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Celebrating local food & drink

I S S U E # 14

Good game Venison recipes, a hint of bison and a guided food tour of the Midlands



Saddle Haunch


Stroll to an award winning country inn Flank

13 Also inside...

The crays Crustacean cuisine!

Pages of restaurant reviews


Turn the oven on and stick another log on the fire P16

A superb game suet pudding from Sean Hope


Keralan cooking to remind you of the beach


Spectacular Scotch eggs, but not as you know them

FESTIVE BOOZE! Duncan Murray’s wine and beer selections


Edible Garden Show preview Northants Food Show pictures Is cheffing a man’s world? Michelin Guide 2013 round-up


Turn to your Great Food Club Map on p64




I’m sad to announce that this is the last issue of Great Food Magazine to be published in its current format. High print costs and strong economic headwinds have conspired to make this publication as it stands (and I stress those three words!) impossible to sustain – despite wonderful feedback and a growing readership. But I’m happy to report that this is not the end for Great Food. Far from it. From now, the focus is on Great Food Club, which is going from strength to strength. Next year we will print an annual guide for Great Food Club members, focusing on the best independent restaurants, pubs, food shops and producers. We’re also planning a Great Food Club app and have plenty of other exciting plans. The printed guide will be an essential handbook for food lovers, and to receive it you need to join Great Food Club – which is currently free. You can sign up quickly and easily at I’d like to thank everyone who has supported this magazine over the past two-and-a-half years, especially our subscribers (to whom we will be writing individually) and our advertisers (likewise). I’m happy to say that our website at will continue to be a hive of activity, offering recipes, reviews, features and more. Enjoy the issue... and join the club!


4 News and Michelin Guide round-up 6 Matt Wright’s Great Eastern Food Tour 10 Glorious game!

THE MAIN EVENT 12 14 16 18 19

Venison Scotch Egg recipe A trip to Bouverie Lodge Sean Hope’s winter dish and cocktail Join the club and get the guide! Full list of Great Food Club offers

SIDE DISHES 20 22 24 26 28 30

The Guyrope Gourmet’s festive recipe Edible Garden Show preview Georgie Mason’s farm shop selections Recipes from Wyldelight Kitchen The Practical Pantry Duncan Murray’s festive booze guide

BACK FOR SECONDS 32 34 38 40

Pictures from the Northants Food Show Keralan recipes Packington Free Range The Crays!

PUDDING 42 Men Only? 44 Fotheringhay pub walk

WHERE TO EAT SECTION and EDITOR & PUBLISHER: Matthew Wright AD SALES: Dawn Kenton and Wendy Turland SUBSCRIPTIONS: 01664 853341 PUBLISHED BY: Rocco Media, 7 Victoria Street, Melton Mowbray, Leics LE13 0AR PRINTED & DISTRIBUTED BY: Warners Midlands plc THANKS TO: All our subscribers and advertisers, PJM, Enzo Jnr,

GW, JW, JM, Enzo Snr, Lisa, Tim Burke, Rupert Rowley, Carmela Hayes, Hazel Paterson, Jack Thorpe, Laura Harvey, Rachel Dorsett, Sheba Promod, John Harris, Shelly Preston, Sean Hope, Georgie Mason, Mark Hughes, Helen Tarver, Mark Hamilton, Josh Sutton, Aldo Zilli and... Rocco the Jack Russell. WEBSITES: @paulbunkham Full Ts & Cs are on our website STOCK PHOTOS: Shutterstock

COVER WATERCOLOUR: Venison, by Graham Wright.

GREAT FOOD CLUB: THE GUIDE – COMING IN 2013 2 Great Food Magazine

46 48 48 50 52 55 56 56 57 58 60 62 64 66

Restaurant News Les Rosbifs, Cold Overton 1774 at the Star Inn, Thrussington Delilah Fine Foods, Nottingham The Olive Grove, Polebrook The Mystery Muncher The Curry Lounge, Nottingham Sage, Castle Donington Ferrari’s Trattoria, Quorn Hart’s, Nottingham Wedding Venue Map Wedding food Great Food Club Map Aldo Zilli recipe

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Discover the best restaurants, food shops and producers... 13 Superb local and save money restaurants reviewed

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The Pheasant at Keyston is one of three new Midlands restaurants to receive a Michelin Bib Gourmand


Small JUST BEER WINS Quirky Newark micropub Just Beer is CAMRA’s East Midlands Pub of the Year 2012. The pub sells only ales – no lager, keg beer or spirits. There are always between four and seven real ales on offer, with at least one brewed within 20 miles of the pub. A cider or perry is also available.

CHEESE SHOP MATURES The Cheese Shop in Nottingham’s Flying Horse Walk has moved into neighbouring premises more than twice its former size. Proprietor Rob Freckingham said the new premises will allow for a greater range of artisan cheeses and deli items, better displayed, and also the addition of a café.

LEVI IN LEICESTER Food entrepreneur Levi Roots was at Leicester Market recently to inspire members of the city’s unique Food Enterprise Workshop. Based in Leicester Market, the Food Enterprise Workshop is a free two-day programme in which would-be food entrepreneurs are given the chance to learn the skills required to develop business plans and strategies.

LOAF COOKERY SCHOOL Birmingham’s food-based social enterprise Loaf has launched its community bakery and cookery school at 1421 Pershore Road, Stirchley. Loaf started as a community bakery where local people commit to a regular investment to purchase bread. The new shop means bread is also now available to all. Signature loaves include rye, white and granary sourdough but there is also a range of European classics.

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Recognition for three new Midlands restaurants


hree new Bib Gourmand awards have been awarded to Midlands pubs and restaurants by the Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland 2013. Bib Gourmands are awarded for “good food at moderate prices” and the new recipients are The Pheasant at Keyston (which recently became a member of Great Food Club), Iberico World Tapas in Nottingham and The Chequers at Gedney Dyke, near Spalding. Elsewhere, Sat Bains retained his two Michelin stars for his eponymous Nottingham restaurant – making him the Midlands’ only double-star chef – while single stars were held by Hambleton Hall in Rutland and Fischer’s at Baslow Hall in Derbyshire (both Great Food Club restaurants). These venues also scored listings in the Good Food Guide’s list of the top 50 British restaurants, with Sat Bains coming in at number three, Fischer’s at 30 and Hambleton Hall at 31. The Birmingham trio of Purnell’s, Turner’s and Simpson’s also retained their Michelin stars, as did the Dining Room at Mallory Court in Leamington Spa, but the Olive Branch in Clipsham (also part of Great Food Club) lost its star after 10 years, having been one of the earliest pub-restaurants to gain a

Inside Nottingham’s Iberico World Tapas

star and being named Pub of the Year in 2008. Co-owner Ben Jones said: “Having a star for 10 years is a great achievement and we will continue to do what we love to the best of our ability.” The Olive Branch’s sister pub The Red Lion at Stathern retained its Bib Gourmand, along with the Red Lion at East Haddon (both Great Food Club members), plus the Berkeley Arms at Wymondham, Jim’s Yard in Stamford, and the Joiner’s Arms in Bruntingthorpe. There was better news for the Olive Branch in the 2013 Good Pub Guide (also see below), in which it was named Leics and Rutland Dining Pub of the Year for the tenth time in eleven years, and sixth best pub in the UK.

2013 Good Pub Guide names county winners The Good Pub Guide 2013 has named its Midlands Dining Pubs of the Year. Derbyshire: The Plough at Hathersage; Lincs: The George of Stamford; Leics & Rutland: The Olive Branch, Clipsham; Northants: The Falcon at Fotheringhay; Notts: The Martin’s Arms at Colston Bassett; Warwicks: The Malt Shovel at Barston.

The Martin’s Arms

For restaurant news, turn to p46 WINNERS ANNOUNCED


Stamford Garden Centre picks up ultra-rare three-star prize


everal local producers have picked up gongs in the Great Taste Awards 2012 (also see p24), with one of the most notable achievements by Stamford Garden Centre – a small, family run business. The Lincolnshire venue, which comprises a farm shop, café/restaurant and garden centre, grabbed a scarce two-star award for its Lincolnshire sausage, and a perfect – and incredibly rare – three-star award for its haslet. “The awards mean we officially make the best Lincolnshire sausages and haslet in the county of Lincolnshire,” said proprietor James Lamb. Elsewhere in the region, only two other producers scooped three-star awards – Derbyshire’s Thornbridge Brewery for its Jaipur IPA and a new brew called Kill Your Darlings; and Warwickshire’s Pershore College for its Organic Cider and Concorde Pear Juice. There were two-star awards for Northfield Farm of Rutland (mutton), Farmer Fear of Mountsorrel (cider), Dickinson & Morris of Melton Mowbray (pork pie), Castle Ashby Smokehouse of Northants (smoked bacon) and Redhill Farm Free Range Pork of Gainsborough (pancetta). One-star winners include Manor Farm Dairy of Thrussington

Local food news

 Rocco Recommends “Excellent places that let me in”


ABOVE: James Lamb at Stamford Garden Centre BELOW: Beers from the Thornbridge range

“When I heard that Berkeley Arms head chef Neil Hitchen had got himself a new black labrador – called Berkeley – I trotted straight down to this rustic inn. I took a seat in the snug – a self-contained room within the pub perfect for private family dining – and ordered myself a pint of Wicked Hathern’s Cockfighter and breast of guinea fowl (the game here is always top drawer). Berkeley popped in and proceeded to brag all evening about the fine food he was getting as pub dog. Typical labrador.” The Berkeley Arms, Main Street, Wymondham, Leics, 01572 787587,

(yoghurt) and The Country Victualler of Nottinghamshire (Alderton ham). The Great Taste Awards are run annually by the Guild of Fine Foods and decided by a team of over 350 judges in blind tasting sessions.

PARSNIPS & PEARS READY TO DELIVER New veg box company launches


veg box company is expanding across Notts and Leics after a successful pilot scheme. Parsnips and Pears sources produce from local farms and has signed up 400 customers in a three-month trial. Owner Sara Barlow said people responded well to the offer of good quality local produce being delivered to the door “without the premium price tag associated with organic boxes”. Sara, from a Vale of Belvoir farming family, said that eating seasonally allows for a more varied diet and helps keep prices competitive compared to a supermarket shop. A large box suitable for a family of up to six for a week costs £16.99.See or order from 0115 8228622.

BBC shortlists local markets

The Midlands has bagged two out of the three shortlist places in the best market category of the prestigious BBC Food and Farming Awards – for Sutton Bonington and Melton Mowbray markets. Sutton Bonington market was set up by Nottingham University students in 2011 and has grown from 11 to 35 stalls, providing rare breed meats and fresh fruit and veg to staff, students and local villagers. “It came from an idea in a pub,” co-founder Emily Boothroyd told Radio 4’s The Food Programme. “There was nowhere for us to go to get local food.” Also shortlisted is the more established twice-weekly Melton Mowbray market at the cattle market site. The third shortlisted farmers’ market is one held in Edinburgh. The winner will be named in late November.

Delectable deli GRANDPA LEW’S The Trading Post is a new city centre shop opened by Derby pie-maker and fine food supplier Lewis Hunt (aka Grandpa Lew – pictured above). Located in Sadlergate, the shop will give “diehard food, drink and travel lovers a place to hang out and meet similar people,” said Lewis. As well as their own produce, the shop stocks local fresh artisan foods and shelf ready products.

Great Food Magazine 5


The magical culinary tour Matt Wright takes a food trip around Leicestershire, Rutland and Lincolnshire…


ies. Tons of them. Over 900, including 50 Melton Mowbray, 40 Beef and Stilton, and one Eel and Chocolate (true). It was while surrounded by these, judging at the 2012 British Pie Awards – held annually in Melton Mowbray – that I started to plan my food road trip of Rutland, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire. So, where to begin? Counterintuitively, with ferrets. After moving to Melton Mowbray six years ago, I was accosted – jollily – by a chap walking one on a lead. The incident occurred

near to the town sign welcoming visitors to ‘The Rural Capital of Food’, so this is where we’ll start.

Amazing market I mention the ferret because the owner acquired it from the town’s extraordinary weekly farmers’ market. This ancient town centre institution – location of the East Midlands Food Festival – offers the food

shopping equivalent of a double chilli vodka. Where supermarkets dull the senses, Melton market slaps you around the cheeks. A collection of huge open barns, up to 6,000 sheep and 300 cattle are sold here weekly via farmers’ mysterious hand signals. It’s not just livestock – also on sale are pies, cheese, meat, honey, fish and veg. But my favourite part is the Fur and Feather auction, where you can buy a brace of pheasant for around £1.60, or a freshly shot hare for £3. Waitrose this

Old school

Sheep are bought and sold at Melton’s famous Tuesday market

Pubs to visit... THE EXETER ARMS, BARROWDEN, RUTLAND Classic village-pub-next-toduckpond, which also has its own microbrewery that sometimes brews ‘Own Gear’ – beer brewed with hops grown in the garden., 01572 747247 THE TOBIE NORRIS, STAMFORD, LINCS Brilliantly refurbished old bell foundry (owned by a Mr Tobias Norris in the 17th century) serving great real ales and delicious thincrust pizzas., 01780 753800 BERKELEY ARMS, WYMONDHAM, LEICS Traditional country pub offering good beer and outstanding seasonal food. Locals often donate ingredients to head chef/ proprietor Neil Hitchen., 01572 787587

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Berkeley Arms

Located in Wymondham and well worth a visit

Game and more

Not only are cattle traded at Melton market, you can also buy mushrooms, game and much more at the auctions

ain’t – it feels like stepping back in time. You can even buy a live ferret if you so desire. Stick your pheasants in the boot: we’re heading north into the Vale of Belvoir. As you drive, look for numerous Long Clawson Dairy signs marking farm entrances. Clawson Dairy, in the heart of the Vale, is a farmers’ co-operative and is the largest producer of Stilton in the world. It makes 6,700 tonnes of cheese a year using 58 million litres of milk from 42 herds, all grazed within 25 miles.

Belle vue The Vale of Belvoir is beautiful, a prime example being Eastwell village with its tiny, ancient church and rugged farm shop, where farmer Alan Hewson can be found behind the counter making pies, faggots and sausages. When I travel from Eastwell to Stathern, home of the excellent Red Lion Inn – the perfect rural pub – I love the way the entire Vale unfurls before you, a tablecloth of lush green fields. The ideal drop to drink while taking in this view would be Blue Brew from Belvoir Brewery, Old Dalby – an ale that uses Stilton whey in the brewing process.

To the fens... Onwards to Lincolnshire. Heading east from Leicestershire, through Rutland and into Lincs, I’m always taken aback by how quickly the atmosphere changes. Rolling hills

Clawson cattle

42 herds of cows grazed within 25 miles of Long Clawson supply 58 million litres of milk every year to the village’s Stilton dairy

vanish, the sky lengthens, dykes appear by road sides and fields fill with sugar beet, cabbages and barley. It’s flat, occasionally eerie and sometimes strangely beautiful. In south Lincs lie acres of English mustard fields. For at least 200 years, the flatlands here have produced almost the entire English mustard crop, supplying Colman’s since 1814. While visiting this area recently, a local grower called George Hoyles told me an amazing tale. “When the Pilgrim Fathers set sail from Boston, Lincs in 1623 to discover America, they used to pray six times a day,” he said. “They took mustard seed because, as the bible says, it is the smallest, fastest growing seed. Whenever they prayed they threw down seed so they could retrace their footsteps. These mustard trails can still be picked up by satellite photography today.”

Belvoir bangers

These sausages were home made at Eastwell Farm Shop in the heart of the Vale of Belvoir

Local ale

Belvoir Brewery makes beer at Old Dalby, Leicestershire

Where to stay – B&Bs... STONEPITS FARM, WYCOMB, LEICS Smallholding in pretty village with rare Visit Britain Gold Award that rears much of its own meat, bakes its own organic bread and makes home-made jams., 01664 444597

VILLAGE LIMITS, WOODHALL SPA, LINCS Regular winner of Taste of Lincolnshire’s Best Bed & Breakfast Award and renowned for its excellent breakfasts, sourcing produce from around the county., 01526 353312

BEECH HOUSE, CLIPSHAM, RUTLAND The bed and breakfast part of award-winning country pub The Olive Branch. Named best in the UK by Good Hotel Guide 2012. Luxurious rooms and superb food., 01780 410355

Great Food Magazine 7


‘‘ T he entire Vale unfurls before you – a tablecloth of fields”

Burrough on the Hill

Pork pies and stuffed chine How did Melton’s association with pork pies come about? Well, in a nutshell, good grazing land led to lots of milk, which led to Stilton. The waste product of Stilton is whey – good pig food. When foxhunting became fashionable in the 19th century, hunters flocked to Leicestershire and Rutland because of its fine sport, and wanted snacks for eating on the hoof. Bakers wrapped seasoned pork in pastry and packed it with jelly. They sold like hot cakes… STUFFED CHINE Once a Lincs staple, this comprises cured pork and parsley, writes Hazel Paterson. Families in rural Lincs used to keep a pig or two and would cure the meat to last into spring. Stuffed chine was traditionally served when the May Hiring Fair was in town (an outdoor employment exchange), and the largest chine was saved for christenings – a row of parsley in a garden was often the sign a baby was on the way. Hambleton Farms, whose HQ is in Mareham-le-Fen, Lincs, still makes stuffed chine in the traditional way.

8 Great Food Magazine

This historic Leicestershire settlement is in the middle of some great walking country and is also home to the Parish Brewery

The Lincs coast We’re now venturing north-east to the Lincolnshire coast, above the Wash. On the salt marsh at Kirton Skeldyke near Boston sprouts samphire. I used to think the land felt barren out here, but during one samphire hunt last year, I looked more closely to discover a salt marsh humming with life and transmitting strange tranquility, its lifeforms and vistas ebbing and flowing with the tide. Samphire in the bag, what to serve it with? There can be few more authentic Fenland ingredients than smoked wild eel, traditionally trapped in Lincolnshire’s rivers and estuaries. Just above Boston, at Friskney, is Smith’s Smokery – and there’s nowhere better to get your smoked eel. Further north, the coastline from Anderby Creek to Skegness comprises mile after mile of golden sand – a beautiful place for blanket and hamper, but don’t expect shops or pubs. Continue north beyond Skegness, dip inland to Alford and a surprise

awaits. Cheese is not associated with Lincolnshire, but the county produces three stunners. Near Alford graze cows whose milk is fermented into Lincolnshire Poacher – a hard, fruity, nutty Cheddar-like cheese. A few miles north-west is Osgodby, home of Cote Hill Blue – one of my favourites – sometimes referred to as British Roquefort. And a little further south at Wragby, award-winning goats’ cheese is made at Goatwood Dairy – a relative newcomer to the cheese scene.

