the pudding.

    The day of serving

    Prepare the ham for glazing. Make the glaze. Cut the vegetables for the pork loin.

    3 hours before serving

    Glaze the ham and set aside at room temperature. Boil the pudding. Make the custard and set aside at room temperature

    1–2 hours before serving

    Check the pudding water. Slice the trout. Begin to roast the pork loin. Check the pudding water.

    To serve

    Check the pudding water. Prepare a platter of smoked trout and serve with your choice of accompaniments. Place the vegetables in the tin with the pork loin. Check the pudding water. Take the ham to the table, slice generously and serve. Remove the pork from the oven. Make the sauce. Slice the pork. Cook the cabbage. Check the pudding water. Serve a generous platter of pork and vegetables. Unmould the pudding, place on a platter and serve at the table with custard. Relax – you’ve earned it.
Tags:
French classics
Farmhouse
rustic
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