The Borough Market guide to preservation

Page 1

THE BOROUGH MARKET GUIDE TO

Preservation From pickled vegetables and smoked fish to booze-soaked fruit and candied peel, a simple guide to preserving food

Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket


THE BOROUGH MARKET GUIDE TO

Preservation One of the principle reasons for preserving food is that it enables us to reduce waste. Those carrots and potatoes you didn’t need for your roast, that pak choi that didn’t fit in your stir fry, the big bag of cherries whose capacity you completely underestimated – if the options are to either let them go soft and shrivelled on their way to the bin, or else retain their form, firmness and flavour in a pickle, the choice should be an obvious one. But the point of preservation goes far beyond being thrifty and responsible: the methods explained in this simple guide can also help you unlock the otherwise untapped potential of your ingredients. Hot smoking a piece of salmon brings a new dimension to what can be quite a bland fish. Pickling garlic mellows the usual harshness of raw cloves, making it perfect for dressings and dips. Kimchi offers an explosion of flavour that no side of boiled cabbage could ever provide. By their very nature, because they’re designed to hang around, all the techniques and dishes outlined here have the potential to become an ongoing source of inspiration, something to sit in your fridge or your cupboard and help shape your meal choices in the days and weeks to come.

BOROUGH MARKET ONLINE Borough Market Online offers a wide selection of our traders’ produce, delivered direct to London addresses and, where available, by post to the rest of the UK. goodsixty.co.uk/borough-market

Guide to: Pickling Angela Clutton Chilli pickled garlic Ed Smith Pickled quail’s eggs Jenny Chandler Pink onion & carrot pickle Jenny Chandler Pickled pak choi Jeremy Pang Turmeric spiced chicken, white kimchi & chilli green beans Nicole Pisani Scallops, hazelnut herb butter & pickled cherries Rosie Birkett Guide to: Hot smoking Jenny Chandler Hot smoked salmon, green peas & beans with quinoa Jenny Chandler Guide to: Drying Angela Clutton Candied orange, lemon and bergamot peel Angela Clutton Guide to: Salt cures Angela Clutton Bourbon & coriander seed gravadlax Angela Clutton Guide to: Preserving fruit Angela Clutton Preserved pears in calvados & spices Angela Clutton A view from the stalls: Temptings Mrs Sandhu


KIM LIGHTBODY / FRONT COVER: HELEN CATHCART

Turmeric spiced chicken with white kimchi



GUIDE TO: PICKLING Angela Clutton

Should you find yourself walking past an east London fish and chip shop and hear someone exclaim “what a wally”, don’t necessarily assume they are being disparaging about the clientele. More likely they’re just pleased with their pickled gherkins, ‘wally’ being the old cockney term for just that. A wally gives the kind of knock-out flavour punch common to all pickles, but stands out for the fact gherkins are grown specifically just to be pickled. Gherkins aside, most pickling is yet another old way of preserving produce beyond its season and limiting waste. Those principles certainly apply to other, ordinary cucumbers. My fridge is rarely without a jar or two of those, pickled with sweet muscatel vinegar, dill, garlic and pickling spices. There’s nothing better for a burger. The acidity of vinegar preserves the fruit or vegetables by preventing the development of harmful bacteria. The very basic process of immersing something in vinegar for a while couldn’t be simpler – so simple, it is worth taking the time to think about the quality and condition of what you are preserving. When I called my cucumbers ‘ordinary’ just now, that really translates in a pickling context as ‘exceptional’. They had such a beautiful smell and taste when fresh. Only by using the best ingredients – including really good vinegar and the freshest of spices – can anyone hope to achieve the best pickles. Vinegar may not be able to transform inferior produce, but it can intensify flavours and colours. It also blends flavours together, making it really important to put together

ingredients that will achieve an interesting balance when left to mature and develop. Piccalilli is a famous pickle that, on the face of it, is such a melee of ingredients it’s hard to see how it can work. As a child, I wrinkled my nose at this pickle my mother so loved. Now I’ve grown into a self-declared vinegar obsessive, I feel sad about the fuss I made. As I smear piccalilli on a slice of pie, I can fully appreciate that the right blend of seasonal vegetables, when pickled with good white wine vinegar and interesting spices, achieves a flavour both smooth and strong. Pickling spices typically include coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cumin, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, chilli flakes or black pepper, in differing proportions, and rarely all at once. You can build up from there depending on what is being pickled. I’ve had very tasty results pickling peaches with spices and lime zest. Cubes of tenderly cooked pumpkin pickle well with chanterelles and thyme added into the mix. For the kinds of pickles where the fruit or vegetable is lifted out to be used as an ingredient or condiment (as opposed to the piccalilli style of pickle where the sauce is thicker and served too), I urge you to value and use what is left behind in the jar. It will have developed so much flavour from all the ingredients blending together and becomes a prize for use in cooking or for dressings. My fridge probably has as many jars of ‘empty’ pickling liquid as it does pickles. If I’m honest, the pickling liquids are used even more than the actual pickles – and that is saying something.