Cafes and restaurants to explore... MISS B’S, MELTON MOWBRAY, LEICS Featured in the AA’s Perfect Places for Afternoon Tea, and received a rare Award of Excellence in the 2012 Tea Guild Awards. Perfect for vintage afternoon tea., 01664 481625

LINFORDS, MARKET DEEPING, LINCS Linfords serves the best fish and chips in the East of England, according to the 2012 National Fish & Chip Awards. Gluten-free options are available too. www.linfordsfishandchips., 01778 347970

CASTLE COTTAGE CAFÉ, OAKHAM, RUTLAND Pretty little café hidden away behind All Saints’ Church in Oakham. This is a great spot for coffee and breakfast, including a superb Rutland Sausage Sandwich., 01572 757952

Food shops to check out... sausages, black pudding and pork steaks are widely regarded as some of Britain’s best., 01427 628270

FARM SHOP: FARNDON FIELDS, MARKET HARBOROUGH, LEICS It all started in 1983 when Kevin and Milly Stokes opened a small shop in the garage of their 250acre farm. Now one of Britain’s biggest and best farm shops. www.farndonfieldsfarmshop., 01858 464 838

BAKER: HAMBLETON BAKERY, EXTON, RUTLAND Artisan bread and more baked in a woodfired oven powered by logs from nearby forests. Its ‘Local Loaf’ uses flour from Whissendine Windmill and beer barm from Grainstore Brewery, Oakham., 01572 812995

BUTCHER: REDHILL FARM FREE RANGE PORK, GAINSBOROUGH, LINCS Pork only, but what pork! Redhill Farm is a pioneer of high-welfare outdoor pig farming, and its

Farndon Fields

Located in Market Harborough and one of our best farm shops

Lincs Poacher

A delicious cheese made in Alford, Lincolnsshire

Hambleton Bakery A Rutland institution, which bakes in the village of Exton

A special town Before we leave Lincolnshire, we must cram in Market Rasen, which recently became one of Mary Portas’s Pilot Towns. This town of 5,000 is also home to Sunnyside Up Farm Shop, famous for Lincoln Red beef, a native cattle breed that produces sublime steaks. What should you serve with your Lincoln Red? I’d go for a local beer every time – try Marquis from Sarah Barton’s Brewsters Brewery of Grantham. Suitably refreshed, it’s south to Stamford – in Lincolnshire but on the edge of Rutland. I grew up in this town and it is best summed up by three very noble things: church spires, old stone buildings and pubs. While there, do visit the Tobie Norris, an outstanding and brilliantly restored boozer that dates back to 1280.

In parvo multum It would be wrong to end this food trip without venturing into Rutland, England’s smallest county but packer of a weighty food punch. In the north of the county spins Whissendine Windmill, run by (and personally restored by) one of the food world’s true characters – miller Nigel Moon. Born in the wrong era by several hundred years, Nigel stonegrinds flour and sells some of it to Hambleton Bakery, which bakes

CAFFE ITALIA BISTRO, MELTON MOWBRAY Tucked away down Melton’s prettiest street, near St Mary’s Church, this delightful venue offers good, unpretentious Italian cooking. Evening dining on Fridays and Saturdays only., 01664 561777

Whissendine Windmill

Restored and run by Nigel Moon (left)

award-winning breads and cakes – including its famous Rutland loaf – in a giant oven in Exton. But for me Rutland is all about great country pubs. For truly local cooking, The King’s Arms in Wing is hard to beat. Run by James Goss, who has a small smokehouse out the back where he smokes everything from Rutland trout to Mangalitza pork from nearby Chater Valley Farm, it’s a hidden gem. Then there’s The Exeter Arms,

THE CHOMELEY ARMS, BURTON LE COGGLES Much-loved pub and restaurant run by ex-butcher John Berry, who has recently opened a farm shop next door. Situated near the beautiful Easton Walled Gardens., 01476 550 225

Barrowden, notable for its microbrewery. There are many more (the truly excellent Olive Branch, The Jackson Stops, The Fox and Hounds at Exton…) but we can’t mention Rutland without referring to The Grainstore of Oakham, which brews great beers and is also a brewery tap. A rough-aroundthe-edges sort of place, I enjoy dipping into the bowls of nuts that pepper the bar and sipping a pint or two of Ten Fifty. Rutland is also good for pies, with Northfield Farm of Cold Overton and Hambleton Fine Foods of Oakham all making crackers. But now we’re back to the British Pie Awards, and I’m getting sweaty palms and flashbacks. Our food tour must end here.Q

Lastly don’t miss... King’s Arms

Country pub serving good food in Wing, Rutland

THE OLIVE BRANCH, CLIPSHAM A divine combination of friendly country pub – serving classic and unpretentious pub food – and top quality cooking. Eating on the terrace as the sun sets takes some beating., 01780 410355

PUB WALK: BURROUGH ON THE HILL, LEICESTERSHIRE Start at Thorpe Satchville, home of The Fox Inn. Walk to Burrough on the Hill, where you’ll find Grant’s pub and Parish Brewery. Walk up Burrough Hill before returning to Thorpe Satchville. DODDINGTON HALL & GARDENS, LINCOLNSHIRE 16th century house with gardens, farm shop, restaurant and café. The gardens produce salads, herbs and vegetables, which are used in regular cooking demos. NOTE: This is an edited version of a feature by Matt Wright published in the September 2012 issue of Countryfile Magazine

Great Food Magazine 9


Glorious game!

We visit top chef Rupert Rowley to see him get creative with game


upert Rowley is the Michelinstarred head chef at Derbyshire hotel restaurant Fischer’s at Baslow Hall, located near Chatsworth. In addition, he runs gastro-pub Rowley’s – also in the village of Baslow – which he part owns with Baslow Hall proprietors Max and Susan Fischer. Rupert learnt his trade at Sheffield College, where he now occasionally teaches, before securing a placement at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire. Stints followed with John Burton-Race at L’ortolan in Reading, then with Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, before he returned to his native region of Derbyshire/ Yorkshire and joined Baslow Hall in 2002. Fischer’s – one of Britain’s “most romantic” hotels according to the Condé Nast Johansens Guide – has a fine reputation for game cooking. Its autumn and winter menus feature venison, teal, quail, grouse, partridge and more. Served with the game are fantastic seasonal ingredients that have often been freshly picked from Baslow Hall’s kitchen garden and woods before being combined creatively. “We use lots of produce from the grounds,” says Rupert. “Our gardener Terry Wilson harvests wild garlic, woodruff, wild strawberries, lemon verbena, sweet cicely, courgette flowers, kohlrabi, and more.” The kitchen garden to the rear of Fischer’s at Baslow Hall

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Game on Rupert Rowley at work cooking venison in the kitchen at Baslow Hall. “I love game because it represents a change from the flavours of summer to those of autumn and winter,” he says.

“I really enjoy game because it represents a change from the flavours of summer to those of autumn and winter,” says Rupert. “We serve our game with things like pickled blackberries, burnt aubergine purée, grilled cucumber and damson jelly spiked with gin. We try to come up with fresh angles on classic flavours and use old cook books as well as social media like Twitter and Facebook to get inspiration and share new ideas.” Fischer’s main game supplier is Yorkshire Game ( “I’ve found them to be really good,” says Rupert.

A classic winter scene

“Lots of butchers will give you defrosted frozen meat but with Yorkshire Game it’s always fresh. Our local plumber also brings us woodpigeons – they’re great because you can literally pull the skin and feathers off rather than pluck. People do bring locally shot pheasants and rabbits to our door but we’re so flat out and the plucking takes so long that we often can’t take them.” Things aren’t going to get any quieter for Rupert either – he’s expecting twins this December. The dishes on the right are currently on Fischer’s at Baslow Hall’s Taste of Britain menu and provide a good insight into Rupert’s cooking. “They’re a bit modern, a bit classical, and I think the flavours work beautifully THE BIG together. If you can, cook GREEN EGG Rupert is a fan of his Big the aubergine in the Green Egg ceramic barbecue venison recipe over coals as it enables him to give all – we use a Big Green Egg sorts of foods a beautiful smoky flavour. See www. barbecue (see left) – to for give it a smoky flavour.” Q more


Recipe #1

Amazing flavours and deceptively simple to make

Venison Loin with Charred Aubergine Puree and Kofta Venison as you’ve never tried it Serves 4 4 x 150g venison loin steaks Kofta * 400g minced venison * Small piece of cinnamon bark * 2 cloves garlic, crushed * Freshly cut coriander * 20g cumin * 1 star anise Charred aubergine * 4 aubergines * 100ml olive oil Griddled cucumber * 1 cucumber

To make the charred aubergine 1 Slice the aubergines in half lengthways and season the flesh with salt. 2 Place flesh-side down on to a barbecue grill or chargrill and leave until flesh is fully black. 3 The aubergines should be cooked through, although if not, give them a couple of minutes on the skin side. 4 Purée in the thermomix and add the oil.

To make the kofta 1 Toast the spices in a dry pan and grind to a fine powder. 2 Mix all the ingredients together and shape into small balls. To make the griddled cucumber 1 Slice the cucumber into long slices about 2mm thick. 2 Lightly season with salt and place

directly onto the hottest part of a griddle and leave until the slices start to char on the edges. 3 Remove from the heat. To cook the venison 1 Pan fry the venison in foaming butter until it is medium rare. Arrange all the items as per the photograph and serve.

Recipe #2

A sushi-inspired partridge dish with classic damson undertones

Tempura of partridge with damson jelly Britain meets Japan Serves 4

* 4 partridge breasts * Pack of nori seaweed sheets Tempura batter * 100g flour * 100g cornflour * 20g baking powder Damson jelly * 350g damson juice * 100g damson gin * 50g stock syrup * 3 gelatine leaves Toasted seeds and grains * 50g pinhead oats * 50g oats * 10g sesame seeds * 20g sunflower seeds * 20g pumpkin seeds * 10g fennel seeds * 10g black onion seeds * 1 tbsp honey Pine nut purée * 200g pine nuts * 50g whipping cream

To make the tempura batter 1 Add enough cold water to the mixed flour, cornflour and baking powder to make a batter. To make the damson jelly 1 Warm the liquids and add the gelatine, stir until dissolved and set in a bowl.

To cook the seeds and grains 1 Roast in a hot pan until lightly toasted then add the honey and stir. Leave to cool on a tray. To make the pine nut purée 1 Lightly toast the pine nuts in the oven, then purée in a thermomix with the cream and pass through a sieve.

To deep-fry the partridge breasts 1 Wrap the partridge breasts in nori seaweed and lightly coat in the tempura batter. 2 Deep fry at 190°C for four minutes. 3 Plate as per the photo and garnish with seasonal leaves and edible flowers. Great Food Magazine 11



Phil Kent’s mini venison Scotch eggs Phil Kent is the 23-year-old head chef at The Bull & Swan in Stamford, Lincolnshire. Here he shares what has rapidly become his signature dish – a great twist on a classic Phil Kent is a young chef with a bright future. He started his career as a kitchen porter at Bishopstrow Hotel and Spa in Wiltshire, before moving to The Royal Crescent in Bath, where he swiftly moved up the ranks. He then

joined Hillbrooke Hotels and moved to Stamford as head chef at the group’s Bull and Swan pub, where his hard work in the kitchen is pulling in the punters. Phil’s dishes are varied and creative, using plenty of local ingredients. “I’m

learning about all the local producers,” he says. “I love Lincolnshire Poacher cheese and I’m a big fan of Grasmere Farm pork.” Speaking of which, if your arteries can take it, try his deep-fried pork belly with apple sauce. Amazing.

Makes six mini eggs

* 200g venison mince * 30g shallots, finely chopped * 1 garlic clove, finely chopped * 2 sprigs of thyme, finely chopped * 1 pinch garam masala * 6 quail eggs * Salt & pepper * 20g plain white flour * 60g panko bread crumbs * 2 large free range eggs, beaten

“Lightly coat your quails’ eggs in plain white flour”

1 Place a pan of warm water on the stove and bring to the boil. Place the quail eggs into the water and boil for two minutes exactly. 2 Remove from the heat and drop your quail eggs straight into ice cold water, then run under a cold tap for a further four minutes. Once cool, carefully peel the eggs and put them into the fridge while you prepare your venison mince. 3 In a large mixing bowl, place the venison mince, shallots, garlic, thyme and garam masala. Mix well and season. Form your venison mix into 30g ‘pancakes’, compacting well to ensure the mix is not too thin. 4 Lightly coat the quail eggs in plain flour and place into the centre of the venison ‘pancake’. Wrap the venison mix all the way around the eggs. 5 Lightly coat your venison Scotch eggs in plain white flour again, followed by your beaten free range eggs, and then bread crumbs. Complete this process a second time using only your egg wash and bread crumbs. 6 Drop the Scotch eggs into a deep fat fryer until golden, and then cook in a pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 4 (180C) for three minutes. 7 Serve warm with English mustard and a crispy mixed leaf salad. Small but beautiful

CONTACT The Bull and Swan at Burghley, St Martins, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 2LJ, 01780 766412,

12 Great Food Magazine

Great Food Magazine 00


THE FULL WORKS Few farms raise, slaughter, butcher and sell on site. Venison and bison farm Bouverie Lodge does it all...

Some of the 150 bison at Bouverie Lodge


y choice or otherwise, farmers Ruth and George Wakeling tend to take the path less travelled. The married couple run Bouverie Lodge, a bison and venison farm near Nether Broughton, Leicestershire. Their bison herd, at 150 head, is almost certainly the largest in Britain. And these native American beasts are observed from separate fields – no doubt with the occasional raised eyebrow, or antler – by 300 organically farmed deer. It’s fair to say that running a 210-acre bison and venison farm isn’t a walk in the park, especially when you also grow the animals’ winter feed, plus slaughter (with the help of a trained rifleman), butcher and sell your meat on site. Then there are markets and food events to attend – Ruth is the driving force behind West Bridgford Farmers’ Market in Nottingham – plus PR and marketing to think about. It is labour intensive and challenging. But what Ruth and George have to show for their toil is near total self-sufficiency, plus the satisfaction of farming ethically

14 Great Food Magazine

and producing and selling spectacularly good meat. The couple moved to their farmhouse 12 years ago when it was in need of serious work and surrounded by overgrown fields. “Restoring the house and getting the land up to scratch has been a huge project,” says Ruth. “When we arrived, there was no hot water, no bathroom, no toilet – it was horrendous.” Undeterred, they got on with the task at hand and named their new abode Bouverie Lodge – the house was originally a hunting lodge built by land-owning aristocrats the Pleydell-Bouverie family. But to add to their list of challenges, at the same time they decided to invest in six bison and a herd of deer.

Enter the bison “I was fed up with the bureaucracy surrounding cattle,” says George, who before taking on the bison was a dairy and then a beef farmer in Nether Broughton. “BSE meant the government went crazy with rules and regulations – which was understandable but made things very


Bison and venison are two of the lowest-fat, lowest-cholesterol meats you can eat.

George and Ruth Wakeling with Wodjit the dog

At one point there were just 1000 bison left in the world, although the figure is now much higher. Bison are slaughtered at Bouverie Lodge at about 30 months old. The skull of a bison is six times thicker than that of a cow and they must be shot with a special rifle.

tough.” George and Ruth decided to “get out of the beef industry rat race”. George explains: “Farming is about food and food is about customers. As farmers in the UK we traditionally focus on methods of production rather than quality and taste. I think farming should be more about selling – about offering high quality produce to customers. Beef production isn’t set up like that, so I needed to do

Bouverie Lodge

Ruth Wakeling with Stanley the deer

The farm shop

Next door to the farmhouse at Nether Broughton is Bouverie Lodge’s farm shop (pictured above and below), which sells prime cuts of venison and bison.

Deer meets bison In a field behind Bouverie Lodge are Stanley and

Ethel the deer, and one bison – they are Ruth and George’s show animals, and are much loved by their bed and breakfast guests. And by Wodgit the farm terrier (right).

something different. We also wanted to sell directly rather than rely on wholesale.” George was aware of health concerns surrounding eating too much red meat and one day he read a newspaper article on American Park Rangers who go out in the wild and live off the land. “They were eating bison, deer and other wild meat and tests showed they were incredibly healthy for it,” he says. A plan was formed and George contacted the American Bison Association, which in turn put them in touch with the British Bison Association. “We discovered that someone in Wiltshire was selling a herd of six bison, and the rest is history,” says Ruth. That’s when the fun really started, because to keep bison you need a dangerous wild animals licence, and the local council – more at home with pigs and sheep – was far from quick in issuing one. Twelve months later – with metres of red tape untangled – the licence was granted. “We had to move our first six bison from a barn to a field some distance away,” recalls Ruth. “We were going to have a rifleman on site just in case but one Friday morning – it was misty

and murky – we decided to crack on unaided. After opening the barn door, five bison came bounding out like huge March hares. The last stayed put. After a bit, he came rampaging out with a 12ft gate stuck on his head. Instead of going round it, he had gone straight through!” Ruth and George’s tales of dealing with rutting stags and feisty bison are manifold. “We once tried to get Jasper – our fantastic cattle dog – to round up a stubborn bison,” says Ruth. “After persuading Jasper that this was in fact part of his job description, he walked closer to his target and looked the bison square in the eyes. The bison returned his gaze. Then the bison’s tail went up – that’s when you know you’ve got to move – and Jasper turned and ran back to the 4x4, jumped through the open passengerside window and sat on the seat, refusing to budge.” Another challenge of farming bison surrounds animal health. “They are susceptible to viruses carried by domestic farm animals,”

“Bouverie Lodge was named one of The Telegraph’s 50 best food shops outside London”

There are around 300 deer kept on the farm.

says George. “Sheep carry a bug that lies dormant in them but is deadly to bison – in fact we have to pay a neighbouring farm simply not to keep sheep.” However, things are looking up because Bouverie Lodge has developed a relationship with the University of Nottingham’s vetinary school at Sutton Bonington, and students are studying bison as part of their coursework, which is uncovering crucial facts.

Hard work pays off

CONTACT Bouverie Lodge, Nether Broughton, Melton Mowbray, Leics LE14 3EX, 01664 822114,

Twelve years after moving to Bouverie Lodge and taking on the deer and bison, it’s clear that Ruth and George have had to work very hard to get to where they are today. They have faced challenge after challenge. But their graft is paying off – in October 2012, Bouverie Lodge was named one of The Telegraph’s 50 best food shops outside London. Why not drop into their farm shop and try the fruits of their labour? Q

Great Food Magazine 15



Sean Hope cooks... T

A comforting venison dish and a Christmassy cocktail

hese recipes are from Sean Hope, head chef and proprietor of two awardwinning local pubs: The Olive Branch in Clipsham, Rutland, and The Red Lion Inn in Stathern, Leicestershire. We asked Sean for some ideas that would warm us up during the winter months.

To make the venison filling 1 Sear the diced venison in a hot frying pan and seal to golden brown in the oil. Place the venison in a large casserole dish and dust with the flour. 2 In the same pan you used for the venison, fry the carrots, onion and garlic until golden brown, then also add to the casserole dish. 3 Deglaze the frying pan with the vinegar and port, then add the liquid to the casserole. Also add the crushed juniper berries, bay leaf, tomato paste and stock. 4 Mix all ingredients well, then place a lid on the dish and cook slowly in a preheated oven at 100°C for 4-5 hours, until the meat is tender. 5 Remove casserole from the oven and allow to cool before stirring in the fresh chopped tarragon and spooning the meat into the suet moulds (see below).

Christmas cocktail

During festivities there is always a bottle of Advocaat knocking about. It rarely gets drunk, then sits in the cupboard for years, going crusty around the top. But no longer. Here’s a delicious cocktail that brings out the best in the Dutch liqueur.

