Friday, October 08, 2010

Size Matters?

A person who comes from there is called a 'Brummy', and this first recipe is for a warm 'snack' sold at country fairs during Victorian times in Staffordshire. They can be eaten on their own, split and buttered for 'a Brummy brunch' to eat in the hand, or served on a plate with a topping such as scrambled egg. Served with a side salad these also make a good light lunch or supper dish. The recipe given serves 4 as a main course, or 8 as a 'munch'.
Brummy Bacon Cakes:
5 or 6 rashers streak bacon, crisply fried then crumbled
8 oz (225g) self-raising flour
1 oz (25g) butter
3 oz (75g) Cheddar cheese, grated
5 fl oz (150ml) milk
1 tblsp tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
Put the flour into a bowl, rub in the butter, then stir in the fried and crumbled bacon. Stir in half the cheese and add seasoning to taste.
Pour the milk into a jug and whisk in the ketchup and W.sauce, then add to the dry ingredients to make a soft dough, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently to form a round, then roll lightly to make an 8" (20cm) round. Place on a greased baking sheet and score across to form 8 triangles/wedges.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and bake at 200C, 400F, gas 6 for 20 - 25 minutes. Remove to a cake airer to cool. Cut or break into 8 portions and eat warm or cool. After cooling, wrapped in foil, this Bacon cake can be kept to eat the following day, and also eats well served with creamy vegetable soups.

Beef olives are traditional to many of the Midland counties, and in the old days, the 'stuffing' was made from scratch using suet, herbs, onions, lemon zest and juice, breadcrumbs, egg etc, and to prevent the ingredient list going on an on, see absolutely no reason why a packet stuffing could not be used (pref thyme and parsley) now we are in the 21st century,just adding the lightly fried dice bacon to it. A stock cube could be used to make the gravy. So have adapted the recipe accordingly to suit the speed we prefer to work these days.
Beef Olives - Hereford style:
3 oz (75g) diced bacon rashers (or use pancetta)
8 bacon rashers
1 packet stuffing mix
8 slices beef (cut from an topside joint)
2 - 4 tsp English mustard
3 tblsp flour
salt and pepper
1 oz (25g) butter
2 tblsp sunflower oil
a good pint (600ml plus) beef stock (made with a cube?)
2 onions, sliced
Fry the chopped bacon until cooked but not crisp, then add to the dry stuffing mix, making up as per packet directions.
Beat each slice of beef with a 'meat basher' (or use a rolling pin) until thin, then spread each with mustard. Divide the stuffing into 8, then spread this over the meat and roll up, wrapping each with a bacon rasher, securing it with a cocktail stick, or tie round with string.
Put the flour in a shallow dish, grinding over some pepper and salt, and then roll the beef in this to coat. Reserve remaining flour.
Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, add the meat 'parcels', turning to brown over, then remove and place in a warm and shallow ovenproof dish. To the pan juices, stir in the reserved flour and when browned, slowly add the stock, stirring all the time until it comes to the boil and thickens. Add a little more stock or boiling water if too thick. Pour this over the beef olives, and scatter sliced onions on top. Cover with a lid or foil and bake at 170C, 325F, gas 3 for an hour and a half or until the meat is tender. Eats well served with mashed potato and a green vegetable.

Bakewell Pudding is the correct name, and the Bakewell Tart is slightly different in that this is made with short pastry and often given an iced top (with a glace cherry stuck in the middle). Don't get them mixed up.
The traditional recipe has always been kept a secret, handed down century by century to the lucky few, and still made and sold to this day. It is said to have a 'secret ingredient', and whether true or not have read in an old cookbook this ingredient is 'lemon brandy' - this I make myself in the same way as I make 'orange brandy' (citrus peel, sugar and citrus juice steeped in brandy). So here is my version of the old recipe and as close to it as possible to get. Many chefs use ready-made puff pastry so suggest we do the same.
Bakewell Pudding: serves 6
9 oz (250g) puff pastry
3 oz (75g) raspberry jam
4 oz (100g) ground almonds
4 oz (100g) caster sugar
2 oz (50g) softened butter
3 eggs, beaten
few drops almond essence
2 tsp lemon brandy (opt)
Using a lightly floured board, roll out the pastry to line a buttered 1 1/2 pint (900ml) shallow pie dish, trimming away surplus pastry from around the edges. Using a knife, 'knock up' the pastry edge to that it rises well when baking. Cover the base of the pastry with jam, then place in the fridge to chill while you make the filling, firstly preheating the oven to 200C, 4ooF, gas 6, heating a baking tray at the same time.
Put the ground almonds into a bowl with the sugar, butter, eggs, essence and lemon brandy (if using) then beat well together. Spoon on top of the jam in the chilled pastry case, levelling the top.
Place the pie dish on the pre-heated baking tray already in the oven, and bake for 30 - 36 minutes or until set. Serve hot - traditionally with custard, or eat cold with cream.