CHILLI PICKLED GARLIC Ed Smith Makes 2 x 160ml containers

Method

Soft, mellowed garlic with a touch of chilli heat. It’s important to use natural salt with no additives or iodine in this recipe – Spice Mountain sells suitable salt, or look out for ‘kosher’ or ‘pickling salt’. If you use table salt, your cloves will turn blue.

Run your containers through a dishwasher to sterilise them before commencing this recipe.

Ingredients 3 large bulbs of garlic 8 bird’s eye chillies 100g white wine vinegar 10g coarse natural sea salt 10g caster sugar 8 peppercorns 30 pink peppercorns (approx)

Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

Peel each of the garlic cloves. Trim off any bad bits or thick ends. Finely slice four of the birdseye chillies. Leave the other four whole. Pour the vinegar, 100g water, salt and sugar into a small milk pan. Bring to the boil, stirring so the salt and sugar fully dissolve. Add the peppercorns and the garlic, turn down to a very light simmer and cook for 4 mins. Place a whole chilli, a few pink peppercorns and a sprinkle of sliced chilli into the base of each jar. Spoon in enough garlic to fill it one third of the way up. Add more chilli and peppercorns, then layer in more garlic so that the container is two thirds full. Add more peppercorns and the remaining whole chillies. Top up the garlic and pour the warm brine over. Close each lid while warm.

@boroughmarket


ED SMITH


PICKLED QUAIL’S EGGS Jenny Chandler Makes 24

Method

For this easy-to-make bite-sized snack or appetiser, you will need a large sterilised jar – just wash it well in soapy water and then place in an oven at 160C for 20 mins.

Place the eggs in boiling water and cook for 3 mins, then dunk them immediately in cold (best of all iced) water to cool. Remove the shells carefully.

Ingredients

Crush the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns very roughly with a pestle and mortar. Add to the vinegar with the remaining ingredients and bring up to the boil to infuse the liquid with the spices and bay. Leave to cool.

24 quail’s eggs, at room temperature 1 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp fennel seeds 1 tsp peppercorns 200ml white wine or cider vinegar 100ml white wine or cider (if using cider vinegar) 3 bay leaves ½ tsp celery salt 1 large banana shallot, diced

Pack the peeled eggs into a sterilised jar and tip over the pickling liquid. Leave for at least 24 hours or preferably 1 week before eating. These will keep happily in the fridge for a few weeks. ALTERNATIVES If you prefer a sweet and sour pickle, add 25g sugar to the vinegar and spice pan before you bring it up to the boil. Adding a few chunks of raw beetroot (peeled baby beets look pretty too) to the vinegar pan will give you a bright pink liquid and your eggs will turn a rather fancy pink. The longer you leave the pickle, the pinker your egg whites. Add the prepared raw beetroot to the vinegar pan with the spices and an extra 100ml water. Bring up to the boil and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 mins, until the beetroot is just about tender. Put the beetroot into the jars with the eggs and liquid.

Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket



PINK ONION & CARROT PICKLE Jenny Chandler Makes 1 jar

Method

Pickled red onions and carrots add zippy life to any plate and their fuchsia pink and orange make them a stunning garnish, too. They take a matter of minutes to make and then last for weeks in the fridge in a glass jar.

Put the kettle on to boil while you slice the onions in rings as finely as you possibly can – a mandolin is absolutely perfect for this BUT do watch your fingers.

Ingredients 1 red onion, peeled 2-3 medium carrots 2cm piece of fresh ginger 1 tsp black mustard seeds 1 tsp black peppercorns 1-2 tbsp sugar 400ml white wine vinegar (or enough to cover)

Pour boiling water over the onion slices in a small bowl and leave to soak for about 30 secs (just enough to remove the bossy rawness but not to take all the texture). Drain. Slice the carrots and ginger really finely. You can cut the ginger into fine needles, but I prefer wafer thin slices, so you get the odd hit. Set to one side. Heat up a frying pan and toast the mustard seeds for a moment or two until they pop around in the pan. Tip them onto a plate, otherwise they will continue to cook and burn. Layer the onion, carrots, ginger, mustard seeds and peppercorns into your jar, sprinkling with 1 tsp salt and the sugar as you go. Press the mixture down and then pour over the vinegar to cover everything completely. Delicious in 20 mins and lasts for weeks. Do play around with other spices, herbs and veg such as cucumber, courgette or radish.

Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket



PICKLED PAK CHOI Jeremy Pang Makes 1 jar

Method

A useful store cupboard ingredient to have on hand for Chinese-style stir fries.

Wash the pak choi under cold running water, ensuring all the grit and any dirt in between the leaves is washed through. Slice the greens lengthways, then into quarters and place in a large mixing bowl. Add 100g table salt and 4 tbsp of water to the mixing bowl and rub well into the leaves. Leave the mixing bowl at room temperature overnight to allow the salt to bring out the moisture from the leaves.

Ingredients 800g pak choi 150g table salt for drawing out the moisture For the pickling liquid: 1 tsp salt 1 tbsp sugar 500ml cooled boiled water 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (optional) 1 x 1-2 litre airtight glass jar

The next morning, sterilise the airtight jar by either placing through a full dishwasher cycle or boiling in hot water for 10 mins. The mustard greens will have wilted overnight from the salt rub. Rinse the greens well under cold running water to remove any excess salt and squeeze out the excess water through your hands. Lay the greens tightly on top of each other in the jar. Mix 1 tbsp sugar with 1 tsp salt and 500ml cooled boiled water from a kettle – along with the Sichuan peppercorns if you are using them – and pour over the greens into the jar. Place a small bowl or similar object inside the jar to weigh the pak choi down into the pickling liquid. Seal the jar tightly and place in a cool dry place for 7 days. After a few days, you should see the pickled greens become more yellow in colour. Once you see the colour change, they should then be ready to eat – take care when picking out any vegetables and use a clean dry implement to do so, to keep the pickling liquid clean. Once you’ve opened the sealed jar back up, store any remaining pickled leaves in the fridge.

Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket


JOHN HOLDSHIP


TURMERIC SPICED CHICKEN, WHITE KIMCHI & CHILLI GREEN BEANS Nicole Pisani Serves 4

Method

The amazing golden colour of the turmeric rub and the fresh white kimchi make this the perfect summer roast chicken. This dish is equally good served hot or cold.

To make the kimchi, shred the Chinese leaf cabbage and separate out the leaves. Toss with the salt, making sure the leaves are evenly covered. Leave to sit for 2 hours. Rinse and drain.

Ingredients

Slice the radish, fennel and onion and mix with the cabbage. Mix together the fish sauce, grated ginger and crushed garlic, then thoroughly mix all of this into the vegetables with your hands.

For the white kimchee: 1 Chinese leaf cabbage 1 tbsp sea salt 1 daikon radish (optional) 1 fennel bulb 1 red onion 3 tbsp fish sauce 1 tbsp grated root ginger 1 garlic clove, crushed For the chicken: 2 tbsp coconut oil ½ tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp garam masala ½ tsp chilli powder ½ tsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground turmeric ½ tsp black pepper 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1 lemon 1 large whole chicken (approx 1.5kg) For the chilli green beans: ½ onion, finely chopped 1 tbsp olive oil 1 chilli, finely chopped 1 thumb-sized piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 2 tbsp mirin 2 tbsp brown rice vinegar (or cider vinegar) 1 tbsp brown sugar 200g green beans

Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

Press the kimchi into a sterilised jar. You need about 3cm space between the liquid and the top of the jar, and it’s important that the veg is submerged, so top up with water if needed. Cover loosely with the lid – but don’t fasten it – and keep at room temperature for a day to start the fermentation process. Store in the fridge (keeping the lid loose) for up to a month. Heat the oven to 190C. Pound or blend all the turmeric rub ingredients together so you have a thick-ish paste. Quarter the lemon and rub the pieces all over the chicken, inside and out. Rub the paste all over the chicken, making sure you don’t neglect the legs, thighs and wings. Put the lemon quarters into the cavity, place the chicken in a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 1 hour 30 mins. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for at least 10 mins. To make the chilli sauce for the green beans, saute the chopped onion in a little olive oil for about 3 mins before adding the chilli, ginger and garlic. Cook for another 2-3 mins, then add the mirin, brown rice vinegar and brown sugar. Cook for a few minutes, until the sauce is slightly sticky, then set aside. Steam your green beans for a few minutes – then toss in the chilli sauce. Serve with the chicken and kimchee. @boroughmarket


KIM LIGHTBODY


SCALLOPS, HAZELNUT HERB BUTTER & PICKLED CHERRIES Rosie Birkett Serves 4 as a starter

Method

Hazelnuts and cherries are happy bedfellows in many desserts, but the piquant, juicy cherries work really well here with seafood, adding a vinaigrette quality to the richness of the dish. This recipe will provide you with too much butter for this particular dish, but it’s really not worth making any less and it’s delicious with all manner of seafood or tossed through pasta, stirred through risotto or melted onto greens, so good to have some leftover.