Blackberry, apples & custard Makes one drink

* 50ml blackberry vodka

(steep blackberries in vodka for at least a week) * 25ml Belvoir Blackberry and Apple cordial * 25ml Advocaat * Apple juice and soda water 1 Simply shake the ingredients together and pour into a tall glass full of ice. Then top up with half apple juice and half soda. Beats a snowball

Venison suet pudding with chocolate sauce Serves 4 For the suet pastry * 400g self-raising flour * 200g beef or vegetable suet * Salt & freshly cracked black pepper * Ice cold water For the venison filling * 650g diced venison shoulder (approximately 2cm cubes) * 50g plain flour * 2 tbsp rapeseed oil * 2 carrots * 1 onion, peeled and diced * 1 tbsp tomato puree * 3 juniper berries, crushed * 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped * 1 glass port * 1 litre chicken or game stock * 1 bay leaf * 30g unsalted butter * 1 tbsp chopped tarragon * 1 tsp sherry vinegar For the chocolate sauce * 1 shallot, peeled, finely chopped * 1 garlic clove, finely chopped * Knob of butter * 1 sprig of thyme * 300ml dark chicken stock * 100ml reduced beef/ veal stock (glacé) * 150ml Madeira wine * 1 tbsp good quality dark chocolate (90%), finely grated

16 Great Food Magazine

To make the suet puddings 1 Mix all the dry ingredients together well and then add the water gradually, to form a firm paste. 2 Roll out the pastry to approximately 2mm thickness on a floured surface. 3 You will need four 175ml dariole moulds. To line the moulds, cut out four 6cm diameter discs of pastry. For the tops you will need four 4cm diameter discs. 4 Rub the inside of the moulds with butter, then dust with flour and line with the pastry, before filling with the cooked venison and a little chocolate sauce (see below). 5 Egg wash the top of the suet and seal the pudding before cooking in a steamer for around 40 minutes. 6 Remove puddings from the steamer and allow to stand for five minutes before turning out and serving with the chocolate sauce (see below). To make the chocolate sauce 1 Fry off the shallot and garlic in a drizzle of oil. 2 Add the thyme and stocks, then bring to the boil and reduce by half. 3 Add the Madeira wine to refresh the sauce, then strain. 4 To finish the sauce, gently heat and whisk in the grated dark chocolate.

Best in Britain Countryside/Farm Business 2012 Visit our Farm Shop or find us at Farmers’ Markets in and around Lincolnshire where we are known as The Stall with the queue!

See our new website or phone for more details Shop Opening Times Thur & Fri 9-5, Sat 9-3 t. 01427 628270 Redhill Farm Blyton Carr Gainsborough Lincs DN21 3DT

Christmas Parties Christmas Festivities at All Saints’ Hotels Christmas Party Lunch – The Crown from £16.50 to £20.95 per person, The Exeter Arms from £16.95 to £21.00 per person and The White Hart at £22.00 per person. Christmas Party Dinner – The Crown from £19.95 to £24.50 per person, The Exeter Arms at £25.00 per person and The White Hart at £25.00 per person Christmas Day – All venues Champagne on arrival and four course lunch at £75.00 per person Boxing Day – The Crown Festive à la carte, The Exeter Arms Festive à la carte, home comforts and pizza menu and The White Hart Festive à la carte and home comforts New Year’s Eve – The Crown Champagne on arrival and four course dinner and dance £69.50 per person. The Exeter Arms & The Whit Hart Champagne on arrival and three course dinner and house party £35.00 per person New Year’s Day – Back to normal! The Crown & White Hart à la carte menu and home comforts. The Exeter Arms à la carte menu, home comforts and pizza menu Christmas party rates are dependant on the day of the week.

     Christmas Opening Hours Open 7 days a week from 3-24 December 22 & 23 December, 8am to 6.30pm Christmas Eve, 8am to 2pm 25, 26 & 27 closed 28, 29, 30 & 31, open 9am to 4pm 1 January closed 2 January open as normal

Wednesday 7 November Festive Food Fair, 11am to 6pm earn double loyalty points, win a Christmas dinner and taste magnificent festive food all day long.

Sunday 2 December


Festive Extravaganza, 10am to 4pm, Superb whilst you local indulge in Christmas delights, join us to hear the restaurants band playing Christmas carols and be inspired reviewed with Christmas gift ideas. Purchase on either day with this advert and receive a FREE shopping bag.

To make a booking call 01780 763136 and ask for Sally.

To make a booking call 01780 756321 and ask for Anna or Linda.

To make a booking call 01780 740250 and ask for Matthew.

All Saints’ Place, Stamford, PE9 2AG t. 01780 763136

21 Stamford Road, Easton on the Hill, PE9 3NS t. 01780 756321

Main Street, Ufford, Stamford, PE9 3BH t. 01780 740250

For all enquiries please contact the relevant establishment, details of which are above. All Saints’ Hotels Ltd. All Saints’ Place, Stamford, PE9 2AG t. 01780 763136

0115 966 5666 Southwell Road Gonalston Nottinghamshire NG14 7DR


GREAT FOOD CLUB Join – FREE – to discover the best places and save money STEP 1:


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Use your membership card to claim offers at these carefully chosen places


In 2013 receive a printed copy of Great Food Club: The Guide – showcasing the best restaurants, pubs and food shops. Use it as your local food and drink handbook

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Enjoy offers from superb restaurants and more: BARNSDALE LODGE, Oakham: 10% OFF DINNER, excluding Sat – 01572 724678 BAT & BOTTLE (WINE), Oakham: 7 BOTTLES FOR 6 on Fri only – 01572 759735 BOBOLI, Kibworth Harcourt: 25% OFF LUNCH Mon-Fri and dinner Sun-Thur – 0116 2793303 BOUVERIE LODGE VENISON AND BISON FARM, Nether Broughton: 10% OFF MEAT – 01664 822114 BRADY’S FISH & SEAFOOD MARKET, Leicester: 10% OFF FISH – 0116 3198363 CHOCOLATE ALCHEMY, Loughborough: 10% OFF CHOCOLATE WORKSHOPS – 01509 238113 THE COUNTRY VICTUALLER, Newark: 10% OFF phone orders – 01636 636465 THE CURRY LOUNGE, Nottingham: 2 MAINS FOR THE PRICE OF 1 – 0115 9418844 THE CROWN, Stamford: Have a starter and a main and get DESSERT FREE Mon-Thu – 01780 763136 DUNCAN MURRAY WINES, Market Harborough: 10% OFF on Thur – 01858 464935 ENTROPY, Leicester: 25% OFF at any time – 0116 2259650 EVERARDS BREWERY SHOP, Leicester: 10% OFF ALL ITEMS – 0116 2014100 THE EXETER ARMS, Easton on the Hill: Have a starter and main and get DESSERT FREE Mon-Thu – 01780 740250 FIRENZE, Kibworth Beauchamp: 25% OFF LUNCH Tue-Sat and dinner Tue-Thur – 0116 2796260 FISCHER’S AT BASLOW HALL, Baslow: BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE AND BOX OF HANDMADE CHOCOLATES IN YOUR ROOM ON ARRIVAL WHEN YOU STAY SUNDAY TO THURSDAY – 01246 583259 FOSSE MEADOWS FARM, Lutterworth: 10% OFF free range chickens – 01455 202702 FLITTERISS PARK FARM, Oakham: 10% OFF locally reared meat – 01572 722266 GONALSTON FARM SHOP, Gonalston: 10% OFF on Tue and Wed – 0115 9665666 GOURMET SPICE CO., Weldon (online company): 10% OFF – HAMBLETON BAKERY, Exton, Oakham, Stamford: FREE jute bag or loaf when you spend over £10 – 01572 812995 HAMBLETON HALL, Hambleton: FREE GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE WITH DINNER FOR TWO, OR ROOM UPGRADE SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY – 01572 756991 HAMMER & PINCERS, Wymeswold: 20% OFF a la carte menu – 01509 880735 HARTINGTONS SCHOOL OF FOOD, Bakewell: 10% OFF ALL COURSES – 01629 888586 HART’S OF NOTTINGHAM: 10% OFF a la carte menu Mon-Fri – 0115 9881900 HOTEL MAIYANGO, Leicester: 3 COURSES FOR THE PRICE OF 2 and a complementary welcome drink, Mon-Thur only, or free glass of wine at lunch – 0116 2518898 THE JACKSON STOPS, Stretton: 10% OFF food Tue-Fri and Sat lunch – 01780 410237 JOHNNY PUSZTAI at JT Beedhams, Sherwood: FREE LB OF SAUSAGES on first visit only – 0115 960590 THE KING’S ARMS AT WING: 15% OFF Mon-Fri, 12-2pm – 01572 737634 LAKE ISLE, Uppingham: 3 COURSES FOR THE PRICE OF 2 – 01572 822951 LANGAR HALL, Langar: FREE GLASS OF WINE per diner for up to six people per card – 01949 860559 THE MARTIN’S ARMS, Colston Bassett: 10% OFF food at any time – 01949 81361 THE MELTON CHEESEBOARD, Melton Mowbray: 15% OFF – 01664 562257 THE OLIVE BRANCH, Clipsham: FREE ROUND OF COUNTRY COCKTAILS – 01780 410355 OTTERS SMOKEHOUSE & DELI, Oakham: 10% OFF cheese and meats – 01572 756481 PERKINS RESTAURANT, Plumtree: 10% OFF a la carte menu Mon-Fri – 0115 9373695 THE PHEASANT, Keyston: 15% OFF THE FOOD BILL Tue-Fri lunch and dinner – 01832 710241 PICKLED VILLAGE, Bulwick: 4 JARS FOR THE PRICE OF 3 – 01780 450774 REDHILL FARM FREE RANGE PORK, Gainsborough: 10% OFF at farm shop/markets – 01427 628270 THE RED LION at East Haddon: 10% OFF food – 01604 770223 THE RED LION at Stathern: 10% OFF food – 01949 860868 RIVERFORD, Sacrewell: 10% OFF your first four phone orders – 01780 789700 RSC’S ROOFTOP RESTAURANT, Stratford-upon-Avon: 10% OFF evening dining – 01789 403449 SCHOOL OF ARTISAN FOOD, Welbeck: 10% OFF COURSES – 01909 532171 SHIRES COOKERY SCHOOL, East Haddon: 10% OFF day courses – 01604 621640 UP TO SIMPLY SIMON’S DELI, Market Harborough: 10% OFF Mon-Thur – 01858 440964 STAPLEFORD PARK, near Melton Mowbray: 10% OFF food Sun-Thur – 01572 787000 OFF THE THREE HORSESHOES, Breedon: 10% OFF Mon-Fri – 01332 695129 THE TOLLEMACHE ARMS, Buckminster: 10% OFF FOOD – 01476 860477 TORI & BEN’S FARM, Diseworth: 10% OFF locally reared meat – 07884 112812 THE WHITE HART, Ufford: Have a starter and a main and get DESSERT FREE Mon-Thu – 01780 740250 YE OLDE PORK PIE SHOPPE, Melton Mowbray: £5 OFF Great Food Club hamper – 01664 482068


Great Food Magazine 19



As camp as Christmas

Cold outside? Who cares when al fresco cooking is this much fun


have a growing collection of cookery books and tomes about food in general. One to which I often turn for inspiration is Contemporary Cookery, a collection of ‘receipts’ from Vogue 1945-1947, by Doris Lytton Toye. It’s a wonderful and somewhat eclectic smorgasboard of delights, and I’m regularly struck by the delicious sense of contrast as I peruse the ‘receipts’ of a Conde Nast publication and all of its ‘posh’ connotations, with a view to preparing a meal in my simple campsite kitchen. As the Yuletide season draws near I reach for this book and open it at the short chapter dedicated to festive treats. A Christmas dinner to me speaks of deep and lasting flavours, sweet and earthy, steeped in sticky sauces of a maroon hue. The editorial team at Vogue do not disappoint. In the immediate post-war years, readers were tempted with rich offerings of plum pudding, whiskey butter, devilled turkey, a ‘Faisan Normande’ and a wonderful sounding treatment for a loin of pork with prunes, which entails rubbing the meat with a lemon ‘until the juice is exhausted’. The pork loin requires an oven to crisp up the crackling and this sadly puts the dish beyond the realm of the Guyrope Gourmet for the time being, but as always, alternatives are at hand. Venison is one of the more expensive meats, but pound for pound it doesn’t actually cost that much more than lamb. It makes for a superb treat every once in a while, especially at Christmas, or on the odd occasion when you might find yourself camping in a forest. The combination of game meat and fruit is a perfect seasonal marriage and brings forward that sweet and rich flavour that I crave at this time of year. In this case, the fruit to use is cherry, which when combined with a liberal dash of deep ruby Port, provides the perfect accompaniment to the earthy flavour of the venison. This is a simple dish, easily prepared with just a couple of pans on the hob top. It’s perfect for my little camping stove, which runs on gas – a modern convenience as far as I’m concerned, as it saves me the trouble of gathering winter fuel! Q

Sod the Christmas dinner table – get out in the garden!


Slices of wild venison loin with a Port and cherry reduction Certain fruits work really well with venison because they complement the slightly gamey flavour of the meat. It looks posh but this is actually a really basic dish and will only take you 20 minutes or so to prepare. The ‘eye’ loin of venison is one of the least exercised muscles in the animal’s body, which makes it the most tender cut.

Serves 4

* 250g loin of venison * A couple of knobs of butter * A small glass of Port (about 100ml) * A handful of fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped

* ô tsp of sugar * 220g baby leaf spinach * Fresh ground black pepper 1 Melt a small knob of butter in a pan over a moderate heat. Throw in the pitted and chopped cherries, together with the Port and the sugar. Simmer gently with a lid on for ten minutes. The cherries will soften but won’t lose their form. 2 While the cherries are simmering, melt a knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan and, once hot, place the loin in the pan. It should be sizzling nicely as it goes in. Depending on

DUNCAN MURRAY’S WINE TIP Chateau du Vieux Parc Selection Red Grapes: Carignan, Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache Flavour: Made by Louis Panis in southern France, this wine’s jammy flavours will complement the Port and cherry reduction, while its toasty edge will be great with the rich venison. Price: £12.99

how you like your meat, either cook it for about four or five minutes on each side – this will give you medium-rare – or extend to six or seven minutes each side to see the meat well done. Once cooked, remove the meat from the pan and place on a plate to rest. 3 Pour the cherries into the frying pan and simmer vigorously to reduce. This way, the juices from the meat aren’t wasted, and they add a good depth of flavour to the sauce. Next, cut the loin into slices, plate up and drizzle with the cherry and Port sauce. Season to taste. 4 I serve this with wilted spinach, which works really well with the earthy flavour of the venison. Just put a tiny splash of water in a hot pan, add the spinach and stir – it wilts in a matter of seconds.

The Guyrope Gourmet (Josh Sutton) is an outdoor-loving Yorkshireman. His aim is to inspire young and old to blend excellent food with good camping. He says campsite food should be about more than bangers and beans – www

20 Great Food Magazine

FOR A HOMEGROWN AND TRULY LOCAL CHRISTMAS! We sell only the highest quality beef, lamb, pork and turkey, grown on our farms or carefully sourced from one of our specialist suppliers.

STORES AT 3%/,%1ˆ(3((-2+832,%00ˆ (3&&-)74IXIVFSVYKLˆ .3,27327&SWXSR BECKWORTH EMPORIUM 1IEVW%WLF]ˆ786%8*36(9432%:32+%6()2')286)7XVEJSVH9TSR%ZSR ,%1&0)8327*33(,%00EX;%8)67-()+%6()2')286)&SYVRI






Don’t miss the Edible Garden Show

From pig-keeping to garlic growing, this is the ultimate show for fans of the freshest ingredients WHEN: MARCH 15-17, 2013 WHERE: STONELEIGH PARK, NEAR COVENTRY HOW MUCH: £15 ON THE GATE OR £12 IN ADVANCE

Visiting the show is a great way of inspiring kids to grow their own food


he UK’s award-winning national grow-your-own event – The Edible Garden Show – returns to Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire next March, bursting with innovative products, top exhibitors, home-grown produce, food, livestock and a flock of celebrity chefs and gardeners. Staged entirely undercover inside two large exhibition halls and a giant marquee, the event runs from March 15-17, 2013, bringing the great outdoors indoors to protect visitors, celebrity guests, exhibitors and livestock from the elements. The show harvests a huge crop of top exhibitors and brings inspirational celebrity chefs and gardeners together under one roof. Renowned chef Rachel Green will get tastebuds tingling while TV botanist James Wong, BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Alys Fowler, Gardeners’ Question Time panellist Bob

Ever thought about keeping your own pigs? You can find out everything you need to know at The Edible Garden Show

Flowerdew and the event’s resident grow-yourown guru Paul Peacock will share their passion for growing and eating home-grown crops.

Growing inspiration

Scheduled for the beginning of the growing season, The Edible Garden Show is the place to find new ideas, advice and features. It’s a one stop shop for anyone wanting a slice of the Good Life and has something for all the family, from bees, chickens, goats and pigs to seeds, sheds, wellies and wormeries.

The best ingredients

Win tickets! Great Food

Magazine has teamed up with The Edible Garden Show to offer five pairs of tickets to the three-day spectacular in March. The standard entry price is £15 for adults (£12 in advance) with concessions for children and the elderly, so this is a competition well worth entering. To be in with a chance of winning, simply go to and click on the Edible Garden Show competition link. Entry is completely free and the first five names pulled out of the hat will win the tickets. The closing date is January 31, 2013 and full terms and conditions are available on the website.

22 Great Food Magazine

Michelin-star celebrity chef John Burton-Race will create mouthwatering dishes in the Cookery Theatre and Rachel Green will cook up a tasty menu using home-grown garden produce. John Burton-Race said: “This show is absolutely fantastic. Every good chef knows that the quality of your ingredients is the key to creating a fabulous meal. Grow-your-own enthusiasts are already half way there with the wonderful fresh produce they can whisk from plot to plate.” Following his success at the show in 2011 and 2012, BBC TV’s award-winning

UT & AB •O







Food Festival OUT • O

Expect hands-on activities, cookery demos, fantastic ingredients to buy and much more at The Edible Garden Show

presenter and botanist James Wong will once again enthral audiences in the Experts’ Theatre with his passionate call to gardeners to become more adventurous and start growing a range of exotic fruit and vegetables that can germinate and flourish in the UK climate.

Below: John Burton-Race will star in the Cookery Theatre

Below left: Rachel Green and Paul Peacock. Below right: James Wong

Bees, pigs and chickens

Showgoers will get a buzz in the ‘Potting Shed’ with demonstrations from expert beekeepers on collecting and processing honey, plus tips on how to keep hives healthy and flourishing. The British Pig Association is set to showcase native breeds and entertain families with daily demonstrations. Would-be pig owners can gain invaluable insights into how to keep and breed these delightful animals. For the children, the Association’s Junior Pig Club last year staged its ‘Pig Olympics’ and it is hoped the spectacle will return to Stoneleigh in 2013. Poultry vet Victoria Roberts will also be on hand to share her hen-rearing tips. Victoria, whose passion and talent for rearing poultry began when she was four, will bring along some of her pure breeds to demonstrate how to handle the birds and check for weight-loss and disease.

Growing fast

The three-day show has gone from strength to strength. More than 10,800 people attended the launch event in 2011 while the spring 2012 show attracted over 13,000 visitors from around the UK. The Edible Garden Show 2012 expanded to fill two indoor exhibition halls supported by a large smallholders’ marquee, with 170 exhibitors showcasing innovative equipment and produce all linked to the ‘Good Life’ theme. The 2013 show has more surprises in store for the nation’s burgeoning grow-your-own community. Q CONTACT 0844 338 8001,

James Wong’s Chinese ‘Long Life’ Chicken Soup Broadcaster and botanist James Wong has been part of The Edible Garden Show team since its launch. His passion for exotic edibles has encouraged gardeners to become more adventurous. He is convinced that once you discover the wondrous fruit and veg that can be grown in the UK climate, you will ditch cabbage in favour of wasabi, saffron, shark fin melon, baby Kiwis and ‘electric daisies’. His passion for exotics is featured in his latest book Homegrown Revolution. His soup recipe (right) is rich in antioxidants, which are vital for maintaining a healthy immune system.

Serves 4

* 5 tbsp goji berries, fresh or dried * 2 litres chicken stock * 3 chicken thighs or drumsticks (preferably organic) * 2 large onions, peeled and sliced * 12 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced * 10 cm root ginger, peeled and shredded * 2 fresh medium-sized chillies, finely sliced * 8 garlic cloves, chopped * 2 tbsp soy sauce * 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine (sherry is a great substitute) * 2 dashes sesame oil * Extra sliced ginger and chillis to serve 1 Place the chicken, onions, mushrooms, ginger and chillies in a large pan or slow cooker, pour over the stock and simmer on a very low heat for one-and-a-half to two hours, or until the chicken is tender and falls apart. 2 Five minutes before serving, add the goji berries, chopped garlic, soy sauce and Shaoxing wine and simmer gently 3 Serve by ladling into bowls and garnishing with sesame oil, finely sliced ginger and chilli for an extra kick. The soup can be enjoyed on its own or with noodles.

