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Saturday 26 April 2014

Experiment Recipe: Shin of Veal

After 6 months being bounced around from one place to another, I've finally found somewhere I can cook!! You have no idea how much that means to me!! I didn't until this week! To be able to cook in a kitchen without being frowned at for one reason or another, gorgeous aromas emanating form my sauce pan or stock pot . . . hmmmmm; I have to say, it's nice to be able to get back to experimenting in the kitchen, vey nice indeed!! 

On that note here's and experiment I did the other day, with what looked like a rather large lamb shank, actually veal.

As you can see from the components (carrots, cabbage, potatoes), there's lots of very standard things in this experiment. It's is really about the veal shin, and how is comes out after braising. I've treated the rest of the accompaniments very simply. So if worst come to the worst, we've got some nice veggies and things to eat, think I might make a giant yorkshire pudding too, you know, just in case!! He he . . . 

Now that's a yorkshire pudding!! (The pyrex dish is 12" long)

ingredients (serves 4) 
for the veal & gravy
2 shin of veal (seasoned and seared brown)
3 onions (charred)
1 leek (cleaned and cut unto 2cm lengths)
2 star anise
2 chicken stock cubes
2L water
4g flavoured salt

for the carrots
4 carrots (pealed, and cut into 1/3's)
50g butter
1 tsp flavoured salt 
2 star anise

flavoured salt
300g salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder

for the savoy cabbage
1 savoy cabbage (outer leaves off, but into 1/4's)

for the potatoes
8 medium desiree potatoes (cleaned, 1/4's skin on)
or jersey royals at this time of year

apparatus / equipment
Frying pan.
Large braising pot.

Coat the meat in a thin film of oil - so the salt sticks - then sear it in a pan to brown the outside.
Once browned put it in the pot where it will be braised.
Peal and halve the onions, then add a little olive oil to the same pan and put the onions in flat side down, cook on a medium high heat until the flat sides are charred, then add them to the pot.
Add 2L water, bring to the boil and set to simmer 3hrs

Put all the ingredients in to a small pan, bring to the boil then set to simmer for 30-40mins

flavoured salt
Measure the ingredients and then mix well until a evenly distributed seasoning is created! Job done!

savoy cabbage
Boil in salted water, drain, leaving it as dry as possible, allow it to let off steam on a tea towel. The leaves of  a savoy cabbage will are all crinkly and will carry a lot of water, you want that to be lovely gravy instead of water, so get them as dry as possible.
You don't want lots of water diluting the gravy . . . . eeeeuuuwh!!

Boil them in salted water, a 1.5inch diced potatoes take approx. 6-8mins (after the water starts boiling) to cook. Depending on the size of course!

thinking ahead
Put it on at lunch time, it'll be ready for tea time with very little effort!

to serve
Put each thing into serving trays and let people help themselves!!

verdict - ahem I mean conclusion:
Gorgeous!! The the meat falling off the bone and the tendon was super soft and unctuous! I bought 1 shin to experiment with, but 2 would be better for 4 people. 


Friday 25 April 2014

Recipe: Yorkshire Pudding (Giant and Beautiful)

Yorkshire pudding is very high ranking in the comfort food arsenal. We are talking big big guns! It's a corker, it goes well with gravy, sausages, roasts and with jam!!

Super versatile and hot and cold!! 

Making a really good yorkie pud has always been a bit of a hit and miss affair for me so you can imagine my delight when I perfected this . . . . 

ingredients (serves 4-6)
for the yorkshire pudding
4 large free range eggs
4 tbsp of flour
200ml milk
salt & pepper
100ml veg oil or duck fat

apparatus / equipment
baking dish 20cm x 25cm should be at least 4cm deep. (made of pyrex or heavy gauge metal)


Turn the oven on to 230C - quite often that's max!! Crank it all the way to the top!!!!

I work in centigrade but often I'm trying recipes written in fahrenheit so I've created a table I keep it as a bookmark on my phone for use in the kitchen. I thought it might be handy so I put it up!!!

Put the fat into the baking dish and put it into the oven straight away!

Put the rest of the ingredients into a mixing jug and whisk until you have a smooth batter.

Wait until the oven has reached full temperature. 

Pull out the shelf with the baking tray on it, taking care not to spill the fat, and pour the batter into the centre of the tray.

Shelf at an angle, mix all in one end!!
Could be worse!
As it spreads out, the dish, and oil, should be hot enough so the batter starts to bubble straight away.

Pour in enough batter so that it's at least 1/2cm thick at the bottom.

Slide the shelf back in and close the door. 

DON'T open the door for at least 20min. 25-30mins really! 

Or until it's bulging out of the top of the oven!

Serve immediately!!

thinking ahead
If you making a roast the perfect time to rest your meat is while the yorkshire pudding is on!
Plate up the roast and serve the yorkshire pudding as soon as it's out!!

what could go wrong?
Hmmm, a few things: 

FAIL! Got stuck to the top of the oven!
Make sure you are at least on shelf from the top!

FAIL! Way too much batter, and tray not hot enough.
Make sure the batter starts to bubble when it hits the oil.

FAIL! Right amount of batter still not hot enough!
Make sure the sausages are heating up in the oven with the dish!

FAIL! Right amount of batter, not hot enough heat, and not enough thermal momentum in the tray . . .
place silicone on solid metal tray.

FAIL! result being a thick plank-cake! Sticky, not so bad if you like sticky!

This a core ingredient for all sorts of things: Serving with a ribeye joint of beefMini Toads - Picnic Toad in the Hole, Yorkshire pudding sausage hats! (giant yorkies filled with Sunday dinner!! Hmmmm!)

RESULT! Mini yorkshires!

RESULT! Hot dog toad in the hole!

RESULT! Roast vegetable bake.

RESULT! Roast vegetable bake and beef and mushroom stew . . brilliant winter fare.

RESULT! Yorkies & Roast Beef with Horseradish 

RESULT! Brunch w/ Egg Yolk Yorkie

RESULT! Yorkies w/ Sausage and Gravy and . . . . oooh shivers of delight Roasties

ROAR!!!! 1ft Yorkie Bliss - Extreme Yorkie!

How To Book / Attend

How To Book / Attend
Fancy getting stuck in? Click on the image above and to see how : ) . . . hope to see you soon.

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
If there's something you've tried at ferdiesfoodlab or a technique you want to know about drop us a line at and I'll put up a post about it!!


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