To make the pickled cherries, put the vinegar, water, star anise, peppercorns, sugar and salt in a non-reactive pan with the thyme and bring to the boil, stirring. When the sugar has dissolved add the cherries and simmer for 2 mins. Turn off the heat and pour into a sterilised jar to cool.

Ingredients For the pickled cherries: 150g white wine vinegar 150ml water 1 star anise 50g caster sugar A sprig of thyme 3 black peppercorns 1 tsp salt 150g cherries, halved, pitted and sliced For the butter: 30g raw shelled hazelnuts 100g unsalted butter 8g chervil 8g tarragon 1 shallot, finely chopped 2 tsp lemon juice For the scallops: 8 scallops, cleaned Rapeseed oil Picked chervil, to garnish

Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

To make the herb butter, preheat the oven to 180C. Place the hazelnuts in a roasting tray and roast for 6-8 mins, until they smell nutty. Pour into a clean tea towel and rub them to remove the skins. Place the nuts in a food processor and blitz lightly to release their oils before adding the butter, herbs, shallot, lemon juice, a large pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Blitz until you have a green-flecked butter. Drain a couple of tablespoons of the pickled cherries onto kitchen roll, then chop. Preheat the grill to high. Brush the scallops on both sides with a little rapeseed oil, and season with salt. Place in their shells or on a roasting tray, and grill for 1-2 mins, until they’re starting to colour. Turn them over and dot with the butter, then return to the grill for 1-2 mins more, until the butter has melted. Scatter the cherries and picked chervil over the scallops, then serve in the shells. I’d serve some crusty bread alongside for moppage.

@boroughmarket


HELEN CATHCART


Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket


GUIDE TO: HOT SMOKING Jenny Chandler

Smoking food at home may seem a little ambitious, but this method’s an absolute cinch. If you’re a home-smoking virgin then salmon’s a great place to start: oily fish doesn’t dry out easily, fillets cook fairly quickly and the results are superb every time. Once you’ve sussed the method, move on to mackerel, sardines or even duck breasts – but let’s kick off with individual salmon fillet portions, each weighing around 150g. Preparing a whole side of salmon may be tempting, but the smoky flavour permeates smaller pieces of fish more efficiently in the relatively short cooking time. First, make a brine – a 50:50 mix of salt and brown sugar (I used about 3 tbsp each for 800g salmon). Place the salmon pieces in a large dish and rub over the brine mixture. Turn the salmon skin-side up and place in the fridge for at least a couple of hours or even overnight. You can experiment, adding grated citrus zest or spices to the brine: I tend to leave mine plain so that the fish is more of a blank canvas to play with later. Rinse off the brine and then dab the fish with a paper towel and put it back in the fridge for another couple of hours so that the surface becomes sticky and dry, forming what the experts call the ‘pellicle’ that will seal in the moisture and really absorb the smoke. Now we come to the smoking. This requires no specialist equipment, just an effective extractor fan and an old wok or roasting tin with a lid or baking tray that will effectively trap the smoke. Line the bottom with foil and then choose what to smoke: you just might have a supply of dry oak, beech, apple, cherry or hickory shavings (be sure for thatmore it is recipes Visit boroughmarket.org.uk

untreated wood). Alternatively, go for the Chinese tradition of an equal three-way mix of loose tea leaves, sugar and a bit of rice. Add 3 tbsp shavings or 6 tbsp tea mix (which doesn’t smoke quite so readily) to the wok or tin. Lay your salmon skin-side down on a rack, one of those petal-like vegetable steamers, or even another layer of foil that you’ve poked with holes – the idea is that the smoke will be able to waft around the fish. Cover – you may want to add a layer of foil if the lid doesn’t fit too well. Place your ‘smoker’ on the hob over a medium heat, crank up your extractor fan and wait until you see wafts of smoke before turning the heat down low for 20 mins. Switch off the heat and wait until the pan has stopped smoking before opening (maybe outside the back door if you have a smoke detector anywhere nearby). Check that the salmon is no longer opaque and flakes easily – if it seems a little undercooked, you could always add a bit of water to the bottom of the pan and steam it for a minute or two. The cooked salmon will keep for 3 days in the fridge or a couple of months in the freezer. Uses – Heaven in a brown bread sandwich with butter, pickled cucumber and pepper. – Flaked over scrambled egg on a muffin for a great brunch dish. – Added to a classic kedgeree. – M ade into fishcakes with mashed potato, plenty of capers and fresh tarragon. – Broken up and stirred into pasta with lemon zest, crème fraîche, parsley. – S erved on top of blinis with soured cream, dill and pomegranate seeds. – Sprinkled @boroughmarket over a warm potato salad.


