Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Counting the Cost

Here is a 'starter' from the North East, nowadays called Pan Haggerty, although this was originally just the one name - as given below. In the past the fats used might have been beef dripping or lard, although the recipe now uses butter and oil. Traditionally eaten as just onions and potatoes - to make a filling start to a meal, today more likely to be eaten with a crisp salad and hot sausages as a main course.
1 oz (25g) butter
1 tblsp sunflower oil
1 lb (450g) potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced
4 oz (100g) local hard cheese, grated
salt and pepper
Melt the butter with the oil in the pan, then place in a layer of potato, followed by a layer of onions, then a layer of cheese, adding seasoning to each layer, then repeat, finishing with a layer of cheese.
Cover the pan with a lid, plate or foil, and over low heat cook for 20 - 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with knife.
Remove cover and finish off under the grill to brown the cheese. Then serve immediately with whatever you choose.

'Pease pudding' is said to have originated during the reign of King James 1st when stalls selling hot foods were common in market places, with peas and bacon a favourite 'take-away' at that time.
Although they may first appear to be a costly dish (due to the gammon), this - when cooked and after removing the amount you wish for this dish - can, when cold, be sliced thinly as 'ham' and frozen away in small pack for later use as cold meat, for sarnies etc. Perhaps worth making this dish when cooking a gammon to make ham.

Pease Pudding with Ham:
1 lb (450g) yellow split peas, soaked overnight
1 large onion, chopped
4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
salt and pepper
1 x 1.10oz (700g) gammon joint (approx weight)
2 bay leaves
3 cloves
2 tblsp cornflour
half pint (300ml) milk
2 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
1 oz (25g) butter
Drain the soaked peas and put in a pan with the onion, bacon, a tsp salt and enough water to come an inch (2.5cm) above the peas. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for approx 50 minutes or until the peas are tender and most of the liquid absorbed.
Meanwhile, put the gammon in another pan and cover with water, adding the bay leaves and cloves. Cover and simmer for an hour and a quarter until cooked through. Leave to stand in the pan for 15 minutes, then drain, reserving the cooking liquid, but discarding the bay and cloves.
Blend the cornflour with a little of the milk, then put the rest of the milk into a pan with half a pint (300ml) of the ham stock, and heat gently, stirring in the slaked cornflour. Keep stirring until the mixture boils and, then reduce heat and cook for a couple of minutes until thickened. Remove from heat, add seasoning to taste, and stir in the chopped parsley.
To serve, stir in the W. sauce and butter to the cooked peas, pile onto hot plates, with a couple of slices of the gammon (aka ham), and drizzle parsley sauce over the lot.

As with any traditional recipe, no two cooks make these cakes exactly the same. Some may originally have used lard instead of butter, currants or raisins instead of sultanas, others may have added a little sugar. Don't turn the cakes too soon - a lot depends upon their thicknes - otherwise they may end up a bit 'doughy' inside.

"Singin' Hinnies":
8 oz (225g) plain flour
good pinch bicarbonate of soda
quarter tsp cream of tartar
good pinch salt
3 oz (75g) butter
3 oz (75g) pref sultanas
milk to mix
Start by putting a dry griddle pan (one with no ridges) or heavy frying pan over medium heat to get hot while making the cakes.
Sift together the flour with salt, the bicarb and C of T. Rub in the butter, then stir in the dried fruit and enough milk to make a soft (but not sticky) dough. Turn this onto a lightly floured board and roll out to just over a quarter inch (5mm) thick, Cut into rounds approx 2 3/4" (7cm). Gather trimmings and re-roll to make more cakes.
Rub buttered paper over the hot pan and lay on as many rounds as it will hold. Cook for four minutes (or until speckled brown underneath) then turn and cook for a further 4 mins on the other side. Serve hot, and eat like scones - buttered then spread with jam and topped with clotted cream.