Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Galantine de Poulet

Galantine de Poulet sounds so much nicer than Boned & Rolled Stuffed Chicken don't you think? Still not many people know that the word galantine is an English word, galantine is a dish where it is boned and rolled and cooked by poaching, unlike a ballotine which is baked, that is the only subtle difference.

There are a lot of pictures here I'm afraid as they are several techniques that need to be explained or demonstrated. Don't be put off by the work involved in preparing this dish, it will take you approximately 45 minutes for your first attempt and after a few practise goes you will get this down to 15 minutes.

Turn your chicken upside down so the breast is facing down and take your knife and make an incision from the neck all the way through to the tail.

Carefully cut around the rib cage and lift the carcass out when possible.

You can at this stage cut off the wings and thighs or bone them out too, like I've done here.

Gently pound and flatten the breast meat to make for easy rolling.

Take 4 of your favourite sausage and take the meat out of the skins.

Place 2 sausage onto the breast meat and fuse together using the back of a spoon allowing for the centre to be slightly hollow.

Place in the hollow a row of dried apricots and sprinkle some breadcrumbs and seasonings over the meats before applying the other 2 sausage on top.

Roll up and wrap your galantine in clingfilm before tying in twine.

A galantine of this size can be gently poached for 1 hour before unwrapping and browning in a skillet just prior to carving and serving. The dish also slices well when chilled and is a picnic favourite of mine when used as a cold dish.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Thuringer Mett

Thuringer mett (pronounced two-ringer met) has been a part of German food heritage for centuries and yet here in UK we would squirm at the thought of having it served at our table. What is it? you might ask, well I can tell you it is raw pork, minced and seasoned like any sausagemeat and served usually with raw onions and used like a pate on bread.

If you have ever visited Germany you will have noticed the strange toilets, the ones with an inspection shelf inside the pot, well this is because the Germans eat a lot of raw meats including pork of which can result in the passing on of worms that the animal may have been carrying.

There are many varieties of raw meat products which the Germans eat and Thuringer mett is just one of them. When this dish is served at a buffet it is usually served in a dish with a garnish of raw onion rings laid on top. Sometimes you will find the dish moulded to resemble an animal and a hedgehog seems to be a popular choice, probaly introduced to encourage the children to eat this dish.

Seasoning per kilo of meat:
16g x Salt
4g x Black Pepper

Guten Appetite!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Octopus Sausage

Making Octopus from your sausage is a real crowd pleaser for the kids and if you are really crafty and serve them with vegetables not normaly eaten by children, they will eat them too!

I think the pictures here require no explanation, so I'll let them do the talking, the last picture though I label as "Octopus on a rocky beach of vegetables".

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Steak Hache

Steak Hache; what is it? is it a steak, is it a burger or is it minced steak? Well I can tell you, it is not a burger; it is however prime steak meat that has been minced and then formed into an oval shape, which then can be cooked just as you would a steak. The oval shape gives it away immediately in defining that it is indeed not a burger.

You see, in France it is against health regulations to have minced meat at point of sale on your meat counter, you have to produce it on demand, that way your customer can see exactly what meat you put through the grinder. Burgers are never seen on butchery counters in France, what different food cultures we have and yet such close neighbours too.

In definition burgers are made from minced meat that has been seasoned before being moulded, usually into a 4inch round shape for home use and sometimes 5inch for professional caterers.

A steak hache by definition; is prime steak meat, minced once on a coarse grinding plate, then pressed into an oval shape and without adding any seasoning at all, for it is seasoned at the cooking stage, just like you would with a normal steak.

The steak hache demands a high price, unlike its cousin the burger. Here in Britain the steak hache is just catching on and is now found on the menu in some London restaurants I am pleased to say.

You might ask yourself, why mince up a prime piece of steak, well for most of us who like a steak and still have our own teeth, eating a steak is not a problem. However some steak lovers cannot manage a firm piece of meat, so the steak hache is the perfect option.

It is best to make some flavoured butters in advance and chill them before using them to cook with the steak hache.

With the photographs here, I have grilled a steak hache with chips along with a mushroom sauce and garnished with a knob of herb butter.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Rillette de Porc

Rillette de Porc can be made very easily, first dice your pork into approximately 1 to 2 inch cubes, then place in a marmite or better still an electric slow-cooker and cover in dripping ensuring your meat is totally submerged by at least 2inches, then cook slowly for about 6 - 8 hours.

Add your seasoning after the first 2 hours of cooking or leave it until the end and do not be tempted to stir the meat at any stage, for this will stimulate the meat to coagulate the proteins. When the meat is tender to the point of falling apart turn off the heat and take out the cubed pork and shred it with two forks in a large sieve and over a bowl, this part of the work is time consuming but is worth all the effort. You could if you wish pound the meat in a large heavy pestle and mortar or as a last resort use a blender using only the pulse button briefly.

Once you have shredded all the meat, season with just salt & pepper and with a little nutmeg if required, then add the cooking juices and dripping until you are happy with the consistency and then pot into ramekins or other dishes of your choice. The consistency I aim for when filling my containers is one of a peat bog under-foot, so just as you place pressure on the meat the juices will rise and break the surface.

The above pictures were taken at the Jack in the Green, where award winning chef Matthew Downing put together this rillette dish. I like this idea of serving in a kilner jar for it can accomodate a table of two or can be adopted to have on a buffet.

Here Matthew built up his dish with a celriac puree, caper berries, gherkins, silverskin onions, mushrooms, crushed pork scratchings and a garnish of micro salad leaves, not to mention a sliced mini granary loaf.