HOT SMOKED SALMON, GREEN PEAS & BEANS WITH QUINOA Jenny Chandler Serves 4

Method

Put your hot smoked salmon to good use in this perfect summer picnic fare.

Boil the quinoa in 300ml water for about 15 mins until the grain has swelled up and you can see a distinct Saturn-like ring around it. Drain off any excess moisture. While still warm, add the oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Ingredients 200g quinoa, rinsed and drained 4-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Juice of 1 lemon About 600g in total of garden peas, broad beans, tiny French beans, sugar snap peas and trimmed asparagus 4 eggs 1 handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped A few radishes, quartered 300g hot smoked salmon Microgreens: radish, beetroot, amaranth or other tiny sprouts or cress (optional)

Steam the vegetables until just tender, then plunge them into chilled water to stop them overcooking. It’s up to you how small you chop the beans or asparagus and whether you pop the broad beans from their skins to reveal their stunningly bright interiors. It depends if it’s a ‘table and plates’ or a ‘balancing fork and food’ type of occasion. Place the eggs in a pan of boiling water and cook for 8 mins. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl of cold water. This will ensure set but still creamy yolks every time. Stir the parsley into the quinoa and carefully fold in the radishes and green veg. Flake the salmon over the salad and keep the eggs whole, to chop into upon arrival at your eating spot. Sprinkle over any microgreens you might have purchased – they do look and taste stunning

Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket


JOHN HOLDSHIP


Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket


GUIDE TO: DRYING Angela Clutton

When thinking about all the different old ways of preserving produce I sometimes wonder who or how anyone first discovered that, say, smoking fish not only helps it last longer but tastes really good. Or that covering meat in salt can work a similar kind of magic. It is far less of a stretch, though, to imagine someone in a long-ago Italian farmhouse accidentally leaving a few tomatoes outside in the sun, to then find them a few days later and discover they had – hey presto! – been dried into deliciousness. I know that may not actually be how sundried tomatoes were first happened upon, but you take my point. What is certain is that this technique has for thousands of years been a hugely important and effective way of preserving. It works by removing water content that would otherwise allow growth of the kind of bad bacteria that cause decay. Stop or slow down the decaying process and the produce could be used beyond its season, or be safely transported on long, slow journeys into communities far away from wherever the fruits, vegetables or pulses are grown. For us now, those reasons for drying produce still matter, but they are only part of why, if you take a look in your kitchen, there’s probably a fair amount of dried produce in there. Have you got any dried beans or pulses – maybe chickpeas, fava beans or lentils? We all know how versatile they are to cook with and how packed with nutrition. How about a bulb of garlic – got one of those? Of course you do. Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

And our being able to enjoy cooking with garlic all year round is thanks to the fresh ‘wet’ garlic bulbs being allowed to dry after their summer harvest. The simplicity of drying has always lent itself well to home cooks having a go. Dorothy Hartley writes evocatively of how people used to core whole apples and then string them up in lines along the ceiling to dry. Lovely if you have the space. I suspect oven-drying apple slices is possibly more achievable. Even better, if you ever find yourself with an abundance of really good tomatoes (but without the sun beating down on your Italian farmhouse), try this: cut the tomatoes in half, remove the seeds, sprinkle over a little salt, lay them on wire racks and then put into the oven on its lowest setting for 6-8 hours with the door left slightly ajar. Store in olive oil in sterilised jars. I promise that any lack of sundried romance will be more than made up for with the flavour you have preserved and intensified into sweetness. Drying can also be used really well in combination with other preserving processes, such as preserving fruit in sugar. That becomes only the first stage in making something like candied peel, and the subsequent drying is absolutely vital. The same thing with curing meats. Drying comes after the salting, and without it the end result would be no good at all. @boroughmarket


CANDIED ORANGE, LEMON AND BERGAMOT PEEL Angela Clutton Makes 300g

Method

The flavours of the fruits really come through in this candied peel so they’ll bring a citrus lift as well as sweetness when chopped into a cake mix. Try rolling whole pieces in granulated sugar or cover in melted dark chocolate to enjoy as sweets.

