Thursday, 9 August 2007

Thoughts on food

Wow! Thursday already and I've not posted anything since Saturday! Well, my excuse is that I was on a training course at work Monday and Tuesday, and of course, last night we ate out, as we usually do on a Wednesday. This time with Jane. Hi Jane!

So this post will be about various foodie topics, starting with last Saturday night's barbecue. It was the first warm, dry, sunny Saturday evening for ages when we've actually been free to light the barbie, so of course, we had to do it. Jenny made some burgers (just minced beef seasoned and with some dill seed added, formed into a pattie and served in a sesame bun with garlic butter). We had some sausages, tomatoes, salad and a squirrel.

Sadly, when I marinated the squirrel in red wine with herbs and seasonings, I didn't put any oil in, so the surface of the meat ended up dry and tough, and actually the red wine didn't really suit the flavour all that well. I think we'll do a different marinade next time, and at the very least, put in some oil! So the trap is out, but I've not caught anything yet.

On Tuesday, the course finished at 4.30 and on my way home I passed a village butcher I've not seen before. I stopped to check them out and found they sell locally-grown meats, including rare breeds, particularly pigs.

I bought a fore-rib of Hereford beef, but my local geography is too poor to know exactly where the farm is where it was raised. Also some smoked gammon, but he couldn't tell me which farm it came from. The beef weighs about 2kg, so I'm banned from cooking it for myself on Sunday when Jenny is in Sweden. Damn, I'll have to go shopping again! This will be an interesting experiment, as the farm shop where we normally buy our beef has stopped selling local beef and started sourcing it from Scotland. So they're in my bad books, even if their muntjac is delicious!

I'm not sure what to cook on Sunday. The easy option would be a steak from the new butcher, but I'm more inclined to do something that takes rather longer. A cassoulet appeals, and I'd have some left over to eat during the week. We've got four or five different recipes spread through our cookbooks, so although some of them use rather exotic ingredients which I'm unlikely to be able to find, I should manage to throw together something succulent and worthy of the name.

The real question of course, is what wine to drink with it. Might have to experiment there. A youngish claret should have the edge to cut through the richness of the dish. I've got some decent white Hermitage in the cellar, which might be just as good, but I'm not really sure here. Anybody got any ideas?

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