Sunday, 26 April 2015

Return of the Jedi

Ok ok,

I haven't written anything in two weeks - put it down to an intense study load, busy work schedule and to be perfectly honest, a lack of English food. I don't know what sinister forces were casting their spells on me last week, but I crossed into the dark side and like a cursed soul devoid of time and memory made Spaghetti Bolognese for my Sunday dinner. Having supped on this classic dish I can safely say it earns its keep on the list of international comfort dishes, but this is neither the time nor the place to discuss it in detail - a future blog, perhaps?

For now, let's focus on what went on in my kitchen last night - the Lancashire Hotpot

I could have lied about my cyber absence and said I was waiting for my hotpot to cook BECAUSE THAT'S HOW LONG IT TAKES! Well no, I left mine in the oven for 3 hours, but according to tradition one puts it in at a low temperature prior to stepping out for work - there it will wait happily, stewing away so that dinner is ready to go upon your return from whatever you do to earn a buck. If you're like me and enjoy cramming way to much food into inappropriately small pots, you'll also be greeted with a godawful mess.

There's no definite date for the invention of the Lancashire hotpot, but it made it's reputation as reliable working class fare during the mass industrialisation of 18th century England - female workers trudging out to the cotton mills each morning could bung this thing in the oven and thus work assured that there'd be a hot meal for the family that night.

The ingredients are the working class type that the more astute of you should be familiar with by now - potatoes, carrots, leek, celery, and a cheap cut of meat. In this case I used lamb shoulder chops, rendered indescribably sumptuous after three hours of slow cooking.

Now, I've held forth at length on how wonderfully simple all of these rustic dishes are, but this one might just be too simple for my liking - you literally just brown the chops, then throw everything in a pot with some stock, and whack it in the oven. That's not even a recipe! Cooking two minute noodles is more complicated.

Don't get the wrong end of the stick, the Lancashire hotpot is a treat to smell, taste, and serve to your loved ones - but as my beloved noted last night, it seems an awful lot of these dishes are mere permeation of the stewing technique the Brits "invented". And you know, dear reader, I just grow a bit weary. I'm desirous of something more fanciful, more decadent, something less heritage and more dandy.

Luckily there's occasion for joy, for there is no lack of delightful things to satisfy this craving. Scotch bread. Devonshire tea. Pies and pastries, biscuits and breads - and we haven't even mentioned the world of puddings just waiting to be discovered.

There's also the Victorian era monstrosities to be had at - think offal, haggis, and stargazey pie (google it). And of course, there are still some of the classics yet to be explored - cold pork pies and roasted beef, I'm looking at you!

So take heart, my culinary brothers and sisters, things will only get more difficult, more interesting, and more delicious from here on out. Out of the sodden moors, with its soul warming stews and soups, and into the horror and glamour of the big smoke!

Til next time folks

Sunday, 12 April 2015

You pastie son of a b****....

Once upon a time, in a mystical land far, far away (well, Cornwall...)

Imagine you're underground. You're mining coal the old fashioned way - pick in hand, banging away at the cold rock wall, choking on coal dust and sweating under your brow, and the only sound louder than the ominous echo of metal on stone is your stomach grumbling.

Finally, your break for lunch - probably after like, 8 hours of hard labour or something - so you sit down on the cavern floor, unwrap your sandwich....only to get dirt and coal dust all over the bloody thing, rendering it inedible. Shit.

Such was the life of early Cornish miners, a vicious cycle of mmm lunchtime and oh bugger it's all dirty. Thus the Cornish pasty was born!

The idea of the somewhat triaangular shape, of course, is to hold it by either end and manch away - when you're done you simple throw the two soiled corners into a dark hole in the ground, where it no doubt becomes sustenance for an earthworm or goblin or something.

I absolutely adore the story behind these things - it's so rugged and working class - and yet I've never made them or even, to memory, eaten them outside the realm of the school canteen, where, I'm ashamed to say, they had the reputation as a poor mans sausage roll.

This is how came I to be apprehensive in the buildup to cooking this evening - I loved the story and yet wasn't actually all that excited about eating them. Before I let you all know how they turned out - because I'm sure the suspense is killing you - I'll address some things that may be bothering the more astute readers.