Great Food Magazine 23


Georgie’s selections... Having just judged in the latest Great Taste Awards, Georgie Mason selects some winning products from her shelves


recently judged in the finals of the Great Taste Awards – the most trusted and recognised food and drink honours in Britain. Each food entered receives feedback from a panel of 350 judges, which helps to improve the product even if it is not awarded a coveted star. From beers to brownies, 8,807 products were entered this year, with 2,670 awarded one- and two-star golds, and just 123 receiving the coveted three-star gold. Great Taste 2012 was judged over 45 days of blind tasting by a panel that included Masterchef winner and restaurateur Mat Follas, restaurant critic Charles Campion, food writers Lucas Hollweg and Xanthe Clay, and more than 300 food buyers from leading food halls, such as Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, as well as me from Gonalston Farm Shop. Most of the judging happens at Guild HQ in Wincanton, Somerset. These awards are a great help to small producers looking to raise the profile of their products. One star is good, a two-star award is better and three stars is truly magnificent. Every

Adlington Free Range Christmas Turkeys Coventry-based Adlington farms a traditional bronze turkey known for its succulent meat. From the rearing house – littered daily with soft barley straw – to their outdoor environment, the birds enjoy the highest standard of care. The turkeys are sheltered outside with specially designed tunnels that provide ideal ventilation and natural light. A generous quarter-acre run is allowed per turkey, and the corn-fed birds have access to food and water at all times. This two-star Great Taste Award-winning turkey is available all year round from our deli counter.

year we food buyers purchase more award-winning products because we know they have been judged by the top palates in the industry. I consider judging at the final the highest honour. This issue’s selection of brilliant products we sell at Gonalston Farm Shop contains some that did well at the latest Great Taste Awards.

Jack Ratt Scrumpy Vintage Flagon The passionate team from Lyme Bay Winery on the Devon border keep the craft of West Country cider making alive. They use freshly pressed juice from locally grown, traditional cider apple varieties such as Dabinett, Kingston Black and Yarlington Mill to produce a high quality range of fullflavoured still ciders. This 7.4% one litre flagon is a great Christmas gift idea, priced at £5.99. Jack Ratt’s Vintage Cider was awarded three gold stars at the Great Taste Awards 2012! You can taste this dazzling cider on November 7 at the Gonalston Festive Food Fair.

Georgie Mason offers her opinions at the Great Taste Awards

Tracklements Strong Horseradish & Cream Sauce For nearly 40 years, Tracklements has been making condiments that its owners are proud to serve on their own tables. Approximately 30 tonnes of fresh English horseradish root go into making this spectacular sauce with no fillers, which is why it is so strong. It is a musthave accompaniment for beef. Tempered with crème fraîche, it makes a milder sauce for smoked trout, eel or fish pâtés, and is delicious combined with beetroot. Certainly one of my top 10 in the shop all year round, and a Three-Star Gold Great Taste Award winner 2012.

Cropwell Bishop Beauvale This is the impressive new soft cheese from Nottinghamshire Stilton dairy Cropwell Bishop. Cropwell has ventured beyond its core range to launch this squidgy blue, which draws inspiration from continental favourites such as Dolcelatte and Gorgonzola. Beauvale is made with pasteurised cows’ milk, traditional rennet and a different strain of Penicillium roqueforti to that in the company’s famous Stilton. Curds are hand-ladelled so it has a silky, rich texture that fills the mouth. It’s the kind of cheese that is so soft you could literally eat it with a spoon. ‘Stunning’ is how I describe Beauvale!

Georgie Mason founded award-winning Gonalston Farm Shop, Southwell Road, Gonalston, Notts NG14 7DR,

24 Great Food Magazine

Fosse Meadows

Celebrate Christmas at the Lake Isle




GreatFood discount 10% discount on turkey & cockerel orders simply type the code ‘GREAT’ into our website to redeem the coupon.

Free-Range Free-range Slow Grown Additive Free Traditionally reared Cockerels and Turkeys


All birds come boxed and with recipe leaflet Orders can be collected from the farmgate or delivered nationally Fosse Meadows Farm, Sharnford Rd, Frolesworth, Lutterworth, Leicester, LE17 5EE 07886 340 752 - 01455 202702

"$" !"$" $" $#!$!$!"$ # #$! "##$! $ #$ !#$ "# " !"$ !#$ #$$ (Available from 3-22 December for Mon to Sat lunch and Mon to Fri dinner for parties of 8 or more) Cream of potato soup topped with braised leeks, white stilton and crispy mushroom fritters Duo of goats cheese, twice baked soufflĂŠ and goats cheese and red basil parfait, with fennel, tomato, roquette shoots and black olive bread sticks Game and chestnut bourguignon: A little casserole of local game, chestnuts, smoked bacon, button onions, mushrooms and red wine Grilled fillet of mackerel, smoked mackerel fishcake, Waldorf salad and horseradish crème fraiche ******************** Bacon wrapped roast Norfolk turkey with chestnut, sage and red onion stuffing and traditional accompaniments Steamed pavĂŠ of salmon and crispy goujon, smoked salmon and mascarpone risotto, lemon and parsley pesto Braised shoulder of lamb, hotpot potato cake, pickling spiced red cabbage Lentil, peanut and cashew nut roast with coconut creamed spinach, marsala onions and spicy Bengal carrot pickle ******************** Traditional Christmas pudding with brandy sauce Baked lemon cheesecake, raspberry sorbet and compote, ‘lemon meringue’


Honey roasted figs, warm almond frangipane tartlet, port and lemon sorbet

Superb local restaurants reviewed

Black forest torte, sour cherry sorbet, praline wafer, milk ice cream ********************

• Christmas Eve Dinner: 4-course menu for £37.50 • Christmas Day Lunch: 5-course menu for £85.00 • Boxing Day Lunch: 3-course menu for £35.00 • New Year’s Eve Dinner: 4-course menu for £40.00 To discuss your festive requirements or to book a table, please call us on

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Recipes from


Seasonal dishes crafted by Great Food’s resident cook and photographer, Hazel Paterson


ark nights, roaring fires, hearty stews and lots of extra snuggly blankets are just a few of the many reasons I love this time of year. Add to that the fact that game meat is plentiful, hot puddings are de rigueur and mulled wine is everywhere, and you have me in a very happy seasonal swing of things right now. I’m completely embracing winter with my recipes in this issue.

Slow-Cooked Beef Ribs in Beer

A highly underrated cut of beef is the Jacob’s Ladder (or short ribs), which bring deep, meaty flavour to the table...


ong, slow cooking is needed to gently break down the hard working muscle, but left to simmer all day in a slow cooker, or gently braised in the oven, your house will not only be filled with delicious smells but you will be rewarded with a hassle-free supper that’s perfect for winter nights. There are so many ales brewed in the Midlands that you are spoilt for choice as to which to use in this recipe. Go for something you like to drink yourself – it’s a rich recipe so can take quite a hoppy brew. This is a good excuse to sample some local ales!

Serves 4

* 1kg beef ribs sawn into thirds –

your butcher will do this for you

* 1 white onion, thinly sliced * 4 cloves garlic, sliced * 1 heaped tsp dried fennel seeds * 1 heaped tbsp cornflour * 500ml good local ale – I used The

Grainstore’s Ten Fifty, which was perfect

* 3 bay leaves * Few sprigs thyme * 12 pickling onions, peeled (or small, round shallots)

* 500g baby salad potatoes, unpeeled (or small, waxy potatoes)

* 500g small Chantenay carrots, washed * 200g small button mushrooms * 50g dried cranberries * Good beef stock to top up (about 200ml depending on the size of slow cooker)

* Salt and pepper 26 Great Food Magazine

1 Put your rib pieces into a heavybased pan and brown on all sides. Remove from the fat and put into your slow cooker. 2 Gently fry the sliced onion, fennel seeds and garlic in the rendered fat until golden and starting to caramelise, then add your cornflour and cook gently for a minute or so, stirring to cook out the flour. 3 Pour in your ale and mix well, scraping any bits from the pan, then pour everything into your slow cooker. 4 Add the herbs, onions, carrots, potatoes, cranberries and mushrooms

to the slow cooker and top up with the beef stock, making sure that everything is just covered by liquid. 5 Cover and cook on high for about four hours. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. If you want to thicken it then put some cornflour in a mug, add some stew liquid, mix well, then return it to the slow cooker. Reduce cooking temperature to low for the last hour (if you are out all day just have it on low for the entire time). 6 I like to serve this with a drizzle of syrupy balsamic vinegar, which cuts through the richness perfectly.

Recipes Roast Blackberry Beetroots

Combine with goats’ cheese for a fantastic supper

Earthy autumnal flavours enhanced by syrupy sweetness...


eetroot is a permanent fixture in my tiny vegetable patch. Their young leaves are eaten raw in salads, and their older ones steamed like spinach and tossed through pasta. Their delicious earthy roots are either grated into coleslaw, pickled and eaten with a big hunk of cheese, blitzed in my juicer, or roasted to bring out their natural sweetness. I grow lots of different types, from golden orb-like varieties to beautiful stripey ones to the more commonly seen deepest dark purple ones. All these varieties are perfect for this recipe and if you have even the tiniest patches of earth in which to plant them, then I can’t recommend growing beetroot enough.

* 1kg small beetroots, washed, with the * * * *

rough tops removed, but not peeled 100ml blackberry vinegar 1 tbsp runny honey Few thyme leaves Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

1 Mix together your vinegar, honey and thyme leaves. Put your beetroot in a pot and pour over, then add your salt and pepper and mix well. Leave to marinate for an hour before putting them in a roasting tin.

Pomegranate seeds add bursts of freshness

2 Cover with foil and put into the top of your oven at its highest setting for an hour. Check them – they should be soft. If they are then remove the foil, give them a bit of a mix, then roast uncovered until slightly caramelised. 3 Serve as a side dish to accompany your roast dinner. Alternatively, add them to a salad, stir into a risotto or – my favourite – combine whilst still warm with a beautiful crumbly goats’ cheese, some parsley and a hunk of bread for a delicious quick supper.

Clementine, Honey and Pomegranate Cake The smell of cakes gently baking in the oven on a winter afternoon is heavenly...


f you’re a connoisseur of baking aromas, this will be a real treat. Chestnut honey – used in the drizzle – is a wonderful addition to the larder; I get mine from Tropical Forest in Wales (

* 150g caster sugar * 150g unsalted butter at room temperature

* 4 free range eggs * 160g self raising flour * 100g ground almonds * 1 heaped teaspoon caraway seeds

* Zest of 3 clementines * Juice of 1 clementine * Seeds from 1 pomegranate * 2 tbsp milk

For the drizzle * Juice of 3 clementines * Zest of 1 clementine * Juice from 1 pomegranate * 1 tbsp orange blossom water * 100g caster sugar * 1 big tbsp chestnut honey For the icing * 250g cream cheese * 2 heaped tablespoons icing sugar

1 Preheat your oven to 160C. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then beat in your eggs until the mixture combines. 2 Sift in your flour, then add the almonds, zest, juice and most of your seeds. Mix until everything is incorporated. 3 Line a loaf tin with greased baking parchment, then spoon in your mixture and bake in the middle of your oven for about 90 minutes or until you can put a skewer right through to the centre of the cake so that it comes out clean. 4 Whilst your cake is cooking, make your drizzle by putting all ingredients into a pan; heat until it bubbles, then turn the heat down to low for ten minutes till it is thick and syrupy. 5 Whilst your cake is still hot, prick it all over with a skewer then drizzle over the syrup. Leave to cool. 6 Make your icing by whisking the icing sugar into your cream cheese. Once your cake has cooled, spread the icing over the top and scatter with reserved pomegranate seeds. Follow Hazel on Twitter @HazelPaterson, head over to her blog or just drop her an email at

Great Food Magazine 27

The Practical Pantry


CHAT TO SHELLY... Shelly Preston is @BAromatique on Twitter

How to make it through the chilly season in style, according to Shelly Preston


t seems we’re in for yet another harsh winter. As heating bills continue to snowball I’m all for spending this season trussed-up in a onesie, chowing my way through the cold and wrapping my belly in a cosy cloak of warming foods shouting “nae bother” at the heating control. Cinnamon, ginger and fennel are just a few ingredients we can all roll out this winter to keep the internal fire burning. Let’s crank it up!


Ginger and Juniper Warming Oil Heat stimulates blood flow and can ease arthritic symptoms and lactic acid build up. Get your circulation going and inject a bit of musclerelaxing heat into tired, achy limbs and joints this winter with this heat-heavy mix of ginger, juniper, rosemary and sage. £12.50/100ml, www.nealsyard


Braised and Baked Fennel, Celery and Onion with Crunchy Breadcrumbs Fennel is brilliantly warming and stimulating. This delicious, rustic dish makes a light but totally satisfying winter supper and I think a fine vegetarian Christmas lunch. Try it with roast potatoes and a velvety, Gruyère cheese sauce spiked with fresh thyme on the side. Serves 4

* 31 fennel bulbs, cut into halves * /2 bunch celery, cut into 3-inch sticks 4 * onions, cut into quarters * 25g butter * 150ml Vermouth * 500ml vegetable or chicken stock


* 150g brown bread * Zest of 1 lemon * Parsley and thyme in equal handfuls

* 60g grated Parmesan * Sunflower or rapeseed oil Salt and pepper *

Prepare the vegetables and soften in the simmering stock for five to 10 minutes or until everything starts to look translucent. Remove, drain and set aside. Reserve the cooking liquor.

a little more cooking liquor if it looks dry.


Melt the butter in a baking/casserole dish and add the vegetables. Add all the Vermouth along with 100ml of the reserved stock, and then season.

In a processor, blitz the bread into breadcrumbs. Add the herbs, lemon zest and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Add the grated Parmesan at the end for one final blitz. Heat the oil in a large frying pan until quivering (not smoking hot), tip in the breadcrumbs, coat in the oil and stir until crispy and golden.




Cover tightly and bake for 15-20 minutes; turn everything over and continue for a further 20 minutes. Pour in

Remove the vegetables from the oven, scatter the herby breadcrumbs over the top and serve.


Chilli and Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Don’t skimp on the chocolate. As a fine chocolatier I’m obsessed by the quality of the stuff. Try award-winning Lincolnshire bean-to-bar producer Duffy’s Corazon del Equador 72% dark chocolate in this recipe. Its undertones of orange and allspice work a dream.

* 1 roomy mug of whole milk * Level tsp of 100% cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate)

* 30g grated dark chocolate

* 1 red chilli * 1 cinnamon stick * Sugar or honey to taste


(I prefer not to sweeten)

Pour a dash of milk over the cocoa powder to make a smooth paste. Pour it back into the rest of the milk. Heat the milk and cocoa powder in a pan along with the chilli (cut in two, lengthways) and cinnamon stick. Remove from the heat as soon as it comes to a rolling boil.


Set aside for five minutes. Taste for chilli heat and flavour, and if you feel it

needs more intensity leave for another five minutes. Remove and discard the cinnamon and chilli.


Return to the heat, add the grated chocolate and once it is all melted and you have a thick, smooth liquid, it is ready. Duffy’s Corazon del Equador 72% dark chocolate, £3.95/100g,

Shelly Preston (pictured right) is founder of Boutique Aromatique, a brand specialising in fine fragrant chocolates that has an outlet within Welbeck Farm Shop near Worksop – and @BAromatique on Twitter

28 Great Food Magazine

Sweet central heating



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Drink and be merry! Duncan Murray chooses the bottles that will help you make the most of your festive season

Wine Three must-haves to help you celebrate Christmas... Gobin Frères ‘Mustillant’ GRAPE: Melon de Bourgogne Ever heard of sparkling Muscadet? We hadn’t until Christophe Gobin introduced us to ‘Mustillant’. We were at the Gobin winery and had tasted some very fine Muscadets and so when Christophe asked us if we’d like to try his sparkling version, we were surprised and more than a little intrigued. The result was a revelation as we tasted a fabulous light sparkling wine with notes of apple and a hint of fresh bread. A great alternative to Prosecco, it undoubtedly works well as an aperitif and with fishy starters, but more than anything it’s just a fantastic fizz for festive gatherings.

PRICE: £11.99 30 Great Food Magazine


Domaine du Poujol ‘Podio Alto’ 2009

Niepoort 2011 ‘Drink Me’ Douro Branco

GRAPES: Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah

GRAPES: Côdega de Larinho, Rabigato, Gouveio (Godello), Dona Branca, Viosinho, Bical and others

If Christmas is a time to treat your taste buds, then this medal winning Languedoc red fits the bill. Organic in all but name and striving to work in harmony with the earth’s cycle, Robert and Kim Cripps of Domaine du Poujol are passionate about producing outstanding wine with minimal intervention. This, their flagship red, is no exception: “Scented ripe fruit… Chinese five spice, with crushed blackberries and liquorice. A gorgeous wine.” (Decanter World Wine Awards). What’s more, I helped plant the Syrah grapes with which it is made! Great with cheese, red meat, game or to savour on its own.

PRICE: £14.99

Produced in Portugal’s Douro Valley by one of the foremost wine makers of the area, Dirk Niepoort, this white stood out for wine writer Janis Robinson as being “absolutely delicious” and we agree. For us, it has the wonderful combination of ripe and rounded fruit, lively minerality and zippy freshness that makes it a fantastically versatile wine – easily taking you from aperitifs and starters through to cheese. The zany label also celebrates synchronised swimming at the Olympics; a fine reminder of one of 2012’s many highpoints. So if you like Christmas “well balanced, intense and lively”, here’s a white wine to match.

PRICE: £11.99

Festive selections

Local beers A couple of locally brewed ales... Great Oakley Gobble (4.5% abv)

Langton Brewery Welland Innkeeper (4.6% abv)

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without groaning at terrible cracker jokes or wincing at novelty socks, so it seems only fitting to suggest a beer called Gobble as a festive addition. However, the dubious taste stops there. Produced by the Great Oakley Brewery, located on the southern tip of Corby and announced overall champion in the SIBA regional beer competition, this certainly ain’t no turkey. Indeed, it’s a lovely mouthful; crisp and hoppy with a slight nuttiness that’ll suit beer lovers looking for a light, golden ale. One to quaff – not scoff at… although did you hear the one about the turkey that got arrested…?

The Langton Brewery’s seasonal ale brings aromas of great joy in the form of malt, light hazelnut, chocolate and spice, plus a palate of malty caramel with hints of pear and berry fruit. However, this is certainly not the over-flavoured, unbalanced Christmas style beer that many breweries fall fowl of (see where the turkey joke’s going?), and in that respect the Langton Brewery has gone from strength to strength. Indeed, on another seasonal theme, they found that there was no more room at the inn for them – The Bell Inn, East Langton that is, which Langton Brewery outgrew all the way back in 2005.

PRICE: £2.49

PRICE: £2.99

... and something special


Pommeau De Normandie, ‘La Charterie’ Pommeau is a blend of apple juice and Calvados and this particular Pommeau is produced by a one-man outfit, Pascal Beaumesnil. Pascal is passionate about apples and has already won awards for his cider. We met him during a trip to Normandy and were seriously impressed by the personality of his Pommeau. Clean and sweet with an intense apple hit, it’s a winner with all kinds of occasions and an appley alternative to Port, Madeira and Pineau de Charentes. Chill as an aperitif, partner with cheese, enjoy with desserts or try it as a long drink with tonic water and a splash of Amaretto.

