by: Mr Robot
I've been feeling pretty rubbish for a while. Mrs R passed on some ghastly virus and no amount of rebooting or applying the HotToddy_3.0 patch seems to shift it. Hopefully the week of planned system downtime in a couple of weeks will sort things out.
In the meantime I've been turning, as I'm sure we all do, to food of consolation.
Happily we've had a decent summer this year which has given probably our best ever crop of tomatoes. So a homemade tomato soup has been high on the agenda.
Two full trays of the ruddy beauties roasted with a bit of olive oil, seasoning, basil on the tray of mainly-cherry and thyme on the one of mainly-big (no science behind that, btw - it just seemed a nice idea). Oh, and some garlic of course.
Then just simmered awhile with a light vegetable stock and perhaps a dash of Worcerster sauce if you're feeling flamboyant. Blitzed up, seeds n' all - I considered passing through a sieve but was feeling too crappy to be bothered.
|You don't have to be poorly to enjoy this, but it helps|
Inspired by Tony Nayor's excellent How to Eat series on the Guardian's Word of Mouth, I've had monstrous cravings for a good beef stew. So I made one. The key ingredient here being half a pint of Bishop's Finger.
|Beef. Beer. Bread. All that's missing is More.|
Finding some short-rib of beef at the butcher I was driven back to my beloved Proper Pub Food by St Tom of Kerridge. His recipe calls for about a week of marinading but I fudged it with just a day of veeeery slow cooking. Vital to any Kerridge dish is a damned good stock - not least for the texture it gives.
Naturally I should've used beef but couldn't find any bones (bloody chefs nick 'em all don't they) so resorted to an excellently splidgy pork stock instead with a beef boullion cube tossed in. Worked remarkably well.
|Shiny shiny.... Shiny beef of Kerridge|
His glazed carrots are a must (if a tad reflective!) and I was quite pleased with my tower of crushed potato and not-crushed cabbage.
The sauce is amazing. It really is. Buy the book just for that.
We've already talked about Bun bo Hue but it's so good I just wanted another look. We've still got about 2 pints of in the freezer you know - it really is a very generous recipe indeed.
Finally, with the air picking up that certain autumnal feel, thoughts turn to Toad in the Hole, regarding which all must bow before Nigel Slater. A batter livened up with mustard (Ringwood brewery's excellent Old Thumper mix in this case) and the finest sausages you can find wrapped in streaky bacon. That is all.
All images (c) PP Gettins