First of all, I'm not sure that what I made were actually Cornish pasties. I don't mean that in the sense that I nursed a chicken egg only to have a gnarly lizard crawl out of it six months later, I mean the recipe I used was actually for vegetable pasties - and I didn't do any shopping around because this particular recipe was just that rarest of birds - a decent gluten free pastry dish. I myself love a bit of gluten, however the woman of my life gets violently ill when she eats it, and as British cuisine is all about sharing the love, it was gluten free or bust.

Which brings me to the second point, that of my pasties decidedly sickly appearance. First of all, this is what gluten free pastry looks like (sigh), and then to to top it off I don't have a cooking brush, so when it came to basting the half cooked pasties with egg I was somewhat pathetically reduced to smearing it over with my fingers for seconds at a time, quickly retracting my digits lest they become singed. Hence the, shall we say, misshapen pattern of glaze across the tops.

I'm not going to put the cooking method to text here because I followed Jamie Oliver's "Gluten free vegetable pasties" recipe (google it) pretty much to the letter.

Have you had a quick peek at it? Good.

I'll say one thing, xantham gum is THE. SHIT. Seriously, I hate gluten free baking with such an intense passion it's like poison bile that builds in my tubes - you can make a dough which looks workable enough...

...but the instant you try to do anything with it, it crumbles to bits. Xantham gum is the missing glue that gluten usually acts as, and with a mere teaspoon of it today I managed to get through the rolling, folding, and baking without a single hitch. GET IN ON IT. 

The filling of Cornish pasties is one of the best things about them - it's essentially leftovers wrapped in pastry. I had to fake it a bit today by using purpose roasted veggies, but conceivably anything could be made to serve as innards for these things - roast dinners, curries, you name it. I envision that with a bit more practice making the pastry - and it really is simple enough that you could get it happening pretty quickly - it'd be the ultimate lunchbox staple, killing two birds with one stone in a truly heritage way.

So after all that, how did they actually taste? In a word, heug.

It's Cornish for delicious.

Til next Sunday folks

                                  - Jon 

Monday, 6 April 2015

A very happy Easter to you all! I hope that elusive bunny caused everyone to become thoroughly spoilt, and that you ate and drank your fill of good food and wine.

Yes, I'm aware this post is being written on a Monday - time seemed to slip away yesterday and I just didn't get a chance to sit down and commit my Easter dinner to the annals of time.

With that said, behold!

I had initially been toying with the idea of the traditional roast lamb for Easter dinner, but given my somewhat rocky relationship with red meat at the moment  (we're spending time apart, see each other on weekends sometimes), I opted for chicken and white wine casserole instead.

Some of you may call foul at this, and indeed I grappled with the notion as well - stewing meat in wine is after all a very French thing to do, and you can almost imagine those salty old English cooks spinning in their graves at the very thought of me soiling this blog in such a way. However I have in my possession a charming book entitled Dinner at Buckingham Palace - describing in detail the royal families eating habits and preferences - which points out that after the Napoleonic wars a great many out of work chefs from France found themselves in Old Blighty. It was thus that some French cooking practices - stewing in wine, for example - became intertwined with the traditional English love for game, like chicken, pheasant, and grouse.

So vindicated, I excitedly began to dig around for recipes. In the end I selected the simplest example I could find:

- Brown some chicken pieces and remove from pan
- Fry some mushrooms with garlic in the same pan, then throw the chicken back in
- Pour over 600ml of combined white wine and chicken stock, along with a good helping of herbs such that you like
- I also threw in some chopped celery because it was knocking about in my fridge and no better place for it really

- Simmer for an hour and a half or so!

Although English food never needs to justify a simple recipe, I'll point out here that half the reason I chose it was because it involved cutting up my own whole chicken, which was an educational experience using a knife that could barely cut through cheese - however I persevered, hacking through joints and cracking breast bones until I was rewarded with an impressive amount of meat for a mere twelve dollars (another reason I chose to carve my own bird)

You're probably supposed to get rid of the skin and gristle, but throwing caution to the wind I said aloud "jam that!" and just threw it all in the pot - I was paid a rich dividend in the form of skin that just slid off the flesh, soaked as it was in wine, stock, and celery juice. I served it with good old mash and asparagus, those nutritious little green-piss cigars. The best thing of all is that upon placing your desired foods onto a plate you can ladle over all that terrific cooking juice, to your liking.