PRICE: £18.99

Liqueur de Pain D’Epices Miclo This gingerbread liqueur from Alsace represents Christmas in a bottle with bells on. Using a secret recipe, it manages to evoke the smells and tastes of Christmas markets, festive baking and merry mulling. Open the bottle and get drawn into the aromas of cinnamon, clove and speculoos biscuits. Have a taste and savour the palate of mouth-tingling ginger and spice. Great by itself – put it in a hipflask and warm up a bracing winter walk – or team it with sympathetic partners by pouring over ice cream or adding to coffee and hot chocolate. Either way, it’s certainly got the Xmas factor.

PRICE: £19.99

GREAT FOOD CLUB OFFER From now until Dec 31, 2012, when you buy a case of 12 wines at Duncan Murray Wines in Market Harborough, you will receive a free bottle of the UK Exclusive Gobin Frères Mustillant (see left). This offer CAN be used in conjunction with other offers, so Great Food Club members could also get 10% off a case of wine on Thursdays – just by showing their Great Food card. To join Great Food Club for free go to

Duncan Murray runs Duncan Murray Wines of Market Harborough, and is an independent wine merchant with a passion for south European wines (and beers and other alcoholic beverages): 10 Adam & Eve Street, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 7LT

Great Food Magazine 31


OUT & ABOUT Holdenby House was used by the BBC as ‘Satis House’ – home to Miss Havisham – in its acclaimed 2011 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations

Godfrey Harvey of fine food and drink specialist Capon & Harvey

Northamptonshire County food awards finalists unveiled


tunning Holdenby House hosted the Northamptonshire Food Show on August 26 and 27. Great Food Club had a stand and signed up a host of new members. There was plenty of excellent food and drink to sample and exhibitors included Gourmet Spice, Brown’s Gourmet Sausages and Hoggley’s Brewery. In addition, the finalists of the Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2012/13 were announced. Finalists in the Restaurant of the Year category are (in alphabetical order): Frank’s Steakhouse, Northampton; Murrays at Whittlebury Hall, Whittlebury; Oundle Mill, Oundle; The Exeter Arms, Easton on the Hill; The Raj, Kettering; and The Seafood Café, Northampton. Pub or Bar Restaurant of the Year finalists are The Hopping Hare, Duston; Olde Red Lion, Kislingbury; The Red Lion, Culworth; The Royal Oak, Eydon; The Saracen’s Head, Little Brington; and The White Swan, Woodnewton. Winners will be named on November 14 at the Awards Dinner taking place at The Wing, Silverstone. Rachel and Jorden Alvey-Anderson of Rachel’s Angelic Cupcakes & Cookies

32 Great Food Magazine

We were intrigued by these cakes in jars and impressed by the delicate macarons

Below: Bangers from Brown’s Gourmet Sausages Below: A pasta-making masterclass in the courtyard at Holdenby

An enormous queue bears down on the Woodhouse Farm of Leicestershire stand, demanding a taste of its fabulous hog roast

e Food Show

Matthew Lillistone and Mylene Carn from West Haddon have recently set up The Biscuiterie

Above: Sam Walker (left) and Isla Porter inside Sam’s Cakes & Treats’ pink trailer

Above right: Andrew Grant-Reed and Ruwanika Weerakkody of Milton Keynes-based Sri Lankan cuisine specialist Ceylonica Below: The team from Previns – a family-run business that produces spice kits in Leicestershire. From left: Niraj, Simran, Nita and Robert Bhatt

UT & AB •O







Food Festival

Great Food Magazine 33



Kerala sunshine on a plate... Sheba Promod shares four south Indian recipes


hy not revamp your Indian cooking with some inspiration from Kerala – a south Indian paradise? Subtle and delicately warming flavours take a lead role in these recipes, assisted by a supporting cast of humble ingredients. For those yet to visit Kerala, envisage luscious green coconut groves, endless backwaters and remarkably different cuisine that hinges on coconut,

mustard seeds and curry leaves. A state renowned for its spice trade, Kerala offers distinctly different flavours to those found in the rest of the subcontinent. These recipes focus on Kerala’s diverse cuisine: comforting vegetable curries, fresh coastal flavours and a sweet-scented dessert reminiscent of a warming Christmas sweet treat. Cook them once and you’ll be sure to discover a whole new face to Indian cooking.


Sheba Promod is a food writer and cookery teacher specialising in Keralan cuisine. Her aim is to share the flavours of Kerala while highlighting the key differences between food from this region and the rest of the subcontinent. Sheba runs cookery courses in Hertfordshire and London and also works as a freelance guest chef for cookery schools. She hosts a Kerala and South Indian Supperclub in St Albans, too.

Turkey, cardamom & black pepper cutlet balls These turkey cutlets can be made with tuna, chicken or beef, too

Made with a slight twist on the traditional Kerala cutlet, these peppery morsels serve as a great canapé starter if made slightly larger. They can also be prepared with the equivalent weight of tuna, chicken or beef mince and are delicious paired with a good chilli sauce or crushed in a warm pitta with salad and onions.

Makes approximately 25 mini cutlets Whole spices * 3 cardamom pods * ô inch cinnamon stick * 3 cloves Ground spices * ô tsp crushed black pepper Fresh leaves & herbs * 6-8 curry leaves, chopped Cutlet balls * 300g turkey mince (or equivalent weight of tuna, chicken or beef mince) * 125g potatoes, boiled and mashed until smooth * 1 ô tbsp vegetable oil * 1 medium onion, finely chopped * 1 tsp minced ginger * 1 green chilli, finely chopped * 1 ô tsp white vinegar * ô tsp salt For coating and frying * 40g fine, dried breadcrumbs * 1 egg, beaten * Oil for deep frying 34 Great Food Magazine

1 Grind the whole spices using a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder. Set aside. 2 In a deep pan, fry the onions, ginger and green chilli for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the turkey and fry for 5- 10 minutes until cooked and all the moisture has evaporated. 3 Add the ground spices, black pepper, vinegar, salt and potatoes. Fry for a further minute until the potatoes and turkey are evenly distributed. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. 4 Make small balls using the palms of your hands (roughly 3cm in width), taking care that there are no cracks on the surface. Dip in the beaten egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs until fully coated. Put on a plate and continue until all the mixture has been used up. 5 Once all the cutlets have been prepared, gently roll each one between your palms again to ensure that the breadcrumbs are compacted. 6 Heat the oil in a wide pan – you will need 2-3 inches of oil in it. Fry the cutlets in batches of four or five for 3-4 minutes on each side. Once golden brown, remove using a slotted spoon and drain onto kitchen paper. 7 Serve hot with a chilli sauce or chilli and mint raita.

Keralan cuisine

Fish Molee

Simple and healthy – and full of flavour

Create the light and delicate flavours of the tranquil Kerala coast with this easy fish curry, comprising white fish braised in subtly spiced coconut milk and dressed with the unmistakable scent of curry leaves. This really is one the whole family can enjoy.

Serves 4-5 as part of a main meal

* 1 tsp mustard seeds * õ tsp turmeric * 10-12 curry leaves * 3 tbsp vegetable oil – or coconut

oil if you can find it * 400g fleshy white fish, chopped into medium sized pieces * 1 large onion, finely chopped

* 1 ô tsp minced ginger * 1 ô tsp minced garlic * 3 green chillies, slit halfway * 80g cream coconut, crumbled into pieces

* 1 ô tbsp white vinegar * ö tsp salt * 400ml warm tap water

1 Heat the oil in a wide-based, non-stick pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and fry for just a few seconds until they begin to splutter. Reduce the heat slightly and then add the onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies and fry for 6-8 minutes until they are soft and translucent (not brown). 2 Add the turmeric to the pan and fry gently until the oil begins to separate.

Add the water and bring to the boil before adding the crumbled cream coconut pieces. 3 Once the coconut has fully dissolved, add the curry leaves, fish pieces, salt and vinegar. Stir thoroughly. Finally, cover and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the fish has cooked. 4 Serve alone with bread or with rice as part of a main meal.



Erissery Erissery is a regular component of the grand feast during the Onam festival in Kerala (harvest festival) alongside 11 or 12 other dishes. With a hint of sweetness and undertones of chilli, this hearty curry – consisting of butternut squash with cumin and mustard seeds – is packed with flavour. It is soul food at its best. Enjoy with a stack of humble chapattis or with rice and accompaniments. Vibrant in colour and packed with taste

Serves 4-6 as an accompaniment

Edition Matthias Grapes: Riesling Flavour: Riesling is a happy partner to spicy food and this example from the Mosel in Germany is no exception. The style is off-dry, which works well with Indian dishes. What’s more, it has a superb zesty character. Price: £9.99

* ô tsp cumin seeds * 1 dried red chilli * ô tsp mustard seeds * A pinch of turmeric * ô tsp ground cumin * õô tsp chilli powder * 10-12 curry leaves * 1 ô tbsp vegetable oil * 800g butternut squash, peeled and chopped to 1 inch cubes

* ô medium onion, finely chopped * 1 tsp garlic, crushed * ô tsp urad dal * 4 tbsp fresh coconut

(desiccated coconut if unavailable)

* 200ml water (in addition to the water

required for boiling the butternut squash)

* ö- 1 tsp salt


This humble spice is used frequently in Keralan cuisine

1 Place the chopped squash into a heavy, wide-based pan and add enough water to just cover the pieces. Bring to the boil and cook covered for 25 minutes, until they are soft when pierced with a fork. Drain off the excess water and then transfer back to the same pan and mash to a semismooth consistency. 2 Place the squash in a large non-stick pan along with 200ml water and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the ground cumin, chilli powder, turmeric and salt and cook for a further minute before taking off the heat. 3 Heat the oil in a small non-stick pan. Add the mustard seeds to the hot oil and fry for 4-5 seconds until they burst. Add the cumin seeds, dried red chilli and urad dal and fry over a medium heat for a minute or until the urad dal turns to a light golden colour. 4 Finally, add the onions and curry leaves and fry for two minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Transfer the fried mixture to the prepared squash and cook for 3-4 minutes until hot. 5 Serve hot with rice or chapattis and accompaniments.

Great Food Magazine 35


Coconut, cardamom & lime samosas An unusual take on the classic savoury Indian snack but with the divine pairing of coconut and jaggery, these are hard to resist. For a warming winter dessert, try them fresh from the oven alongside a spoonful of crème fraiche or ice cream.

Makes approximately 12 dessert samosas

* Seeds of 8 cardamom pods, finely crushed

* 55g jaggery (or sugar if unavailable) * 75g coconut * 1 tbsp lime juice * 8 sheets filo pastry * Melted butter for brushing

36 Great Food Magazine

1 Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 6 (200°C). 2 Heat the jaggery in a non-stick pan on the hob. Once melted, add the lime juice, coconut and cardamom. Stir. Set aside. 3 Place one sheet of the pastry onto a flat surface and lightly brush with melted butter. Place another sheet on top and gently press to seal together. Cut the sheet into 8cm strips. Take one strip and place a heaped teaspoon of the jaggery mixture onto the bottom right corner. 4 Fold this corner over the left to make a triangle shape and continue to fold from

left to right until you reach the end of the pastry sheet. Brush a bit of butter on the edge before sealing over. Continue until all the coconut and pastry are used up. 5 Place on a baking sheet, brush with butter and bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown. 6 Serve warm with some ice cream, low fat yogurt or crème fraiche Note: the samosas can also be prepared ahead of time and chilled in the fridge. Leave at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking.


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Family values

Traditional ideals mixed with modern methods are fuelling Packington Free Range’s success. By Rachel Dorsett


rothers Rob (32) and Alec Mercer (28) are under pressure. Every male member of their family for three generations has profitably farmed the land at Packington Free Range, a pork and chicken farm in Barton Under Needwood, Staffordshire. It is up to the brothers to carry the torch successfully. Rob and Alec have developed the farm from predominantly intensive pig farming to free range, and five years ago introduced chickens. They have since built up a reputation for high-welfare produce and now supply over 130 butchers’ shops all over the country with their pork, chicken and cockerels. Both Rob, who farms the pork, and Alec, who looks after the chicken side of the business, are passionate about what they do and their enthusiasm and dedication is palpable. “Animal welfare is important to us,” explains Rob. “We are RSPCA Freedom Food Accredited, which means all our pigs live outdoors over lots of acres. Not only does this make for a better life for the pig but they taste better, too.” The free range chickens are also farmed outside – living in small flocks

Did you know?

CARRYING THE TORCH The Mercer family has farmed in the heart of Staffordshire since 1930, although the picture above was taken in 1974. In many ways, the farm has gone full circle: like their great-grandfather, who began farming pedigree large white pigs and dairy herds before World War II, Rob and Alec Mercer (pictured left with father Roger and family) are focusing on low-density, environmentally sound and welfare-orientated farming.

and foraging in open fields all day before returning to portable sheds at night. High levels of exercise and a specially formulated feed of maize and corn – rich in Omega Three – means each chicken has a well-developed and delicious flavour.

Pigs that are Freedom Food Accredited, like those at Packington Free Range, are assessed by a trained member of the RSPCA’s team once a year.

38 Great Food Magazine

“The diet was developed on the farm and is exclusive to Packington,” explains Alec. “The Omega Three is an extra welfare benefit to the chickens and the maize helps to retain moisture in the meat so it is nice and succulent. It’s a more expensive way to feed the

Packington Free Range

Alec Mercer (right) is in charge of the poultry at Packington Free Range

Roast Rolled Shoulder of Pork with Mustard and Cider Gravy

Serves 6

chickens but produces flavoursome butcher to know which farm his pork meat, which our butchers and their and chicken comes from – usually it is customers demand.” supplied by a wholesaler. We feel it is One of the major selling points of important to create that link with the Packington produce is provenance. consumer through the butchers we “Every pig and chicken is farmed by supply. We provide recipes and Rob and I, and we can truly stand by information on our website, give our our produce,” explains Alec. The farm butchers point-of-sale material and do regularly holds open days for butchers as much in the community as we can and their customers so they can see for to encourage knowledge and interest.” themselves how the animals are The popularity of pork in Britain has looked after, which the brothers have decreased over the past 20 years, with found invaluable in gaining new beef becoming the favourite – but customers all over the country. increasing beef prices and greater “As soon as they see awareness of tasty pork what we are doing, cuts like belly and Where to buy? they want the product,” shoulder has led to a Packington’s meat is says Alec. “We started small resurgence. sold by over 130 providing 50 pigs and “Most pork and outlets, including 400 chickens a week to chicken is intensively Gonalston Farm Shop in Notts and Northfield local butchers and now reared indoors so there Farm Shop in Rutland we are offering 300 pigs is a lot of rubbish out and 3,000 chickens. there,” says Rob. “It is “Our goal is to get butchers and grown quickly, the animal doesn’t get consumers as passionate about pork any fresh air or exercise and has had a and poultry as they are about lamb lot of stress – which means the flavour and beef. It is relatively unusual for a can be very poor. As a result people tend to tar all pork with the same brush,” he adds. “If you pay a bit more for a quality piece of free range pork or a better quality chicken it will compete with any beef or lamb joint, and rival any restaurant,” he adds. Q


Rob Mercer with his porkers

Packington Free Range, Blakenhall Park, Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire, DE13 8AJ, 01283 711547,

* 1 x 2.25kg Packington Free Range rolled pork shoulder * 1 bulb of garlic, cloves peeled * 100g baby spinach leaves * Sprigs fresh thyme * Fresh sage leaves * 25g focaccia breadcrumbs * Sea salt and cider vinegar * 20 (around 400g) shallots * 12 small whole carrots with stalks * 1 tbsp soft brown sugar * 3 apples, halved * 400ml vintage cider * 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard 1 Remove the pork from the fridge two hours before cooking. Cover with a clean tea towel and preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 (190˚C). 2 Crush two cloves of garlic and place in a food processor with the spinach, thyme and sage and blend until well combined. Stir in the breadcrumbs and seasoning. Push the mixture into the meat. 3 Place in a large enough roasting tin to hold the meat and vegetables. Using a sharp knife, score the pork skin all over. Rub the salt and vinegar into the scored skin. Calculate cooking time allowing 25 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 25 minutes. Roast. 4 Meanwhile, peel the shallots and wash the carrots. Remove the pork from the oven 45 minutes before the end of cooking time, skim off most of the fat and then scatter the remaining garlic cloves, shallots and carrots around the pork. Sprinkle over sugar and continue roasting for a further 30 minutes. Add the apples and continue roasting until the pork’s juices run clear and the apples are caramelised. 5 Remove the pork from the oven and transfer to a warm serving plate. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Transfer the vegetables and apples to a warm serving plate, leaving a few cloves of garlic to crush into the pan juices. Keep warm. 6 Skim most of the fat from the pan and discard. Scrape the bottom of the pan and mash in the garlic. Place over a low heat and blend in the cider and mustard. Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced slightly. Season to taste. Serve the gravy with the pork and vegetables.

Great Food Magazine 39


Crays With American crayfish wiping out our native species, now is a good time to eat them! You could even trap your own, says Matt Gregory


here has been an inexorable advance of American signal crayfish throughout UK rivers. The effect they have had on indigenous white clawed crayfish is well documented: signal crayfish carry bacteria (crayfish plague) to which white claws have no immunity, they out-compete them for food and habitat, reproduce more successfully and are massively more aggressive, so – simply eat them. The white claw is now protected and although no official national survey has taken place, their numbers are dramatically down or even absent from many areas previously holding a good population. The important thing for us to consider is that signal crayfish are delicious and if you ever see them on a restaurant menu, snap them up. There are also a small number of places where you can buy

“Getting a licence allowing you to trap crayfish has become easier recently” ready-prepared signal crays to include in recipes at home. Smith’s Smokehouse of Friskney near Boston, Lincolnshire ( – which stands at many local farmers’ markets – usually has signal crays from June to December. The only other way is to trap them yourself. Until recently it was difficult, in fact practically impossible, to get a licence from the Environment Agency to trap crayfish. However, it would seem to have become easier recently and you now stand a better chance of getting one, mostly because white claw populations are in such small pockets that the chances of misidentification are now very small in this neck of the woods. Considerations for other wildlife are still high on the agenda, but the rules are clear and the paperwork not arduous – you can get an application form here:

40 Great Food Magazine

Foraging Crayfish and mussels

If you don¼t have many crayfish, or need to offer something alongside, then an excellent way to augment the dish is to add mussels and even a few prawns as well. Boil the crayfish and prepare the mussels in your favourite way and serve with really good mayonnaise and lots of lemon.

Preparing & eating crayfish


Even large crays will be cooked after three minutes in boiling water

The rules revolve around landowner permission, the trap being the authorised size, the venue and catch being recorded and the reason for trapping (culinary!). It is illegal to return non-native species to the water and illegal not to return native species. This Environment Agency guide will help: With signal crayfish growing up to 30cm big – that’s just the body not including the claws, so as big as a small lobster – you might not need that many for a serious feast! General advice from Defra and the EA suggests they would prefer all non-native crayfish to be humanely killed immediately after capture, but in areas where there are large and established populations of non-native crayfish, it is OK to move them while still alive for a short period of time, holding them in fresh water to clean them. If there is not a large population you are highly unlikely to be granted a licence anyway. Q

Signal (above) and white claw crayfish (below) can look similar. However, the underside of a native white claw crayfish’s claws is a dirty white or pink, while the underside of an American signal crayfish’s claws is red.

In addition to all those prawn recipes you can think of, a classic Crayfish Cocktail takes some beating. With large crayfish there is usually a lot of meat on the claws but with smaller ones it is a lot of work for not much reward. The tails, however, are worth the effort in all cases.

