What we are up to
We have some amazing Hereford rib-eye steaks in at the moment and so we took the opportunity to take some pictures to show you how good they are.
Also we have had our weekly order from the Uncommon Pig Company as well so we have been spit roasting the shoulders and heads in the bar to pick down for a pressed terrine. The Uncommon Pig Company also supplies us with our fantastic Sunday belly of pork. The pigs are free range Berkshire pigs, free to roam their 300 acre farm in Stour Provost just west of Shaftesbury.
Chefs day out
We had a the pleasure of being invited to go and visit one of our new suppliers today. Happy valley organics or New Leaze Farm who have started to rear Hereford cattle, Hampshire down sheep, Black welsh mountain sheep and rare breed chickens. The farm is still very new but this means the amount of stock they have at the moment is very low so the quality is very high. We were shown around the calving pens also looking at the cattle they have at various ages across the farm. Herefords have been breed since the 18th century making it one of the oldest breeds in the uk. They produce very good meat because of their adaptability to the climate and how docile they are with reduces the stress on the meat. The trip was greatly appreciated but us as it’s always nice to see the produce we deal with being looked after in such a good way.
Home Smoked Salmon
We have started smoking our own salmon by buying in whole sides of salmon and curing them down before smoking them with pine needles and hard herbs. We have been serving this with set sour cream, a small new potato and caper salad with shallot rings and dill to garnish.
Seared scallop with crab rolled in beetroot, samphire, soft poached quail egg and a salmon roe vinaigrette.
We have our sourdough culture going now and have baked our first batch of sourdough rolls.
Poached rhubarb with vanilla cream
For the Chantilly cream
· 250ml Double cream
· 1 Vanilla pod
· Icing sugar to taste
For the crumble topping
· 200g ginger nut biscuits
· 200g Shortbread Biscuits
· 4 large sticks of rhubarb
· Small glass of white wine
· 100g caster sugar
· ¼ lemon
· 300ml water
For the rhubarb: - Peal the sticks of rhubarb placing the peelings into a large sauce pan with the sugar, water and wine. Place the pan on a low heat and simmer for 15 minutes letting the ingredients infuse. Meanwhile cut the rhubarb into 4-5cm long sticks. Strain off the liquor through a chinois into a separate pan checking the liquor is sweet enough. Place the sticks of rhubarb into the liquor and back onto the heat checking every minute with knife until there just cooked. Take the rhubarb out of the liquor and onto a cold tray. Placing the liquid back onto the heat until reduced down to syrup.
For the crumble topping: - Smash up the biscuits in a food processor until in to crumbs.
For the cream: - place all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until you have soft peaks checking the sweetness adding more icing sugar until desired
Place 4 or 5 sticks on a plate warm with some of the syrup and scatter some crumble topping on to them. Softly place a quenelle of the cream on top.
Chef’s Winter Recipe
Whole roasted Fonthill Estate pheasant with creamed Brussel sprouts, Louise’s pancetta and fried potato, onion and sage hash.
For 2 people (or 1 hungry one!)
1 whole pheasant, oven ready (pluck and make sure you remove any shot!)
3 sprigs of thyme
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
knob of butter
Place the pheasant on a roasting dish and rub in the butter, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 160C for approximately 25mins (depending on size). Remove from the oven and allow to rest in a warm place (on top of the stove wrapped in foil usually works quite well.) Once rested for 10mins serve on a board and carve at the table (the bird should be slightly pink when carving).
2 handfuls of sprouts
150ml of double cream
knob of butter
Clean and remove and bruised or discoloured parts of the sprouts and slice thinly.
Get a hot pan and add the sprouts. Fry for 2min, stirring regularly and add the cream. Let the cream cook for about 5min until the sprouts and cream have thickened to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper and serve (this can be prepared in advance and reheated when desired).
2 large Maris Piper potatoes , grated
10 sage leaves
Peel and slice the onion thinly. Fry until the onions are nice and golden brown and add to the grated potatoes. Chop the sage leaves finely and add to the mix. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix it all together and fry in a hot pan with rapeseed oil.
Once golden brown, flip and cook the other side. Once completely cooked, serve.
100g of pancetta, diced (our pancetta comes from Louise Trowbridge at The Uncommon Pig and her Berkshire Pigs. Her pancetta is salty, smoky and fatty which tastes delicious.)
Fry the diced pancetta until nice and crispy and serve straight away.
To serve as a sharing dish:
Serve the pheasant with the pancetta scattered over, on a board with carving knife and fork. Serve the sprouts , hash and gravy on the side in nice side dishes.
Cheese of the Week - Blue Wensleydale Cheese
A delicate creamy blue cheese from Yorkshire with a mellow yet full flavour from cow’s milk.
Wensleydale cheese was first made by French Cistercian monks from the Roquefort region, who had settled in Wensleydale. They built a monastery at Fors, but some years later the monks moved to Jervaulx in Lower Wensleydale. They brought with them a recipe for making cheese from sheep’s milk. During the 14th century cows’ milk began to be used instead, and the character of the cheese began to change. A little ewes’ milk was still mixed in since it gave a more open texture, and allowed the development of the blue mould. At that time, Wensleydale was almost always blue with the white variety almost unknown. Nowadays, the opposite is true, with blue Wensleydale rarely seen. When the monastery was dissolved in 1540 the local farmers continued making the cheese right up until the Second World War, during which most milk in the country was used for the making of “Government Cheddar”.Even after rationing ceased in 1954, cheese making did not return to pre-war levels.
Recipe Tribute - Elizabeth David’s Ratatouille
As a tribute to great chefs or food writers we are including a tribute to one of them on our menu at The Beckford every month. The first is an attempt to prolong summer, particularly while the ingredients remain in season - just about!
Ingredients: 2 onions, 2 aubergines, good olive oil, 2 red peppers, 5 ripe tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, a handful of coriander seeds, parsley and basil.
Cut up the aubergines into cubes, sprinkle with sea salt so draw out some of the water. You can gently squeeze in muslin to take more of the water out. Chop up the onions smallish and gently saute in a heavy caste iron pan in lots of the olive oil.
When the onions have cooked (about 10 mins) and are beginning to get soft (but not fried), add the aubergine, and then the peppers, also cut into small pieces. Cover the pan an let them simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Now add the chopped tomatoes, the garlic, and the coriander seeds. Continue cooking until the tomatoes have melted in but the ratatouille is not mushy. Add the chopped parsley and torn basil.
Eizabeth David writes about the coriander seeds coming from the Moorish influence on Provencal food and they really add depth to this simple but delicious recipe .
Beckford wins Best UK Dining Pub Award
To have received this award from The Good Pub Guide in the first year of being open again after the fire, is an achievement our kitchen staff can be proud of. Creating great pub food at normal pub prices is something they do everyday so they won’t be resting on this small ‘laurel’ for long as we know we are only as good as our last plate of food! Pravin Nayar, our head chef, is passionate about classic English food, but his truly international background (he is half Malaysian, half Swedish and grew up in Spain) also gives him distinct objectivity. He is a regular visitor to his suppliers so he can see animals’ breeding conditions and is currently exploring foraging some unusual local ingredients, something he would do regularly working at Michelin starred restaurants in Sweden. We will keep you informed as to his antics!