While it was simmering away and smelling absolutely divine, I reflected that it's the kind of thing my Grandma (Mum's side) would approve of. She and her husband - Papa to me - ran a hotel for some time in England, and she's always had a taste for the finer side of English cooking - her Salmon mousse is notorious for its dynamite level of flavour, while her chocolate version of the same for it's proof.

If I'm smart, I'll organize some time to talk to her about that experience, because she is an amazing woman and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to eating and drinking in the English way - she recently bought by accident several boxes of wine (she thought she was buying just several bottles) and confided to me "Now my only worry is that I'll die before I can drink it all". 

Prior to writing this post I finished off what was left of the casserole for my supper and it struck me that several of the dishes cooked thus far are actually better the day after - the nature of stewing things all together in one pot means that the flavours steep overnight and become one gluttonous mass of gastronomic pleasure.

So that's that - something special for Easter dinner. I was in fact going to casserole a rabbit, something of an Addams family approach to 'seasonally appropriate fare', but then I remembered that I've cooked it before, and that rabbit is really the word for expensive chicken. It tastes the exact same, I'm not joking.

Perhaps, in time, and when I'm getting paid obscene amounts of money to travel the world and chronicle various cuisines in written form....maybe, I will re-visit that admittedly fun white meat. If anyone knows of any jobs going which fit that description, you know where to find me.

Til next Sunday (or Monday)

                                               - Jon   

Sunday, 29 March 2015

It's a real pea souper!

Let me tell you a little about my Sunday today. On Saturday I worked a 10 hour shift, then ran home to get changed for a 5 hour security gig at a wedding reception (let me tell you about that kind of's a lot of standing in a lonely driveway for 5 hours...). This morning I literally dove out of bed at 8 o'clock in one of those "Oh god I overslept" panics - I had grand plans for getting a lot of homework done, and I needed to start early.

As I put some coffee on to brew I took stock of the morning - the air outside was chilly, my pajamas were cosy, and by the time I sat down on the couch, coffee to hand, my brain had put it's foot down with a big "not today, son".

So with my homework put on hold in favour of a movie marathon, what better way to complement one of those blissful, sleepy Sundays than a big old pot of pea and ham soup.

T'was a fitting choice for late lunch/dinner (linner?) because it's exactly how I grew up eating it. My Dad's house has an old pot belly stove in the living room, replete with flat-top lid, and of a cold winter weekend you'd often find something simmering away on top of it. Just thinking about this soup recalls for me the smell of wood smoke, the sharp kiss of cold winter air, and the joy of seeing an incredibly hard working man sit down and read a book by the fire - I can't tell you how relaxing that combination could be when I was a kid.

Pea and ham soup was a particular favourite of mine and my twin sister Liz - and you know, honestly, I don't know why. Obviously there is that it is delicious, but I feel like it was something more. Perhaps it was the colour - last week I made a joke about stew looking like vomit, but this dish... Maybe it was the name itself, Pea and ham soup. It just sounds so antique, like something Paddington Bear might eat for dinner.

Pea soup - with various choice eats being added into it - has been eaten since records began, in several different cultures. The English take gained prominence as an early ration for sailors - peas could be easily stored, were cheap to grow, and were packed with protein. Throw in another familiar maritime delicacy, salted pork, and you have the basis of a classic dish.

The neat thing is that none of that has changed. Dried peas are chip as chips to buy (which is an ironic expression because potatoes replaced peas in the 19th century as a cheap staple. Chips were cheap as peas!). They can stay in your cupboard for ages. There full of protein and low in fat. Of course, English food stares at you with a blank expression when you say things like 'low fat', so we throw in a ham hock - and what is that if not salted pork? If you decide to give this soup a crack this week, take joy in knowing you're eating just as a 16th century sailor would have!

I'll briefly mention the cooking process, and I do mean briefly - brown some chopped carrots, celery, and onions in a big 'ol pot. Throw in 11 cups of water, a ham hock, and half a kilo of dried green split peas. Simmer it away for a good couple of hours, fish the ham hock out, pull off the meat - and I mean you can literally just pull it off - shred it, throw it all back in the soup and you're done!

I think it might be the simplest recipe I've covered thus far. It's also a joy to cook, accompanying you as it does for most of the day (it'll be sitting on the stove for almost 3 hours), gently reminding you to tend it with it's hearty aroma and gentle gloop gloop gloop. 

Nothing to do today but keep yourself warm, curl up on the couch and get a good story happening.

Gloop gloop gloop.