Signal crayfish salad Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and pop the crayfish in. They will turn bright red within seconds and even big ones will be cooked through in three minutes. Allow them to cool slightly but peel them whilst still warm as it will be much easier – snap the tails off and peel off the shell. Retain the claws for stock. Make up a garlic mayonnaise with lots of lemon juice and a salad with crunchy lettuce and very ripe tomatoes. Allow four to six tails per head as a starter.

Steamed aromatic whole crayfish Allow six or more crayfish per person depending on size (crayfish and people). Heat up four tablespoons of oil in a large pan, add a chopped onion, two cloves of chopped garlic, a finely sliced thumb-sized piece of ginger and half a chopped chilli. Add the crayfish immediately and follow them with a glass of white wine. Put the lid on and shake the pan, repeat until all the crayfish have gone bright red; if the pan looks like it is drying out, add a little water. Towards the end of cooking, add a handful of finely chopped coriander. Serve as a single bowl in the middle of the table with good bread and butter, and lots of napkins!

About the writer: Rutland-based Matt Gregory is a passionate fisherman and forager who can often be found bidding at Melton Mowbray Market’s fur and feather auctions, or casting flies into Rutland Water.

Great Food Magazine 41



Men only?

Are our restaurant kitchens losing their sugar and spice? We spoke to Notts-based head chef Sarah Newham to find out ARTICLE: GREAT FOOD STAFF


ccording to the Office of National Statistics, there are five male chefs for every woman working in the kitchens of UK restaurants. At the very top, in the UK’s 143 Michelin-starred kitchens, the numbers are further apart, with 13 male head chefs for every female. Sarah Newham is head chef at Perkins Restaurant in Plumtree, Nottinghamshire – twice voted Midlands’ Restaurant of the Year and part of Great Food Club. We visited Perkins to ask Sarah about the restaurant industry’s great gender divide. Her answers were certain, passionate and unflinching – everything it takes to succeed in one of the hardest professions around. Sarah said: “When I interview for a new position in our kitchen I spend the first ten minutes trying to put the applicant off. I do that for a good reason: whether you’re male or female, working in a modern kitchen is incredibly hard. The hours are long and the pay, until you’ve spent years learning to cook, is not great. You don’t get to see your friends very often. You’re part of a team that you can’t let down. The profession has a huge impact on one’s social life. If you’re a young girl, it’s a very specific life choice to work among young men and I think that’s partly why we see so few young girls entering the profession.” Sarah suggests it takes a certain type of woman to work in a modern British kitchen: one who can endure a few knocks, not take too much to heart and give as good as she gets. According to Sarah, the modern British kitchen is not a place for the faint of heart. The banter can be unforgiving, it’s hot, and it can be dangerous. If you’re just starting out, particularly as an isolated young woman, it takes resilience to succeed. Sarah said: “I grew up around food, my grandmother and mother cooked

42 Great Food Magazine

Left: Sarah Newham is one of the few female head chefs working at a top restaurant. Above: Sarah’s rack of Clipston-on-Wolds lamb. For the full recipe go to

fresh every day and we ate as a family. I couldn’t wait to leave school so I could begin my cooking career. Unless you have that drive and focus, it’s difficult to stick it out. In the UK, too many young people see working in a kitchen as a stop gap, so it’s easy to just walk away from the profession.” Sarah runs Perkins Academy, a school for young chefs that offers onthe-job training and


Perkins Perkins is a truly individual family-run restaurant situated in a beautifully restored Victorian railway station in the pretty Nottinghamshire village of Plumtree. Named after the family that owns it, Perkins has been serving top quality food for 30 years and has twice been voted Midlands Restaurant of the Year. Today its versatile menus champion local produce sourced from surrounding villages and regularly feature dishes with ingredients flavoured in the restaurant’s own smokehouse. Sarah uses the smokery to enhance lots of foods, from cheese to fish, which enables the kitchen to add depth to its dishes. Perkins is part of Great Food Club ( and members can get 10% off during weekdays using their club cards.

qualification. This coaching culture extends to the Perkins’ kitchen, where talented young chefs often join the team to gain experience. Sarah recently added a 19-year old French girl to her team. The experience suggested the gender imbalance might be about more than the presence of lots of gentle girls who can’t hack it. “She was amazing,” said Sarah, “committed, professional and able to work on her own. The reason? To her, cooking was a career in which she was determined to succeed – in France, there is that culture. In the UK, a similar 19-year-old girl would often walk away because working in a kitchen is not given the same kudos. That needs to change if we are to see more young people, particularly girls, excel in our industry. There are so many opportunities for young women prepared to work hard, particularly at a time when employment opportunities are at such an ebb.” Let’s hope a new generation of young women is able to grasp that opportunity, because as Sarah shows, the modern British kitchen is the perfect place for a woman. Q


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The walk

Fotheringhay church as seen from the edge of Woodnewton village

PARK NEAR The Falcon and with the pub on your left, go west towards the end of the village past the house pictured below.


JUST BEFORE the national speed limit signs at the end of the village, turn right up a narrow single-track road.


Swoop down to Fotheringhay and feast at the Falcon

A gentle three-and-a-half-mile circuit, via two beautiful villages with good pubs


44 Great Food Magazine

Coco the Clown


Woodnewton churchyard is the final resting place of Nicolai Poliakoff OBE, creator of Coco the Clown. The village is home to a fundraising operation called Clownfest and a statue of Coco can be seen in the village park.

you off – Fotheringhay is definitely worth a visit, and this pub walk provides the perfect opportunity. Starting at the pub, you stroll across gently undulating arable farmland (no livestock when we did it), cross Willow Brook – a tributary of the River Nene – before arriving at the delightful village of Woodnewton, home of freehouse The White Swan, a finalist in the Best Pub or Bar category in the Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2012/13. After enjoying a drink or more here, you return to Fotheringhay via another footpath, with wonderful views of the church in the distance. This is a laid-back walk suitable for all levels of fitness. There is just one stile to negotiate.

Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright. AM44/10.


otheringhay is probably best known today for its eyecatching 15th century church and top-quality hostelry, The Falcon – named Northamptonshire Dining Pub of the Year 2013 in the latest Good Food Guide. The pretty village is also something of an historic gem, being home to Fotheringhay Castle – razed in 1627 and both birthplace of Richard III and scene of Mary Queen of Scots’ beheading in 1587. These days, the Fotheringhay closest you’re going to church get to regicide here is sipping a Bloody Mary in The Falcon, but don’t let that put

FOLLOW THIS road for a quarter of a mile before turning left at the footpath sign and walking out into a field. Follow the path across the field, go through the hole in the hedge, cross a tarmac track and go through the hole in the hedge opposite (pictured right).


CONTINUE STRAIGHT on with a hedge on your right until you come to a gravel track. Turn left on the track (instead of exactly following the green footpath trail on the map pictured).


FOLLOW THE track for approximately 400 yards, sticking to it as it bends to the right. Then, just after walking between two large trees, turn right where the hedge ends, taking a path that initially follows a hedge but soon bears right to cross through a field.


CROSS THE wooden bridge over Willow Brook, then continue straight on, following the edge of the field with the hedge on your left. Soon you join a tarmac path that takes you into Woodnewton village.


TURN RIGHT when you come to Oundle Road, then turn right again after just a few yards, following the sign to Nassington and Yarwell. Or, instead of taking the road to Nassington, carry


Fotheringhay and Woodnewton

Detailed walk map


Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright. AM44/10.

The Falcon

field before almost immediately bearing left, following the path around the edge of the field.

The White Swan in Woodnewton

CONTINUE STRAIGHT on along the bottom edge of a series of fields for about half a mile, sticking close to the hedge. Eventually you come to a gate that leads you into a wooded area.


on along Oundle Road for a few hundred yards to reach Woodnewton village pub, The White Swan.

Nene tributary, Willow Brook

HAVING TAKEN the Nassington Road (suitably refreshed or otherwise), after about 200 yards you come to the end of the village and see a footpath sign on your right opposite Orchard Lane. Follow this sign into a field, where you see Fotheringhay church on the horizon.


GO THROUGH the first field, then through another and cross a small wooden footbridge. Follow the footpath arrow, following the tree line, with the trees on your right.

AFTER about half a mile you come to a large metal gate. Go through the gate and turn left to rejoin the singletrack road mentioned in Step Three. Go back down the road and at the T-junction, turn left and return to The Falcon.


Bridge over Willow Brook towards Woodnewton


FOLLOW THE footpath by the trees for a few yards and at the second marker arrow, bear right towards the corner of the


GO OVER a stile, carry on through more woods and go through another gate before turning right onto a path.


Fotheringhay deserves a good pub and luckily it’s got The Falcon, which is a class act. The food here is excellent and, not surprisingly, its dining rooms and kitchen are its focus. This is no spit-andsawdust local but The Falcon does a good job of hanging on to at least some of the elements that make a friendly traditional village pub. On our visit there was a local beer available from Barnwell-based Digfield Ales, and the welcome was warm from all the waiting staff, despite our antisocial terrier and the fact we were half an hour late (if doing the walk opposite give yourself at least 90 minutes). Because of the dog, we were seated in the Tap Bar – a cute little self-contained room that could be described as a tiny village drinking pub within a country restaurant. There’s even a dart board. After ordering, food arrived swiftly and our shared watermelon with mint and mozzarella starter was a startlingly good combination. My main of pork tenderloin with roasted sweet potato was also excellent, as was my wife’s Gressingham duck. It was good to see the Tap Bar fill up with locals as the evening wore on. The Falcon is the Good Food Guide 2012 and 2013’s favourite Northamptonshire Dining Pub and it’s not hard to see why. MW The Falcon, Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire PE8 5HZ, 01832 226254,

NOTES: We’ve done this walk and believe that the instructions are accurate. Take a map – OS Explorer 227 – and allow enough time.

Great Food Magazine 45


LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS What’s simmering and steeping at some great local venues? By Tim Burke Local restaurant news is sponsored by Great Food Club

WICKED WITCH, RYHALL RED LION, STATHERN Chef Dameon Clarke is back on The Red Lion at Stathern in the East Midlands scene having Leicestershire has appointed a taken over in the kitchen at The new head chef in the shape of Wicked Witch in Ryhall, just north Sam Britten. Formerly of of Stamford. The village pub has Nottingham’s 1877, Sam has also undergone a major had spells at top city venues refurbishment by Hart’s and World Service. a PeterboroughCo-owner Sean Hope said based team Sam would be further including Darren developing the pub’s policy Ferguson, son of of sourcing the best local Sir Alex and produce from around the manager of Vale of Belvoir. The Red Peterborough Lion, holder of a Michelin United. Clarke’s Bib Gourmand, attracts Dameon Clarke menu shows diners from a wide area but trademark is also now launching a invention in dishes number of initiatives to build such as pan-fried fillet of local trade such as Sunday pub seabass with cauliflower textures, quizzes and ‘Fish and Chip lobster caviar and ginger bhaji. Fridays’ at £6.95. Bridge Street, Ryhall, PE9 4HH, Red Lion St, Stathern, Leics LE14 4HS, TURTLE BAY A new restaurant in Nottingham’s landmark Cornerhouse development is bringing Caribbean cuisine to the city centre and aiming to create “a holiday vibe”. The 120-seat Turtle Bay takes over the former Strada site and is serving up dishes such as curry goat, escovitch seabass and jerk chicken with sides of fried dumplings, rice and peas, and plantain. There’s a streetstyle open kitchen and a central bar offering some 40 different Caribbean rums and cocktails. “We’re aiming to create a vibrant and fun atmosphere,” said a spokesperson. 12 Trinity Square, Nottingham NG1 4DB,

46 Great Food Magazine

The Red Lion at Stathern

FIESTA DEL ASADO Set to open in Birmingham in late October is the 100-cover Fiesta del Asado, offering traditional Argentinian barbecued meats cooked over woodchips. Owner Tony Kleanthous promised it would not be an “Alton Towers Argentinian-themed restaurant” but would be run by people with a passion for the cuisine. There will also be support for the

restaurant from the management team behind the city’s awardwinning Indian restaurant Lasan. 229 Hagley Road, Birmingham B16 9RP, HAMBLETON MENU Michelin-starred Hambleton Hall in Rutland has revamped its menu format to offer “a wider range of our favourite dishes at a

fixed price”. From October 1, the autumn dinner menu now offers three courses for £65. A “gourmet corner” will offer additional luxury items at a supplement. Diners can also choose a six-course tasting menu at £72. On weekdays, the Lunch for Less menu – £24 for two courses – will also be available. Hambleton Hall, Rutland LE15 8TH,

Fox & Hounds E X T O N

Why not visit us soon, see our revamped interior, and enjoy our popular 2 or 3 course set menu. Any 2 courses for £13, 3 courses for £17 from a limited choice menu Available Monday – Friday Lunchtimes and Evenings, until the end of November Great Value Christmas Party Menus now available 2 courses including coffee and mince pies £17 3 courses including coffee and mince pies £20 Private Dining available for parties of all sizes Do you want a large party with a difference? Why not hire out the entire pub for your work outing. We are able to cater for up to 130 guests on an exclusive use basis. New Year’s Eve – ‘Dress up Smart’ and Dance Exclusive House Party, fabulous 4 course dinner, plus live band, table novelties and midnight treats. £60pp Arrive from 7pm for ‘bubbles’, meal commences at 7.45pm Valter, Sandra and our lovely team really hope to see you soon.

The Fox and Hounds, 19 The Green, Exton, Rutland, LE15 8AP Telephone 01572 812403


Christmas First Service & Lunch Menu



AVAILABLE FROM 1ST DECEMBER 2012 (Lunch 12-2pm Mon-Sat-, Dinner 6-7pm Mon-Fri)

Seasonal Amuse Bouche.

Grilled Cornish Mackerel Fillet, Fennel, Orange & Wild Rocket. Ham Hock & Parsley Terrine, Piccalilli, Toasted Walnut & Raisin Bread. Celeriac & Apple Soup, Chive Chantilly, Rosemary & Potato Bread.

Long Whatton Game Terrine with, Piccalilli, Toasted Hazelnut & Apricot Bread. Home Hot Smoked Salmon, Bull’s Blood & Golden Beetroot Salad, Celeriac & Horseradish Crème Fraîche, Rosemary Focaccia Croutes. Twice Baked Vintage Lancashire Bomb Soufflé, Red Onion Marmelade.

UV Pot Roast Blackberry Farm Turkey, Chestnut Seasoning, Goose Fat Roasted Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Turkey Pan Juices, Fresh Cranberry Jelly. Pan Roast Salmon Fillet, Parmesan Gnocchi, Crayfish Veloute, Seasonal Greens. Braised Blade of Blackberry Farm Beef, Pearl Onions, Smoked Bacon Lardons, Parsley Mash, Buttered Curly Kale. Mushroom & Chestnut Wellington, Braised Red Cabbage, Tenderstem Broccoli, Garlic & Rosemary Fondant Potato, Stilton Cream. UV Panetone Bread & Butter Pudding, Cinnamon Bark Ice Cream, Mustard Fruit Tuille Biscuit. Chocolate & Orange Oil Delice, Grand Marnier Clementine’s, Milk Ice Cream. Homemade Christmas Pudding, Brandy Butter Ice Cream, Rum Sauce. A Selection of Home Made Ice Creams & Sorbets. A Cropwell Bishop Stilton & Vintage Lincolnshire Poacher, Accompaniments.



UV Apple Sorbet, Granny Smith Salad, Hogan’s Cider Float. UV Pot Roast Blackberry Farm Turkey, Chestnut Seasoning, Goose Fat Roasted Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Turkey Pan Juices, Fresh Cranberry Jelly. Pan Roasted Blackberry Farm Rump Pave, Oxtail Beignet, Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes, Spinach, Roasted Carrots, Thyme Butter Jus. Responsibly Sourced Sea Bass Fillet, Parmesan Gnocchi, Fresh Water Crayfish Veloute, Seasonal Greens. Mushroom & Chestnut Wellington, Braised Red Cabbage, Tender-stem Broccoli, Garlic & Rosemary Fondant Potato, Stilton Cream. UV Griottine Cherry & Almond Tart, Clotted Cream, Griottine Cherry Reduction. Panetone Bread & Butter Pudding, Cinnamon Bark Ice Cream, Mustard Fruit Tuille Biscuit. Chocolate & Orange Oil Delice, Grand Marnier Clementine’s, Milk Ice Cream. Homemade Christmas pudding, Brandy Butter Ice Cream, Rum Sauce. A Selection of Home Made Ice Creams & Sorbets. A Selection of Artisan Cheeses and Accompaniments.



The Hammer & Pincers 5 East Road, Wymeswold, Loughborough LE12 6ST

t: 01509 880735 w:

The Christmas Party Menu will be available for the month of December and must be taken by bookings of 8 or more guests. There will be an optional 10% Service Charge. Menus Subject to Change at the Discretion of the Management.

LOCAL RESTAURANTS Menu samples Starter

Les Rosbifs, Cold Overton

CUISINE: British/European PRICE PER HEAD: £30-£40 for three courses and drinks KIDS WELCOME: Yes DOGS: Not indoors, but there’s plenty of outdoor space CUSTOMER CAR PARKING: Yes FOOD TIMES: Tue-Sat 12-2.30pm; Sun 123pm; Thurs-Sat, 6-9.30pm (Fine Dining menu)


o get to Les Rosbifs restaurant at Northfield Farm, we had to walk past a barn full of pigs. It set the scene perfectly, because this is a dining room in the middle of a working farm. On the menu are dishes cooked with ingredients harvested from the farm and also sold in Northfield Farm Shop,

including Dexter beef, lamb and mutton that have both won triple gold in the Great Taste Awards, and British Lop pork. Also expect to find dishes on the daily-changing menu that incorporate Northfield Farm’s award-winning black pudding and bacon. The farm’s restaurant was originally opened by Northfield Farm head honcho Jan McCourt, but he has now handed the baton to Sallie Hooper and her three sons. Sallie ran local food hub Leicestershire Food Links for some time before taking on Les Rosbifs; her eldest son Duncan, previously of the Queen’s Head in Nassington, is head chef. We went for Sunday lunch in late October. Paintings of terriers brighten the walls inside Les Rosbifs, which is so named because it is inspired by French farm restaurants. Classic red check tablecloths, a woodburning stove, photos of Northfield Farm’s animals, and horse tack gear round off the rustic styling. On our visit the service was extremely polite and efficient. I was impressed by the full range of Blue Monkey beers – brewed in Nottinghamshire – on offer, and the BG Sips was wonderfully light and zesty. The informal and intensely rural feel of the place is ideal for a relaxed Sunday roast. The Dexter beef

The Star Inn, Thrussington

CUISINE: British PRICE PER HEAD: £25-£35 for three courses and drinks KIDS WELCOME: Yes DOGS: Yes, if they’re well behaved CUSTOMER CAR PARKING: Yes FOOD TIMES: Mon-Sat 12-2pm and 6.30-9.30pm; Sun 12-8pm


y friend and I chose a Tuesday evening to dine at the The Star Inn 1774 (named after the date the pub first opened) in Thrussington, Leicestershire. I arrived alone to a brimming bar, but a member of staff spotted me straight away and I was shown to my table. It wasn’t long before my company arrived and we settled down with the menu and a glass of wine.

