Pickled ox tongue

Ingredients:

  • 1 ox tongue
  • 2 tsp peppercorn
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 turnips
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Leek
  • Small bunch of wild Garlic
  • 2 cups vinegar

Method:

Roughly chop the carrots, turnips, celery, onion, leek & garlic. Add to a large pot, along with the salt & pepper and Ox tongue.

Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 3 hours, until the meat is tender. Leave to cool until the tongue is handleable. Peel the skin from the tongue and discard.

Add the vinegar and 2 cups of the leftover broth from boiling the tongue to a pot or cauldron, Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.

Thinly slice the tongue and put into a kilner jar, or other suitable container. Pour the vinegar broth over the tongue and leave for a minimum of one week before eating.

Hawthorn sauce

Ingredients:

  • 350ml/1 cup cider apple vinegar
  • 500g/5 cups hawthorn berries
  • 350ml/1 cup water
  • 200g/1/2 cup honey
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½  tsp pepper

Method:

Heat the berries with the vinegar and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain through a sieve, pushing the berries through with a spoon, discarding the seeds and skin. Return to the heat with the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the thickness of ketchup.

Strain through a sieve into clean, sterile bottles or jars. This should keep for around a year and makes a great accompaniment to dark meats, like venison or gamey birds like Pigeon.

Damson & Beef stew

Ingredients:

  • Butter
  • 400g beef
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 carrots (white or purple – not orange!)
  • Small bunch of wild Garlic
  • 12 Damsons
  • Splash of red wine
  • 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • Water

Method:

Melt the butter in a pan or cauldron. Add the beef and fry for 5 – 10 minutes.

Roughly chop the onions, celery, carrots and garlic and add to the pan. Fry for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stone and quarter the damsons and add to the pan, along with the red wine and salt & pepper.

Add enough water to just about cover everything. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour, until the meat is tender.

Pig blood soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 spoons dried blood
  • 600ml cold water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar 
  • 400ml fish stock
  • 300g Pork belly
  • 1 onion
  • A small bunch of Wild Garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

Mix together the dried blood and water, until smooth. Stir in the vinegar (this will prevent coagulation when cooking).

Cut the pork belly into chunks and fry in a little butter or oil, for around 10 minutes, until browning on all sides. Peel & thinly slice the onion and add to the pan, frying for a few minutes to soften.

Roughly chop the garlic and add to the pan, along with the blood, fish stock, bay, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for around 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and serve.

Pickled Ash keys

Ash comes from the Old English ‘æsc’ which means spear.

The tree has often been believed to have healing power and carrying the keys would protect the user against witchcraft.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups/200g ash keys
  • 2 cup vinegar
  • Splash of water
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Tablespoon honey 

Method:

Boil the keys for 10 minutes. Drain the water and boil again for a further 10 minutes.

Drain, Pack into warm, sterile jars or another suitable container and set aside.

Meanwhile simmer the rest of the ingredients together for 10 minutes.

Pour the vinegar mix over the keys, seal the jar or container immediately and store for a minimum of 2-3 months before eating.

Pickled blackberries

Be sure to pick your berries before Michaelmas (Sept 29st), after this date it is said the devil pisses on them.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 500g/3 cups blackberries 

Method:

Heat the honey and vinegar, until the honey is dissolved.

Add the blackberries and simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain the berries into warm, sterile jars or another suitable container. Continue to simmer the vinegar solution until it thickens a little. 

Pour the vinegar solution over the berries, seal the jar or container immediately and store for at least a few weeks before eating.

Great served with bread and cheese.

Elderberry mead

To the Saxons and the Danes the elder tree was sacred, thought to contain a spirit or Goddess. To take a part of a tree would require gaining permission from the spirit or Goddess, lest she take revenge on the offending person.

It was thought that if you burned elder wood you would see the Devil, but if you planted elder by your house it would keep the Devil away. Elder trees were the sources of many coloured dyes; Blue and purple from the berries; yellow and green from the leaves; grey and black from the bark.

Most of the Elder tree is poisonous, containing high levels of cyanide.

Ingredients:

1500g elderberries 

4.5l/19 cups boiling water 

1.5 kg/4.5 cups honey 

5g/1 tsp pectic enzyme 

5g/1 tsp of red wine yeast 

5g/1 tsp yeast nutrient 

Method:

Put all the berries into a large bucket and crush with a rolling pin. Add the honey, and pectic enzyme and cover with the boiling water. Stir well.

Once cool, make a note of your gravity.

Add your yeast and nutrient and cover loosely for 1 week before straining into a demijohn with an airlock.

When fermentation ends (bubbles passing through the airlock at less than one a minute) check your final gravity.

Finally, syphon the wine into bottles and cork.

Age for a minimum of 6 months before drinking, but a year is better.

Fish cakes

Ingredients:

  • 250g cooked salmon
  • 250g cooked cod
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Method:

Flake the cooked fish into a bowl. Stir in the mustard, salt & flour, followed by the egg.

Heat a little butter in a skillet.

Take small handfuls of the mixture and form into balls. Place the balls into the hot pan and squash slightly into ‘cakes’.

Cook for about five minutes on each side, until cooked through and golden in colour.

Chicken & Broad bean stew

Ingredients:

  • Butter
  • 1 onions
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 carrots, including the greens (white or purple – not orange!)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • A few rashers of bacon
  • 600ml/2 cups chicken stock
  • 300ml/1 cup ale
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs of thyme and marjoram
  • 1 cup podded broad beans

Method:
Melt the butter in a large pan or cauldron. Chop the onion, celery & carrots and add to the pan. Fry for a few minutes to soften.

Dice the chicken & slice the bacon. Add to the pan and fry for a few minutes.

Pour over the chicken stock and ale, add the herbs and the beans. Stir well, bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and serve with fresh sourdough bread

Fennel & beer bread

Ingredients:

For the starter;

  • 1 cup beer dregs
  • 1 cup flour

For the bread;

  • 800g/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 550-600ml 1.5-2 cups beer

Method:

To make the starter, mix the beer dregs and flour in a bowl and cover loosely for 24 hours. After this time it should be quite bubbly.

Put the flour, fennel and salt, into a large bowl and mix together.

Add the honey and half a cup of the starter. Slowly add the beer a little at a time, and mix together to form a dough. It needs to be workable, so as not to stick to your hands too much, but too dry and it will fall apart. You can add more or less beer depending on how your dough feels. I find it varies slightly every time.

Tip out onto a work surface and knead for around 5-10 minutes.

Roll your dough into a ball, and dust with a little flour. Put it into a bowl and cover loosely with a damp cloth, to stop it drying out. Leave to prove for at least several hours, but overnight is ideal.

Sourdough takes longer to develop than bread made with shop bought yeast, but benefits from the extra time, as it develops a better flavour. The loaf should increase in size.

Tip your dough back out onto your work surface and carefully deflate it by poking it with your fingers.

Shape your dough into a loaf, and dust with a little flour. Place onto a lightly flour dusted oven tray and prove for another hour.

Heat your oven to 230 degrees Celsius. If you have a Dutch oven put this in your oven to heat as well.

Remove the Dutch oven (if using) and grease the inside with a little butter.

Place your loaf in the centre of the Dutch oven, pop the lid on and put back into the oven to cook for 30 minutes, remove the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes. If you are not using a Dutch oven, cook on an oven tray for 30 minutes and reduce the temperature to 170 degrees Celsius for the last 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, the loaf should sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom.

Leave to cool fully before cutting.