Sometimes the simplest things in life , like cheap, easily stored food and all three Lord of the Rings on the TV, can be the most enjoyable.

Gloop gloop.

Nostalgia is a beautiful thing.

See you next Sunday.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Stew this over

Hello everyone,

it's that time of week again, and if your affairs have been as busy as mine, not a moment too soon. What an exhausting week! I wrapped up my first month of a post grad degree, worked thirty hours at the cafe, and even managed to take some formal physical exercise. That's why by the time the weekend rolled around I was starting to doubt my ability to do anything special tonight - thus I have made that most humble of British dishes, the meat and vegetable stew.

To tell you the truth, I didn't know much about stew prior to tonight, and I still don't - I think it is, like baked fish, just one of those things that people have done everywhere, since the dawn of time. A cursory glance at Wikipedia, however, tells us that the British Isles were the first to formally develop stewing technique. This might make you think 'hooray, we won' right now, but don't worry, later on you'll realize you've been had.

A red meat stew - again I'm using Kangaroo for it's sustainable nature - is almost a kitchen cheat sheet, characterized as it is by it's almost total lack of recipe. To give you an idea of how simple it is, I'll list my own method below.

  • Dust 1 kg of meat with flour and brown it in a deep pan before transferring to a bowl
  • Heat some more oil and throw in a handful of pickling onions - chopped in half - for a few minutes
  • Throw your meat back in, along with a tin of chopped tomatoes, half a cup of wine, and 3 cups of beef stock

  • Bring to the boil and simmer for just over an hour and a half
  • Throw in some chopped carrots and mushrooms, simmer, uncovered, for another half an hour or so

And that's it, folks. Stewing technique is literally just a cycle of chopping stuff and dropping it into a pan. It's the ultimate "I can't be arsed tonight" dinner, and yet it's delicious, impressive, cheap, and makes enough food to feed an army - and that's without serving it with mash (flavour sponge) and something fresh and green. My girlfriend came home from work full of praise for the amazing looking thing bubbling away on the stove, unaware that I actually spent about 10 minutes cooking and the rest of the day sitting in my pajamas drinking the rest of the wine.

Sensing a chance to look really impressive, I knocked up some rosemary dumplings - some flour and butter mixed together along with half a cup of buttermilk and some chopped rosemary, then spooned in globs into the stew for the final 15 minutes of cooking. Seriously you guys, you should see these magnificent bastards - they're like the cute younger sister to the Yorkshire pudding, all doughy batter with soaked in gravy.

These dumplings actually involved going out to nick some rosemary - a rosemary heist, if you will - from a sweet old crone who always waves at me from her front yard. She can't speak a lick of English but if you're out there, crone, please forgive me for hacking at your rosemary bush with a pair of scissors.

The thing I love about stew, and what I think gives it its British character - aside from those exquisite dumplings, of course - is its complete lack of pretension. The name beef bourguignon might make people go weak at the knees, but it really is the same thing - beef stewed in wine and onions. Part of me thinks that the reason British food is looked down upon with disdain these days is simply because it's impervious to the Masterchef era of cooking, with it's decidedly form-over-function approach.

I possess one of said shows cook books, and while it does have a couple of neat recipes, it also contains such pearls as even if it's just making some toast to eat in front of the TV, presentation is vital.

Toast. TV. Presentation. WHAT?!?  British food rejects this ideology - it's too rugged, too grounded in salt and earth and toil to act as though beef stew will ever look like anything other than vomit.

 I'd like to take this moment to point out that I've had 4 glasses of wine by this point. So with that perhaps I'll leave you all to whatever it is your eating for your Sunday dinner. It could be anything - coq au vin, spaghetti bolognese, or even beans on toast - as long as the joy of eating it far outweighs the effort of making it, there's a little British cuisine in all of it.


P.S The last time I made this it was rich beyond belief - I was glad to see the last of it. This time the Kangaroo made a big difference, I surmise because of it's lack of fat. Are you fascinated by that? I thought so

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Nanny Palmer's Shepherds pie

Welcome back to my British cooking adventure everyone - tonight you're in for something a little special, so make yourself a cuppa, pour yourself some wine, or swig boorishly from a bottle of something, and then get good and comfy in front of your computer.

