It’s no secret that I love cheese – one of my favourites things about Christmas is a good excuse for a truly outrageous cheese board. Good crackers are important, but the final part of the wonderful cheesy trinity is condiments. Chutneys, pickles, jams, fruit cheeses and onion marmalade.
Having always had a serious weak spot for onion marmalade (it’s incredible with a super stong cheddar like Montgomery) so having neglected my preserving pan for a month or two I decided to have a shot at it.
It was a surprising amount of work – peeling a chopping around 25 onions takes a while! The reduction in volume is incredible, from a full pan of raw onions to the thin layer of deliciousness that was left at the end. The flavour is gorgeous – exactly what I was after. I could have happily eaten the entire batch out of the pan with a spoon. It only really filled three large-ish jars, so I’ll definitely need to make another batch when I’ve got some swankier glassware!
Sous Vide Salmon, Crushed New Potatoes, Bois Boudran Sauce
This is a Heston recipe and a great showcase of how something quite simple – fish, potatoes and tomato sauce – can be tarted up beautifully. The sauce is gorgeous, a kind of tomato relish that packs a real umami punch, I’m looking forward to using up the left overs! It was the first time I did a meal for several people with my sous vide and it worked beautifully. Timing everything was much easier and being able to use just a couple of frying pans for browning the finished products really kept the washing up down. Result!
Gin poached Venison
Venison and juniper berries is a classic combo – one of the major ‘botanicals’ in gin is juniper, so surely it’s a logical combo? After a bit of snooping I couldn’t find anyone else trying it in a sous vide, so I’m claiming this one as a ‘Rob original’.
Obviously, without a sous vide this would be rather expensive and wasteful – with one it needed just 50ml of Hendricks to cover the meat. I drew a blank at Borough market when I went in search of venison, so I had to settle for Springbok…. it’s pretty close!
The flavour was gorgeous – very subtle and not as bitter as I’d feared. It just needs a little sweet acidity (lemon mayo?) and it would be away.