48 Great Food Magazine

The restaurant area – contemporary and cosy with pleasant lighting – was almost full and the atmosphere was buzzing, especially considering it was a Tuesday night. Thrussington locals – as well as diners from further afield – clearly appreciate the sizeable investment that’s gone into refitting this country pub on the village green. The way the restaurant is laid out makes it easy for groups to get together and is also a winner for couples seeking a romantic evening, while the bar is ideal for making drinkers feel at home. The Classics Menu is modern British with plenty of simple dishes – Monday is Pie Night, while Tuesday evening is devoted to Fish and Chips. There is also an a la carte menu available from Wednesday to Saturday. Although tempted by the starters, we dived straight into mains with the promise of dessert. My friend went for the fish, while I chose a burger. We both enjoyed our meals – the ingredients were clearly fresh, cooked to order and of a good quality. Despite generous portion sizes, and seeing as there was an autumnal nip in the air and we both had appointments with our personal trainers in the diary, we went for a warming and indulgent apple crumble for pudding. We both agreed that the food was good and the staff were attentive without making

Crab and Chive Risotto with crushed Hazelnut and Parmesan Salad, £6.50


8oz Flat Iron Steak, Grilled Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Handcut Chips, £13.95 Braised Beef and Black Treacle Pie, Spiced Red Cabbage and Mash, £10.95


Flaming Crema Catalana, £4.95 was beautifully tender – pink but not too pink. It’s hard to imagine nicer slices of beef. These were served with unfussy vegetables and cheese-topped (a good Cheddar) cauliflower and broccoli. The Yorkshire pudding was crisp and large, and the horseradish sauce excellent. A top-quality Sunday lunch. It’s the setting and ingredients available to the kitchen that make Les Rosbifs special – you’re on a farm and you feel part of it. Eating here is the perfect antidote to pretentious eateries with more style than substance. Les Rosbifs is full of substance – and it’s a damn tasty substance too. MW LES ROSBIFS AT NORTHFIELD FARM Whissendine Lane, Cold Overton LE15 7QF, 01664 474036,

Menu samples Starters

Seared Scallops with Crispy Pancetta and Pea Textures,


Sesame Seeded Goats’ Cheese with Baked Pear and Walnut Salad, £4.95


Fish of the Day, £13.95 Breast of Guinea Fowl with Anna Potatoes, £16.95


Apple Tarte Tatin, £4.95

us feel rushed. I would be interested to see The Star’s accommodation – they have five double/twin rooms and a family suite. Thrussington is a beautiful village, with a lovely new general store and tea room opposite the pub, and I can’t help thinking that staying at The Star might be a good alternative to a chain hotel. Overall, The Star offers a relaxed atmosphere, a lovely setting and good traditional food at a reasonable price. PM THE STAR INN 1774 37 The Green, Thrussington, Leicestershire, LE7 4UH, 01664 424220,

>HYT\W`V\Y (\[\TUL]LUPUNZH[ ;OL1HJRZVU:[VWZ Tuesday is Fish Night *OVPJLVMKLSPJPV\ZÄZOKPZOLZ MVYQ\Z[‰   Wednesday is Pie Night *OVPJLVMVMJOLM»ZWPLZ MVYQ\Z[‰   Thursday is Steak Night (Z\WLYIY\TWZ[LHR^P[OH JOVPJLVMZH\JLZMVY‰  VYHZPYSVPUMVYQ\Z[ ‰ Z\WWSLTLU[ A l f r e s c o e a t Christmas i n g m a d2012 e easy with




Superb local restaurants Need a picnic, or are you entertaining? reviewed Pre-order platters of succulent charcuterie, naturally oak smoked fish, or the very best cheeses; or our delicious homemade savoury tarts, pâtés and cakes to make your event just that bit more enjoyable!

3a Mill Street, Oakham 01572 756481

Great Food Club Members





Delilah Fine Foods, Nottingham


The view from the mezzanine level


t has been a huge year for Delilah Fine Foods and its ambitious young owner Sangita Tryner. In late summer, the Nottingham fine food shop and cafe was named Britain’s Best Deli 2012 in a competition organised by Dorsetbased food specialist Olives Et Al. Then, just a few days later, Delilah moved from its small shop on the city’s Middle Pavement to impressively large and modern new premises just yards away. And to give you an idea of the scale of Delilah’s new home, it is a listed building in central Nottingham that used to house HSBC. The new deli is four times bigger than the old place – an increase from 780 to more than 3000 square feet. “The new shop, which we’ve bought outright, has been a year in the planning,” says Sangita, who grew up in Aberystwyth and now lives in Nottingham. “Last Christmas we were turning people away so it was the right time to move. We’ve had to lower the windows – because retail doesn’t work unless people can see inside – and build the mezzanine level.” And in addition to the shop’s many shelves and chillers containing the world’s finest foods, including more than 150 cheeses, Delilah now

Homemade Granola, £3.95 French Toast with Crispy Italian Pancetta and Maple Syrup, £5.9 5 Inverawe Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Eggs, Fresh Herbs £6.9 5


Sweet & Spicy Halloumi, £8.95 Grilled Goats Cheese, £8.95

Platter selection

‘Nottingham can be very proud of the new Delilah’ has 68 seats where people can relax and order cold platters, sandwiches, breakfasts and more, all washed down with top-quality wines, beers and coffees. While enjoying their food and drink, customers will undoubtedly admire the beautiful plasterwork on the ceilings and relish the view from the mezzanine level down to the rest of the deli. The new Delilah is something of which Nottingham – and the wider region – can be proud, in the same league as famous delicafes such as Valvona & Crolla in Edinburgh and Villandry in London.


The Olives Et Al Deli of the Year competition has been running since 2010. It is judged by industry experts who assess a regional shortlist of delis (voted for by customers) and mark them for atmosphere, service, choice, energy and food knowledge. The final judges’ report on Delilah Fine Foods said: “This deli is simply a place where you want to spend a whole day, eating grazing platters, drinking amazing coffee, tasting and choosing,


Menu examples

Britain’s Best Deli gets a new home SPECIALITIES: Fine foods, cheeses, charcuterie, coffee, wines, beers OPENING TIMES: Mon to Fri, 8am-7pm; Sat 9am-7pm; Sun 11am-5pm


and all the while just listening to the banter of the deli staff – it is the best fringe food event ever!” Last year’s winner was the Arch House Deli in Bristol. As part of her prize, Sangita will travel to Extremadura in Spain to take part in a full moon harvest of olives. She will also get to spend a ‘behind the scenes’ day at Fortnum & Mason.

Connoiseur’s Experience, £29.95 Delilah Antipasti, £12.95 European Charcuterie, £14.95

Sangita, who used to work for readymeal companies until she spotted a gap in the market and launched Delilah seven years ago, says: “Our staff are the main reason for our success and certainly the reason why we won Deli of the Year. They develop a rapport with customers and introduce them to the products we absolutely love. Some people are concerned we’re getting bigger and more expensive but really the move is simply about accommodating everyone and making visiting us more pleasurable. Delilah was always meant to be about relaxation – a place where you can open the paper, sit back and enjoy great food. You can do this here.” But what about the name? Why Delilah? “It’s from the biblical tale of Samson and Delilah,” says Sangita. “The story is about temptation, which sums up Delilah Fine Foods. Also, I’m from Wales, so Tom Jones might have something to do with it!” CONTACT Delilah Fine Foods, 12 Victoria Street (the old HSBC banking hall), Nottingham, NG1 2FF, 0115 9484461,

The building used to be a bank and is listed

Delilah Fine Foods stocks over 150 types of cheese

50 Great Food Magazine


Locally produced enjoyed by all... WEST STREET, STAMFORD 01780 762245


,7$/,$ Authentic Italian Bistro

Christmas Menu £25.00 Glass of sparkling Prosecco wine to put you in a party mood ~ PRIMI ~ Roast Parsnip and Chestnut Soup, served with Italian bread Gnocchi alla Gorgonzola – Baby potato dumplings in a spinach and gorgonzola sauce with a hint of nutmeg Christmas Platter – Buffalo mozzarella, baby peppers stuffed with cream cheese, parma ham, balsamic onions, mixed olives and chargrilled bread served on a wooden platter ~ SECONDI ~ Leg of Lamb, stuffed with olives, bread, pine nuts and herbs, and served with fennel, parsnips and rosemary flavoured roast potatoes Risotto with butternut squash, spinach, sage, grana padano and mascarpone Warm salad of roasted pumpkin, prosciutto and chestnuts, served with chargrilled focaccia CAFFE WHY NOT BOOKUR XMAS ITALIA FOR YO STAFF PARTY - ASK FOR DETAILS

~ DOLCI ~ Strawberry Tiramisu Toasted panettone with Barolo poached pears, with vanilla mascarpone or ice cream

Two Italian cheeses, with crackers and honey or Italian fig chutney ~ Tea or coffee ~ FREE BABY PANETTONE AS A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FROM CAFFE ITALIA BUON NATALE!

10 Church Street, Melton Mowbray, LE13 0PN Tel. 01664 561777 Opening Times: Mon to Sat 8.30am to 4.00pm, and Fri and Sat 6.30pm to 11.00pm We are open Thursday Nights During December Fully Licensed


Superb local restaurants reviewed


Olive Branch at the Olive Grove, Polebrook

Beautifully kept grounds

Just wow, says a drooling Mark Hamilton CUISINE: Modern Mediterranean PRICE PER HEAD: £10 (including drinks) KIDS WELCOME: Yes DOGS: Yes, in the garden CUSTOMER CAR PARKING: Yes OPENING TIMES: Tues to Sat, 10-5pm; Sun, 11-4pm. Closed on Mondays

Owner Jackie Thackeray

Modern, light and rammed to the gunnels with great food


he first ‘wow’ doesn’t take long as my wife sees the huge range of flavoured oils and vinegars and the table full of olives. More wows come as we walk round the deli. There’s a fridge full of wonderful cheeses and another with mouthwatering charcuterie. But as we walk past piles of pork pies and loose frozen goodies like paella and croissants, the biggest wow is reserved for the colourful swirls of Italian dairy ice cream. All these superlatives would please the owners, Tim and Jackie Thackeray, whose philosophy is to do something that “makes customers go wow”. Box ticked, I’d say. We wander through the immaculately kept grounds with Jackie, who explains they opened three years ago and that it was always meant to be a nursery and nothing I’ve seen smoked tuna for sale. The other else. The nursery has gone from thing you might not expect is the excellent strength to strength, so loose frozen food and much so that Tim and Jackie ready meals. You can get Menu examples finally relented to customers’ everything from broad Classic bruschetta, numerous requests for a beans to paella and £2.50 cafe. They responded with croissants to potato cakes. Tasca and salad, the Olive Branch fine food My wife gravitates to the £4.95 deli cafe and ice cream bewildering range of oils, (various fillings available) parlour. The deli is stocked vinegars and olives, while I Sha ring platter, £6.50 with everything you’d end up with a pork pie, with bruschetta, olives, feta, expect, and a lot you smoked Snowdonia cheese smoked salmon or a wouldn’t – it’s the first time and a bag of pork selection of

‘The deli is stocked with everything you’d expect and a lot you wouldn’t – it’s the first time I’ve seen smoked tuna’ AT FO

The sharing platters are exceptional


cured meats, tomato, mozzarella and antipasta. Plenty for two

O RE G scratchings. All tastes are catered for. And all this before you even reach the cafe, which opened on TO Easter Friday this year. P R AT E D The initial plan was to serve coffee and cakes, but they have now added Mediterranean-style snacks and light meals, which include tascas – an Italian sandwich similar to a panini. Then there’s the gelati, which is a work of art in itself. Not ones to stand still, the couple’s plans involve opening a food hall in a barn behind the cafe, increasing the size of the deli and allowing the cafe to expand. They’re still going through the planning process, but I’m sure Jackie and Tim will wow us with whatever they do next, which includes bespoke Christmas hampers. Q


Pies galore

CONTACT Charlotte Falkingham with Sarah Lyon and Janet ??????

52 Great Food Magazine

Olive Branch at the Olive Grove, Oundle Road, Polebrook, Northants PE8 5LQ, Sarah Lyon and Janet ?????? 01832 275660,

A new concept bar in Birmingham serving small dishes of Venetian tapas â&#x20AC;&#x201C; known as Cicchetti (pronounced chi-KET-tee). You can make a meal of them by ordering several plates which can be shared between friends.


Open 7 Days a Week 12 Noon Until Late Fumo, part of the multi - award winning San Carlo restaurant group.

W W W. S A N C A R L O . C O . U K

TEL: 0121 643 8979

1 Wa t e r lo o S t re e t , B ir mi ngham, B 2 5PG



Superb local restaurants reviewed



Stamford Garden Centre - Christmas Gifts, Trees & Lights, Our Award Winning

Butchery & Restaurant PLUS Greensleaves Florist, Chalk Furniture & Accessories, Freesia's Soft Furnishings, Emma Cannings Facial & Body Care, & much, much more...

Find out more: | Call 01780 76 56 56


Awarded to Natural Probiotic Thick & Creamy



  Awarded to Rhubarb Thick & Creamy Winners of the L ocal Chilled Food Section Award



       #2-8 -00-2+7 3%( %/,%1 980%2(   4)232!%896(%=7*631%1834140)%7)'%00 

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Superb local restaurants       reviewed 6-(%= 8,3:)1&)6*631  4183  41 ",)6%2(%00%/,%1%780)3**8,)%6/)8 0%')%/,%1  " 9)78;-2)1%/)67 !-132)%.30-2-%.30-2-6%2'-%'368%8%0= -3:%22-()0$)'',-3$%04%2)6%6-90-8%0=

Available at your local farmshop 01664 424245 (office) 01664 424772 (dairy)

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Eating out


I was once gluttonous, now I’m just glutenous A grain of truth reveals itself to the Mystery Muncher


he Mystery Muncher has had a little pre-Christmas present. After a lifetime of eating and drinking to excess, he has been told that he’s probably a coeliac. No, you ignorant swine, I’m not going to start balancing a ball on my nose and demanding more fish – being coeliac means that eating anything with wheat in it can make me lose half my body weight down the drain in an instant. So my favourite breads, my local beer and lots of other things that make life bearable including pasta, many sauces and even Christmas pudding are now on the banned list. So in these enlightened days of accurate food labelling, food provenance and trackability, I thought I’d check a few notable restaurants to see how they coped with a freak like me. After all, there are around 580,000 coeliacs in the UK, which is a market worth catering for. I phoned The Olive Branch in Clipsham, Rutland, and asked how difficult it would be to bring a recently diagnosed coeliac. They were excellent: “Our menu is very good for those who require gluten-free food and dealing with this is a daily occurrence for our staff,” they said.

Casa Romana in Leicester is a favourite, and owner Roberto knows me and my eating habits well, so he thought I was joking. But when he realised this was serious he said, “My son is a great chef and he can’t eat gluten, so I’ll call him and together we’ll do you a special menu.” Hambleton Hall, another Rutland restaurant, was also good. “We have lots of diners who are coeliac and it’s no problem at all – even with tasting menus – if you let us know in advance.” A Chinese restaurant, which had better remain anonymous, when asked the big question responded with, “Grooten, wha is grooten?” Research has revealed that even soya sauce is a banned substance as far as I’m concerned, so Chinese food is verboten.

Heads up... there are 580,000 coeliacs in the UK, but is the real figure actually much higher?

‘Some restaurants are good at talking about gluten, so why not put more info on the menu?’ When I called The Tiffin in Leicester, it was with total fear as good Indian food is very important to me, but the ingredients are mainly a mystery. A very helpful waiter said: “All our food is gluten-free sir – except the bread.” What a relief. Matricardi’s in Henleyin-Arden was a little disconcerted when I asked but checked and banned the onion rings on my delicious belly of pork lunch. Judging by the rumblings in my own belly afterwards, I’m not sure they got it totally right. An eating pub in Repton is great for pizzas and steak but they tried to dismiss the gluten-free question with: “We’ve told quite a few people over the last few weeks that there’s no demand for gluten-free food”. Which Wheat – are more of us becoming intolerant to it?

when you think about it is a classic reply. If you believe the data, around one in 100 of us has gluten intolerance, but judging by the conversations I have had in pubs and restaurants, it seems the real figure is a lot higher than that or (pause here, for the food conspiracy theorists to listen really carefully) it really is getting a lot worse because of something “they” are doing to wheat. Whatever the real figures there is a definite need for some professionals to become aware of the crap job they do for us people with special dietary needs (bloody hell, I’m a cookery cripple). But some of our restaurants are surprisingly good at talking about gluten on the telephone, so why not put the information on the menu? More than 580,000 of us would appreciate it. Q THE MYSTERY MUNCHER For more adventures from the Mystery Muncher, whoever he is, go to

Great Food Magazine 55

LOCAL RESTAURANTS Menu samples Starters

Curry Lounge, Nottingham

CUISINE: Indian PRICE PER HEAD: £25-£35 for three courses and drinks KIDS WELCOME: Yes DOGS: No CUSTOMER CAR PARKING: There’s a multistorey a few yards down the road FOOD TIMES: Daily from 5.30pm, and 12-2.30pm throughout December only


onday night isn’t the best time to go out for a curry, but seeing as I was on press deadline and it was the only free evening available, Monday it had to be. Happily, the quality of food at The Curry Lounge in Nottingham was more than a match for the end-of-weekend blues.

Owned by Arfan ‘Raz’ Razak, The Curry Lounge is a large restaurant in the centre of Nottingham. The interior comprises lots of dark wood, subdued lighting, rows of large and squashy chairs, hanging silver beads, LED lights and intriguing water features. The menu is a huge improvement on those found in many Indian restaurants, where you have to choose from endless lists of dishes, all with limited descriptions. At the Curry Lounge the menu is logical and the options are described well. Also at odds with the norm, here you can choose from a section headed ‘Healthy Mains’, within which are six low-fat dishes. Each comes with its calorie count written next to it – for example, the Tandoori Chicken Healthy Option has 698 calories, and the Vegetable Salan 552 calories. Owner Raz is a qualified GP so it’s good to see him putting his menu where his mouth is. And in case you were wondering, the calorie counts were worked out following a study that the restaurant undertook with the University of Nottingham, where Raz studied medicine. Service was polite, fast and efficient during our visit, which isn’t surprising because the Curry Lounge’s staff recently won Team of the Year 2012 at the English Curry Awards.