Tonight I'm cooking a true British classic, and something that's very dear to my heart - shepherds pie. Look at this photo I say:

It's an old photo of my paternal grandmother - we used to call her Nanny, to her eternal frustration I'm sure, but that's how I'll refer to her here. She's flanked by my Dad, Phil, on the left, and my Uncles Dick and John. If memory serves this is from a birthday (if not then I just sullied the internet with a filthy lie, oops).

Around the time my sister and I were 11 or 12, we would spend every Friday at her house after school until Dad came to pick us up after work - she'd feed us all dinner and you could bet with 90% certainty that it'd be the ubiquitous shepherds pie. She'd make other things, of course, but I remember this dish more than anything because it was a lot like her - working class, honest, and full of heart.

Nanny spent World War 2 working in a factory in London, and during the Battle of Britain bombs would be dropping around her every day - she once told us how, after hearing an almighty bang, she and her colleagues went outside to find that the factory next door was no longer there. After moving to Australia and helping to build a house out in the bush, she was then left to raise 3 boys all by herself - and I think I can speak for my siblings and cousins that she did a bloody good job of it, too. You would always get a three course dinner - even if entree was just a cup of instant soup, and dessert a bowl of ice cream.

She didn't always get along with everyone, and she wasn't afraid of holding a grudge, but she loved her family and her sherry, and you could always count on her to give an honest answer and share a good joke. She was one of the strongest women I knew, and though I was still quite young when she died, it's to my eternal regret that I never told her that.

The Pie

Cottage pie was originally a cheap and easy way of making use of leftovers, and the main ingredient was any roasted meat that had not been eaten the previous night. The term 'cottage pie' was used because the peasants who used potatoes to top their pies - because they were well cheap - generally lived in cottages. So why do we sometimes call it shepherds pie?

I'll share some knowledge that might change your life - although the terms cottage pie and shepherds pie have been used interchangeably for well over a century, traditionally shepherds pie denoted a pie made with mutton (get it?), while cottage pie - the older name of the two - was usually in reference to beef. Neat huh?

What's really going to bake your noodle is that I'm using Kangaroo tonight, in alignment with my recent 'sustainable meat' policy, so I guess that makes it...Jackaroo pie? (I prefer Skippy pie myself). In fact, I came across the word slumgullion not long ago, and while I have no clue what it actually means, I thought it'd be a great word for "any meal made from the leftovers of various other meals" - so given the nature of our leftover roast meat pie tonight, it might be the most fitting name of all!

Some technical stuff:

Shepherds (or slumgullion) pie is something I actually know by heart - as I'm sure a great many do - so I'll briefly list my own personal routine for putting it together:

  •  Peel and roughly chop a couple of carrots, a few sticks of celery, an onion, and some garlic
  •  Heat some olive oil in a big pan and bung your veggies in. Cook them for 5 or 10 minutes
  • Throw in about 600g mince of your choosing as well as any bacon you have knocking around, and brown for 10 minutes.
  • Throw in a tin of diced tomatoes, some tomato paste, 250ml of beef stock, couple of good lugs of Worcester sauce, salt and pepper, and a bay leaf
  • Bring to the boil then simmer gently for an hour or so. Throw in a cup of frozen peas
  • Meanwhile make mashed potato, and pre heat your oven to I don't know, a normal temperature
  • Put the cooked filling into a pie dish, layer the mash on top. Throw some grated cheese on top, you cheeky monkey
  • Stick it in the oven for 20 minutes or so to your liking 

Pretty simple right? This dish regularly makes its way into 'comfort food' collections and the like, and with good cause. It's one of those goodun's that bubbles away on the stove for a good hour before it's ready, filling the home with that mouth watering tomatoey, meaty, hot broth smell. And let's not forget that 'mashed potato' is ancient celtic for flavour sponge (I made that up).

Kangaroo is a delicious meat when it's slow cooked like this, although the lack of fat on it does mean you miss the gooey, gravy like consistency you want with this sort of dish. Otherwise all the ingredients work beautifully together, and at the same time are quite interchangeable. Swap out the meat for lentils for a vegetarian option - I've done that a few times and it's an absolute winner - or change the Worcester sauce for a few lugs of red wine.....then, you know....find something to do with the rest of the bottle...

Before I wrap up, I've an idea for you. The next time you put this together, get it simmering on the stove, then go outside into the rain and do something outdoorsey - catch a chicken or something. Coming back inside to this....

....will be absolute magic.

Throw it all in the oven, go have a hot shower, and then sit down to this

Shepherds/cottage/slumgullion pie. Just like Nanny Palmer used to make.