Quarter the fruit by slicing from top to bottom. Prise the peel away from the flesh, cut each quarter of peel into strips approximately 1cm wide and put them into a large pan.

Ingredients 2 oranges 2 lemons 1 bergamot 900g granulated sugar

Cover with cold water, bring to a rolling boil and leave bubbling for 2 mins. Drain, rinse the pan and repeat this process a total of five times. To remove the peel’s bitterness as well as tenderise, it is important to keep rinsing the pan and changing the water. Drain the peel and leave to cool for a few mins. If there are pieces with excess white pith or bits of stringy fruit membrane, they can be lifted off at this stage by gently running a teaspoon over the pith side of the peel. Put 450ml of water into a large pan and add the sugar. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup looks clear. Add the peel, bring to the boil and gently simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. The peel will become translucent and look almost like stained glass. Leave to cool in the pan. Transfer the peel and syrup to sterilised jars for storage, making sure each piece is immersed by cooking syrup. To dry the peel out before using it, lift each piece from the jar and run your fingers along its length to draw off excess syrup, then lay the pieces on a cooking rack for at least a day to completely dry out. The undried peel can be kept in its syrup for several months. Once dried into candied peel, it can be stored for 6-8 weeks in an airtight container.

Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket



Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket


GUIDE TO: SALT CURES Angela Clutton

I have to say, my recent attempt at curing a row of pork tenderloins sadly came to nought. Complete disaster. If this seems like it’s not the most auspicious start to a guide to curing food, stick with me. Salt as a preservative draws out moisture that would otherwise enable the growth of the type of bacteria that makes things go off. So far, so similar to what drying does to, say, pulses or tomatoes. Salt, though, does even more than just get the moisture out. It travels the opposite way to get into the flesh of the meat or fish and encourages the growth of good, harmless bacteria, while enhancing the flavour. Add sugar, herbs and spices to the salt cure and the flavours get even better. It is obvious what a huge boon that would have been to families in days gone by, who needed to find ways to preserve the meat from their livestock. All kinds of cuts were cured with salt, before being air-dried or smoked into something delicious. Beef topside becomes bresaola. Venison haunch becomes biltong. Duck breast makes a fine prosciutto. Autumn used to be the traditional time for slaughtering pigs and curing was one of the most useful ways of making sure none of the precious meat went to waste. Think of cheeks into traditional bath chaps, shoulder into speck and, yes, tenderloins into salumi. In my defense, it was the air-drying where the wheels came off for my tenderloins. The curing stage was no problem, but to air-dry cured meat you need the temperature to be around 10-18C, have high humidity, and a flow of air. If I lived in a draughty old place, chances of Visit boroughmarket.org.uk formy more recipes

successful air-drying would have been pretty good – I don’t, so despite my best efforts, it was too warm. The pork dried too fast on the outside and barely at all inside. If you do have some draughty windows or a proper basement / cellar, then I hope you will think about having a go at curing and air-drying some meat. I have to accept that my charcuterie will continue to come from the Market (no bad thing, that) and turn my curing attentions elsewhere – definitely to pork belly, which can be easily home-cured into streaky bacon, so long as you have a good piece of meat and a fridge. No air-drying needed. I can also be sure of success preserving lemons or limes in salt for a month or so. They’ll be lovely in all kinds of north Africaninfluenced dishes. Gravadlax is another curing favourite. ‘Grav’ from the Scandinavian word for ‘buried’ referring to how the salmon (‘lax’) used to be salted and preserved in a hole. I’ll choose it every time over a smoked salmon. Most such oily fish take well to curing, far more so than white fish, therefore making salt cod a bit of an anomaly, but who cares when it’s so tasty. For those living in the heat of the Mediterranean sun, salt cod became a staple ingredient long before refrigeration arrived. The cod is so dried-out after salting that it needs to be rehydrated before use. Salt cod’s enduring popularity – as with so much cured produce – is testament to just how delicious the impact of salting is. So good, I’ll carry on curing anything the confines of my London flat will allow. @boroughmarket


BOURBON & CORIANDER SEED GRAVADLAX Angela Clutton Serves 10-12 as a starter, 6 as a lunch

Method

Delicious, silky slices of salmon that are really versatile, whether on rye for lunch, as a canapé or starter, or with scrambled eggs.

