Paul on foraging

Forage 2019.

As the spring kicks into gear, wild flowers, herbs, plants trees and shrubs awaken from their winter slumber. As I continue to forage on a pretty much a daily basis, I see the transformation in slow motion, little bits here and there then I go missing for a week and bang loads of stuff has sprung. 

At the moment primrose and sweet briar are all coming along strong, alongside gorse, wild garlic wild leeks to name but a few.

Dandelions as I’m sure you may be aware are weeds, that grow uninhibited in area where you may not necessarily want them. These flowers are the 1st food for bees, along with the sweet briar, all very important to the bees for nectar and honey production. 

Later in the season I hope to develop my mushroom hunting skills, as I can already pick the elf cup in abundance, on some days and in scarce supply other all weather dependant. 

By the coast, all the greens are developing at a rapid pace. These spring shoots are soft, salty, delicious bursts of freshness, flavour and nutrients. 

Now for nettles as they begin their growth on the roadways and hedges of the countryside stinging any unsuspecting passer by. I plan this year to develop a bit more than soup as these early nettles are loaded with iorn, and are a great detox after the winter to kick start the immune system after taking a beating all winter long. 

As always stay tuned and follow on all social media platforms @chefpaulc for some random pics from my adventures 

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Beef cheeks

SALTED BEEF CHEEK, BEETROOT & HORSERADISHINGREDIENTS

• 4 kg Trimmed Beef Cheek’s

• 1 Carrot

• 1 Onion

• 1 bunch thyme & rosemary

• 1 head garlic

• Beef Brine

• 200g Sliced Bone Marrow

• 1kg Pickled Beetroot

• Sourdough crouton

• Horseradish crème fraiche

BEEF BRINE RECIPE

2.5 litre Water

250g Salt

37.5g Salt Peta

150g Sugar

2.5 bay leaves

1 bunch thyme

4g Juniper

10g Black pepper

2g Cloves

3g Star anise

METHOD

• Place all ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil

• Remove from the heat and cool

• Brine the Prepped Cheeks for 4.5 days

• Rinse the beef cheeks and place in a pan with chopped onion carrot, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and cover with water.

• Cook in the oven at 175°C.until tender, allow to cool I the liquor then wrap in cling film individually while still warm, then cool completely and carve into 4 portions. Horseradish Crème Fraiche

• 200g Hung Crème Fraiche

• 25g Grated Horseradish

• 25g Dijon Mustard

• 100g Whipped Cream

• ½ Lemon

• Salt & Pepper

METHOD

1. Mix the crème freich, horseradish, mustard and lemon together.

2. Fold in the whipped cream and season.

PICKLED BEETROOT

• 1 kg Beetroot.

• 75g Honey

• 200g Red Wine Vinegar

• Thyme

• Garlic

• Salt

• Olive oil

METHOD

1. Steam beets until cooked then cling film and allow to cool slightly

2. Peel beets and cut into wedges

3. Marinade the beets using the vinegars honey garlic thyme and seasoning.

4. Pour over beets while still warm and chill overnight.

5. Take some of the pickle liquor from the marinated beetroots and reduce in a pan until slightly thickened.

6. Add olive oil and a little more vinegar to make a dressing for the beetroot leaves.

ASSEMBLY

1. Warm the beef cheeks up in some reserved cooking stock.

2. Lightly sauté the beetroot leaves in a pan, add the pickled beetroots and dress with the pickle dressing.

3. Put the beef cheeks on a plate with some roasted bone marrow on top, the beetroots and leaves to the side.

4. Add a generous spoon of the horseradish cream, finish with the sourdough crouton on top.