Flippancy aside for one moment, eating this still makes me think of a chilly Friday night in Darlington, two kids exhausted and hungry after a week of school, a man finally home at 7 after a week of work, and an old lady relaxing with a glass of sherry, having fed and watered her family for another week.

This is a dish you can really put some love into. It's like a warm hug for your insides.

Til next Sunday                


Sunday, 8 March 2015

My only catch a juicy sweeet!

I hope everyone is as excited as I am! It's time to try out the first of my British dishes, and it all begins with this fun guy:

Baked whole fish is something I've wanted to try for a while now, and although I couldn't in all honesty call this a British dish per se - I think people have been cooking fish like this literally everywhere there are fish, since the dawn of time - it does have a very English feel to it. I've struggled to come up with the words to explain it, so I'ma lay a visual on you:

If that's not English then I don't know what is (and yes, he's eating a whole fish in this scene. Or trying to).

If nothing else, this dish is rustic as all hell. Acquire a fish, scale it, gut it, and then shove it in the oven - that's it. And yes, before anyone asks, I did scale and gut my own fish. Decency prevents me from putting up any pictures of that process, but let me say that while I've never had to do that before, it in fact wasn't all that hard - although I think my hands are now doomed to smell of fish forever. You can take a look at my handiwork if you like:

Truth be told, I sort of thought (hoped) that the whole scales and guts thing could be taken care of at the fishmonger, but that's either not a real thing or I didn't give the right password to the otherwise very helpful shop assistant - when I asked if I had to scale it his actual reply was "uh, yea, you have to gut it too, man...".  I have to admit, I did feel very manly in a heritage kind of way - when I was done I felt like lighting a pipe and chopping some firewood (I didn't).

At this point you might be thinking about fish and chips, so I'm sorry but I'll nip that fantasy in the bud right now. Although it's something I plan on doing eventually, proper "fish 'n' chips" is a completely different animal with it's own unique history. As I mentioned above this particular dish doesn't really have a story...people just...did it, I guess. Shall we move on?

EDIT: I wrote the first half of this blog prior to actually cooking my fish, and in the excitement of all the blood and guts, I forgot to think of anything to serve it I cut some up some potatoes and made oven baked chips. So think of this as a really old school version of the British classic, ok?

Some technical stuff:

In keeping with the bare bones, countryside nature of this dish, I really wanted the fish to speak for itself - so with that in mind all I did was put some lemon slices into it prior to cooking and season it with salt and pepper. Re-inventing the wheel - no, but delicious - yes. I wrapped it in aluminium foil with a wee bit of olive oil and baked it for 45 minutes.

The chips I parboiled for a couple of minutes (after I had cut them), then tossed them with some paprika, chili flakes, salt and pepper, and oil, then baked them for about 30 minutes - you might argue that chili flakes and paprika aren't English, but do remember the spice war that colored English history in the early 1600's! It was around back than, and the Brits were literally conquering countries for the stuff.

The boiled for a few minutes. Could you throw a dollop of butter over the top just before eating? You be the judge.

So without further ado, here's the finished product:

A very rewarding dinner, to be sure. The fish tasted beautifully fresh, and as I hoped hadn't had it's flavor masked by too much seasoning - in fact the only disagreeable bit was the flesh that had been directly under the simple stuffing, which tasted like a fishy lemon rather than the other way around. The chips were absolute winners too, and the asparagus, while not plated in the most elegant fashion, was great with a bit of fresh lemon squeezed over.

It's beautiful in it's simplicity, isn't it? This is such a visual way to eat fish, it reminded me of a time when I was 4 or 5, and Dad had cooked a whole fish. I asked for the eyeball, so I could play with it or eat it - mercifully I can't remember which. I think it must be the same primal pleasure you get as a kid poking all the packets of meat in the supermarket (what's that all about?).

 To me it doesn't get more homey than this, and that's why I chose it for tonight. Buying a fish - least not a whole one - means who have to eat it that night, so there's a great feeling of having to go out and find your dinner before you can eat it. It's a beautiful, rugged thing, and it perfectly encapsulates what British cuisine is all about.

If you have anything to say feel free to leave a comment or get to me on Facebook. Otherwise, til next Sunday folks!


P.S. If anyone was wondering, it was a mullet - chosen for it's sustainability in Western Australia.