Sage, Castle Donington

CUISINE: British/European PRICE PER HEAD: £14 for two courses or £18 for three courses; drinks extra KIDS WELCOME: Yes DOGS: No CUSTOMER CAR PARKING: Yes FOOD TIMES: Lunch: Mon-Fri 12-2pm, Sat closed. Dinner: Mon-Sun 6-9.45pm


suspect Sage at the Castle Donington Manor Hotel is the kind of Middle England place that would give your average fancy-dan metropolitan restaurant critic the heebeejeebees. First there would be the shock of finding there was a real live village of Castle Donington, not just an airport and muddy rock festival site. Then they’d look at this solid Georgian coaching inn, its blingy

56 Great Food Magazine

gold-painted dining room, its car park full for the Rotary Club meeting, and hightail it back south of Watford. But most Midlands folk probably aren’t too bothered whether a place would cut the mustard in Hoxton. At whatever level of gastronomy we’re eating, we tend to want good quality, well-cooked food, and if it’s presented with flair that would be nice too. And, actually, that’s just what you get at Sage. Things started a bit slowly – my smoked salmon with creme fraiche and potato salad was all a bit too well behaved and needed more than a few specks of lime dressing to perk it up. Grilled goats’ cheese with roasted beetroot was much better – good ingredients cooked simply and allowed to sing. Things looked up further with the main courses. Rump of lamb was perfectly cooked – pinkish, moist and with just enough fat remaining to boost the flavours. It sat on some soft, young, lightly spiced leeks and excellent grain mustard mash. There was a separate boat with plenty of gutsy red wine gravy, too. A duck leg confit was not bad, and it was lifted to really rather good when eaten with the gorgeous red cabbage accompaniment and a fruity but not over-sweet shallot gravy. Desserts took another step up. A finelymade lemon tart came with fresh berries and

Tandoori Murgh Tikka, £4.95 Prawn Puri, £5.95 Veg platter for 2-3, £12.95


Mirch Murgh Jalfrezi, £9.95 Lobster Pepper Fry, £16.95 Tandoori Chicken Healthy Option, £13.95 Lamb Saagwala, £10.50


Billy’s Special Naan, £5.50

We went for a Vegetarian Platter to start followed by Tandoori Chicken and Chicken Curry from the Healthy section. Ordering Samosas, Bhajis and Aloo Tikka Cakes made our low-calorie mains something of a token gesture but it was all delicious. The Bhajis were crisp and the Samosas full of flavour. The mains were some of the best Indian food we’ve eaten – beautifully presented and well balanced in the spice department. The chicken was moist and well cooked. The food here is inspired by Raz’s experiences of his mum’s home cooking while growing up in Pakistan. It’s unfussy and fantastic. MW THE CURRY LOUNGE 110 Parliament Street, Nottingham NG1 6LF, 0115 9418844,

Menu samples Starter

Grilled goats’ cheese with roasted beetroot


Pork belly, pea purée, parmentier potato, candied apple jus Corn fed chicken breast, chorizo mash, thyme jus


Bakewell tart with black cherry ice cream Two courses £14; three £18

a positively dazzling basil ice-cream – a dangerous but inspired combination that really worked. Finally a plum and ginger tarte tatin was also very well done and showed a touch of invention. Food presentation was appealing and waiting staff – young, female, friendly and skilled – were a credit to the place. It may not be cutting edge stylistically, but with good, solid British cooking and three courses for £18, what’s not to like? TB SAGE AT DONINGTON MANOR HOTEL High Street, Castle Donington DE74 2PP, 01332 810253,

Profile Sample menu Starters

Ferrari’s Trattoria, Quorn

Parma ham with melon, £6.95 Homemade liver pate, £5.30 Deep-fried squid with tartare sauce,


An Italian institution in the heart of Leicestershire

Soup of the Day, £3.50


Bistecca pizzaiola (sirloin steak in a hot & spicy tomato sauce), £16.90 Veal cordon bleu, £16.90 Chicken Suprema Ferrari, £12.50 Spaghetti Bolognese, £7.90


Homemade tiramisu, £4.90 Banana pirata, £4.90

Daily specials also available

Above: Ferrari’s bar Right: Silvio Buttarazzi

SPECIALITIES: Traditional Italian food – ossobuco, arancini, fresh seafood OPENING TIMES: Monday to Saturday, 6.30pm - 10pm


ld-school are two words that spring to mind as you walk into Ferrari’s in Quorn, Leicestershire. From the restaurant sign in the Italian tricolour, to the red-brick bar, well-used chalkboard displaying specials, and décor that hasn’t changed in at least 20 years, this is one traditional trattoria. A battered acoustic guitar hangs on the wall that you can imagine being strummed by an Italian lothario, rose between teeth, to serenade a dusky beauty during her pasta course. Italian stereotypes aside, there is something charming about Ferrari’s refusal to get with the times and carry on doing its thing unashamedly, textured plasterwork, battered old chairs and all. The food, family atmosphere and good service are what this place is all about, not fads

or interior design. The restaurant has thrived in Quorn for 21 years, and while many other village eateries have come and gone, Ferrari’s has ploughed on successfully like a horny handed Italian farmer. “We haven’t changed in 21 years,” says Silvio Buttarazzi proudly, in his wonderful Anglo-Italian accent, adding a splash of sambuca to his coffee. “We don’t serve nouvelle cuisine – you get what you see – good Italian food. Everything is freshly cooked.” Silvio runs the restaurant with business partner Gambero Ferrari, helped out by various family members. Silvio’s roots are in Monte Cassino, Italy, and he came to England in 1966 when he was 16. “My uncle was imprisoned in England during the AT FOOD Second World War RE

The style of both Ferrari’s interior and food is traditional


and when hostilities finished he was given the option to stay or return to Italy. He said he wanted to stay and became a farmer in Diseworth near Loughborough. That’s how I ended up coming to England. “When I first arrived I was too young for a labouring job and they couldn’t train me because I didn’t know the language. So I went into the restaurant trade. I hated it. I’m serious! But you get used to it. It’s hard work if you want to make any money!” The precursor to Ferrari’s was Antonio’s – a restaurant opened on the same site in Quorn by an Italian hairdresser 25 years ago. Antonio used to cook on an old range that still sits at the back of Ferrari’s. This restaurant has many loyal diners FERRARI’S FOOD who love the atmosphere and the traditional food. It’s the sort of place TO D The heart of Ferrari’s is its ever-changing chalkboard near the bar displaying the daily P R AT E where regulars are given a panettone on specials. This chalkboard is always written in Italian but Silvio makes a point of the house each Christmas. So are there any explaining all the options to every table. Ossobuco and other veal dishes are a speciality. plans to update Ferrari’s? “Oh yes,” says “Our head chef used to be a butcher and we are one of the few restaurants that uses every single veal cut possible,” says Silvio. “Our chalkboard always features fresh seafood too – we’re proud of Silvio. “We will change the specialities on the our seabass, Dover sole, lemon sole, mussels from Devon and king prawns. In addition, Ferrari’s blackboard in the next couple of days.” Q


regulars often request the head chef’s arancini [Sicilian stuffed rice balls]. Game is on the cards in winter. “I go to Melton Mowbray market to buy my partridge and pheasant,” says Silvio. “We serve dishes like partridge wrapped in bacon in a brandy and cream sauce.” They must be doing something right in the kitchen here – apparently the head chef hasn’t had one day off sick despite working here for 20 years!

CONTACT Ferrari’s Trattoria, 4 High Street, Quorn, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 8DT, 01509 412191,

Great Food Magazine 57

WHERE TO EAT Menu examples

Passionate cooking with top quality produce


Hart’s, Nottingham


Restaurant TO


SPECIALITIES: Local produce, game dishes, fine wines FOOD TIMES: Mon-Sat, 12-2pm and 7-10.30pm; Sun, 12-2pm and 7-9pm


Butter poached guinea fowl, pump kin, cep, pomegranate, £17.95 Slow roast old spot pork belly, colca nnon potato, apple compote, £15.95


Chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream, £8 Peach melba, £7.95


alk to any food-lover in Nottingham about eating out and they will probably point you in the direction of Hart’s. Renowned amongst locals and visitors alike, it has been setting the standard for modern British food and service in the city for the past 15 years. You could say it is an institution – but that would conjure up images of dark rooms and traditional decor, which could not be further from the reality. Hart’s is bright, light and contemporary, the interior inspired by abstract artwork teamed with comfortable wool fabric seating, crisp white table linen and rich American cherry wood.

Game dishes are central to Hart’s winter menu

“This ‘live kitchen’ approach means you’ll rarely get the exact same menu twice – tweaks are made daily” With an emphasis on seasonality and quality, the Hart’s ethos is to use the very best ingredients, cooked simply and executed perfectly to bring out the key flavours. Each dish is devised using a mix of experience and understanding of what Hart’s customers want, as well as knowledge of classic flavour combinations and ingredients. As many of the ingredients as possible are sourced locally; the lamb is from Derbyshire’s Peak District, the game is from estates in the Vale of Belvoir, and the bread is from Rutland’s Hambleton Bakery. But getting the best taste and quality is always the priority. Head chef Dan Burridge prides himself on using the finest suppliers and working with


Guinea fowl galantine, foie gras, raisin puree, hazelnut salad, £8.50 Ham croquette, pea puree, £6.9 5 Poached salmon & pimento terrin e, tartare sauce, £7.95

them to ensure he only gets top-notch ingredients with which to work. “If something isn’t up to scratch then we won’t use it,” he said. “It’s as simple as that. Similarly, if a supplier brings us something really special we’ll get it straight on the menu for that day, creating something new that showcases it to its full potential.” This ‘live kitchen’ approach means you’ll rarely get the exact same menu twice. Tweaks are made daily taking into account deliveries, flavour combinations and even the Hart’s is weather! One thing Dan will part of Great Food Club – www. guarantee though, is that greatfoodclub. - members can get 10% off.

FOR the winter months will always RECIPE A F HART’S ROM see a fair number of red meat H CHEF D EAD and game dishes making an BURRID AN G WWW.GE, VISIT appearance. R FOODM EAT AG “Game is one of my CO.UK . favourite ingredients to cook with,” he says, “and I especially love the way it is such a big part of the character of Hart’s. Together with Aaron [Patterson, head chef at sister restaurant Hambleton Hall], we hang and then butcher all our own game, so we can literally follow it from the field into the kitchen.” And it’s not just food that the team at Hart’s is passionate about. Proprietor Tim Hart personally selects the wine for the restaurant, choosing carefully to ensure what’s available complements the flavours of the season. His regular wine tasting evenings are well attended and renowned for being both informative and highly enjoyable. In fact, having a good time is generally quite high on the agenda at Hart’s, with monthly appearances from local singer Campbell Bass in the restaurant and other quarterly toe-tapping events held in the private dining area upstairs. One thing is for sure, Hart’s is a restaurant filled with passion and enthusiasm. The team pride themselves on serving unfussy food that speaks for itself – in short, food that comes from the heart. Q

CONTACT The modern interior of Hart’s restaurant

58 Great Food Magazine

Hart’s Nottingham, Standard Hill, Park Row, Nottingham, NG1 6GN, 0115 9881900,



FESTIVE SEASON AT THE MARQUESS OF EXETER. Come and celebrate the festive season. Enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a homemade mince pie in front of our open log fire, or bring your family and friends to our warm and welcoming restaurant and savour our sumptuous festive menu.

52 Main Street, Lyddington, Uppingham, Rutland LE15 9LT

Tel: 01572 822 477 email: web:

Proud Sponsors of Burghley Park & Uffington Cricket Clubs

Christmas Parties Three Courses for just £29.95 Sample Menu Starters Beetroot cured smoked salmon with watercress and horseradish cream. The Tobie Norris Surf n Turf: Strips of sirloin steak, lime chilli and garlic king prawns with beer battered scraps and peppercorn mayonnaise.

Mains Roast cod wrapped in cured ham with winter ratatouille. Roasted Norfolk turkey with Lincolnshire sausage and smoked bacon bubble and squeak, accompanied with braised red cabbage, brussel sprouts and smoked bacon lardons.

Puddings Eton tidy: a modern twist on an English classic pudding. Christmas pudding cheesecake, brandy ice-cream.

Buffet menus from £10 per head Our buffets are designed for large parties over 12. Price includes private hire of one of our enchanting rooms as an informal way of dining to the Christmas festivities. See more information about all of our menus at

To book your party call 01780 753800

12 St Pauls Street, Stamford, PE9 2BE Tel: 01780 753800


Superb local restaurants reviewed

Top wedding venues Some of the Midlands’ most individual wedding venues, where good food and drink is a top priority





Burton These are some of the region’s most interesting and food-focused wedding venues. If you’d like us to list your venue here, please email 1 Barnsdale Lodge Hotel

The Avenue, Exton, Oakham, Rutland LE15 8AH, 01572 724678,

2 The Carriage Hall

Station Road, Plumtree, Nottinghamshire NG12 5NA, 0115 9375300,

3 Doddington Hall & Gardens

Doddington, Lincoln LN6 4RU, 01522 812501,,

4 The Exeter Arms 21 Stamford Road, Easton on the Hill, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 3NS, 01780 756321, 5 Fischer’s at Baslow Hall Calver Road, Baslow, Derbyshire, DE45 1RR, 01246 583259, 6 Hambleton Hall Hambleton, Oakham, Rutland LE15 8TH, 01572 756991, 7 Hart’s Hotel

Standard Hill, Park Row, Nottingham, NG1 6GN, 0115 9881900,

60 Great Food Magazine


8 Kilworth House Hotel

Lutterworth Road, North Kilworth, Leicestershire LE17 6JE, 01858 880058,

9 Kelmarsh Hall & Gardens


Kelmarsh, Northampton, NN6 9LY, weddings@kelmarsh.com01604 686543,

10 Langar Hall

Langar, Nottinghamshire NG13 9HG, 01949 860559,

11 Hotel Maiyango

13-21 St Nicholas Place, Leicester LE1 4LD, 0116 2518898,

12 Stapleford Park Hotel Stapleford, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 2EF, 01572 787000, 13 Washingborough Hall Country

House Hotel & Restaurant Church Hill, Washingborough, Lincoln LN4 1BE 01522 790340,,

14 Whatton House and Gardens

Long Whatton, Leicestershire LE12 5BG, 01509 270202 enquiries@whattonhouse,

Birmingham Solihull


Advertisement feature

Welbeck Ollerton






Derbyshire Nottingham





7 2






Melton 12


Oakham Leicester


Stamford 6 4


Peterboroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Stilton

Market Harborough






Coventry Leamington Warwick




Northants Northampton

Map by Graham Wright

Great Food Magazine 61


Matrimonial CAKES

Bored of traditional cake? Get your lips around these CHEESE WEDDING CAKE FROM THE MELTON CHEESEBOARD

Just add crackers


raditional iced fruit cake is all well and good but some may accuse it of being predictable. Classic, certainly. Boring, possibly. What is undeniable is that by the time the cake is cut, many have placed their three sheets firmly to the wind and would prefer something savoury. A kebab would be welcomed with open mouths by some. We’re yet to come across a chicken shish wedding cake but we’re highly impressed by The Melton Cheeseboard’s delightful wedding cheese cakes, garnished with a beautiful selection of fruit. Several creations for your special day are available from the renowned Melton Mowbray cheesemonger. The smallest option is known as The Saxilby, priced at £70, which serves 4050 people and consists of half moons of Long Clawson Blue Stilton, Cotswold (also by Long

Melton Cheeseboard’s Tim Brown (right) with celeb foodie Jay Rayner

Clawson), and Wensleydale, topped with a heart of Godminster Cheddar. The largest is ‘Belvoir’ (£225), which sates the raging appetites of around 150 wine-addled guests and comprises whole rounds of Lincolnshire Poacher and Cornish Yarg, a ring of Clawson Stilton, some Wensleydale and a large helping of Cornish Camembert. CONTACT: The Melton Cheeseboard, 8 Windsor Street, Melton Mowbray, Leics LE13 1BU,



f several tiers of cheese doesn’t do it for you, maybe a mountain of award-winning Melton Mowbray pork pies will. A meaty wedding ‘cake’ from Melton pie maker Dickinson & Morris will not only cut a dash but also please the bill payer and their bank manager, because it can double up as the main course for the evening buffet. Simply serve with lashings of good English mustard and a decent salad and you’re away! If you’re getting married in the East Midlands (see p60) then this is an especially great choice. Created at Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe in Melton Mowbray, these pork pie wedding cakes are

62 Great Food Magazine

based on a simple three tier design (£55) made up from 795g and 454g authentic Melton Mowbray Pork Pies. Dickinson & Morris also offers a visually stunning ‘Tower of Minis’, which makes an impressive focal point on any buffet table (cost varies according to number of pies). Award-winning Dickinson & Morris Melton Mowbray pork pies are made using the best quality ingredients, including fresh uncured British pork, seasoned with white pepper and salt, and encased in a hot water crust pastry. Both the three-tier and ‘tower of minis’ options are perfect for

Left: I do! Right: Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe head honcho Stephen Hallam

newlyweds who want to offer their guests a savoury treat once they have worked up an appetite on the dancefloor!

CONTACT: Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe, 10 Nottingham Street, Melton, Leics LE13 1NW,

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-$48(67 Food Specialist


Farjals Country Foods REDWOOD Smokehouse


Established in 1989 we specialise in “Extremely High Quality” food products. We use traditional methods of Curing & Smoking of Fresh British Produce, using Sea Salt, Raw Cane Sugar, Herbs & Spices.


Superb local restaurants reviewed


Jaquest Food Specialist, Bolsover Business Park, Off Woodhouse Lane, Bolsover, Near Chesterfield S44 6BD Tel: +44 (0)1246 827 972 Fax: +44 (0)1246 827 972 Email:





Discover the very best places and use your Great Food Club card to enjoy exclusive offers



The places on this map are part of Great Food Club – a growing network of the region’s very best food businesses. All have been handpicked by this magazine and many offer exclusive deals to Great Food Club members. New arrivals include Michelinstarred Fischer’s at Baslow Hall and Bib Gourmandwinning country inn, The Pheasant at Keyston. 1 BARNSDALE LODGE






01572 724678, 01572 759735, 0116 2793303,


01664 822114,


0116 3198363,


01509 238113,

01572 812995, 01572 756991,


01509 880735,



01629 888586,


0115 9881900,

01832 710241,

37 THE PICKLED VILLAGE 01572 756481,



01427 628270,


01604 770223, 01949 860868,










01780 763136,

0115 9418844,


01858 464935,


0116 2259650,


0116 2014100,


01780 756321,


0116 2796260,


01246 583259,


01455 202702,


01572 722266,


0115 9665666,

64 Great Food Magazine

01780 410237,

0115 960590, 01572 737634,


01572 822951,


01949 860559,


01949 81361,


01664 562257,


01780 410355,,


01572 756481,


0115 9373695,

Always check offer details before trying to redeem





0116 2518898,



7 COUNTRY VICTUALLER 01636 636465,

Bakewell 23


01780 789700,

01789 403449,

01332 695129,

01476 860477,




01909 532171,


01858 440964,



01604 621640,


01572 787000,


07884 112812,



01780 740250,



01664 482068,

Map by Graham Wright






Lincoln Ollerton








To join Great Food Club and receive a membership card and printed guide (coming in 2013), go to and fill in the form. We will post you a membership card that enables you to claim offers at the places on this map. To see all the offers, turn to p19 or visit The aim of Great Food Club is to showcase top quality food businesses.















49 4 43
















25 12 5







21 13




50 41



37 14



3 46



Stilton Oundle


Coventry Leamington


Market Harborough


Rugby 47 39


Cambs 36




Aldo Zilli’s Aubergine Cannelloni Aldo Zilli has teamed up with San Carlo, the family-owned group of Italian eateries with restaurants in Leicester, Birmingham and London, among other cities. Aldo says: “With his new Cicchetti restaurants, Carlo Distefano [San Carlo founder] has taken the concept of Venetian tapas to a whole new level. I can’t wait to create some new dishes for the menu – it’s going to be great fun.” To try some of the Italian celebrity chef’s new dishes, you’ll need to visit Aldo Zilli Fumo, San Carlo’s (right) with Carlo Birmingham-based Distefano, cicchetti restaurant. chairman of Cicchetti has its roots San Carlo in Venice, where the term is used to describe small dishes served casually with drinks.

66 00 Great GreatFood FoodMagazine Magazine

Serves 4

* 2 aubergines * 300g ricotta cheese * 50g Parmesan, grated * 150g mozzarella, finely diced * 15g fresh basil, torn into pieces, plus extra to garnish * Salt and freshly ground black pepper * 200g cherry tomatoes * 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Cut the aubergines lengthways into 5mmthick slices and grill on both sides until soft. 2 In a bowl, mix the ricotta with half the Parmesan and the mozzarella. Add almost all the basil and seasonings. 3 Spread the ricotta mixture over each aubergine slice and roll up. 4 Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (180°C). Arrange the aubergine rolls in a buttered roasting tin and sprinkle with the rest of the grated Parmesan. Bake for 10 minutes. 5 Meanwhile, whizz the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil and remaining basil leaves in a blender or food processor. Pour the sauce into a pan and heat through. Serve the cannelloni, sprinkled with the extra basil, with the tomato sauce.

Pop in and meet your new neighbours. Waitrose in Market Harborough is now open. SS_PR_23 PRESS FULL_728_GreatFoodMag.indd 1

15/10/2012 15:01

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Great Food Magazine Winter 2012  

14. The final issue! The Winter 2012 issue of Great Food Magazine, containing features on local producers in the Midlands, recipes, restaura...

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