Run your hand over the salmon to check for bones. Trim off any very thin ends – they will overcure and be inedible. Cut the salmon in half and sit the pieces side-by-side, skin side down, in a large piece of foil. Pour the bourbon over the fish, rubbing it in gently. Crush the peppercorns and coriander seeds, then mix them in a large bowl with the salt, sugar and dill.

Ingredients 1.2kg very fresh salmon fillet 50ml bourbon 1 tbsp mixed peppercorns 1 tbsp coriander seeds 70g course sea salt 70g unrefined caster sugar 40g dill, roughly chopped 1 orange

Cut six broad strips of peel off the orange, taking as little pith as possible. Put three on each piece of salmon, giving the peel a squeeze to get its oils going. Smear the cure mixture all over one piece of the salmon. Lift up the other piece and sit it on top of the cure, skin-side up – the cure is effectively sandwiched between the two flesh sides of the fish. Make sure any exposed bits of salmon get some cure over them. Wrap tightly in the foil and sit in a baking dish with a chopping board on top and four tin cans on top of that to weigh it down. Leave in the fridge for 2-3 days (at the lower end of the time if it’s a thin tail piece). Turn the parcel over occasionally to ensure even distribution of the cure. Unwrap the parcel and scrape off the salt. Unsliced and wrapped in clingfilm, the cured salmon will keep for a week in the fridge.

Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket



Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket


GUIDE TO: PRESERVING FRUIT Angela Clutton

As well as being ripe for enjoying fresh, most fruits offer the possibility of their seasonal flavours to be harnessed, preserved and then reinvented in all kinds of fabulous ways. Doing just that was the only option for our culinary ancestors wanting both to avoid waste and enjoy fruit right through the winter. Commercial production and storage processes now allow us to enjoy the fresh fruit harvest for longer, but ignoring the value those old preserving skills can bring seems really just a different kind of waste. Most obvious are fruit preserves. Jams and jellies too. Less obvious, but also less likely to keep being pushed to the back of the shelf, are fruit cheeses and butters – traditions that go back hundreds of years. Apple, quince, plum or damson cheeses made from cooked-down pureed fruit, simmered with an equal weight of sugar. When it is so thick that drawing a spoon through leaves a clean line behind it, the puree is then cooled and left for the flavour to mature. Sliced (like cheese – get it?), it is perfect with cold meats or strong cheese, or maybe cut into small pieces and rolled in granulated sugar for something sweet with a coffee.

in cocktails, drizzled over madeira sponge, or over ice cream. I know – it’s all quite sugar-tastic. Sugar is often portrayed as the culinary bad guy, but it does an important job when it comes to preserving. It gets a helping hand from alcohol in what I think is the most pleasing, versatile, and easiest way of prolonging the fruit harvest: storing fruits in brandy, rum, vodka or gin. It’s as simple as this for soft fruits like plums or nectarines: put the halved fruit in a storage jar, sprinkle over sugar, then cover with whatever tipple tickles your fancy. Left alone for a few months, the result is a one-stop bottle of boozy fruits and fruity booze. Hard fruits take slightly more ‘doing’, but even that is to the cook’s advantage. My recipe for pears in calvados tenderises the fruit in a dark syrup infused with bay leaves, peppercorns and cracked cardamom pods, which gives depth and balance to both the pears and the calvados. It’s the quickest of stand-by desserts when served with ice-cream or meringues.

Of more everyday use for topping toast, porridge and the like are spreadable fruit ‘butters’, made in the same way but with half the sugar. There isn’t a rainy day that can’t be cheered up by a hot crumpet with crab apple butter soaking deep into its pockets and a rasher of bacon on top.

No need to stop there, though. Use them to take batter puddings, sponge cakes, crumbles, trifles or tarts to another level, or heat the fruits through and serve with game. The sweetly fruity alcohol is delicious to drink alongside whatever you do with its fruit partner. Bear in mind, too, that cocktails will benefit from the alcohol’s newly-acquired layers of flavour.

Then there are cordials or syrups, made using the strained juices of crushed berries, cooked with sugar, which Victorian households loved to make up into hot or cold drinks. Try them Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ is more than just a cliche. While preserving is a choice rather than necessity for us, it is a choice worth@boroughmarket making.


PRESERVED PEARS IN CALVADOS & SPICES Angela Clutton Makes 1 x 2 litre jar

Method

An all-in-one bottle of boozy fruit that’s great for desserts, and a sweetly spiced fruitinfused brandy for drinking alongside or in cocktails.

Half fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze in the juice of the lemon. Peel, quarter and core the pears, then place in the water to stop them going brown.