For every kilo of meat;
18g x salt
2g x white pepper
2g x nutmeg (optional)

(rillette de canard, served with toast and a gherkin & radish garnish)

For Rillette de Canard and Rillette de Oie, they both benefit from adding quatre spice.

(rillette d'oie served in an egg cup with toasted soldiers and a tomato & gherkin garnish)

Quatre (Four) Spice:
4 x Tablespoon White Pepper
1 x Teaspoon Ginger
1 x Teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ x Teaspoon Ground Cloves

or the one I prefer, consists of the following:-

1 x Black Pepper
1 x Nutmeg
1 x Ground Cloves
1 x Ginger

Cinnamon can be used in place of ginger.

TopTip: Serve Rillette as you would a pate, however never refer to it as a pate, for that would be seen as an injustice to this great product.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Irish Sausage

Caution, Joke coming!

“Can I have some Irish sausages, please?” asked the Irishman, walking up to the counter.

The assistant looked at him and asked: “Are you Irish?”

“If I had asked you for Italian sausage, would you ask me if I was Italian?” demanded the Irishman indignantly.

“Oh if I asked for German Bratwurst, would you ask if I was German?”

Then warming to his theme, he went on: Or if I asked you for a Kosher hot-dog, would you ask me if I am Jewish?”

“Oh if I asked you for a taco, would you ask me if I was Mexican? Would you? Would you?”

The assistant said, “Well, no Sir.”

Suitably encouraged by the success of his logic, the Irishman steps it up a gear.

“ And if I were to ask you for frogs legs, would you ask me if I was French?”

“ What about Danish Bacon, would you ask me if I was Danish?”

“Well no, I definitely wouldn’t” conceded the assistant.

So, now bursting with righteous indignation, the Irishman says: “Well alright then, why did you ask me if I’m Irish, was it because I asked for Irish sausages?”

The assistant replied, “No Sir, it’s because you are here at TOYS-R-US.”

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Whilst the days are still warm, a light lunch is preferred and yet a good bacon butty is probally desired over any salad sandwich. So what are our options? Whilst you are deciding, here are two of my favourites:

Yes a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich can give you your protein fix whilst being refreshing with a convincing amount of salad. People think I'm choosing the healthy option, of coarse I am (not), I've no real interest in the salad given I'm a huge carnivore, so I plead to you, if you know me, just give me the bacon!

A warm bacon and brie baguette with a touch of cranberry sauce is a true delight. Using a well ripe brie on the warm bacon helps the cheese to melt enough to be delightful and whilst it offers you an earthy taste it is then mellowed by the cranberry sauce.

I have to say my favourite bacon sandwich is made with just bacon and my next favourite has to be this BBB.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


What a wonderful way of using up forcemeat, wrapping parcels of seasoned minced meat in caul fat or crepine as the French call it and when fully wrapped then it is known as a crepinette.

These small parcels of meat are divine and look super displayed on your meat counter, better still they look really appetising when cooked and served in pairs on a plate accompanied with seasonal vegetables.

To make your crepinettes, first soak your caul fat in chilled water for 30 minutes to allow the membrane to become pliable. Then lay out flat the membrane on a work surface, then place first your decoration onto the caul fat and shape your meat to something that resembles a hash brown and place it on top, approximately 3ounces of meat will do it. Finally wrap it up into a parcel and trim the excess membrane and by placing any loose ends underneath allowing the decoration to be the upper-side for the parcel.

These finished crepinettes I decorated with the following, from left to right:

Top row: Beef & tomato, beef & onion, beef & red pepper with sun dried tomato

Middle row: Lamb & apricot, lamb & mint, lamb & rosemary

Bottom row: Pork & apricot, pork & prune, pork & sage

Monday, 23 August 2010

Blood Sauce

I don't have a photograph of my blood sauce for obvious reasons, so here I have inserted an unrelated picture of a "right pair of scallions" to make you smile!

Now that the Game season is under way, we will be looking for various sauces to accompany our meats. The following sauce is particular good with hare and venison.

Blood Sauce
(serves six)

. Liver and blood from a game kill
· 60g x Plain Flour
· 60g x Butter
· 60g x Streaky Bacon finely chopped
· 60g x Onion finely chopped
· 1 x Bouquet Garni
· 100ml x Beef Stock
· 300ml x Red Wine (Shiraz)
· Salt & Pepper to taste

Using a skillet, gently cook the liver in the blood for appx 10mins, blend the cooked liver and keep to one side warm if possible.

Now make a roux with the butter, flour, onions and bacon, then add all the other remaining ingredients and heat whilst stirring and directly before serving add the mix to the blended liver and stir until consistency required.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Strammer Max

Strammer Max (German blood sausage)

My wife who is German introduced me to Strammer Max, her version of this Black Forest recipe consisted of a slice of Pumpernickel bread with a slice of Schwartzwalder Schinken (Black Forest Ham) laid on top of the bread and cooked slices of Blutwurst (Bury black pudding was used here) with a freshly made fried egg on top of that to finish.

I do enjoy the many variations of this dish, only this morning I used fried bread, smoked black bacon and a slice of black pudding terrine (yes that is right, you can make black pudding in a terrine) with a scrambled egg topping. Another version is to replace the ham for beef and this would then be called a "Strammer Otto".

I must tell you whilst researching the origins of my wife’s recipe I learnt that strammer max is also German slang for an erection, I’m glad my name is not Max, can you picture me greeting my wife saying:
Hello darling, Max is here! ”.