Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food – Take Two

I’ve already written a glowing review of Tom’s first book here and the accompanying TV series starts on Monday evening at 8:30pm on BBC2. In honour of this (and my sister’s birthday – she’s very very old) I whipped up a few more recipes from “Proper Pub Food”.

Gin-cured salmon with buttermilk pancakes

I’ve been wanting to try curing my own salmon for a while and this was the perfect opportunity. Tom recommends wrapping it all in cling-film but that seemed like a recipe for a rather wet disaster – luckily I have a vacuum packing machine ready to go so I sealed everything in that. The result was gorgeous – a delicate cure with real hints of gin an juniper. Heavenly. The pancakes are really nice – light, fluffy and with a slight lactic tang from the buttermilk. It’s served with a dollop of creme fraiche, maple syrup and a few crushed juniper berries. It would be an amazing breakfast!

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Venison with chocolate red-wine sauce, butternut squash and peppered sprouts
Venison and chocolate is a well trod dish – but the addition of the sweet squash is a revelation. This recipe is quite fiddly – with five separate components that all need to come together at once. Because venison is so prone to over-cooking I took the decision to sous-vide it and giving an amazing texture – really tender and delicate. The puree is great, though you really do need to pass it through a sieve as he suggests to get it smooth enough. The whole dish really sings and the sprouts add a lovely peppery earthy note.

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Rum and date cake with toffee sauce

I’ve done this before and I did it again because it’s so good. The toffee sauce is just brilliant. I served it with a really special Pedro Ximenez sherry which brings out the rich molasses flavour – a perfect match.

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