Ingredients

Put 1½ litres of water into a large saucepan. Add the sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Drain the pears and slide them into sugared water, adding the cardamom, peppercorns and bay leaves too. Simmer gently until the pears are just tender to the point of a knife – how long this takes will depend on the ripeness of the pears. Check after 10 mins and then regularly.

1 lemon 1kg williams pears, slightly under-ripe and without bruises 150g demerara sugar 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed 1 tsp whole peppercorns 2 bay leaves 450ml calvados

Use a slotted spoon to lift the pears out of the pan and into the jar. Some of the spices will inevitably be lifted out as well. Pour the calvados over the pears. Rapidly boil down the liquid in the pan to 225ml – it’ll take a while as there is a lot of water to evaporate, but as it does it creates a rich syrup. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature then add to the pear jar and stir gently. The pears must be below the liquid line – add more calvados if needed. Seal and store somewhere cool and dark for three months. Shake occasionally and check that the pears remain submerged.

Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket


JOHN HOLDSHIP


TOM BRADLEY

Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

@boroughmarket


A VIEW FROM THE STALLS: TEMPTINGS Mrs Sandhu

1. My family has always made chutneys. I didn’t really make them as a child, but when I was a bit older I started making them for myself and for friends and work colleagues who liked them. The first time I made them for a wider audience was when I made canapés and snacks for the wedding of one of my daughters.

6. From the beginning, the public reaction was extremely positive. It took me a little by surprise how quickly things grew. I never had to advertise, it was all word of mouth. I had to install a professional kitchen in my home to meet the demand. It was very hard, but I made everything myself. I still do today.

2. After the wedding, my new son-in-law Timothy said: “This food is amazing. You should be offering it to the wider public.” He used to come to Borough Market and brought me here to see the Market. He was the one who encouraged me to apply for a stall. That was in November 2000. Timothy is no longer with us, but we see our success at the Market as part of his legacy.

7. This is a real labour of love. For example, the meats achars will take me three days to make in batches of four bottles. There are always some chutneys or pickles in some stage of production at home. The whole process is very labour intensive. The time and care I take is reflected in the tastes and textures.

3. I was raised in the Punjab, and my family owned a lot of land. Hunting was a big part of life, and they would make meat pickles called ‘achar’ from wild boar, venison and chicken using old family recipes. Some of these have been in the family for close to 500 years and are still kept secret. 4. I use some spice blends that have been developed by my family and are not widely available. This is one of the things that make my pickles and chutneys unique. Another thing is the traditional methods I use. 5. On my first day here I had no idea what to expect, so I brought 11 jars of chicken achar. An Irish gentleman came to the stall and bought six of them after tasting a sample. I sold all the bottles in a couple of hours, so I spent the rest of the day just talking to customers. That gentleman still comes over from Ireland and things from the stallfor every Christmas. Visitbuys boroughmarket.org.uk more recipes

8. I love experimenting with new chutneys. The achars are old family recipes, which I sometimes adapt a little, but the chutneys are my creations. The only chutney recipe I took from my grandmother was one using pomegranate. All the others I create myself. 9. In the Punjab there is a real mix of religions and cultures and each one has its own culinary identity. Even within each family, there are differences in the way we make a particular chutney, both in the spices and methods used. So the products we sell are really personal. You won’t find them anywhere else. 10. This is all about my connection with my customers – I love talking to them. I have several who have been buying from me since we started. You build wonderful relationships here. Temptings is a passion – that is the only way I can describe it. It is not about making money or paying the mortgage, it is about the ingredients, making the products and talking to my customers. I really do love all of it. @boroughmarket


Friends of Borough Market is a scheme for regular shoppers who want to contribute to sustaining our charitable work and maintaining our vital public spaces. As a thank you, your membership card will allow you and a guest (up to six people with a group membership) to enter the Market without queuing. You will also receive a pin badge and a special Friends of Borough Market tote bag. Individual membership: £30 per year Group membership: £40 per year boroughmarket.org.uk/friends-of-borough-market

If you can’t make it to Borough Market, our personal shopping service offers access to our traders’ produce in a way that provides some of the human touch of coming here in person. The team will discuss options with you, check stock, handpick your grocery shopping and then bag up your chosen produce to be delivered free within the M25. The team can also offer a one-hour personal shopping experience at the Market. Call or email now to book one for yourself or buy a gift voucher – the perfect present for the food lover in your life. 020 7940 7900 personalshopping@boroughmarket.org.uk boroughmarket.org.uk/personal-shopping